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On Monday evening, the House of Lords voted 433 to 165 to remove a key clause in a section of the Bill that would have given the Government the power to unilaterally override parts of the Brexit treaty relating to Northern Ireland. Peers then voted 407 votes to 148 to remove clause 44 from the legislation, which relates to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Ahead of the crunch vote on Monday, a crushing defeat had been predicted for Mr Johnson and his Government in the House of Lords, with Tory peers such as former leader, Lord Michael Howard claiming he would vote against it.
Peers concluded the legislation would break international law, due to the elements within the withdrawal agreement relating to customs-exit declarations and state aid.
When being scrutinised and debated in the House of Commons last month, the Bill was passed by MPs by 340 votes to 256.
Despite peers voting to remove key pieces of the proposed legislation, a Downing Street has insisted the stripped-out clauses will be re-tabled when it returns to parliament in the coming weeks.
But the latest actions from peers in the House of Lords has left Express.co.uk readers furious, who have called on the Prime Minister to totally abolish the upper chamber.
The latest poll, which ran from 8am until 10.30pm on Tuesday, November 10, asked: “Should the House of Lords be disbanded?”
A huge 97 percent (10,599 readers) of the total of 10,908 people who cast a vote said it should be abolished.
The remaining three percent (268 readers) said the House of Lords should remain, while less than one percent (41 readers) were undecided.
Furious Express.co.uk readers launched scathing attacks against the House of Lords and the hundreds of unelected peers within it in the comments section.
One person said: “The Lords over many years have been elected by outgoing PMs and not by the people. It is an insane club which no longer serves a purpose and is expensive.
“Expect that while many people are trying to cope with coronavirus, losing their jobs etc, these so-called Lords are claiming all their expenses and being paid at least £300 daily for attending.
“It is obscene and offensive in this day and age and needs to be totally abolished.”
A second reader wrote: “Abolished and replaced with a 50-seat elected (Every Vote Counts) Advisory Chamber with no power whatsoever, rather like the Office of Budget Responsibility.”
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But one person replying to that comment demanded Mr Johnson go even further than that.
They responded: “Just abolish it. Why give all the special interests a second bite at the cherry when it comes to getting bills changed in their favour?”
Another reader said: “January 2021 is the culmination of new age Britain. The House of Lords has no place in it.
“The British taxpayers’ money must be put to good use and the House of Lords is an expenditure which is not needed. Get rid.”
One person simply wrote: “It should be disbanded because it’s undemocratic. There’s doesn’t need to be any other reason.”
The Government has stated the Internal Market Bill is necessary in maintaining the integrity of the internal market and can act as a safety net if negotiations with the EU collapse.
But now the rejection of the legislation threatens to blow a huge hole in the UK’s negotiating stance with the EU during the final stages of post-Brexit trade deal talks.
Brussels has also demanded the Government remove the controversial parts of the Bill, threatening legal action if this is not followed through.
Despite the crushing defeat in the House of Lords on Monday evening, Downing Street has remained defiant.
A Number 10 spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the House of Lords has voted to remove clauses from the UK Internal Market Bill, which was backed in the House of Commons by 340 votes to 256 and delivers on a clear Conservative manifesto commitment.
“We will re-table these clauses when the Bill returns to the Commons.
“We’ve been consistently clear that the clauses represent a legal safety net to protect the integrity of the UK’s internal market and the huge gains of the peace process.
“We expect the House of Lords to recognise that we have an obligation to the people of Northern Ireland to make sure they continue to have unfettered access to the UK under all circumstances.”
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