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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 28th February 2018.

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Photo of Lord Mackay of Clashfern Lord Mackay of Clashfern Conservative 5:00 pm, 28th February 2018

The problem about the arbitrary date is that it is rather an important one because it is when we will cease to be liable to obligations under EU law unless they are made part of our law by this Bill. The problem is that a directive which has been adopted but not yet put into effect, but with the obligation to put it into effect still running, could in some cases last for as long as two years. That would greatly alter the clarity of the Bill in the meantime. If the Government want to implement one of them there is absolutely no reason why they should not. They will have plenty of legislative power and so long as they can get parliamentary time they can do so. That is a matter of policy that my noble friend has referred to. It is a perfectly reasonable way of dealing with this sort of point.