Brexit: Withdrawal Agreement Scrutiny - Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:35 pm on 31st October 2018.

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Photo of Lord Boswell of Aynho Lord Boswell of Aynho Chair, European Union Committee, Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords), Chair, European Union Committee 3:35 pm, 31st October 2018

My Lords, while I am grateful to the noble Lord for his response, I hope he understands that the European Union Committee, which I chair, has done extensive work in this crucial area and has a duty to report on the withdrawal agreement and the framework for future relations in good time to inform the debate in this House and indeed the votes in the Commons. We cannot do this in a vacuum. It is the Government’s duty as part of their accountability to Parliament to support our work and not to frustrate it. So does the Minister agree that if Brexit is, at least in part, about restoring the sovereignty of this Parliament, the Government should set an example by engaging in a mature, constructive way with its committees, rather than, as Mr Raab has done, effectively refusing to give evidence? Does he further agree that, given that Mr Raab’s predecessor, David Davis, gave the committee a clear undertaking that Parliament should enjoy at least parity of arms with the European Parliament, it is extraordinary that we find ourselves in the situation where Michel Barnier is briefing MEPs almost daily and sharing draft texts while Select Committees in Westminster are kept in the dark?