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 Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 10:15 pm, 2nd May 2018

My Lords, we have a lot of sympathy for the amendment. We agree with its aims in so far as they put the JMC on a statutory basis. The formula is not one for this House to write, but undoubtedly the objective of putting that on a statutory basis is one that we support.

I think there were different Ministers at the time of the Article 50 Bill, but we had an amendment at that stage that would have required the Government to set out the relationship with the devolved authorities, particularly over Brexit, obviously. We included at that stage formalising the Joint Ministerial Committee and I think it remains a good idea. At Second Reading, or certainly since, we raised the issue in the context of the Bill.

So we are very sympathetic to the objective of Amendment 92A. Our reservation is about its form. I do not think it is in the right form, but that is not for us to do. Even more importantly, this goes well beyond the Brexit Bill and it needs looking at. We urge the Government to look seriously at the objective of Amendment 92A and to discuss it with the devolved Administrations. If this or something similar found favour and everyone thought it would be a good idea to put it on to a statutory basis, I am sure this side of the House would be very amenable to making such a movement possible.