Lord Taverne said on Monday evening that the House of Lords should have refused to allow the House of Commons to have its way on how the UK leaves the EU.
He said MPs had decided to “abandoned the principle of parliamentary democracy”.
MPs from different parties who were opposed to Brexit have since voted in parliament to allow it to happen.
They have argued it would be wrong to oppose the referendum result even if they disagree personally.
But Lord Taverne told the Lords it was “a very dangerous step towards the doctrine that the peoples’ will must always prevail”.
“This is doctrine that always have been favored by Hitler by Mussolini, by Stalin, by [Turkish president] Erdoğan at this time,” he said.
Peers had amended the government’s European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill to introduce a “meaningful’’ parliamentary vote on the final deal with Brussels and guarantees on protections for EU nationals living in Britain.
However earlier on Monday, MPs overturned the changes. And the Lords later backed down in deference to the elected chamber.
Theresa May is now free to trigger Article 50 when she wants on her own terms. Downing Street indicated today the prime minister would start the Brexit process towards the end of the month.
During the debate in the Lords, Lord Taverne urged peers to defy the Commons and force the government to give parliament its “meaningful” vote.
“I think that we are justified on this occasion, for this amendment, not to give way to the House of Commons,” he said.
Because the House of Commons has now in effect abandoned the principle of parliamentary democracy and has take the view that the referendum verdict is sacrosanct and can not be challenged.
“It means MPs are delegates and not representatives, it means that there is no point in parliamentary government considering the argument, debates, considering the evidence.
“They have to obey the will of the people and that is now the principe.
“I wasn’t the greatest admirer of Mrs Thatcher and all her policies, but she was not someone who said to the electorate, ‘these are my principles and if you don’t life them I will change them’.
“That is in effect what those who supported the ‘Remain’ cause and who’ve felt deeply that Brexit would be disastrous or very damaging have now accepted.
“It is a very dangerous step towards the doctrine that the peoples’ will must always prevail.
He added: “This is doctrine that always have been favored by Hitler by Mussolini, by Stalin, by [Turkish president] Erdoğan at this time.”
Lord Taverne, a former MP, said those peers who were voting against the government were the “guardians of parliamentary democracy”.
Following the votes in the Lords which saw peers support the government, Brexit secretary David Davis said: “Parliament has today backed the Government in its determination to get on with the job of leaving the EU and negotiating a positive new partnership with its remaining member states.
“We are now on the threshold of the most important negotiation for our country in a generation.
“We have a plan to build a Global Britain, and take advantage of its new place in the world by forging new trading links.
“So we will trigger Article 50 by the end of this month as planned and deliver an outcome that works in the interests of the whole of the UK.”
Author: Ned Simons