October European Council - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:04 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Lord Soley Lord Soley Labour 6:04 pm, 22nd October 2018

In the near future we are likely to have an agreement—good, bad or indifferent, we wait to see. There will then be this implementation period, but I take the same view as that taken by the noble Lord, Lord Howell, I think: there is no way that this complex political and economic arrangement between the UK and the EU is going to be sorted out in just a couple of years. This is going to be work in progress for quite a few years to come, and I still do not understand from the Government the sorts of structures they have in mind to ensure that the UK and the EU stay close together politically and economically, because it is in their interests to do so. Picking up a point made by the noble Lord, Lord Newby, the common security and defence policy will continue; we will have no say on how that is used but we are indicating that our forces will stay involved. I am not asking for an answer to that issue, but there are many issues of that type. I need—and I think the House needs—some idea of the structures we are looking at beyond the implementation period that will allow us to ensure that we have a continuing good agreement. Is it a Joint Committee or is it something bigger?