Brexit: Theresa May warned against House of Lords abolition

Brexit: Theresa May warned against abolition threat by House of Lords speaker

The House of Lords during the state opening of Parliament

Friday, January 6, 2017

The House of Lords Speaker has urged Theresa May not to threaten the house with abolition or create new Tory peers to ensure her Brexit plans get through Parliament.

Lord Fowler assured the Prime Minister the Lords would not "sabotage" Brexit, but he maintained that peers keep their role with the improvement of legislation moving through the House of Commons.

Mrs May has reportedly been told by Cabinet Ministers to threaten abolition of the Lords if peers seek to frustrate her plans to leave the European Union, but Fowler said the upper chamber has no intention of blocking Brexit for the sake of it.

Writing in the Telegraph, the Speaker said: "The Lords are not here to sabotage legislation - we are here to improve it.

"Some politicians seem intent on creating discord between the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

"Although we don't yet know the Supreme Court's decision, a number of MPs and ministers have made threats towards the very existence of the Lords if there is any delay in the Brexit process.

"Another MP said that if there was disagreement, the Prime Minister might create over 100 new Peers to ensure the Government gets its way.

"It is not my role to enter into the politics of Brexit, but I think I am entitled to defend the House from this kind of attack."

Fowler's warning comes as Mrs May awaits a Supreme Court ruling on whether she needs Parliamentary approval to start the Brexit progress. 

Should the court rule against the Government, the PM will be forced to put legislation before her lawmakers to trigger Article 50. 

Labour has committed to avoid blocking or delaying Brexit, but there are suggestions peers in the House of Lords could hold up the process. The Conservatives do not have a majority there.