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Referendums: Parliamentary Democracy - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:39 pm on 19th July 2018.

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Photo of Lord Higgins Lord Higgins Conservative 4:39 pm, 19th July 2018

My Lords, I was delighted and surprised to be fortunate in the Motions ballot. I am glad that my choice of subject produced a debate of such exceptional quality, even by your Lordships’ high standards, particularly with two outstanding maiden speeches from my noble friend Lord Pickles and the noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich.

The Minister’s reply is very important. What has come out very clearly is that our experience of referendums, since they started and more recently, shows that there are a great many lessons to be learned and mistakes to be avoided. As my noble friend on the Front Bench just said, it is worth considering all the points made today and then seek to codify them to some extent, so when we next come to consider whether we should have a referendum and how it should be carried though it will be precisely on that rule book.

In that sense, I hope that this will be a memorable debate. I am most grateful for all the kind remarks that colleagues have made about me. I am very glad that this has been a debate that should have value in future, as well as reflecting what has happened in the past.

Motion agreed.