European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill - Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:45 am on 7th March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour 11:45 am, 7th March 2017

My Lords, I came into this Chamber genuinely unsure about which way to vote and whether to support the amendment. My noble friend Lord Grocott may laugh, but it is a genuine feeling. He and I have known each other for a long time and I hope he will accept that, in relation to this particular amendment, it is a genuine feeling. I support Amendment 3 very strongly indeed.

I am not sure that the debate has helped me, because we have heard eloquent speeches on both sides, by my noble friend Lord Morgan and by the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury. I intervened on the noble Lord, Lord Newby, because of my reservations about the referendum itself: the fact that 16 and 17 year-olds were not allowed to vote; that EU citizens were not allowed to vote; that there was no threshold; and the uncertainty about whether it was advisory or mandatory. All of that created a huge problem.