I have always been a strong advocate of the House of Lords. As a counterbalance to left-leaning or socialist governments, I saw some merit in having heads of families who have a longer term view on the future of Britain than the next election.
But if I was asked today to vote for or against the House of Lords, I think I would have to vote for their abolition.
It is one thing to say to the government, on this or that matter you should think again, this legislation is a poorly worded or the like is one thing. But to say of the expressed mind of the electorate, we must have our six pennies worth. I believe they have overstepped their role.
What have they done?
Peers backed a Labour-led amendment by 366 to 268 to give parliament a veto over the final outcome of Brexit negotiations. (List of Peers who voted against the government can be seen here.) In effect, this is a veto over the final outcome of Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations both in the House of Commons and then in the Lords.
So May and her team go to Europe, negotiate a deal, but as time is running out to reach a deal, she has to keep saying, “I will have to see if my mum and dad will let me go to the party.” I mean will parliament agree to this deal.
Theresa May just can not allow herself and her negotiating team to be put in this position.
She will have to crush this amendment in the Commons or will end up having to take this back to the country in a general election asking for a full mandate to negotiate with a free hand. But even if she is able to overturn this amendment in the Commons, I believe it will then have to go to the Lords yet again. As it were daring them to again overturn the supremacy of the Commons.
It is bad enough that May and her team will know they can not make a deal, but Europe will know too and will be able to send her back time and time again with deals that the UK government ould not possibly agree and can run the clock out on her.
Lords losing a great deal of support from the country.
On top of putting Theresa May in an unenviable position, I believe that the Lords have taken a big sledgehammer to the foundations of the House of Lords.