European Union Committee: Report on 2013-14 (EUC Report) — Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:06 pm on 24th July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 7:06 pm, 24th July 2014

My Lords, I apologise; I should of course have responded to that. The Government have no difficulty with the noble Lord, Lord Hill, coming to talk to the committee. I think that they would resist any idea that this should be a formal process through which the committee would decide whether or not it thought he was the appropriate British candidate. However, in pursuance of a close and continuing relationship with the committee, I am sure that he would be entirely open to coming to give evidence and to start what will be a continuing process. One of the sad disadvantages of the noble Baroness, Lady Ashton, being the European Union’s high representative has been that she has, perforce, had to spend much of her time outside Europe. She has therefore not been able to pursue one of the many useful roles of a commissioner from a particular country, which is to spend time maintaining a link between the public and political elite in her own country and the Brussels process. I know that the noble Lord, Lord Hill, is very anxious to make sure that that is seen to be part of his new role.