Peers should not undermine the will of those who voted Brexit, a senior minister has said after the UK Government suffered 14 defeats over key legislation. Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said the Lords has made significant improvements to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which transfers EU law into UK law, linked to devolution.
But she warned the upper chamber should not undermine the desire of voters who backed the UK leaving the EU at the 2016 referendum.
Mrs. Leadsom also claimed Brexit legislation is not being held up after Labour suggested the Government is parking key Bills in order to avoid defeats.
Ministers face a battle if they want to overturn amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, including over the customs union and single market, when it returns to the Commons.
During business questions, Mrs. Leadsom said: “There is concern that whilst the House of Lords provides a fantastic revising house to improve legislation, they’ve made significant improvements to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that the Government has very willingly accepted – including on looking at the Bill as it relates to the devolved nations.”
“It’s great to see the progress with the Welsh Government, that they have been willing to accept the latest proposals and it is a great shame that the Scottish Government has not been willing to do so, but we do hope to be able to do that in due course.”
“What I would say is that what the purpose of the House of Lords isn’t to do is to undermine the will of this House and, very importantly, is not to undermine the will of the majority of people in this country who voted for the United Kingdom to leave the EU.”
Shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz earlier asked if MPs will be able to shortly debate amendments made by peers to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
She said: “Can the Leader of the House say when the Customs Bill and Trade Bill have their report and third reading and, more importantly, when the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill will be introduced?”
“Can the Leader confirm that the Government is not being cynical and parking the trade, customs Bill and the EU (Withdrawal) Bill and introducing the legislation to enact EU law under the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill after the negotiations are complete, so as to avoid rebellions?”
“The Leader will know all this legislation can return at any time before the end of the session, which is now May 2019.”
“This is unprecedented and the Government is effectively subverting democracy.”
“The Government has said it wants to extend the session of Parliament owing to heavy legislation and yet not tabling any important legislation.”
Mrs Leadsom noted the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill’s third reading in the Lords takes place next week and it will then return to the Commons. She added: “Other EU Brexit Bills will be coming forward in due course also. There is no hold-up.”
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That's funny, I don't remember being asked to vote on hard vs soft Brexit, or on whether the government should be able to do things unilaterally or must get parliament's agreement, or on which powers the devolved governments should have. And when May held an election to get a mandate for her plans, she lost her majority. Yet somehow all these Brexiters think they know the 'will of the majority', and - what a coincidence - it exactly matches what *they* want to do.May 11th, 2018 - 06:57 am +1
@DT. It would help if you were to try to understand how democracy and the UK works. In 2016, Parliament decided to hand the decision, on whether the UK should remain a member of the EU, to the people. Which was reasonable because of the principle that the UK is governed by consent. 17.4 million people, properly primed by government-issued leaflets, decided that the UK should Leave. Only 16.1 million people voted to maintain the status quo. That was enough. The size of the margin is irrelevant. One vote should have been enough. The educated realised that a vote to Leave meant Leaving everything. Assertions about the customs union and single market not being on the ballot paper are stupid, wilful and deliberately obstructive. And those that couldn't be bothered to vote are also irrelevant. They had their chance. They even had more than an appropriate chance. Based on poll results, the number of members of the electorate that want Leaving to happen has now risen from 17.4 million to around 30.2 million. It's a pity that there was no question on the ballot paper about sovereignty. Because I'm not aware of anyone that voted for parliamentary sovereignty. The people wanted the UK to be sovereign. Not a couple of little groups of know it all elitists. The government should simply be delivering what the majority voted for. To LEAVE. Moreover, I'm not aware that much was said about Brexit during the 2017 election. For the electorate, it was a done deal. What the government is struggling against is the greed and selfishness of a minority. A diminishing minority. A minority that costs our nation much as they hand advantages to our enemies. And there should be no doubt in peoples' minds. David Cameron raised the spectre of war. There is a war. No bullets, bombs or missiles but the EU is fighting to maintain power and control over the UK. It cares nothing for the people. If the UK is not a good enough example, consider eastern Europe, Italy and the Catalans.May 11th, 2018 - 08:53 am 0
It would help if you and other Brexiters would understand how democracy and the UK works. The referendum was one vote with one question. Any politician claiming the majority voted for hard Brexit is simply lying - before the vote Brexiteers like Boris promised voters (lied to voters) that we could stay in the single market and nothing would change. After the vote, they insist leaving the single market is the only option, and pretend that is what the majority voted for.May 11th, 2018 - 09:41 am 0
And plenty was said about Brexit in the 2017 election. May laid out her red lines and the voters did not endorse them - but still the minority of hard Brexiters in the Tory party constantly bleat about the 'will of the majority' whenever anyone dares to question their hardline plans or attempts to grab more power.