While sharing my noble friend’s admiration for the extraordinary work that has been put in by our Front Bench both here and in the Commons, I remind him of an amendment proposed to the Bill in the House of Commons on
When that amendment went to the vote, there were 292 votes in favour. It was therefore clearly supported by the great majority of Labour Members of Parliament. Was that amendment not a model of cogency and clarity and completely consistent with my noble friend’s amendment this evening? Is it not the most practical way, as he suggests, to avoid the cliff edge of huge and costly disruption to supply chains and loss of access to vital service markets; and, with the customs union, for which this House has voted, to provide us with a real opportunity of a border-free Ireland?