Amendment to the Motion

Part of Business of the House - Motion on Standing Orders – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 4th April 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Noakes Baroness Noakes Conservative 3:15 pm, 4th April 2019

Indeed, but there are important issues of process that we do need to address. I was saying that the Prime Minister had not always made a success of Brexit to date, but she has been persistent throughout in trying to achieve the will of the majority 17.4 million people who voted in the referendum, and we have to give her credit for that. She has also acted throughout with integrity, and I hope that no noble Lord would suggest otherwise. In some ways, the Bill suggests that we cannot trust the Prime Minister, and I resent that.

As the noble Lord, Lord Myners, pointed out, the Prime Minister has now engaged in discussions with the Opposition. We understand that they are constructive; whether anything comes of them remains to be seen. To date, the Leader of the Opposition has shown no interest in doing anything other than pursuing a political line on Brexit. He even refused to go into cross-party discussions which my right honourable friend set up last month because he could not walk into the same room as Chuka Umunna, one of the MPs who had left his party and was a founder member of the independent group—the TIGers. It is of great credit to the Prime Minister that she is now reaching out to try and reach some consensus on a deal that the Commons can align around when it goes back to them. This Bill is saying that we do not trust the Prime Minister to do that. That is an unfortunate thing, and why the Bill is unnecessary.

The next reason for not agreeing with the Motion in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Hayter, is that it is unnecessary to apply exceptional procedures. Your Lordships’ House has good procedures to allow it to do its job as a revising Chamber. The House normally prides itself on its ability to scrutinise legislation carefully. The reason we do this—