My Lords, I support the amendment and point out, as have others, that this Bill is being brought forward in a totally different context from when it was debated and passed in the Commons last summer, and at Second Reading here in September. At that time, it was envisaged and presented by the Government as a minor technical measure which would complement an EU withdrawal deal and political declaration, and provide a 21-month transition to fill the gaps that are currently there and which prevent it being fully equipped to provide for an independent trade policy for a UK outside the EU. Those gaps remain and they are highly relevant given the Government’s unwillingness to rule out a no-deal exit on
For example, we do not even know—and more importantly, our businesses do not know—what tariff rates we would apply to imports from the EU and preferential trade partners of the EU on
I believe it is being argued that this is unprecedented, as the noble Lord, Lord Newby, said. Perhaps it is, but we are dealing with an unprecedented situation, and unprecedented situations call for unprecedented solutions. Is the amendment unreasonable? I do not think so. It does not place any impediment at all on the completion of Committee, which should proceed precisely as planned. It gives the Government about a month to fill in those gaps in the Bill before Report begins. What is unreasonable about that? I hope the Government will accept the amendment, which I do not think stands in the way of this measure arriving on the statute book in time.