Trade Minister Slams 'Unelected' Lords Voting to Block 'Will of the People'

House of Lords Brexit vote will make Britain a ‘laughing stock’ – ex Tory leader

He said: "If we were in a customs union with the European Union we would have to accept what the EU negotiated in terms of market access to the United Kingdom without the United Kingdom having a voice".

Earlier in the day, the Lords had riled Brexiteers by backing an amendment aimed at giving Parliament power to set the Government's future course on Brexit if it ends up rejecting any deal agreed by Theresa May later this year.

But her European Union immigration plans, published in The Independent and The Sunday Times, suggests she is watering down her red line to regain control of Britain's borders.

He said: "Even the House of Lords last night rejected on a vote having another referendum".

Brexit minister Lord Callanan said: "We are disappointed that the House of Lords has voted for this amendment in spite of the assurances we have provided".

Earlier, May's trade minister, Liam Fox, accused the unelected peers in the upper house of "trying to block the democratic will of the British people".

Lord Newby, the Lib Dem leader in the House of Lords (pictured in Parliament), is pushing for a clause which would force the government to hold a referendum if both the Commons and the Lords voted for one.


Asked what the alternative to a second referendum would be if Parliament voted against the deal reached with Brussels at the end of the negotiations, he replied: "If in the end we have an agreement that the Government wants but Parliament won't agree to, we have the possibility of leaving the European Union without an agreement".

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer urged the Prime Minister to accept the cross-party amendment, warning that there was "no majority in Parliament for a no-deal Brexit".

"Second, it demands specific votes by artificial deadlines which, if not met, would give parliament the power to micromanage the government on how to carry out these negotiations".

He said: "If Parliament votes down the Article 50 deal, then Parliament must decide what happens next".

Conservative peer and former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine - who backed Remain in the referendum - said Brexit was "becoming less certain by the week".

Senior Tory backbencher Sarah Wollaston said Brexiteers wanted to "take back control" to the United Kingdom but "Parliament won't support a hard Brexit".

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