Brexit: European Union-derived Rights - Motion to Resolve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:45 pm on 4th April 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 8:45 pm, 4th April 2017

I thank the Minister, who we all think is young, handsome, brilliant and intelligent—so he will vote with us. There are really only two issues: certainty and a degree of urgency.

On the first—in the words of my noble friend Lord Morris, the people issue—there is some urgency. They need something now. If the noble Lord, Lord Kerr, is right and there is even a 30% risk of no deal, there are some really serious issues. If there is no deal, what happens to the idea of reciprocity that the Prime Minister wants? That is why we need continuous updates. We need to know what the Government’s thinking and preparations are, and their plans for that. This is not a secret. It should be open and it should engage us all.

On the second issue, I think—and brains much better than mine say—that we need legal certainty. But should the Government be right on that—that we do not, that everything is tickety-boo at the moment—this Joint Committee will find out because it will have taken advice and it will say, “We were wrong. The noble Lord, Lord Bridges, was right and we do not need it”. I would trust that Joint Committee to find out if that was the case and report back to us. The urgency of that case, as was said by others, is that we really do not want to muddle our discussion about how the vote takes place and what it means at the point we are actually discussing the agreement that we have, because people might then use the procedure to muddle the discussion about the core issue. We do not want that.

As the Minister knows, there is support all around the House. I hope that we will agree these two Motions but, even more, I hope the Government will respect the will of the House and will move to implement both of them if they find favour with your Lordships. I beg to move.

Motion agreed.