Brexit: Negotiations - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:38 pm on 20th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice) 9:38 pm, 20th November 2018

No, I am not taking interventions because of the time available. I am sorry.

All this puts us close to a Brexit deal—a deal that takes back control of our borders, our laws and our money, while at the same time seeking to protect jobs, security and, indeed, the integrity of the United Kingdom. It is a deal that brings the country together—a deal that realises the benefits of Brexit and then lets us focus on other issues.

Let me touch upon several points that have been raised during the course of debate. There was the question of citizens’ rights. What we intend to do there is to protect the rights of the more than 3 million EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and about 1 million UK nationals living in the EU. In respect of that we intend to bring forward an immigration Bill, which will be the subject of consideration.

The question of students was raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Newnham. We have clearly taken a position with regard to EU students in this country, and it is our belief that in due course, in the course of negotiation, we will achieve a reciprocal undertaking from the EU 27 but that has not yet been achieved.

There is the implementation period, which provides a bridge to the future relationship and will allow businesses to continue trading as now until the end of 2020. There is also the financial settlement—a fair financial settlement for UK taxpayers, which is estimated at between £35 billion and £39 billion. Let me be clear in response to my noble friends Lord Forsyth and Lord True: that is not a price. As was pointed out by the noble Lord, Lord Butler, it is an estimate of a determination of our outstanding obligations on a net basis. There are sums that will fall due during the implementation period; there are sums that we have committed to meet in respect of obligations of the EU; indeed, there will be sums coming back from the EU over time, including from the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank.