Amendment to the Motion (2A)

Part of Business of the House - Motion on Standing Orders – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Lord Willoughby de Broke Lord Willoughby de Broke UKIP 7:15 pm, 4th September 2019

I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, for clarifying the issue for the noble Lord, Lord Harris.

The fact is that this House too often forgets the result of the referendum. I must correct the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, on one very small point. David Cameron did indeed legislate for the referendum, but only because of the electoral pressure he was under from UKIP. I am delighted that my noble friend Lord Pearson is here tonight. We had the referendum because the then Conservative leadership was frightened of losing even more voters and MPs to UKIP.

Passing on from that, the Brexit voters in the referendum have continually been misrepresented as a lot of ignorant backwoodsmen. Of course, that is not the case at all. A huge number of people voted to leave. We have heard the cries from noble Lords who are not here now—the noble Lord, Lord Bilimoria, and others—for a people’s vote. I thought that the referendum was probably the biggest people’s vote we have ever had. I remember sitting in the Chamber in April when it was said that we needed another people’s vote and all the banners outside said: “Let’s have a people’s vote”. Well, in June, we did have another people’s vote. We had the European elections, when the Brexit Party smashed every other party to smithereens. It got twice the number of votes of the Conservative and Labour parties put together. I congratulate the Liberal Democrats, who got 17% of the vote, just under half the Brexit Party vote.

The idea that leaving the EU is some oddball movement and that Brexiteers are deranged is far from the truth. I hope the Government will understand that. I hope the Prime Minister understands that and continues the course that he has set so far. I believe it is important that the House accepts the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, because it makes it quite clear what this is all about. It is about Brexit. In the end, this whole arrangement and this debate today are about Brexit. It is about why people voted to leave and not letting them down. I support the amendment.