Conservative peer's scathing attack against 'conspiracy of Remainers'

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Boris Johnson's majority has ensured he will be able to deliver Brexit at the end of January. (AP)

A Tory peer has launched a scathing attack on a “conspiracy of Remainers” as Lords debated the Brexit bill.

Lord Hamilton of Epsom said the government has a “great feeling of relief” following the result of the General Election – ensuring it could now allow Brexit to pass.

But he also made clear his feelings about Remain-supporting politicians for their role in delaying Brexit since the EU referendum.

Lord Hamilton of Epsom hit out at Remain-supporting MPs during the Withdrawal Agreement debate (parliament.uk)

Speaking during the debate, Lord Hamilton said: “The government, and the other people I talk to in the other place, feel that there has been a conspiracy of Remainers, both in this House and in the House of Commons, to ensure that we stayed in the EU.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer speaks at the anti-Brexit 'Trust the People' march. (PA)

“The debate I have listened to here on this Bill gives me the impression that this House is now resigned to the fact that we are going to leave the EU, but will make those negotiations as difficult as possible for the government, so that we will get a very bad deal and people can be justified in their view that we should never have left.

“The storm clouds are gathering, and there is constant speculation in the press on what will happen to this House – but we seem to be completely oblivious to it. We should be very careful about where we go over the coming months.”

Despite Boris Johnson’s huge majority in December’s election, defiant peers are on a collision course with the Commons after inflicting five defeats on his Brexit deal.

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In a mauling for ministers, the Lords has backed two more amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.

This follows three defeats yesterday on the rights of EU workers legally residing in the UK to have physical proof of their right to remain and the power of courts to depart from European Court of Justice rulings.

In the latest reverses, the government was heavily defeated as peers backed a move to ensure the rights of unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their families in the UK post-Brexit.

The House of Lords inflicted five defeats on the prime minister's Brexit deal. (AP)

With Brexit day looming on 31 January, the Bill, which was passed with big majorities by MPs, will have to return to the Commons for further scrutiny today.

The prime minister looks certain to overturn all the defeats using his 80-strong majority.

It will then be up to peers to decide whether to prolong the bout of parliamentary ping-pong or bow to the will of the elected House, which seems the most likely.

Labour, Liberal Democrat and independent crossbench peers ignored repeated ministerial warnings not to amend the Bill, insisting their objection was not to stop Brexit but to ensure the legislation was better drafted.

Mr Johnson's official spokesman told reporters: "We are disappointed that the Lords has chosen to amend the Withdrawal Agreement Bill after the Commons passed it unamended.

"We will seek to overturn this amendment as the Bill returns to the Commons."

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