Lord Hannan spars with peer after saying UK has ‘one language’
Two Peers in the House of Lords sparred when one of them claimed that he could not understand why the UK was breaking apart as “we speak the same language”.
Lord Daniel Hannan, who was one of the most vocal pro-Brexit voices as an MEP in the Conservative Party, said that he did not understand why the separation of the UK was on the table.
“We’re not riven by some massive ethnic difference like Kosovo or South Sudan,” he said. “In all parts, we speak the same language, we watch the same TV, we follow the same sports, we shop at the same chains, we abuse alcohol in the same way.
“This common affinity predates our former union.”
However, his comments were criticised by Lord Davies of Oldham, who said that Lord Hannan’s comments were indicative of an attitude that was more damaging to the union.
“I am proud to be British, to be English and even a bit Welsh so I know that to say we have one language in these islands is the sort of destructive attitude that is driving us apart,” he said.
In his speech, Daniel Hannah said that the “shared nationality” and “shared characteristics” of the people of the UK were being eroded as people regressed to “older patriotisms”.
“We were stubborn, we were stiff-necked, we bridled at injustice, we were slow to anger, we could be morose but we had a clear sense of union fostered by our habit of intermingling so what’s changed? What’s changed, it seems to me, is the trashing of the British brand.
“If the United Kingdom as a concept is systematically derided and reduced by our intellectual elites, if our history is presented to young people as a hateful chronicle of exploitation and racism, then is it any wonder that people in the constituent kingdoms will start roping back towards older patriotisms.
“And yet I ask the question: where else in the world would you rather have been poor or female or from a religious minority? Which country has done more to spread liberty and law?
“We don’t have to make up a fable, a noble lie, we have a tremendous story to tell. We defeated attempts to unite the world under fascist tyranny, we ended slavery. It’s a great song to sing and we haven’t finished singing it yet.”