Theresa May is insisting that her schedule to trigger Article 50 which will pave the way for the start of talks to enable Britain to exit the EU are still on track. This is despite the prime minister suffering her first parliamentary defeat over the Article 50 bill.

On Wednesday (1 March), the House of Lords voted to introduce an amendment to the Bill to force the government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

May however is confident that the amendment put forward by the peers will be rejected by the House of Commons later this month when the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill is debated again.

Downing Street has insisted that the timetable for Brexit remains unchanged, The Telegraph reported.

There had been speculation there could be a Tory rebellion when the amended Bill is put forward to the Commons again. However Conservative whips are confident that "no more than a handful" of Tory MPs will support the amendment.

A government source told the Guardian that the issue of securing the rights of EU citizens are being taken seriously but the government is determined to pass a "straightforward, simple bill. The intention is to seek to overturn this in the House of Commons."

The amendment, tabled by Labour with both Liberal Democrat and crossbench support, calls on the government to bring forward proposals ensuring the rights of EU citizens living in the UK to continue to do so post-Brexit, within three months of triggering Article 50.

The Guardian said seven Conservatives, including former minister Douglas Hogg backed the amendment.

The House of Lords is also set to vote next week on another amendment which aims to give MPs a "meaningful vote" on the outcome of the negotiations with the EU - a vote that could possibly also go against May.

Trump protest, London
An European Union flag blows in the wind in front of Big Ben, near the Houses of Parliament. Justin Tallis/AFP

The amended Bill which will be put forward to the House of Commons on 13 and 14 March will see MPs debating the amendments by the peers. They can decide whether to retain the amendments or simply throw them out.

The prime minister plans to notify the EU of the UK's intention to pull out of the bloc on 15 March, which will trigger negotiations over a two year period, which will see Britain officially out in 2019, the paper adds.

Theresa May
Theresa May adamant her Brexit schedule is still on track. Getty

Although May has told MPs that she wants to protect the rights of the three million EU nationals living in the UK, she said the government will only provide the guarantee once the EU gives reciprocal rights to the 900,000 Britons currently living in EU member states.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who only recently ordered his MPs to back the unamended bill when it first went through the House of Commons, described the House of Lords' vote as "great news", There is now speculation that Corbyn might actually ask his MPs to back the amendment in the Commons, the newspaper said.

"The government must now do the decent thing and guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK," Corbyn said.