The residents of the world’s largest state sponsored retirement home, where we, the tax payers, pay about £80,000 a year to incarcerate each of the residents for life, have spoken.
I am of course referring to the House of Lords.
They were asked to vote on whether or not to give the Prime Minister permission to activate Article 50, in order to kick-start the process of the UK leaving the EU, without first having guaranteed the residency rights of the three million or so EU nationals who already live and work in the UK.
Obviously, to all those affected, a very serious question to which they want an answer to as soon as possible.
A total of 584 peers took part in the vote, despite 760 having been eligible. Which begs the question, where were the rest when they were needed?
In the bar, playing bingo, or did they all just decide to stay inside the splendour and the grandeur of their expansive stately homes, despite this debate being probably the most important decision they had been asked to adjudicate on in decades.
Those that did actually bother to make the effort voted against the Government by a margin of 358 to 256.
And by doing so, if the House of Commons upholds its decision, and it is rumoured that at least 30 Tory MPs are set to vote against the Government on this issue, it could seriously jeopardise Mrs May’s Brexit timetable.
If the UK is forced to show her hand early, by including this extremely generous offer to safeguard the residency rights of EU nationals in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, and it is not reciprocated by our European brethren, we could end up with the farcical situation of a million or so expats being compelled to abandon their villas on the Costa Del Sol, and return in droves to good old Blighty.
Net migration to the UK last year was about 275,000 – so, imagine the impact on our public services if over three times that amount landed back on our shores, even though they may all be British passport holders.
Judging by the state of the housing market, and the year upon year increases in house values, it is fair to say that we as a nation don’t have in excess of a million properties sitting vacant.
The Prime Minister has threatened to abolish the House of Lords if they hinder or deliberately stand in the way of Brexit.
Clearly, after this vote, she should now be starting the process of carrying out her threat to do just that.