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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:43 pm on 28th February 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Taylor of Bolton Baroness Taylor of Bolton Chair, Constitution Committee, Chair, Constitution Committee 3:43 pm, 28th February 2018

My Lords, while I do not want this section of the debate to be dominated by members of the Constitution Committee, I should congratulate my noble friend Lord Pannick on the way he presented the amendment despite it certainly not being in the interest of the legal profession—if we manage to get legal certainty in the Bill, the lawyers will not have their field day. However, I fear that, unless we achieve legal certainty and the clarity that my noble friend mentioned, we will be in real difficulty. Our committee has put forward suggestions, but we do not think that they are the only ways forward. It is important at this stage that the Government recognise the extent of the problem and the damage that will be done if we do not have some amendment and some concessions from them in this area. It is of course an area linked to the other parts of the Bill, because, unless we make changes here, the powers that the Government will have under Clause 7 will be completely unacceptable because of the breadth of legislation there captured.

I therefore urge the Minister to reflect carefully not only on the suggestions of the Constitution Committee but on those of others outside, because this problem will dog the Bill for ever if we do not make some changes here.