Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Lib Dem Peer Fights Back Against Claims Party Are 'Denying Democracy'
13 October 2019, 12:52
The leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lord fought back against Andrew Castle's suggestions that ignoring the results of the first referendum is a "denial of democracy".
Andrew Castle asked Lord Newby: "How do you respond to the accusation that you are denying democracy? They voted to Leave and at the moment it doesn't look like it's happening.
How do you respond to the anger that will be present and that I will see on my timeline here on text and, no doubt, on the telephone as well. They say you are denying what we voted for. How do you respond to that?"
Lord Newby responded: "My response is that giving people the vote, by definition, cannot be a denial of democracy. It is democracy."
Andrew said: "But not responding to that vote and not implementing what they voted for, having promised that you would, that is a denial of democracy, is it not?"
Lord Newby said no.
Andrew then said: "Your party's policy is to revoke Article 50 in the event of a Lib Dem government."
Lord Newby explain: "Yes, the reason it's not a denial of democracy - it would be a denial of democracy, in my view, if the current House of Commons revoked Article 50 without going back to the people. If, we have a referendum, and if the Brexiteers are as confident of victory as they claim they are, they will win."
Andrew then firmly said: "We've had a referendum."
Lord Newby responded: "But, we had a general election. We then had another. This is the nature of democracy, if people's opinions change, you revisit the issue. People's opinions on Brexit have certainly changed, by all the polls, and to give people the vote, by definition, cannot be a denial of democracy."
Andrew then said: "Until you get the answer that you want. That's what it looks like."
The Lib Dem peer said: "That's not what it looks like to me, that's what it looks like to some of the Brexiteers because they fear a referendum because they think, rightly in my view, that they'll lose it."
Andrew said: "I don't agree."
Newby continued: "They'll lose it because people will realise the costs of leaving the EU are simply too grave."
After the call, a frustrated Andrew exclaimed: "Look, god, a second vote!"