Leaving the European Union - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:16 pm on 21st January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Crossbench 7:16 pm, 21st January 2019

I am concerned by the suggestion from the noble Lord, Lord Hamilton, about a negotiating advantage. It is a myth. I do not think you strengthen your negotiating hand by saying, “If you don’t give me what I want, I will shoot myself”. This is the “Blazing Saddles” argument, which worked very well for the sheriff in that film but does not work in Brussels. Perhaps I may say to the Leader that there is a third way of avoiding the disaster of no deal: to recognise the inevitable. The noble Lord, Lord Newby, said that we are going to need an extension under Article 50. I believe that that has become absolutely clear, for all sorts of reasons. I also believe that so shocked are our friends on the continent by the chaos and incompetence of our political system here, they would be perfectly willing to concede now that there should be a short extension, in order that we can get our act together.