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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:15 pm on 2nd May 2018.

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Photo of Lord Adonis Lord Adonis Labour 10:15 pm, 2nd May 2018

The noble Lord—I would like to call him my noble friend—gives the game away. He says that he imagines that this person might represent an English constituency. In fact, he might or might not. If the noble Lord, Lord Bourne, were Prime Minister, he comes, I understand, from Aberystwyth. He would then be the representative of the UK Government. In our lifetime, I served under one Scottish Prime Minister. I have never served under a Welsh Prime Minister, but there have been one or two Welsh candidates for that post in the past.

In England we are not very good at this rigorous constitutional thinking. Let us be clear, even if it were an English Member of Parliament or Minister, their role would be to represent the Government of the United Kingdom; it would not be their role to represent England, separate from the Government of the United Kingdom.

Finally, when the noble Lord produces his full draft of a new written constitution for the United Kingdom with his proposal for a federal senate, which I assume will be his next amendment on Third Reading, could he please suggest some arrangements for how England will play a part in his federal arrangements?