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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 8th May 2018.

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Photo of Lord Wigley Lord Wigley Plaid Cymru 5:45 pm, 8th May 2018

My Lords, I am grateful to everyone who has taken part in this debate: the noble Viscount, Lord Hailsham, the noble Lords, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, Lord Dykes and Lord Green, the noble Baronesses, Lady Hayter and Lady Ludford, and the noble and learned Baroness, Lady Butler-Sloss. It has been a short but worthwhile debate. Some of those participating in it have seen weaknesses in the amendment, and I accept that there is room for criticism in that direction and that it is a challenge with regard to the status quo within which we are operating.

None the less, I feel that some benefit has come out of the debate, in that the Minister has indicated that the Government would be in listening mode, both in terms of the negotiations that are going on and in terms of what may or may not come forward from the European Parliament itself on this matter, bearing in mind that Mr Verhofstadt has indicated fairly strong feelings in that direction. If it were possible for some form of associate citizenship to develop out of this—if indeed we leave the EU, which I would regret but is likely to happen—that could retain our links for the period while we are outside the EU directly, I am sure that would be of interest to a large number of people, particularly to young people, as has been mentioned in this debate, because they identify with the European dream. The European dimension is part of their identity and they would like to have some access to it in a more formal way. On the basis of the comments made by the Minister, which I welcome as far as he was able to go, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 110 withdrawn.