Politics

End of the House of Lords? Baroness Noakes admits peers have ‘lost touch with this nation’

Boris Johnson signs Brexit trade deal with EU

Conservative life peer Sheila Noakes delivered a damning verdict on the role of the House of Lords during a debate on the historic Brexit trade deal on Wednesday afternoon. The 71-year-old said the House is starring at a “crisis” in the near future if it continues to represent the “metropolitan bubble” rather than the whole of the country.

In a scathing assessment, Baroness Noakes stated she was “appalled” by further attempts by the Lords to thwart Brexit after a series of amendments were tabled to the 1,500 Brexit treaty.

She said: “If we wanted examples of futile gestures, out of touch with the will of the people, we would need to look no further.”

Baroness Noakes added: “We face a crisis in this House.

“It is nothing to do with the increased number of peers, which I know a number of Lords got excited about last week, though I welcome more noble Lords with a commitment to our future outside the EU.

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“The real crisis is that this House has lost touch with our nation.

“We often represent not much more than a metropolitan bubble, and we all know what happens to bubbles.”

On her feet in the chamber, Baroness Noakes also took aim at the lack of enthusiasm from Labour and Liberal Democrat members towards the trade deal and paid a special tribute to the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator Lord Frost and Boris Johnson.

She added: “My Lords I had hoped today that the whole House, including the Labour and Liberal Democrat benches, would be singing the praises of my noble friend Lord Frost and my Rt Hon friend the Prime Minister for their relentless pursuit of a good deal for the UK.”

Former Prime Minister Theresa May was also in the firing line after Baroness Noakes claimed Mr Johnson had inherited a “botched job” from his
predecessor and warned Remainers were deluded if they believed a better outcome could have been achieved.

She added: “They inherited a botched job and have succeeded beyond all reasonable expectations.

“We owe them and their teams a great debt of gratitude that we go into 2021 with great trade prospects and importantly our head held high in the world.

“If the benches opposite think they could have done better and magicked away their shopping list of complaints about the deal.

“I say to them that is simply proof positive that they are suffering from Brexit derangement syndrome.”

Late on Wednesday night, the EU trade deal received an unopposed third reading in the House of Lords.

Earlier, MPs in the House of Commons voted by 521 to 73 in favour of the agreement.

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Britain will leave the EU single market and customs union at 11pm tonight when the Brexit transition period formally ends.

The Prime Minister said the deal marks a “new beginning in our country’s history and a new relationship with the EU as their biggest ally”.

He added: “We are going to open a new chapter in our national story, striking free trade deals around the world and reasserting global Britain as a liberal, outward-looking force for good.”

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