The Daily Telegraph
If the Lords help to derail Brexit, I’m afraid it’s war
In the past, I’ve always defended the House of Lords. A chamber composed mainly of older people who cast an experienced, world-weary eye on passing events while exerting a mild restraining influence on a brasher, younger House of Commons is definitely eccentric. Well, not any more. Peers voted by a majority of 91 on Monday to give Parliament a decisive say on the outcome of the final Brexit negotiations.
The amendment was deliberately designed to stop Brexit. It sets up impossible deadlines which Remainers know the Government can’t possibly meet. If it misses just one of those deadlines that would give the Commons the power to dictate the Government’s policy on Brexit.
We would be sitting ducks for the Brussels’ marksmen. Michel Barnier would know that the Prime Minister no longer had any control. The Commons could direct the Government to postpone Article 50 indefinitely until a) the UK doesn’t leave, or b) we leave on such bad terms, we are still effectively in the EU.
Watching the debate, I was absolutely disgusted. Who were these unelected toads dripping with condescension for the British people? Lord Bilimoria actually said that Parliament knows what is “in the best interests of the people and the country”. No, mate, you are the servants and we are the masters. Hard to compute in your ermine-lined ivory tower, I know, but the clue is in the word “democracy”.
When the amendment gets to the Commons, Theresa May should tell the Tory rebels: “This is a matter of confidence. I can’t have my hands tied in this way.” If the rebels have got any sense (debatable), they will vote with the Government, and the Lords if they have any sense (doubly debatable), will accept the Commons’ verdict. If they don’t, then I’m afraid it’s war. The British People vs Parliament. I’m looking for a tank on ebay. Do they really think we will be told we voted the wrong way by an elite no one voted for at all?