efe_epaLondon

The United Kingdom's upper chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords, on Monday gave the green light to the so-called Brexit bill that will now allow the government of the conservative Prime Minister to initiate the process of pulling the country out of the European Union.

The members of the House of Lords - who are not elected by the public - agreed to back the law without the amendments that had been introduced some days ago to protect the rights of Britons living in continental Europe and authorize Parliament to be able to veto Brexit, both of which had been rejected Monday afternoon in the House of Commons.

The Lords had sought to amend the bill by including a promise that EU citizens residing in Britain would be allowed to remain there, but that was rejected by a vote of 274-135.

The spokesperson for the opposition Labor Party in the House of Lords, Dianne Hayter, said that her party refused to prolong the process for approving the law once the conservative majority in the House of Commons had made it clear that the government was not going to allow itself to be backed into a corner.

Hayter, however, sent the message to people "affected" by Brexit that the Labor Party would not "surrender" when it comes to defending their rights.

The brief text of the law, just 137 words long, is now ready for Queen Elizabeth's signature just a month-and-a-half after it arrived in Parliament on Jan. 26.

In recent days, there has been speculation that PM Theresa May on Tuesday could activate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which triggers Brexit, although her official spokesman ruled that out on Monday afternoon.

The spokesman said that May expects to take that step toward the end of the month, the deadline she has set to officially notify Brussels of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU.

The government in recent weeks has insisted that it expects to guarantee the rights of Europeans in the United Kingdom and allow Parliament to vote on the accord it arrived at with Brussels.

It feels, however, that committing itself by law to both conditions would harm its negotiating position vis-a-vis its 27 EU partners.

Over the two years that the dialogue to set the conditions for the UK's withdrawal from the bloc will last, May hopes to obtain reciprocal measures for Britons living on the continent, as well as to establish the basis for a future trade accord with the EU.