Lib Dem peer rebuked for likening Brexit approach to Hitler’s Nazi Germany
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Lib Dem peer rebuked for likening Brexit approach to Hitler’s Nazi Germany

Lord Roberts of Llandudno's remarks branded as "disgraceful, irresponsible rhetoric" as he stoked controversy in the Brexit debate

Lord Roberts of Llandudno
Lord Roberts of Llandudno

A Liberal Democrat peer has been rebuked after likening Theresa May’s approach to Brexit to that of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.

Comments by Lord Roberts of Llandudno have been branded as “disgraceful, irresponsible rhetoric”, by the Government.

The peer stoked controversy during the report stage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, where he pressed for strengthening Parliament’s role in the Brexit process.

He was critical of the Prime Minister’s “reluctance” to allow parliamentary involvement and claimed she wanted the Government “to be in charge”.

Lord Roberts said: “Are we learning the lessons of history? Sometimes it is very valuable to see what has happened in other countries when similar steps have been taken.

“We remember the reluctance of Mrs May to allow Parliament to be involved. She wanted the Government to be in charge.

“My mind went back to Berlin in March 1933 when the enabling Bill was passed in the Reichstag, which transferred the democratic right from the Parliament into the hands of one man – that was the Chancellor, and his name was Adolf Hitler.

“Perhaps I am seeing threats that do not exist, but they are possible. Who would have thought before the 1930s that Germany, such a cultured country, would involve itself in such a terrible war?”

He added: “Let us take the warning. What we are doing here must involve Parliament. I would like to see it involving the people as well, but it must certainly be in other hands.

“We cannot let an enabling Act of the United Kingdom possibly lead to the catastrophe that took place in Berlin in 1933.”

Speaking outside the chamber, Brexit Minister Steve Baker said: “This disgraceful, irresponsible rhetoric does Lord Roberts no favours.

“This legislation is an essential mechanism for delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit and ensuring our legal order functions.

“The over the top nonsense spouted by its opponents demonstrates how moribund their arguments are.”

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