Last Updated on January 17, 2020
Lord Greave, a Liberal Democrat peer, said that post-Brexit Britain would be “reminiscent” of Nazi Germany, and claimed people are crying themselves to sleep over Brexit.
Lord Greaves, a Liberal Democrat peer since 2000, used the debate on the government’s Withdrawal Bill in the House of Lords to draw the comparisons between today Nazi Germany:
I am particularly concerned about what the Government is doing about prevention of discrimination in the transition period. I am fearful that on January 31st some things may happen in some places which could be reminiscent of things happening in Germany in the early 1930s. I am worried about this, because there is that sentiment amongst a hostile minority of the population. Many, many people in this country…who are full of dismay, distress are crying at night when they go to sleep, they are crying in the morning when they wake up and all they get from the unfeeling, hard-headed Tories is moans.
Lord Grocott, a Labour peer, said the Nazi comparison “left him reeling” and was “stretching the point just a bit,” and Baroness Williams of Trafford, a government minister in the Home Office said it was a “step too far.”
Greaves defended himself, “What we do know is that the day after the referendum people had their windows put in,” he said.
“People were abused in the street. Paint was daubed on people’s houses. It’s that kind of thing I am talking about.”
The Liberal Democrat peer seemed to row back on the Nazi comparison later in the debate, claiming he meant to compare the state of today’s politics to Weimar Germany instead:
I have not compared this country today with Nazi Germany and would not do so obviously, it would be ridiculous. What I am saying is that some of the conditions which exist in this country are similar to conditions which existed in Germany between the wars, before the Nazis came to power and took over. You can think that’s right, you can think it’s wrong, but I believe that that is the case.
Dr Mark Berry of London’s Royal Holloway University, faced backlash for also comparing Nigel Farage’s planned Brexit party in Parliament Square to Kristallnacht.
“Could you explain, please, why you have given provisional agreement to this re-enactment of Kristallnacht, @SadiqKhan? Anyone can see that this is a pogrom waiting to happen. Please reconsider,” he wrote on Twitter.