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Published on Jan 14, 2019
Former speaker Baroness Boothroyd delivered a powerful speech as she rejected Theresa May’s Brexit plan and called for MPs to support a People’s Vote.
The former Labour MP, speaker and cross-bench peer said she had watched the Conservatives tear themselves apart over Europe before, but now the wounds were deeper under a leader who had struggled to keep her party together.
She also said that Jeremy Corbyn was a “dithering” leader of the opposition who had failed to show leadership like at a time of national crisis. She gave the example of the unity government back in 1940.
Boothroyd told the Lords that she backs a People’s Vote and wanted to send a message to MPs to ignore the warnings of ministers and back it too. "Europe is part of my DNA, it transcends treaties and bureaucracy," she says.
"I feared the worst" when David Cameron allied his MEPs with the "far right" and when he called the EU referendum, she says.
She says that the only consistency of the Labour Party is "evasion" on current problems facing the UK.
She adds she is once again seeing the Tory party "tear itself apart" over Europe, as she saw when she was Speaker during the Maastricht debates.
"We have been wandering in the wilderness since Mrs May lost her majority in the election," she says, adding that if a democracy cannot change its mind "it ceases to be a democracy".
The UK is now "paying the price for a referendum which was dominated by falsehoods," she states.
She urges Parliamentarians to forget party allegiances, as the country "demands it".