Report (1st Day)

Part of European Union Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 8th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Crossbench 5:00 pm, 8th June 2011

I am sure that Burke was not thinking of the situation of the EU Bill which is before us. The noble Lord is absolutely right. He may have been thinking of a situation in Ireland which developed in ways that bore some resemblance to that during his lifetime, but I am sure that when he was addressing the Bristol electorate his concern was simply with explaining to them how he saw the role of Parliament and the sovereignty of Parliament. It is because I think that he was right about that that I think that we should vote for the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Williamson, which I hope he will press to a vote. It does not restore full parliamentary sovereignty, but in a situation where-in his words-a derisory turnout had voted, the question of whether Parliament's will should be overruled would be raised. That is a little bit of Burke that would be rescued from the mess of Rousseau that we are in.