THE House of Lords on Monday night passed amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill that provide a basis for a parliamentary coup to bin the Brexit referendum result and remain in the EU. With the support of 19 Conservative peers, the Lords backed an amendment by 335 to 244, a majority of 91, to deliver the seventh defeat for the government on the Bill.
Brexit minister Steve Baker responded: ‘I am clear that what this amendment is seeking to do is to give Parliament the opportunity to stop Brexit altogether by giving the House of Commons the opportunity to direct the government to do anything towards the end of the process. ‘This is unprecedented power, it is a constitutional innovation and I think it is the wrong thing to vote for.’
Baker said the amendment would ‘hand unprecedented constitutional powers to Parliament to direct the government in these negotiations and to direct the government to do anything, even keeping the UK in the EU indefinitely.’
Labour’s right wing shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has supported the would-be coupists. He declared the House of Lords amendment to be a ‘hugely significant moment in the fight to ensure Parliament has a proper role in the Brexit negotiations’ and in avoiding Britain leaving the EU without an exit deal. He added: ‘If Parliament votes down the Article 50 deal, then Parliament must decide what happens next. Under no circumstances can the Prime Minister be given a blank cheque to crash the UK out of the EU without a deal.’
The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Roberts gave the game away when he addressed the Lords. He said: ‘Are we learning the lessons of history? Sometimes it is very valuable to see what has happened in other countries when similar steps have been taken. We remember the reluctance of Mrs May to allow Parliament to be involved. She wanted the government to be in charge. ‘My mind went back to Berlin in March 1933 when the Enabling Bill was passed in the Reichstag, which transferred the democratic right from the Parliament into the hands of one man – that was the Chancellor, and his name was Adolf Hitler. . . ‘Let us take the warning. What we are doing here must involve Parliament. I would like to see it involving the people as well, but it must certainly be in other hands. We cannot let an Enabling Act of the United Kingdom possibly lead to the catastrophe that took place in Berlin in 1933.’
Roberts equates the EU referendum result of the people and its instruction to leave the EU to the Enabling Bill that handed the power to Adolf Hitler. If this is seen to be the content of the millions of votes, a majority, to leave the EU then, in the minds of Roberts and his supporters, it must be fought in every way possible, fair or foul. It turns out that the unelected House of Lords considers that the essence of a decision to leave the EU is fascistic. It is seen as the beginning of the end for their world and the remnants of unelected rule through Divine Right that the unelected peers represent.
In fact, Parliament voted for a referendum that, in ex-PM Cameron’s words, would be a decision on the UK’s ‘destiny’. He said: ‘It is time for the British people to have their say . . . It is time to settle this European question in British politics. I say to the British people: this will be your decision.’
Now, the unelected Lords – the last remnants of rule by Divine Right – and their backers want this referendum result smashed.
Working people must now take mass action, a general strike in fact. Their model in this case must be the conduct of the founder of rule through parliament, who ended rule by ‘Divine Right’, Oliver Cromwell. He shut down the House of Lords, and purged parliaments that refused to carry out the wishes of the people.
The working class must take general strike action to ensure that the UK leaves the EU now, that the House of Lords is abolished, and that the House of Commons is replaced with a workers soviet that will expropriate the bosses and bankers and bring in socialism.