Trade Bill - Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 21st January 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Deech Baroness Deech Crossbench 3:45 pm, 21st January 2019

My Lords, I would not pretend to know a great deal about trade, but this I do know: we live in extraordinary times, and it is all the more important that one sticks with constitutional procedures and the rule of law. Imagine if we had a different Government; it is extremely dangerous to play fast and loose with our established procedures. At this moment, we should be clinging to them; it is really important.

We cannot take back control until we leave on 29 March. Taking back control has always meant that we do so in relation to other countries, not that we fight internal warfare in this House and in the other House. We would not be in this position if the leadership of the party of the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, who moved the amendment, had been more co-operative and constructive. We would not be in this position if the EU itself had been more constructive and co-operative. Its failure to do so is a sign of a lack of confidence in its own future.

It is absolutely essential that we stick with our constitutional procedures and do not play fast and loose with them, because imagine what would happen in a future circumstance with a future Government. That could be far worse, and we must proceed as our procedures require us to do.