Lord Pearson's speech was in support of the Bill's "two most radical proposals are that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union and that the British people should be granted the power to hold binding referendums at national and local level".
The people have not yet understood that process, by which most of their national law is now made in Brussels and imposed on them here. Their political class, which includes the BBC of course, has done a brilliant job by simply refusing to reveal how the EU's legislative process makes our law. I have said it before in your Lordships' House, and I will go on saying it until the frightening truth reaches our people. EU laws are proposed in secret by the unelected bureaucracy, the European Commission. Those laws are then negotiated, still in secret, in a shadowy body called COREPER, the Committee of Permanent Representatives, consisting of bureaucrats from the nation states. They then go to the Council of Ministers from the nation states, where the UK has some 8 per cent of the votes, and to the European Parliament for final decision. The European Parliament, to which we elect MEPs, cannot propose EU legislation; it can only delay it. Of course, it does not do much of that because it does not want to derail its famous gravy train. Again, all our UK MEPs put together have only some 8 per cent of the votes in a process that now makes most of our law. So the European Parliament is a democratic sham, and was designed to be so by the founders of the project of European integration.There is more in the speech along those lines.
It is safe to say yet again that our membership of the European Union has removed our democracy; it has taken away the right of the British people to elect and dismiss those who make their laws. Our system of representative parliamentary democracy, for which millions have died over hundreds of years, has been frittered away. It no longer serves the people. That is why the time has come to give power back to the people. They deserve it anyway; it is their power and it belongs to them. Before long their anger will overflow if they do not get it back.
There were other interventions, particularly when the Minister, Lord Tunnicliffe, said in his response:
First, and perhaps least surprisingly given the noble Lord's membership of the United Kingdom Independence Party, Clause 1 would withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union. The Government believe that our membership of the European Union has brought real benefits to the United Kingdom through jobs, peace and security. Through our membership, we belong to the world's biggest trading bloc. Over half of the United Kingdom's trade is within the EU, with an estimated 3.5 million British jobs linked to it. Our membership allows us to live, work and travel across Europe.These appear to be the best arguments the europhiliacs can produce and every single one of them can be destroyed with very little effort. Lord Pearson asked:
I wonder if the noble Lord could explain how leaving the political construct of the European Union and continuing in free trade with our friends in Europe would have any effect on jobs whatsoever.Lord Tunnicliffe seemed unable to respond:
My Lords, I do not think that it would be sensible to stray into an answer that would last for several hours. The realities of living within the European Union and the value it brings to the citizens of this country are self-evident to most of us, as are the mechanisms.It seems likely that what is self-evident to the political classes will no longer appear to be so to the people who cast those votes.