Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 18th April 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Crisp Lord Crisp Crossbench 5:30 pm, 18th April 2018

My Lords, I added my name to the amendment because it is very much in the interests of both donor countries and the countries that receive that aid. I agree with the points made by the noble Lord, Lord Bruce, as well as those made earlier by my noble friend Lord Sandwich in moving the amendment —in particular, his last and hugely important point about co-ordination and continued partnership, building on what we have already got.

I will not labour those points at all. I want to make just one additional and very practical point. For years, recipient countries have received aid from different countries with different monitoring arrangements and different conditions—or, if you like, with different strings attached. This is costly; indeed, it is wasteful because it puts an unnecessary burden on those countries. The international community has tried over many years, with some success, to align or harmonise these arrangements so as to reduce this wasteful burden and, by doing so, make sure that it gets the best value possible from its donations.

Of course, there are also advantages in countries aligning their priorities to have as big an impact as possible, which is helped enormously by the global priorities set out in the sustainable development goals. However, having made those points about alignment, this amendment does not constrain the UK in its future decision-making in any way. It merely seeks to ensure that, wherever possible—I stress that—there is alignment between its donations and those of our neighbours and that they can be made as efficiently as possible. The UK can, of course, choose to diverge from its neighbours, but this amendment would merely require it to do so in full knowledge of what it is doing.