These peers include Lord Mandelson who will receive more than £35,000 a year
Andrea Leadsom warned them not to undermine the will of 17.4M Brexit voters
Peers have inflicted 14 defeats on the Government’s flagship Brexit legislation, the EU Withdrawal Bill
Brexit-hating peers who voted to keep Britain inside the single market are sitting on EU pension pots worth £5.7million, it can be revealed today.
More than a dozen of the Lords who backed the amendment to keep Britain inside the European Economic Area are entitled to generous sums thanks to their former roles in Brussels.
They include Lord Mandelson who will receive more than £35,000 a year thanks to his former job as trade commissioner.
The pro-Brexit group Change Britain said the combined pension pots of the former MEPs, EU commissioners and ex-Eurocrats, added up to £5.7million, giving payouts worth more than £308,000 a year in total. The revelation comes after Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom warned the Lords not to undermine the will of the 17.4million voters who backed Brexit.
Speaking in the Commons chamber, she said: ‘The purpose of the House of Lords is not to undermine the will of this House and, very importantly, is not to undermine the will of the majority of people in this country who voted for the UK to leave the EU.’
Peers have inflicted 14 defeats on the Government’s flagship Brexit legislation, the EU Withdrawal Bill. On Tuesday evening, the Lords backed an amendment demanding continued membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) by 247 votes to 218.
The move to force the country into a Norway-style deal would keep our borders open and mean huge sums of money continue to be handed to Brussels. Peers who voted against the Government included Labour’s Lord Cashman, Baroness Crawley, Baroness Kinnock and Lord Tomlinson, who all served as MEPs before taking their places in the Lords.
Other former MEPs who voted to keep Britain in the single market were Lord Teverson and Baroness Ludford, both Liberal Democrats, and aristocratic Tory the Duke of Wellington.
Lord Kinnock, the former Labour leader who was a European Commissioner for nine years rising to be Commission vice president, has a £1.65million pension pot worth £89,400 a year. His wife, Baroness Kinnock, who spent 15 years in the European Parliament, has a pension pot of £358,000.
Lord Patten, who was Cabinet minister under Margaret Thatcher and was an EU commissioner for four years, has a pension pot worth £749,000, paying him just over £40,000 each year.
Change Britain calculated the estimated pension pots and annual payouts through an analysis of Brussels pension rules, length of service and salary. EU rules state that former commissioners have to remain loyal to Brussels to get their pensions.
Senior Electoral Commission members have faced calls to resign after voicing opposition to Brexit.
The watchdog’s chairman and three of his commissioners are being scrutinised over comments criticising the Brexit campaign – some even suggesting the referendum result could be overturned.
Commissioners are bound by a code of conduct requiring them to act to ‘uphold its impartiality’.
But last month it emerged that before he was appointed, chairman Sir John Holmes had spoken of his ‘regret’ at the referendum and condemned the ‘panoply of Eurosceptic nonsense’ by pro-Brexit campaigners. Commissioners Bridget Prentice, Lord Horam and Professor David Howarth also criticised Brexit while in the post.
Former Labour MP Miss Prentice said Tony Blair’s suggestion the referendum result could be overturned was ‘spot on’ while Lord Horam said there was ‘great logic’ in a second referendum. Mr Howarth said the result could not ‘bind the young’, as Leave voters would die out and be replaced by Remainers.
The Electoral Commission has dismissed calls for the commissioners to resign.