Given the Conservative unwillingness to let the public decide on the final terms of Brexit, Liberal Democrat peers in the House of Lords are taking the unusual step of using an amendment at the third reading stage of the Brexit Bill to oppose it:
That this House declines to allow the Bill to pass, because it does not provide a mechanism for the people of the United Kingdom to have a vote, prior to the UK’s departure from the European Union, on the terms of the new relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Dick Newby, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, said:
The people started the process of Brexit and it is only right that they are given a say on the final deal.
Today the Government have confirmed that the Brexit deal will be finalised behind closed doors in Westminster. This is not accountable, this is not democracy, and that is why the Liberal Democrats cannot support this Bill.
Theresa May is driving Britain towards a hard Brexit which wasn’t on the ballot paper and which no one voted for. The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to this Conservative Brexit Government.
That’s a welcome clarity and consistency in the party’s position, particularly important given the low levels of attention the public gives to the nuances of what goes on in Parliament.