Boris fires warning to House of Lords ordering peers NOT to meddle with his Brexit plan


NUMBER 10 has issued a stern warning to the House of Lords over any possible bid try and block Boris Johnson’s Internal Market Bill as it makes its way through the Houses of Parliament.

The controversial legislation risks overriding key elements of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, prompting fury in Brussels. A Number 10 spokesman said ministers believed the Salisbury Convention – which states the House of Lords should not vote down legislation to implement government manifesto commitments – should apply to the UK Internal Market Bill. He added: “We would expect the Lords to abide by the Salisbury Convention.

“Guaranteeing the full economic benefit of leaving the EU to all parts of the United Kingdom and ensuring Northern Ireland’s businesses and producers enjoy unfettered access to the rest of the UK were clear Conservative manifesto commitments which this legislation delivers.”

Some peers have warned the Bill – which passed its second reading in the Commons on Monday – will not get through the upper chamber in its current form.

The warning is likely intended to try and prevent a similar situation to that which dogged Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement as she tried unsuccessfully to get it through both Houses.

The Lords’ perceived reluctance to implement Brexit in the wake of the referendum focused attention on the Upper Chamber.

Speaking in 2018, Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski told “This is rapidly moving towards a major constitution crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

“In my lifetime I cannot think of anything like it.

“The House of Lords is a elitist chamber which is trying to block the will of the people.

“The time has come for us to start talking about the abolition of the House of Lords and I will start agitating for this.”

A Survation poll undertaken on behalf of the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) indicated just 12 percent of those asked backed the current composition of the House.

By contrast, pollsters found huge support for Lords reform, with 43 percent in favour of it being partially or entirely elected and another 28 percent believing it should be scrapped.

Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the ERS, said: “The public are clear.

“They are sick to the back teeth of the bare-faced cronyism and political patronage that plagues the unelected House of Lords.”

A House of Lords spokesman told last week: “The House of Lords is a highly effective and busy Chamber, performing a vital role of improving legislation and holding the Government to account.

“Only today the House began detailed line-by-line examination of the Immigration and Social Security Bill which will determine how our immigration system works once the Brexit transition period ends, tomorrow we start on the Trade Bill, vital issues that require the close scrutiny for which the House is known.

“In the last financial year the House considered 779 amendments to legislation and asked the Government 6,482 written questions.

“This is the important process of improving legislation and holding the government to account in action.”

Addressing the Prime Minister’s decision to appoint a raft of new peers last month, his official spokesman said: “It remains the case that the size of the House of Lords needs addressing, but given retirements and other departures, some new members are needed to ensure the Lords has appropriate expertise and it continues to fulfill its role in scrutinising and revising legislation.”

Mr Johnson nevertheless told the Commons this month reform of the unelected chamber was in the pipeline.

We would expect the Lords to abide by the Salisbury Convention


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