This article was originally posted on The Commentator
Brexit, above all, is about reasserting democracy. The anti-democratic posturing in the House of Lords by unelected cronies reminds us radical reform, or even abolition of this outdated relic, may have to be another milestone on the road to reestablishing the sovereignty of the British people
In total contrast to the rest of the country, the unelected Peers in the House of Lords are deeply sceptical of Brexit, as well as the very process of leaving the EU.
Over the 2 days of their discussions on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill this week, this second phase of the legislation designed to end the supremacy of EU law, has continued its passage through the Upper House, where it has faced severe criticism from fanatical pro-EU peers.
This House of Has-Beens, forgotten and failed former politicians for the most part, seems determined to pursue an anti-Brexit crusade. They’re attempting this through their Remoaning rhetoric and have planned a huge number of amendments for the Committee Stage at the end of this month, designed to undermine us leaving.
Peers are placing themselves on a collision course, not only with the Commons, but with Brexiteers themselves, in their attempt to substantially undermine the government’s legislation.
Over the last 2 days of debate, in which close to 200 speeches were made, Peers squawked that referendums are ‘not the right approach’ and it’s ‘not too late to stop Brexit’, as they continued to lecture the Great British Public on how they ‘got it wrong’.
While there were a few voices of sanity, such as Lord Pearson, who criticised the BBC for undermining the negotiations, for the most part the Peers threw smears and insults at Brexiteers, and insinuated that ignorance and a supposed ‘Russian’ influence were key to Leave’s victory.
The hypocrisy of the Peers over the last couple of days has been rancorous. The same Peers who are now using the language of Parliamentary Sovereignty in their effort to undermine Brexit, are the very ones who wish to see powers retained in Brussels.
After all of this anti-Brexit posturing, and in spite of the anti-democratic sentiments of the Lords, they did however allow the Bill to pass unmolested — at this stage.
Currently, the Lords have time to take stock of the public’s attitude, as the Bill is only on its second reading. Peers have now debated the main purpose of the Bill, and highlighted where they feel amendments are needed.
Owing to convention, the Lords’ attempts to wreck a ‘Real’ Brexit will come later this month. Amendments have been hinted at. Only after the Peers return from their Recess will the Brexit brawl begin, as amendments designed to scupper us Leaving will be tabled and voted on.
This gives the Lords time to consider if unelected Peers should undermine democracy. They will consider whether they should risk the future of the Lords by radically altering the work of the Commons, which overwhelmingly voted this legislation through.
It should also be remembered that during the last election only one significant national political party (if the Lib Dems can still be called significant) opposed Brexit, and they managed to secure all of 7 percent of the vote.
On display here is the contempt the elites, our Establishment, have for ordinary people. Unable to accept our Referendum result, Europhiles in the Lords are seeking to secure the softest Brexit possible through various amendments, regardless of the will of the Great British Public.
One such amendment, designed to keep us within the Single Market and Customs Union, has allegedly gained widespread support in the Upper House. This very amendment, however, has already been voted down in the Commons.
For the Lords to attempt to block Brexit, to overturn a Referendum result supported by more British voters than in any election in our history, and to go against the will of the House of Commons, in which 82 percent of MPs were elected on mandates which supported Leaving the EU, would be akin to an attempted coup.
The Lords’ meddling here must be seen for what it is — while they may cloak their Machiavellian tactics in ‘playing their constitutional role’, their aim is to halt a ‘Real’ Brexit. Their reported planned changes to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill constitute more than just the ordinary and often complex constitutional role expected to be played by the Lords within the Westminster machine.
They must remember, the British people voted to Get Britain Out of the EU, and to take back control from a group of unknown and unelected individuals in Brussels.
They rejected the EU’s undemocratic and unaccountable nature. For Peers to now oppose Brexit would be for them to build their own funeral pyre, as Brexiteers would quite rightly begin calling for the people to take back control from the Lords too.
Daniel Huggins is a Research Executive at cross-party grassroots campaign Get Britain Out