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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Report (6th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 8th May 2018.

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Photo of Lord Hannay of Chiswick Lord Hannay of Chiswick Crossbench 4:30 pm, 8th May 2018

That is a political judgment about the views of the 27. It is not a political judgment on the views of the British Government, who have always said that they would never under any circumstances propose such an extension—one of those statements which I fear they may have to eat cold at some stage. The answer to my noble friend’s question is that it is a political judgment about the attitude of the 27. I do not think that today we can rule it in or rule it out, and I do not think we should.

Thirdly, we have heard from the Government Benches on a lot of occasions during the passage of this Bill that this is a purely technical Bill; I think the most recent occasion was earlier this afternoon. It is a technical Bill designed simply to prepare our statute book for exit day and that it is not a proper vehicle for policy formulations, in which case, and on that analysis, I suppose the Minister will shortly rise to his feet and accept the amendment, which I would certainly encourage him to do.