Published On: Tue, Apr 17th, 2018

'We should NOT bow to the people' Lords try to REVERSE Brexit as May braces for defeat

Senior Tories fear the reverse will be the start of a series of defeats during the Lords Report Stage of the legislation with a hard-core group of Remain-backing peers tabling dozens more amendments.

New analysis released by Brexit campaigners last night revealed that 10 fanatical Remain-backing peers have proposed a total of 388 amendments designed to frustrate or reverse the EU departure process.

The research by the Change Britain pressure group, which wants a full break with Brussels, showed that Labour peers Lord Judd and Lord Adonis along with Lib Dem Lord Wallace of Tankerness had tabled the most amendments.

Gisela Stuart, chairman of Change Britain, said: “It’s deeply dissapointing that these peers are using parliamentary procedure to pursue their own agenda of stopping Brexit. Whilst 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU, a handful of unelected Lords are presumptuous enough to believe they can overturn the result and keep us under Brussels control.

“Rather than refusing to respect the referendum result and trying every trick in the book to reverse it, peers should accept the democratic decision of voters and work to get the best Brexit deal.”

Change Britain’s investigation showed that Lord Judge had tabled a whopping 62 amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill, which is designed to transfer EU law onto the UK statute book to ensure a smooth Brexit. He has previously claimed: “We are peers, we should not bow to the demands of the people.”

Lord Adonis had tabled 59 and Lord Wallace was responsible for 49.

Tonight’s debate is expected to focus on an amendment seeking to commit ministers to making a statement about their progress in the Brexit negotiations on agreeing “an arrangement which enables the United Kingdom to continue participating in a customs union with the European Union”.

Tory Brexiteers yesterday insisted that the change – proposed by four peers including former European commissioner Lord Patten – will not have a major impact on Brexit because it mandates a parliamentary statement rather than specific action.

Former Brexit minister David Jones said: “This amendment will generate lots of smoke but not much fire.

“We must leave the customs union in order to negotiate trade deals and take advantage of the opportunities of Brexit, and this amendment would not stop that. It merely asks the Government to make a statement on its policy, which, since the policy is well known and very clear, can be easily done.”

Downing Street officials insisted the Government would not back down over the plan to withdraw Britain from the EU’s customs union.

Mrs May’s spokesman said: “The Prime Minister has been very clear that the British people voted to leave and the EU and want us to be free to sign our own trade deals. As the Prime Minister has set out, that means leaving the customs union.”

A spokesman for the Department for Exiting the EU said: “The House of Lords plays an important role in scrutinising and revising legislation and we are grateful for the contributions so far.

“Throughout the bill’s passage we have demonstrated that we are listening to constructive suggestions put forward. This bill is about providing certainty and continuity as we leave the EU. It is not a medium to overturn the referendum.

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