Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber laid into the House of Lords today for defying the ‘will of the people’ over Brexit.
The former Tory peer, who backed Remain in the referendum, said he felt his ex-colleagues had been ‘wrong’ to back a slew of amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.
The government is facing a battle to overturn the raft of changes made to the flagship legislation in the Upper House.
Appearing on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show today (pictured), Lord Lloyd Webber said he felt the amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill had been ‘wrong’
The 15 amendments passed by peers include an effort to keep the UK in the EU single market and a custom union after Brexit – in defiance on the PM’s red lines.
Another is designed to ensure the UK cannot leave the bloc unless a final deal is approved by parliament.
What are the 15 Brexit wrecking amendments passed by peers
Here are the 15 Brexit Bill defeats inflicted by peers:
- Forces minsters to try to seek a customs union with the EU
- Keeps EU law relating to employment, consumer and environmental protections
- Keeps the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
- Removes right of ministers to challenge EU law kept by the UK
- Allows Britons to bring legal cases when their rights, enshrined in EU law, are flouted
- Limits the scope of the Government’s so-called Henry VII powers
- Gives Parliament a meaningful vote at the end of talks
- Gives parliament a veto on the Government’s negotiating position
- Ministers must report on what they are doing to ensure refugee families reunited within Europe
- Ministers must abide by 1998 Good Friday Agreement
- Reaffirms that the UK can keep EU laws and stay in EU agencies
- Gives parliament a veto on the exit day
- Ministers must try to keep the UK in the EEA and therefore the EU single market
- Extends how EU laws will be trawled through by Parliament
- Enshrines EU environmental protections
A further tweak would ensure the EU’s environmental principles are enshrined in UK law.
Lord Lloyd Webber stepped down from the chamber last year to focus on his music, saying his work meant he was rarely able to attend.
His famous hit shows include Cats and Phantom of the Opera.
Appearing on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, Lord Lloyd Webber said he felt the amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill had been ‘wrong’.
‘I do not think that you can possibly be part of an unelected house and vote against the will of the people, that seems to me to be wrong,’ he said.
‘It’s a difficult one, I myself felt that the House of Lords had become really very political.
‘I joined it 20 years ago and I was put in then, and it was a very different place.’
The opposition to Brexit in the Lords has sparked calls in some quarters for the unelected chamber to be abolished altogether.
The Commons is due to start considering the Brexit Bill again over the coming weeks.
The latest rebuke for peers comes as Theresa May’s negotiations with the EU reach a crucial stage.
A leaked Whitehall assessment has claimed Britain could suffer shortages of food and medicine within weeks of a ‘Doomsday’ no-deal Brexit.
It said the port of Dover could collapse almost immediately, and raised the prospect of food and medical supplies being flown into Cornwall and Scotland by the military.
But David Davis’s Brexit Department played down the fears insisting a ‘significant amount of work’ had gone into planning for ‘no deal’ and ‘none of this would come to pass’.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid also insisted he did not ‘recognise’ the chilling conclusions from the assessment.
The opposition to Brexit in the Lords (pictured) has sparked calls in some quarters for the unelected chamber to be abolished altogether