Lib Dem Lords vs the Article 50 Bill: Roger Roberts: Referendum campaign was won on a lie on a bus built in Poland by a German company

The Lib Dem Lords have made some cracking contributions to the debate on the Article 50 Bill. Ahead of its next Lords stages, we’re bringing you all the Lib Dem contributions over the course of this weekend. That’s no mean feat. There were 32 of them and cover more than 30,000 words. You are not expected to read every single one of them as they appear. Nobody’s going to be testing you or anything. However, they will be there to refer to in the future. 

Our Lords excelled themselves. Their contributions were thoughtful, individual, well-researched and wide-ranging and it’s right that we present them in full on this site to help the historian of the future. 

Roger Roberts pointed out that the most famous phrase from the campaign, the one which the Leave campaign’s director credits it with winning, the £350 million a week for the NHS, was a blatant lie and that alone justifies the people being given a vote on Brexit. He also added that the Government could not be trusted on its reassurances as it had already broken promises on refugees.

My Lords, when we are told that the people have spoken, we are referring to the one-third of the electorate who supported the Leave campaign. I would say that the people have not spoken. They were taken on a ride in a bus built in Poland by a German company. On its side it said, “When we are out of the EU, we will have £350 million a week to spend on the NHS”. That was the promise, yet in Arron Banks’s recently published book, The Bad Boys of Brexit, he says that from the beginning they knew that it was a blatant lie. One of the biggest donors, giving £5 million to the Leave campaign, has said that they knew from the beginning that it was a blatant lie.

If it was a lie, is it not possible that the result of the referendum was because of a lie on the side of a bus? In all probability, by the Leave campaign’s own admission, the referendum was won on a blatant lie. If that was so, we have every right to ask the people to consider it again when the time comes. It will determine the future of every one of us—our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This House can either go along with a lie or it can decide that we are going to stop this here.

People say that we can rely on the Government. I have heard it argued that we can sort out the minutiae of this. I hope that the Government’s promise to do this is firmer than their promise to bring 20,000 Syrian refugees to the UK and to provide a home for 3,000 unaccompanied children. I do not trust this Government to keep their promises.

The difference between 23 June and today is that we have a different Administration in the United States. When people voted, Obama was President of the United States. Today we have a very different presidency —a Trump presidency. Every day we recoil in disbelief at the news from the US, the daily edicts of an Administration who are totally unpredictable. We only have to go the other way—to Russia—and, again, we have questions.

I am not going to speak at great length but, at this time of tremendous instability in the US, in Russia and perhaps in other states in Europe, I suggest that this is the very worst time for us to weaken the European Union. We are the basis for stability. We have our faults. We know that the European Union has its faults, but our own UK Parliament and Government also have their faults. What could be worse than for us to withdraw from Europe? It could be the beginning of the unravelling of the European Union at a time when we need it more than ever before. I would urge this House, at every opportunity, to secure not only our own future but the future of other countries in the world by voting to stay, strongly committed, at the heart of the European Union.

 

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Parliament.
Advert

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Martin 13th Aug - 6:13am
    " freedom, fairness and trust" But what does this actually mean? The concept of freedom will mean different things to different people. To the left,...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 12th Aug - 11:28pm
    And finally this evening, I wanted to return to Jennie and Mary... Jennie, I feel your pain, and have been there myself. You end up,...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 12th Aug - 11:21pm
    @ David, But it’s not just the newspapers is it? When did you last see on TV, or hear on the radio, a politician given...
  • User AvatarMichael Bukola 12th Aug - 10:56pm
    @ James Moore I sense an air of disappointment in the qualities displayed in the current Leadership race. We have to be careful not to...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 12th Aug - 10:54pm
    @ Mark.. "Does our modern media-driven politics allow risk-taking, or big ideas? I’d suggest not". You're probably right, .... but they do it for the...
  • User AvatarRichard Lowe 12th Aug - 10:21pm
    Agreed. Two things I'd like to see are minutes, especially of the Federal Board, and also voting breakdown. How do we know who to vote...