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- Motion to Approve

– in the House of Lords at 3:43 pm on 19th December 2018.

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Moved by Lord Bates

That the draft Regulations laid before the House on 6 November be approved.

Relevant document: 6th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (Sub-Committee A), considered in Grand Committee on 12 December

Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour

My Lords, I was unable to attend the Grand Committee. Will the Minister confirm whether this is yet another of the many hundreds of statutory instruments which we are having to consider in this House in the event of a no-deal exit from the European Union, which 17.4 million people did not vote for—because there was never any suggestion of there being a no-deal exit when that referendum took place? I hope the Minister will correct his statement on the previous regulations. This is something which is taking up a lot of our time in Grand Committee, and a lot of civil servants’ time, which could be used in more profitable activities.

Photo of Lord Trefgarne Lord Trefgarne Chair, Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, Chair, SLSC Sub-Committee A

My Lords, I wonder if the noble Lord would like to refer to the reports of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, which has considered all these measures. The answers to his questions are in those reports.

Photo of Lord Harris of Haringey Lord Harris of Haringey Labour

My Lords, further to the point made by my noble friend Lord Foulkes, this has obviously taken up barely a minute or two of your Lordships’ House’s time, but could the Minister tell us how many other such instruments he expects to bring in a similar vein to this House and through the procedures that the noble Lord, Lord Trefgarne, mentioned? How much time does he therefore expect the House to have to devote to these matters?

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development

We are in the process of preparing, which any responsible Government should do, for the no-deal situation, which is not what we want. We want the deal to go through, but we have to prepare for every eventuality. I commend the work of my noble friend’s committee in providing very detailed scrutiny of these regulations, as I also commend those Members who did actually attend Grand Committee on 12 December and provided that scrutiny in person.

Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour

Could the Minister also commend the work done by the other committee, chaired by my noble friend Lord Cunningham?

Photo of Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Conservative

My Lords, there is a statutory instrument available in the Printed Paper Office this week entitled the Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships and Partnerships (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations. Has this already been considered? If not, what is the proposed timetable for considering this instrument?

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development

There is an agreed procedure in Section 8(8) of the EU withdrawal Act, which sets out exactly what can be done. We are following exactly that course of action, with proper scrutiny and a huge amount of work being done by your Lordships’ House and our terrific civil servants in preparing for this eventuality, and doing so professionally, openly and transparently. That is why we commend the regulations to the House.

Photo of Baroness Smith of Basildon Baroness Smith of Basildon Shadow Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

My Lords, the Minister says that this is essential good responsible planning from a Government in case there is no deal. Would it not then have been more helpful to Parliament as a whole had the Prime Minister not pulled the expected votes last week, so that Parliament could have voted on whether it considered no deal an acceptable option at all?

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The responsible thing to do would have been for Her Majesty’s Opposition to support the deal on the table. Then we would not need these no-deal statutory instruments.

Photo of Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley Labour

My Lords, the European Commission has today published a paper entitled Preparing for the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 30 March 2019, which gives various scenarios for financial services, transport, air and everything that we discussed yesterday. It says that it will allow a certain time for arrangements to be put in place, provided that the UK Government match it with similar concessions the other way with UK residents on the continent and everything else. How will the Minister and the Government deal with the responses to that paper and have them debated in your Lordships’ House?

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The usual channels will arrange for these discussions to take place and have debates on them. We are debating the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. The regulations have been reviewed by the committees, as has been referred to. They have been reviewed and debated in Grand Committee and passed without objection, which is why they find themselves on the Order Paper.

The Lord Speaker decided on a show of voices that the Motion was agreed.