Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski calls for Lords to be replaced by elected senate
Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has called for the House of Lords to be replaced with an elected senate after it twice voted against the Government's Brexit Bill in one night.
Mr Kawczynski said the Lords was "unelected and unaccountable", and would be better replaced by an elected chamber which would be answerable to the electorate.
His comments come after the Lords tabled two amendments to the Government's European Union Withdrawal Bill on Wednesday night. The amendments call for the Government to give account of what efforts it has made to remain within the EU's customs union after Brexit, and also for any major post-Brexit deregulation to be subject to a parliamentary vote.
Mr Kawczynski accused the peers of defying the wishes of the people.
He said that unlike MPs sitting in the Commons, the peers did not have to justify their actions to their constituents.
Mr Kawczynski also accused the peers of "insulting the British people's intelligence" by saying that they didn't realise a Brexit vote meant leaving the customs union.
He said those calling for Britain to remain in the customs union and single market after Brexit would turn the country into a "vassal state", subject to EU rules but having no say on them.
"The time may be coming when where we need to have a national debate on an elected senate," said Mr Kawczynski.
"We would only need 100 senators, we don't need the 850 peers we have at the moment.
"I believe we do need to retain a bicameral system, with checks on the House of Commons.
"But I believe the time has come for us to have an elected senate.
"I believe that any decisions that have to be taken have to be done by people held to account by their electorate. People in the House of Lords don't have that.
"I really can't think of anywhere else in the world where there is a chamber that is completely appointed."
He said the Liberal Democrats, who received just 7.4 per cent of the vote at the last General Election, were over-represented in the Lords.
Mr Kawczynski also accused the peers who wanted Britain to remain in a customs union with the European Union of being out of touch with the impact it would have on people on low incomes.
He said the customs union was a protectionist body which made it difficult for countries outside the EU to compete.
He said this lack of competition meant items such as food and clothing were more expensive than they needed to be, which had a big income on those at the lower end of the income scale.
"Those Lords with their privileged lifestyles, I don't think they really understand the impact this protectionism is having on the costs of these things," he said.
He added that 95 per cent of the world's growth was in countries outside the EU.
"The EU is stagnating," he said.