Muzammil was produced in court and remanded till July 4. (Colombo Gazette) Former National Freedom Front (NFF) Parliamentarian Muhammad Muzammil was arrested by the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) today.He was arrested after he appeared before the FCID to make a statement over alleged misuse of Government vehicles when the former Government was in power.
An eminent Tory peer who defected from the Liberal Democrat is pleading with her former colleagues to avoid a “cheap political stunt” by trying to delay Brexit.Baroness Nicholson has accused peers who try to slow down the Brexit bill as it enters the House of Lords of “disrespect” to the “ordinary people” who voted in the referendum to leave the European Union.Peers are due to start debating the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill next week [Feb 20 and 21].Her appeal to Remainers comes as Lord Hope, the convenor of the cross-bench peers, admitted he did not know how they will vote on amendments which threaten to frustrate the start of Brexit.Lib Dems believe they need the support of just 20 cross-bench peers to force their amendments through. But Baroness Nicholson, in an article for The Telegraph published below, said on Sunday: “This shows disrespect to our European partners, to businesses up and down the country and, most importantly of all, it shows disrespect to the ordinary people who cast their vote last June to leave the EU.“To my former colleagues I say this – don’t dishonour your democratic principles because you disagree with the outcome of the referendum. Don’t limit our country’s chances of success outside the EU in a cheap political stunt. Don’t wreck this bill.”She said any attempts by the Lib Dems to delay Brexit would not harm the House of Lords but would “destroy” her old party. The peer defected back to the Conservatives last year after 21 years as a Lib Dem. Baroness Nicholson adds: “The bill now before the House of Lords is a simple, straightforward Bill. It is not about whether or not the UK should leave the EU. That decision has already been made.“It’s time to get on with it – give the Prime Minister the power to trigger Article 50 so we can leave the EU and build an independent, self-governing, global Britain.”Baroness Nicholson: Frustrating the Article 50 Bill won’t harm the Lords, but it would destroy the Liberal DemocratsLast September I came home to the Conservative Party after 21 years with the Liberal Democrats. I had joined them in 1995 because I felt the Conservative Party had moved away from the things I believed in.Last year, it became clear to me that the Liberal Democrats have lost their way and that it is, once again, the Conservative Party who stand for what I believe and, more importantly, are standing up for ordinary working people.And last June, over 33 million ordinary people across the United Kingdom lined up outside schools and church halls to cast their vote, and the majority chose to leave the European Union.This simple means of making decisions sits at the heart of our democracy. The candidate with the most votes wins the seat in Parliament. The political party with the most seats wins government.And, as we saw recently, the argument that wins the support of the majority of judges on our Supreme Court determines how our laws are understood.The referendum wasn’t the only chance the people had to vote on this issue, though. In 2015, voters elected the first majority Conservative government for over 20 years.And that government had a clear manifesto commitment to negotiate a new deal with Europe, to ask the people whether they wanted to stay in on those terms, or leave, and to honour their verdict.This means the people voted twice. Once for a government that would give them a say and again in the referendum itself.In an era when some people appear to be losing faith in politics, the Conservatives have done exactly what they promised. They conducted a renegotiation and delivered a referendum – backed by Parliament by a margin of six to one – and on June 23, the people gave their verdict.The Liberal Democrats used to champion referendums. They wanted a referendum on the Alternative Vote, they wanted to give constituents the power to recall their MPs, and they insisted we had to honour the result of the Scottish independence referendum, whatever it was – none of which I’d argue with.But now, with a simple and straightforward Article 50 bill passing unamended through the Commons – by a huge margin of 494 to 122 – it comes before the House of Lords where some Liberal Democrats are showing themselves to be anything but democratic.Far from respecting the will of the people expressed on June 23 last year they have asked us to ignore it. They now argue that the British people didn’t know what they were doing when they voted to leave the EU, so they want us to ask them again – until they get the right answer, perhaps.The only way they can force this on us is by a majority vote in Parliament – while ignoring the majority vote of the entire country. They want to use the House of Lords’ important role in scrutinising legislation to override the democratically expressed wishes of the entire electorate.And they’re not the only ones. There are other peers like Labour’s Lord Hain and cross-bench peers Lord Hannay and Lord Kerslake who intend to try to wreck this bill and hamper Britain’s chances of success outside the EU.The British people simply want us to get on with delivering Brexit. The Prime Minister has provided a timetable for Brexit, promising to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. This timetable provides certainty to businesses at home and abroad and, importantly, to our European partners.The types of amendments being called for by the Liberal Democrats and others – to impose conditions on triggering Article 50; to force us to stay in some EU institutions; to give Parliament the power to revoke Article 50 – would inject a great deal of uncertainty into the process of leaving the EU and risk leaving us with a weaker negotiating position when the time comes.This shows disrespect to our European partners, to businesses up and down the country and, most importantly of all, it shows disrespect to the ordinary people who cast their vote last June to leave the EU.To my former colleagues I say this – don’t dishonour your democratic principles because you disagree with the outcome of the referendum. Don’t limit our country’s chances of success outside the EU in a cheap political stunt. Don’t wreck this bill. The bill now before the House of Lords is a simple, straightforward Bill. It is not about whether or not the UK should leave the EU. That decision has already been made.It’s time to get on with it – give the Prime Minister the power to trigger Article 50 so we can leave the EU and build an independent, self-governing, global Britain. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
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