We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Trade Bill - Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 4th February 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Lea of Crondall Lord Lea of Crondall Labour 5:45 pm, 4th February 2019

I thank the Minister for that very courteous reply. I do indeed believe that he has taken the points very seriously, as I would have expected of him. Neither of us is Wittgenstein. I say that because I fear that Wittgenstein would not have been very happy with some of the logic that has been heard in the last 20 minutes, which tends to be along the lines of, “We can’t do X because that is governed by Y”, as though that were the end of the argument, when in fact I dealt with that proviso in what I was putting forward. It is very difficult across the Chamber, if not impossible, to untangle the tortuous web we weave, but that is what I have been endeavouring to do. I would add that the EEA Council would undoubtedly be able to open a discussion with us: who is going to tell it that it cannot do that? Whether, technically, at that moment, Britain is a third party is a separate question, I would have thought. The agenda is, first, what can we do to avoid tripping over each other in sequential negotiations with the EEA and EFTA? That is a serious problem, given the asymmetry between the technical questions affecting the single market and the customs union.

British pragmatism and common sense—not that there is much of that around these days—is the territory that I am trying to get into. I very much hope that, in the spirit of what a number of people have said, there is food for thought in what I have been saying and, in the two or three weeks before we come back on Report, who knows? A day is a long time in politics at the moment. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 66A withdrawn.

Clause 6: UK participation in the European medicines regulatory network