Nigel Farage Brands House Of Lords A "Disgrace" After Brexit Vote

Katie Ramirez
April 19, 2018

But Richard Tice, Co-Chair of Leave Means Leave, said: "It is disappointing, but unsurprising, that unelected members of the House of Lords have continued in their quest to delay, dilute and disrupt Brexit, with damaging measures that affect the poorest in the United Kingdom most of all".

They also voted 314 votes to 217 by approving amendment 11, which aims to protect people's rights.

By a vote of 348 to 225, the lords, from all parties, supported an amendment to May's EU withdrawal bill, requiring ministers to report what efforts they had made to secure a customs union by the end of October.

"Theresa May and her ministers still have an opportunity to bring forward sensible changes in response to concerns raised previously in the Lords", said shadow leader of the Lords Baroness Smith.

Theresa May has suffered a major Parliamentary defeat over Brexit after the House of Lords voted to keep open the option of staying in the EU Customs Union.

"A failure to do so however, will amount to kicking the can down what could be a very rocky road".

The prime minister has rejected staying in the EU customs union because it prevents Britain pursuing an independent trade policy, which for the most enthusiastic Brexit supporters in her party is a crucial benefit of leaving the EU bloc. "We are leaving the Customs Union and will establish a new and ambitious customs arrangement with the EU while forging new trade relationships with our partners around the world".

But the House of Lords decision now puts pressure on Tory Remainer MPs - who have the numbers to overturn May's wafer-thin majority - when the bill returns to the Commons next month.

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After losing the Conservative Party's majority in an ill-judged election last June, May relies on the support of a small Northern Irish party to pass legislation.

That's because while the Lords typically defer to the elected house after a bill has been passed between the two chambers two or three times, a large majority in the Lords may be enough to embolden Tory rebels in the Commons, where May has a wafer-thin majority.

By choosing to focus on the customs union, the peers have touched on a flashpoint in the Brexit debate, which has sowed divisions across Britain.

The main opposition Labour Party says it would want a new customs union if it was in charge of the Brexit negotiations.

"Our policy on this subject is very clear".

Crushing Government defeat on Customs Union in Lords may be the beginning of the end of Brexit.

With talks on a future trade deal getting underway in Brussels this week, and with her team gaining in confidence after winning global support for her tough stance on Syria, May might hope she can weather the embarrassment.

Other battlegrounds in the Lords include measures to limit the government's ability to use so-called Henry VIII powers, which restrict Parliament's ability to scrutinise future legislative changes required as a result of Brexit.

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