FORMER Borders MP David Steel is blaming the government for people dying on the streets as it attempts to deliver Brexit.

Lord Steel, who represented parts of the region in Westminster for more than 30 years, attacked Theresa May's cabinet for ignoring other issues affecting the country over the past two years.

And the 80-year-old, who lives in Selkirk, cited the death of a homeless man near to the Houses of Parliament just before Christmas to emphasise his case.

During his speech in the House of Lords, Lord Steel said: "Exactly three weeks ago today as I was leaving the House to go home for the Christmas recess I passed three people sleeping in our entrance to the underground station.

"It was reported the next day that one of them had died in the night – on our own doorstep, my Lords!

"That typified for me the paralysis of government over these last two years as they concentrate on dealing with the complicated lunacy of Brexit.

"Homelessness, the delays in the NHS, the chaos on our railways, the shortage of teachers in our schools, and even the lack of legislation to deal with drones – and so many other issues have had to be neglected while every department of government struggles with the consequences and divisions of Brexit."

The latest government figures show that over 600 homeless people died in England and Wales alone during 2017.

Lord Steel is a strong advocate of the Liberal Democrat calls for a second referendum on Brexit.

Like many in the party which he led in 1988, Lord Steel believes a second vote is the only way forward.

He continued: "I do not for one moment believe the scaremongers about civil unrest - provided that we hand it back to the electorate to decide whether in the light of all the realities they really wish to leave the European Union.

"All opinion polls suggest not only that the public want that, but that they feel they were misled by a meretricious campaign in 2016.

As the novelist Robert Harris graphically put it we should 'hand back the screaming, defecating, vomiting baby back to it parents' – the electorate - because a second referendum is the least bad option out of the current mess."