Amendment to the Motion (2A)

Part of Business of the House - Motion on Standing Orders – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Lord Dobbs Lord Dobbs Conservative 7:30 pm, 4th September 2019

I entirely agree with my noble friend. It is one of those ironies that the Lib Deems started this with those leaflets with Mr Clegg’s face on promising a real choice, a real referendum. Mr Clegg and the late leader of the Liberal Democrats at the time said that it was an instruction from the people, not a bit of advice, perhaps something that we would think about, but an instruction from the people. It is one of the great ironies of this fiasco that we are going through right now that the Lib Dems have now come full circle. Having promised us that there would be a referendum and having campaigned for that, now their leader says that even if there were a second referendum to endorse the first—and, of course, a second referendum would endorse the result of the first referendum—they would not even then in those circumstances put forward Brexit and pursue that policy. They wear a coat of many colours, but it has got a little ragged at the hem and they are in real danger of falling flat on their faces.

We talk about the role of this House and of the House of Commons and the Queen, but there are four pillars of government in this country: the Queen, the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the people. We talk about parliamentary sovereignty, but in my book it is the people who are sovereign when they have been given such an explicit promise as they were given three years ago and they have consistently said that they want that promise honoured. That is why this amendment is one of the most honest amendments on the very long list this evening.