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Article 50 lawyer: Vote promise must be in legislation

Lord Pannick outside the Supreme Court while representing Gina Miller. Credit: PA

The Prime Minister's promise of a parliamentary vote on the proposed Brexit deal should be written into legislation, the lawyer who led the successful legal battle against the Government has insisted.

Speaking during the House of Lords Brexit bill debate, Lord Pannick, who represented the lead claimant, Gina Miller, in the Article 50 case, argued a political commitment was no substitute for an obligation in law, pointing out that circumstances, including Prime Ministers, could change.

Lord Pannick also stressed it should be for Parliament to decide if there was to be a deal or not.

During his speech Lord Pannick praised Ms Miller, who along with other campaigners won the historic legal action in the Supreme Court "in the face of quite outrageous racist and sexist abuse", which led to a declaration that Parliament must authorise the triggering of Brexit.

Lord Pannick also stressed the Lords' need to "scrutinise a Bill of enormous importance to the future of this country", adding the bill required "amendment".

Labour peer: Leave campaign made 'false promises'

Lord Livermore believes the Brexit campaign misled the public. Credit: House of Lords

The Brexit campaign made "false promises and false assurances, specifically designed to deceive", Labour peer Lord Livermore has claimed, adding he will oppose the Brexit bill.

The former adviser to both the Blair and Brown governments' claims came during the House of Lords second day of debating the Brexit bill.

Lord Livermore continued that the Government's "clear goal is an offshore small state Britain" that would mean less money for the NHS and a reduction in the rights of British workers, following the vote to leave the EU.

"I have no doubt this vision of Britain as a mid-Atlantic Singapore is strongly supported by hardline ideologues in the Conservative Party and in some sections of the media.

"But I equally have no doubt they would never have won the referendum had they been honest enough to articulate that beforehand.

"The verdict of the referendum has now become so distorted as to be unrecognisable...

"I believe that working people's lives will be made worse by this Bill.

"I believe that those who voted for Brexit in the greatest numbers will be those that suffer the most from the outcome."

As a result it was with a "clear conscience" that Lord Livermore said he would oppose the Bill and its "profoundly damaging effect on this country".

Lord Butler: Consult public on final Brexit deal

Lord Butler of Brockwell wants the public to be consulted on the final Brexit deal. Credit: House of Lords

Former cabinet secretary Lord Butler of Brockwell said he backs an amendment calling for the public to be consulted again on the Government's final Brexit deal.

Lord Butler's comments came as the Lords debated the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill for the second day.

Lord Butler said that while he accepts Britain is leaving the single market to regain control of immigration, a final deal should be put to the people.

Lord Butler said: "Is the outcome of last June's referendum to be interpreted as meaning that a majority of the United Kingdom want to leave the EU whatever the terms? The Government clearly thinks so.

"But on a matter of this importance has not the Government a duty to be sure before our departure becomes final?

"My lords, one has to ask why those who base their arguments for Brexit on the will of the people are now opposed to consulting the people on the outcome of the negotiations.

"One has to suspect that they fear that they will get a different answer. If so, we ought to know."

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Darling: Government must not get 'blank Brexit cheque'

Lord Darling of Roulanish warned against a 'blank cheque' for Brexit. Credit: House of Lords

Former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling has said the EU referendum result must be accepted, but ruled out giving the Government a "blank cheque".

Lord Darling of Roulanish's comments came as the House of Lords debated the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill for the second day.

The legislation, which would allow Theresa May to trigger the formal two-year Brexit process, has already cleared the Commons unamended with big majorities.

During his speech Lord Darling said none of the negotiations could be conducted in secret, since with 27 other countries involved there would be a running commentary every day.

"Let's be grown-up about it. Let's engage positively," Lord Darling said.

"From the Brexiteers and Government point of view, they have to accept there is a large section of the population in this country, a large membership in the Lords and the Commons, who won't accept some of the extreme arguments being put forward and think the voice of reason must prevail for the good of our country."

Lord Darling also warned the "middle ground of British politics" had been abandoned, adding: "That's a very dangerous place for us to be."

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