The unelected peers in the House of Lords should back the Brexit Bill, according to some Tory MPs
Speaking on Newsnight, Suella Fernandes said that refusing to pass the Article 50 Bill would “call into question the position of the House of Lords”.
Peter Hain, a Labour Lord who was also appearing on the programme, immediately responded: “Bring it on”.
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Follow the lead of your Labour MPs who joined us in the Aye Lobby tonight – they did the right thing, they respected the referendum and they are adhering to democracy
Suella Fernandes MP
Ms Fernandes continued: “Think about what it does to public trust.
“I’m actually more concerned about our voters and the people who put their trust in us to go to Parliament to deliver on their instruction.
“They’ve voted in a referendum and they’ve got a result and they’ve seen the Commons vote… and then, by some quirk of abuse of procedure or constitutional technicality, a completely different outcome emerged because of Lords like you [points at Peter Hain] not honouring the instruction by the British people and now the Commons to do the right thing, to follow the lead of your Labour MPs who voted with the Government.”
Lord Hain believes the upper chamber still has an important role to play
Peter Hain immediately conceded that he was not an elected peer and was in fact “put there by the Labour Party”.
He continued: “I was appointed by the Labour Party – two-thirds of Labour voters voted to remain within the European Union, they need to be respected.
“This country was split down the middle – if your Government had been acting in a one nation fashion find a way through this that respected the 48 per cent that voted Remain, as well as the 52 per cent who should be respected for voting to Leave… if they found a way of bringing the country together that might be very different.
Ms Fernandes hit back: “Follow the lead of your Labour MPs who joined us in the Aye Lobby tonight – they did the right thing, they respected the referendum and they are adhering to democracy.
The two politicians disagreed over the role of the House of Lords
The Conservative MP of Fareham had previously accused Lord Hain of “arrogant snobbery” after he vowed to vote against the Brexit Bill if his fellow peers did not back his two proposed amendments.
The former Cabinet minister wants to maintain the open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which he describes as “crucial to the peace process”, as well as keeping the UK’s membership of the single market.
Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal Tue, January 24, 2017
Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process Article 50 for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.
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Issued by the Supreme Court of (top row, from the left) Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, (bottom row, from the left) Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge, who agreed with the majority decision that the Government could not trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary approval.
After the draft legislation was approved by 494 votes to 122 in the House of Commons, it will now move to the Lords.
Leading Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “The British people spoke in a referendum, the House of Commons agreed in a Bill, the unelected Lords must concur.”
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