Lib Dems inflict another defeat on Govt’s Brexit Bill

The Liberal Democrats have defeated the Conservative Government for the second time, this time on a vote to prevent Ministers from instructing lower courts to ignore legal precedent.

The House of Lords passed the amendment to the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, moved by Liberal Democrat peer Alan Beith, by 241 votes to 205. The Lib Dems also supported an amendment by Lord Mackay (former Tory Lord Chancellor) linked to the same issue. 

This follows another Liberal Democrat amendment to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, which passed the Lords by 270 votes to 229.

The Liberal Democrats hope to defeat the Conservative Government for a third time tomorrow, when the Lords votes on a cross-party amendment to protect the rights of unaccompanied refugee children elsewhere in Europe to be reunited with their family members in the UK.

Following the vote, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords Dick Newby said: “The Conservative Government is trying to use this Brexit legislation to undermine both the rule of law and parliamentary sovereignty. Liberal Democrats will fight them every step of the way.

“Despite Boris Johnson’s talk about bringing the country together, his approach seems designed to divide it even further.

“Certainty that lower courts will follow the rulings of higher ones is a crucial part of our legal system. By removing it, the Conservatives would cause chaos and confusion.

“Whether it’s defending the rule of law, protecting people’s rights or offering sanctuary to child refugees, the Liberal Democrats will hold this Government to account, resist Boris Johnson and fight for our vision of a United Kingdom that is open, inclusive and fair.”

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