Rees-Mogg threatens Lords with "fundamental reform" if they try to hamper Brexit

Tory Hard Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg

The House of Lords could face the prospect of fundamental reform if peers attempt to hamper Brexit, prominent Tory hardliner Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned.

The upper chamber would be left looking "ridiculous" if peers tried to push for a second referendum, he claimed.

The Hard Brexiteer, who has been tipped as a potential Conservative leader, said the Lords contained "retired Eurocrats" who risked creating a "peers versus the people" situation.

The government has already suffered one defeat during the passage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in the Commons and faces even tougher battles when the legislation enters the Lords.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: "If the Lords in their wisdom - and a lot of them are very pro-European - decide to try and frustrate, then the Lords will, as an institution, get into difficulties."

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In a podcast on the Conservativehome website, Mr Rees-Mogg warned peers not to push for a second referendum on EU membership.

"A second referendum would be very dangerous territory for the Lords because it would be seen as the characteristic European hatred of democracy, so if you vote the wrong way you get made to vote again until you vote the right way.

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"It would be seen as a blocking amendment but I also think then Leave would win, at which point the Lords would look stunningly ridiculous and there would be very great pressure for fundamental reform."

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