Amendment to the Motion

Part of Business of the House - Motion on Standing Orders – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 4th April 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 6:00 pm, 4th April 2019

It’s the way he tells them.

Two interesting and different things have just been said by the noble Lord, Lord Hamilton, who very honestly confessed that he hoped the Bill would never reach the statute book—let us be clear; that is what all this is about—as opposed to the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, who says, “I want it done properly”. To some extent, the noble Lord, Lord Hamilton, may achieve his aim without having to put his amendment to the vote. His amendment says only that we should not go into Committee,

“until at least 24 hours after”,

the Select Committee on the Constitution has published its report. That was done at 11 am today. Given the way we are going, I think we are going to meet his target: it will be 11 am tomorrow before we go into Committee, so he may have achieved that without having to put it to the vote.

What we know is that no matter how much we want, ideally, to have time to do this legislation properly—in the “as normal” sense—we are not in normal times. It is simply no good putting this off so that by the time we get through it, and have had very clever people getting it right, it is too late. I hear what the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, says about there being things in the Bill that we may want to alter but spending time now on whether we consider the Bill, and how we deal with it and the need for corrections, makes it less likely that the Bill will end up in a proper state. Without having to do so officially, I hope that we can move to vote now on the amendment from the noble Lord, Lord Hamilton. I think we can reject it because it actually will be 11 am before we get into Committee.