My fellow peers must not defy the electorate and obstruct Brexit

My fellow peers must not defy the electorate and obstruct Brexit

One of the hardest things I have to do in the House of Lords is sit in debates listening to Europhile peers spreading doom and gloom about Brexit. Their tactics and, indeed, the tactics of some politicians from the other place, is to adopt the mantra ‘we don’t know what Brexit means’.  In a recent debate in the Lords on the Government’s statement about the G20 summit, they were at it again so I reminded them that “Brexit means leave”.

I said that the electorate “were asked whether they wished to remain or whether they wished to leave. They decided that they wanted to leave. That was an instruction to the Government to get on with it. The great disgrace is that the Government and the Civil Service had not prepared for either alternative. That, of course, is the problem we are facing now.”

The fact that the Government quite irresponsibly made no plans for either eventuality prior to the referendum has inevitably left a vacuum but it has attracted remarkably little criticism. In fact, those who supported Brexit get the criticism, not the Government, which is hardly fair!  However, this interregnum, while the Government gets its act together, cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely and I welcome the fact that the EU, in the shape of Jean-Claude Juncker himself, echoed my own words in his recent State of the European Union speech, when he told Britain to “get on with it.”  It is not often that he and I sing from the same hymn sheet!

Juncker has subsequently blamed the Brexit vote on “40 years of lies” about the EU and suggestions that it is “stupid and membership brings no advantages.”  I would argue that the 40 years of lies have, in fact, been told by the EU at massive public expense.  Brussels has always had a massive propaganda budget running into tens of millions per annum.  Despite all this, the brave British people, when given the chance, voted to leave.

Over the summer silly season, there has been talk from some Members of the House of Lords of a rebellion against the Brexit vote and intimations of deliberate obstruction and/or delays to legislation from the Government.  My own view is that it would be quite outrageous for peers – many of whom are either former EU officials or former MEPs, drawing pensions from Brussels – to try to obstruct Brexit, which is the will of the electorate.  It would put the Lords on a collision course with the people of this country, which is a position in which they should never be foolish enough to place themselves (ie the Lords vs the people).  If they were to attempt to do so, I believe the next national referendum should be on whether or not to abolish the House of Lords!

My colleagues in the Lords would do well to remember that the Brexit vote was the largest vote for anything in the history of our nation.  According to a study by the University of East Anglia, had Vote Leave been a political party, it would have won a huge landslide of 421 Parliamentary seats.  That would equate to 65% of all seats and 73% of seats in England and Wales.

Peers considering messing around with this massive mandate do so at their peril!