LONDON — A Liberal Democrat peer compared MPs who voted in favour of Brexit bill despite backing Remain as Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin in an extraordinary House of Lords speech.
Addressing the Lords on Monday night, Lord Dick Taverne said parliament was “taking a dangerous step” towards the doctrine that “the people’s will must always prevail” that was favoured by some of history’s most tyrannical leaders.
Lord Taverne was speaking moments before the House of Lords voted to accept the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, paving the way for Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Article 50 by the end of the month.
Here is what he said:
“It is a very dangerous step towards the doctrine that the people’s will must always prevail. This is the doctrine always favoured by Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin — and by Erdogan at present. It is a denial of the essence of democracy which we have supported with great effect in this country and now we are abandoning it. My Lords, we are the guardians of parliamentary democracy, and we are right in this. We are the democrats. We are right to support the democratic cause.”
Other peers in the unelected chamber groaned and expressed their dismay as Lord Taverne delivered his contentious speech. Watch the moment here:
Taverne and his fellow Liberal Democrat peers refused to support the bill on Monday night. However, Labour Lords backed down, meaning that the historic piece of legislation could complete its passage through parliament.
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