A cross-party group of unelected peers in the House of Lords is plotting to block Brexit, it was revealed today.
Tory Baroness Wheatcroft said she felt it was ‘imperative that we don’t press the button on Article 50’ – despite the result of the UK referendum in June.
She says that there are dozens of peers who want to stop, delay or ‘revisit’ the result.
Speaking to The Times, the former editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal Europe, said that she hoped delays in the Lords of any potential Brexit legislation would lead to a second referendum.
A legal challenge on whether the Government can trigger Article 50 without the prior authorisation of Parliament is set to be heard in the High Court in the autumn.
Baroness Wheatcroft said that she did not want the Lords to stand in the way of Brexit at the moment, but said: ‘However, if it comes to a Bill, I think the Lords might actually delay things. I think there’s a majority in the Lords for remaining.’
Asked whether she would support peers delaying Brexit legislation she said: ‘Yes I would. And I would hope, while we delayed things, that there would be sufficient movement in the EU to justify putting it to the electorate, either through a general election or a second referendum.’
Tory grandee and arch Europhile Lord Heseltine has said he was appalled by the result of the referendum with voters ‘sold a fool’s promise’.
He also suggested there will need to be a general election in order for Parliament to sign off on Brexit. ‘Every indication is that there is a 350 majority in the House of Commons in favour of remaining in Europe,’ he said. ‘The only realistic prospect of persuading the House of Commons to pass amending legislation would be after a general election or another referendum’.