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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Report (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 2nd May 2018.

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Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice) 10:00 pm, 2nd May 2018

I simply do not accept the noble Lord’s characterisation of the matter. It is clearly the case that where consent, for example, was sought and not obtained, it would be necessary for the Minister of the Crown to address that, very clearly and specifically. There would be the opportunity, as there always is, for the devolved Administration to make their own views clear as to why they had declined consent. I do not believe that this is in any sense deceptive, misleading or a mirage. These are constitutional requirements that are adhered to and that will be adhered to. It would not be appropriate to introduce the sort of amendment moved by the noble Lord that would, in effect, tie the hands of this sovereign Parliament, so far as this exit process is concerned. Whatever view one might take about the merits of exit, that is neither here nor there. This is a constitutional principle with regard to the sovereign Parliament of the United Kingdom when it comes to legislate for the benefit of the entirety of the United Kingdom. I therefore urge the noble Lord to withdraw his amendment, and indicate that I would not expect to return to this matter at Third Reading.