— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) February 8, 2017
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.
After the draft legislation was approved by 494 votes to 122, it will now move to the House of Lords where it appears to have some staunch opponents.
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There is now a blindingly clear message from the Commons… the bill passed with a huge majority, that sends a clear message to the Lords about the duty that they now need to discharge
Speaking on Newsnight, Lord Hain said: “When people voted, they voted to leave the European Union… but they didn’t vote explicitly to leave the single market.
Asked what he plans to do if his fellow peers refuse to back his amendments, he immediately responded: “I’ll vote against.
“On principle and on conscience, I cannot support something that I think will damage the country."
Conservative MP Suella Fernandes immediately hit back, telling the peer it was “an abuse of power”, telling him his position represented “arrogant snobbery”.
The ex-cabinet minister appeared not to have understood the Leave campaign's single market stance
She asked him: “Who are you actually voting for? Who do you actually represent?
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“Most of your Labour constituencies voted to leave, you’ve got a three-line whip from your leader to support Article 50, and you will not have any mandate or legitimacy to do what you’re doing.
“There is now a blindingly clear message from the Commons… the Bill passed with a huge majority, that sends a clear message to the Lords about the duty that they now need to discharge.
The Fareham MP added: “To do otherwise would reduce this country to nothing more than an autocratic regime which trampled over the democratic will of the people.”
Ms Fernandes was quick to point out thate Lord Hain would be voting against the will of the people May's Brexit speech: World reacts LIVE Tue, January 17, 2017
Politicians and celebrities tweet their reaction as Theresa May unveils her 12 point plan for Britain leaving the EU.
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President of the European Council, Donald Tusk tweets his frustration.
Lord Hain, an unelected peer, tried to respond that the decision on leaving the single market had never been made clear by the leaders of the Leave campaign.
However Newsnight presenter Evan Davis told him: “The official campaign did make that clear Peter – Michael Gove did make it explicitly clear”.
Lord Hain quickly backtracked and claimed: “There’s no intention to wreck the Bill – the House of Lords has never said that.”
The politicians clashed ahead of the Lords vote on the Brexit bill
Ms Fernandes took aim at the former minister, adding: “The type of amendment you are proposing Peter would fundamentally alter the nature of the Bill.
“It would have the effect of delaying the process, of exposing the Government to judicial review, and actually weakening our position when it came to negotiations.”
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