Revealed: Lords Plan to Block Remainer Legislation

Guido can today reveal that pro-Government forces in the House of Lords have a comprehensive, coordinated plan to prevent Hilary Benn’s anti-No Deal ‘Surrender Bill’ from becoming law, in the likely event it is passed in the Commons this evening.

The Shadow Leader of the Lords yesterday proposed a Business Motion to change the conventions of the House of Lords preventing the bill being talked out and forcing it to be taken on Thursday and Friday. The motion includes the imposition of mechanisms such as time limits, alien to House of Lords’ convention. Pro-Government peers, however, have tabled 86 amendments to the Business Motion, each of which require two votes to be heard and dismissed…

The pro-Government plan will see the very motion intended to ease the passage of the Benn Bill become the roadblock to it being passed. Senior Lords sources inform Guido that the time it will take the upper chamber to hear and vote on each amendment, as its rules compel it to do, would take up continuous 24/7 sitting until Saturday. Only after then could the Remainers’ anti-No Deal Bill be put. The Tories are determined to not see the Prime Minister’s hands bound in these negotiations. They have a real chance of talking the bill out in the Lords before the earliest opportunity to prorogue Parliament presents itself on Monday morning…

UPDATE: 17 more amendments have come in now, taking the total up to 102. Each must be voted on twice. We’re looking at more than 100 hours of continuous debate…

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Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”


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