Former Brexit Party MEP Claire Fox has delivered a speech in the House of Lords attacking opponents of Boris Johnson’s law-breaking Brexit bill, before voting against it herself.
By a significant margin, peers voted against the legislation which has powers to enable ministers to override international law.
And the Baroness of Buckley was one of the 433 opponents of the bill, despite claiming it was the “right as a sovereign elected body” to be able to break the law.
She told the chamber: “Under pressure from Brexiteers, Boris Johnson contested and won the December general election.
“He pledged the UK would not be tied to EU rules. The government are now trying to keep that promise to the electorate.
“The main part of this Internal Market Bill is to give the UK government the power to override those aspects of an international treaty that would, for example, bind Northern Ireland to a range of EU rules.
“The government is not breaking the law, it is making the law, by proposing a Bill that would allow it to change some of its commitments to international treaty by getting it voted through the democratic chamber
“That is what governments are elected to do in a democracy and it is their right as a sovereign elected body to do so.”
She added: “What are the electors to make of those in this House claiming simply they are driven by protecting the integrity of the law in all instances?
“Yet they have lobbied for, or remained silent as endless Covid regulations that have trashed civil liberties, flaunted legal norms and stretched the law to its limits have been passed by my Lords time and again.
“My Lords may be worried by the damage to the UK’s reputation abroad.
“I worry to the damage this House might inflict on the UK’s democratic reputation here at home if it insists on emasculating this Bill by amendments.”
But shortly after she pressed the “nay” button to help inflict a defeat on the government.
She tweeted: “I fess up. Haven’t got hang of voting app or difference between contents/not contents palaver, so voted wrong way in one of votes.
“My rookies’ error gave Lib Dems a laugh and in huge defeat my vote hardly mattered. Said what I needed.”
Labour peer Andrew Adonis quipped: “It’s so Johnsonian to be for and against Brexit at the same time, she is bound to become a minister soon!”
Politico journalist Alex Wickham wrote: “These £162-per-day virtual votes must be more complicated than they sound.”