Brexit news: Brexiteer Lord slams peers over ‘abuse of privilege’ to stop Brexit

Lord Dodds called out peers attempting to stop the process with a series of amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

On Monday peers riled Brexiteers by backing an amendment securing Parliament the power to decide the Government’s future course on Brexit if MPs end up rejecting any final deal between and the .

The pro-Brexit peer told the House: “In 2016, Mr Clegg said clearly ‘we must comply with the instructions to exit the EU’.

“Now, note the wording: not ‘advice’, not ‘recommendation’ but the instruction of the people to exit the EU.

“There are those in this House – decent people, principled people – who hate the idea of leaving the EU. And I understand those feelings but there are also those in this House who have vowed to do what they possibly can to destroy Brexit and that, my Lords, is not a matter of principle, but a matter of abuse of privilege.”

The Government does not have a majority in the unelected Lords, and the amendment attracted support from cross-benchers and opposition MPs.

Lord Dodds continued: “This is a direct attempt not to secure the best for Britain but to have Brexit driven on to the rocks.

“This, my Lords, is a wreckers amendment and I wish it ill.”


Mrs May’s difficulties are aggravated by the fact that she has a thin majority in the Commons and relies on support from Unionist MPs in Northern Ireland.

This means it would only take a small Tory rebellion to further derail Brexit, especially as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has signalled his support for remaining in a customs union with the EU.

The government has committed to giving Parliament a vote on the final deal but has framed this as a choice of whether to accept the terms it has negotiated with Brussels or reject them and leave without a deal.

Mrs May’s spokesman said before the vote: “The withdrawal bill is about ensuring we leave the EU in a smooth and orderly manner. It is not a mechanism for overturning the referendum.

“What this amendment would do is weaken the UK’s hand in the Brexit negotiations by giving parliament unprecedented powers to instruct the government to do anything in regards to the negotiations, including trying to keep the UK in the EU indefinitely.”

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