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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 25th April 2018.

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Photo of Lord Griffiths of Burry Port Lord Griffiths of Burry Port Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Wales) 5:30 pm, 25th April 2018

My Lords, it falls to me to echo what the noble Lord, Lord Beith, has said, and to thank the Minister for moving the amendments and for the explanations that he has given. I hope he will agree to convey to his departmental colleagues our congratulations on their very hard work, the results of which are now before us. Of course, we should recognise that this is the calm before the storm, in the sense that Clause 11 is coming along. If there are some very simple technical amendments here, there are 16 pages of amendments to Clause 11, so there will be fun and games when we get to it. Still, as the noble Lord, Lord Beith, has said, this respects the devolution arrangements between us.

I wonder if noble Lords will be patient with me if I use this occasion to express my gratitude for the work of Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly, who has announced that he intends to stand down. The steadiness of his hand on the tiller, and indeed his involvement in the discussions that have yielded these amendments, has been considerable. Wales, its parliament and the people of the UK owe him a great deal, and I would like to place this short tribute on the record.

So I think we are sitting pretty with this one. I know King Henry VIII was a Welshman, and he might even have voted with the Government on this one too. Without further ado, we have no problem with this at all.