As Tory Party Members and life long Conservatives ourselves, we find the unethical and frankly brash stupidity and arrogance of one of our own representatives despicable and call for Jacob Rees-Mogg to be sacked for his unconstitutional behaviour. He is treating the law of the land in the same way that King John treated the Magna Carta and he should not be allowed to get away with it.
Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg called for the creation of 1,000 new pro-Leave peers
Following yesterday’s shock High Court ruling, Theresa May now has to seek the consent of both the House of Commons and House of Lords before triggering Britain’s departure from the EU.
With judges telling the Government they cannot invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – the legal mechanism for quitting the Brussels-based bloc – without the approval of Parliament, there are fears pro-Remain peers could delay or even halt Brexit.
Those fears strengthened today when leading Conservative peer Baroness Wheatcroft predicted “a majority” of the House of Lords would seek to prolong the enacting of Article 50 beyond the Prime Minister’s stated aim of kickstarting Brexit before April next year.
The peer said Mrs May’s deadline now looked like an “impossible target” as she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think that it’s only right to delay triggering Article 50 until we have a clearer idea of what it actually entails and I think there will be others in the Lords who feel the same way.
“How many it’s hard to say, but I think there could be a majority who’d be in favour of delaying Article 50 until we know a little more about what lies ahead.”
With the Tories not holding a majority in the House of Lords, there are also concerns peers could abandon parliamentary convention over Article 50.
Downing Street yesterday admitted, if the Government did not successfully overturn the High Court’s decision in the Supreme Court early next month, the “logical conclusion” would be for ministers to put a bill before Parliament seeking the authorisation of Article 50.
But Sarah Ellson, a partner at European law firm Fieldfisher, outlined how peers could argue they should not be obliged to support the bill.
She said: “The Salisbury Convention ensures that major Government bills can get through the Lords when the Government of the day has no majority in the Lords.
“In practice, it means that the Lords does not try to vote down, at second or third reading, a Government bill mentioned in an election manifesto.
“Given that ‘Brexit’ was not a manifesto promise – only holding a referendum was – it will be very interesting to see if the House of Lords feels any obligation to follow the convention, or the referendum outcome.”
With the possibility of a constitutional crisis arising between the courts, Government and Parliament, Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested Mrs May packs the already-bloated House of Lords with even more members in order to push through Article 50.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the leading Brexit backer said: ““In the event the House of Lords refused the Bill, then we would be in peers versus the people territory akin to 1909-11, when the Lords sought to block the Budget passed by the Commons.
“When this happens, the Lords always loses. One way around the difficulty would be to create a thousand new peers to overcome the Remain majority in the Upper House.
“The UK will leave the EU and this decision ought not to cause any delay. Nonetheless, the judiciary is causing an unnecessary constitutional clash.”
With the House of Lords already the second-largest legislature in the world – behind only China’s National People’s Congress – such a move would likely heighten calls for a complete overhaul of the unelected chamber.
Jonathan Isaby, who runs the Brexit Central pressure group, warned the House of Lords, if it sought to defy the will of the British people in the EU referendum, it would be “signing its own death warrant”.
Former prime minister David Cameron has been blamed for the current row between the courts and the Government, with critics attacking his slapdash approach to the parliamentary bill authorising the EU referendum on June 23.
Quentin Peel, an associate fellow at the Chatham House thinktank, said: “This was the most sloppily drafted bill for a referendum.
“It was incredibly irresponsible to say this decision is only advisory, then treat it as the most fundamental constitutional decision ever to be made.”