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

Every year is a new year.

The noble Lord, Lord Judd, made the prescient point that the political declaration is vital and that until we have that declaration we will not have a clear picture of where we are going to be with our future relationship. This is a staged process. We have the withdrawal agreement in draft; we are capable of taking that forward. We are capable of having a Brexit that works for both the EU 27 and ourselves. We will have an implementation period and we will then have the opportunity to lay out the precise terms of our future relationship with the EU 27.

The noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, talked about an extension of the Article 50 process. It is not the policy of this Government that the Article 50 process should be interrupted. Notice has been given; the date of exit is determined; we will follow that through to a conclusion. The noble Lord, Lord Inglewood, raised a number of issues relating to Written Questions. I do not have the answer, but I will arrange for a letter to be written and will put a copy in the Library. I do not know what the present status of various Questions to that department is.

Finally, the noble Lord, Lord Dobbs, referred to a deliberate act of punishment on the part of the EU. I cannot accept that. The EU 27 are negotiating in the best interests of the EU 27. We are negotiating in the interests of the entire United Kingdom. It is going to be a demanding negotiation but, at the end of the day, we will have an ongoing, civilised and mutually beneficial relationship with the EU 27 after we have left.

I am obliged to noble Lords for their attention.

Motion agreed.

House adjourned at 10.04 pm.