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Jacob Rees-Mogg: it’s time to reform the House of Lords

29 September 2019

8:20 PM

29 September 2019

8:20 PM

After a successful turn on the main stage at Conservative party conference today, Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg made his way to a drinks reception this evening to continue the festivities and to give another speech.

There, the Cabinet minister began by listing the three areas where he felt the UK had been held back the most by the ‘protectionist, Bismarckian market system of the EU’: fishing, agriculture and trade. The first of which, he said, meant the government had a ‘debt of honour’ to repay to fishing communities, after the way they were treated when the UK joined the EU.

The Moggster also hit out at the British establishment, before calling for reform of the House of Lords, after its peers rushed through legislation to prevent Britain leaving the EU on 31 October:

‘But isn’t it extraordinary the extent to which the British establishment is doing its best to stop Brexit? I know some of you look at me and think, how on earth can I be criticising the British establishment?

Why am I not the living embodiment of the British establishment? If you want to draw a cartoon of the British establishment, would it end up looking remarkably like me? But no. As I grew up in the British establishment, I knew how awful it is.

I see its faults perhaps more clearly than most do. And its determination, its anti-democratic wish to cling to its power come what may.

You see this in the House of Commons, the politicians who said to their electorates, ‘we accept the result, we will deliver Brexit’… So many have ignored that promise.

Indeed, a majority ignore the promises that they made in the election. In the House of Lords it is worse. The House of Lords, entirely unaccountable to anybody, has set its face against the British people. If the House of Lords exists for anything, and that’s a debatable point, but if it does, it exists to ensure that law is made in an organised structured manner with delay between its stages. But the House of Lords to rush through all its stages in 24 or 48 hours, hits at the heart of the purpose of the House of Lords.

A second chamber, which I have always been in favour of because of its ability to be deliberative, when because they hate Brexit, they abandon the principle of their existence. You see that reform becomes necessary for their Lordships’ House. It cannot carry on setting its face against the British people. So those are the reasons that we are where we are. But it is about getting away from this establishment, freeing up Britain, trusting the people, and then borrowing some of the brilliant ideas being thought up not just this week, but year in year out by the IEA and the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Listen to the full speech here:


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