Europe

UK government facing defeat on EU citizens' Brexit rights

  • British Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    British Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

  • British Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    British Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

The British government is expected to suffer a defeat in Parliament over the right of European Union citizens to stay in the U.K. after Brexit.

The House of Lords is due to vote later Wednesday on an amendment that inserts a commitment to protecting EU nationals' rights into to a bill authorizing the start of EU exit talks.

By leaving the EU, Britain will be withdrawing from the bloc's policy of free movement of citizens among member states. That leaves 3 million EU nationals in Britain, and 1 million Britons living in other member countries, in limbo.

If the Lords amend the bill, it will have to go back to the House of Commons for another vote, delaying its passage and potentially threatening the government's timetable for starting Brexit talks.