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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."

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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