I am sorry that the noble Lord thinks they are an obstruction to today’s business, but today’s business has been forced on us by the Benches opposite—it seems without any consideration of the sequencing of the Bill as it comes through this House, as I raised in my opening remarks. These are important issues and I hope that the noble Baroness, Lady Hayter, will reflect on them.
The first reason for my amendment to the Motion of the noble Baroness, Lady Hayter, is that the Prime Minister has already indicated her intention to ask for a delay. I remind the House of what my right honourable friend the Prime Minister said earlier this week, when she addressed the nation. She said:
“I know there are some who are so fed up with delay and endless arguments that they would like to leave with no deal next week”.
I count myself in that group—but that is not the point of today. She said:
“I’ve always been clear that we could make a success of no deal in the long term. But leaving with a deal is the best solution. So we will need a further extension of Article 50, one that is as short as possible and which ends when we pass a deal. And we need to be clear what such an extension is for, to ensure we leave in a timely and orderly way”.
My right honourable friend the Prime Minister said that to the nation on television. She said it in the other place and in a letter that has been written to all Conservative parliamentarians—so she means it and we should take her at her word.