Trade Bill - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:54 pm on 11th September 2018.

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Photo of Lord Hamilton of Epsom Lord Hamilton of Epsom Conservative 4:54 pm, 11th September 2018

My Lords, I congratulate my noble friend Lady Meyer on her maiden speech, which was distinctly moving. I knew about the story, which I had read in the press, of the problems that she had in being reunited with her children as a result of German divorce laws—but I must say that to hear it again strikes dismay, and many other emotions, in the heart of any mother or indeed father in this country today. I wish I could say that it was only the German divorce laws that were depriving mothers of their children; I am afraid the state in this country as well has a role to play in that.

She described her White Russian grandparents, a persecuted minority who had to flee. She also said that she was standing up for Brexit in this House. She will not be persecuted but she will certainly be in a minority—a very small minority, I have to tell her, because for some reason there are serried ranks in your Lordships’ House who think that the country made a very great mistake in voting to leave the EU and are not really reconciled, as we have heard from the noble Lord, Lord Butler, to the vote, which was a quite clear decision that made it absolutely clear to the country that we wanted to leave. This is strange, because I always think of the noble Lord as coming from what I call the mandarin class—people who have made the decision to dedicate their lives to politics but not to stand for election. Then someone makes a democratic vote—the country votes—and they say, “No, no, they’ve got it wrong”. Suppose that we ignore the vote of the country. Where does that leave the people of this country?