As reported in the British Daily Telegraph yesterday, the House of Lords has for the ninth time rejected the Bill from the House of Commons that would implement Brexit. Baroness Hayter said in an interview, “all we did last night was to send something back to the Commons who will have a final word on it”, but what she omitted to mention was the fact that in a vote carried by 335-244, a “poison pill” was inserted, allowing MPs to send ministers back to Brussels if Parliament rejects the Brexit deal.
The question that arises from this debacle, is whether the House of Lords as it is today, serves the purpose of reflecting the Will of the People, whilst also providing a check on some of the more spontaneous decisions of the elected government. After Tony Blair changed the makeup of the House of Lords in the 1990s, many new Lords were created by appointment, barring the 92 hereditary peers who were permitted to remain.
Traditionally the House of Lords was a check on the spontaneity of the Commons, but in recent times seems to have become a cushy retirement for members of the political elite. As alluded to in another article from the Telegraph, the partisan nature of some new Peers has allowed the continuous impeding of steps toward Brexit, and it seems that the complaints of one Brexiteer referring to the Lords as “a cozy cabal of Remainers” is valid.
In the plebiscite held in June 2016, the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, but the elitists enjoying their status as Peers of the Realm have decided to thumb their noses at the electorate and refuse to accede to the Will of the People. As much as I am a Constitutionalist and a Monarchist, the behaviour of certain members of the House of Lords is egregious. The institutions that support the Crown, which is the embodiment of the People, should not be resisting the electorate in this case, yet some members of the Lords have been suggesting that a second vote needs to be held.
There is no reason for a second vote to be held; even Theresa May, herself pro-Remain, has acquiesced to the view of the British electorate declaring “Brexit means Brexit”, and is implementing Brexit as Prime Minister. The elites standing in the way of the People’s Will are doing so either out of a sense of “we know better than the plebs” or out of betrayal. Whatever the situation, it is clear that despite the majority of Britons voting for Brexit, it is still a long way off, ironically because of Tony Blair’s moves to “democratise” the House of Lords in the 1990s.