LONDON — Conservative peer Lord Tebbit today caused uproar in the House of Lords on Wednesday after complaining that peers were debating the rights of “foreigners” rather than British citizens.
Peers were debating an amendment to the Brexit bill that would guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit.
However, Tebbit, who served in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, accused his fellow peers of caring only about those born abroad.
“It seems to me that the first duty of this parliament of the United Kingdom is to care for the interests of the citizens of this kingdom,” Tebbit said.
“So if we are to care for anybody’s rights after Brexit to live anywhere in Europe, it should be our concern for the rights of British people to live freely and peacefully in those other parts of Europe.
“Somehow or other we seem to be thinking of nothing but the rights of foreigners,” he added.
Tebbit also made a bizarre comparison between the rights of EU citizens and those of slave traders.
“At a time when so often these days we hear save traders criticised, my noble and learned friend the Lord Hailsham has made the most splendid defence of them,” he said.
“That is he said that a man’s decision to do anything, he is entitled to make in accordance with the the laws as they were when he took the decision. Well I hope now we’ll hear a little bit less about students tearing down the portraits of slave traders.”
Watch his speech below
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