House of Lords warned: Behave over Brexit, or see your power restricted

Mark Sands
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Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament
The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June (Source: Getty)

The government has warned the House of Lords to toe the line on Brexit, or face revived plans to limit the powers of peers.

A minister today revealed it would instead ask peers undertake “self-regulation”, but warned them over rebelling against Brexit in particular.

Former prime minister David Cameron launched plans to limit peers after the House of Lords moved to block a statutory instrument on tax credits late last year.

And a subsequent review recommended new rules that would allow Lords to send secondary legislation back to the House of Commons, but allow MPs to retain final say.

Read More: Corbyn vows to scrap the House of Lords as Labour ballots are sent out

However, Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Evans of Bowes Park said today that while the government backed the plan, it would not introduce legislation to enshrine the rules.

Speaking in the House of Lords, Evans said: “The government is therefore reliant on the discipline and self-regulation that this House imposes on itself. Should that break down we would have to reflect on this decision.”

Evans added that this will be particularly important in the light of Brexit – speculation is rife that the unelected chamber could hinder the activation of Article 50 if the Supreme Court rules that Theresa May must secure parliament's approval.

"This House has an important role to play in scrutinising and revising legislation and the government recognises this.

"As we find ourselves considering the legislation resulting from the decision of the British people to leave the European Union, the constructive approach this House has so far shown will be ever more important,” Evans said.

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