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If peers apply the brakes to Brexit, we’ll be doing our job

August 7, 2016 3:57 PM
By Patience Wheatcroft in The Guardian

Vote Leave Bus pledging £350m a week more for the NHSThe day after I suggested that the House of Lords may try to delay Britain's exit from the European Union, my inbox filled with angry rants against such an attempt to thwart the will of the people. They decried the idea as an outrage against democracy and raged against "the metropolitan elite", that phrase much bandied around in the anti-EU media. Gradually, however, more reasoned messages of support have been landing, reflecting the despair felt by many in this country, and not just in the metropolis.

"Brexit means Brexit," the prime minister repeats. She might, with as much clarity, declare that "lunch means lunch": that could translate as a sandwich al desko or a three-course feast at a top restaurant.

We don't have a clue what Brexit means and it is surely not unreasonable to suggest that, once we do, the electorate should have a chance to decide whether it really favours that over membership of the EU.

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