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 Dobbs Lord Dobbs Conservative 7:15 pm, 4th September 2019

My noble friend will forgive me then for my errant message. While he is quite clear that he did not open AV Dicey, my memory is that he quoted from it. He will forgive me, I trust, if my memory is playing tricks on me. My noble friend mentioned Burke, who has been much quoted on the role of a Member of Parliament. I remind the House that, at the very first opportunity after Burke made his pronouncement, the electorate threw him out and never allowed him back into the House of Commons.

This is one of the most honest amendments, if I may put it that way. It talks about recognising the fact that the vote of 17.4 million people to leave the European Union is no longer relevant. Why do we forget that the people were made a solemn and sincere vow at that time that it would be their choice and that their decision would be honoured? They had that vow not only in political speeches but in writing. Those leaflets were put through the letterboxes of every house in the country. It should have come as no surprise because the Liberal Democrats had long campaigned for a referendum at that time. Noble Lords may remember the leaflet bearing the image of Mr Clegg which went out in which the Liberal Democrats campaigned for a real referendum. “You will decide”, it said. I do not know what happened to Mr Clegg, or what he is doing now, but I know what happened to that promise. The people were given that promise at a referendum. Every single party said it would honour the result of that referendum.