Lords Could Water Down Government Plans on EU, Human Rights


Britain’s new Conservative government will have a fight on its hands when it tries to get legislation on an EU membership referendum and on human rights through parliament’s House of Lords, where it is in a minority.

The Conservatives unexpectedly won an overall majority in the House of Commons in a general election on May 7, but as the euphoria of their surprise victory dissipates they face a complicated situation in parliament.

In the 650-strong Commons they have a majority of 12 seats, while in the unelected House of Lords opposition members outnumber them by 91.

“We’re going to have some interesting votes and conflicts and challenges between the two chambers,” George Foulkes, an opposition Labour member of the House of Lords, told Reuters.

The government bills most likely to face a bumpy ride in the Lords are plans to hold a referendum on membership of the EU, and to replace existing human rights laws to reduce the influence of the European Court of Human Rights.

Read more at Reuters