Lords debates referendums in the UK

20 July 2018

Members of the Lords, including a member of the Independent Commission on Referendums at University College London and a management board member of the Make Votes Count campaign, debated the impact on parliamentary democracy in the UK of the use of referendums, in the House of Lords on Thursday 19 July.

This was a balloted debate. They normally take place on a Thursday in the chamber. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government's attention to concerns.

The debate was proposed by Lord Higgins (Conservative), governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Members who took part included:

  • Lord Cormack (Conservative), former joint vice-chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK Branch
  • Lord Eames (Crossbench), member of the Independent Commission on Referendums in the Department of Political Science, University College London
  • Baroness Smith of Basildon (Labour), opposition spokesperson for constitutional affairs
  • Lord Tyler (Liberal Democrat), management board member of the Make Votes Count campaign for proportional representation

Two members of the Lords made their maiden speeches during this debate:

Lord Young of Cookham (Conservative), Lords spokesperson in the Cabinet Office, responded on behalf of the government.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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