European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:56 pm on 4th April 2019.

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Photo of Earl Cathcart Earl Cathcart Conservative 9:56 pm, 4th April 2019

My Lords, this is the first time I have spoken today, but I will try to be brief. I do not think that I can support this Bill, for the following reasons. We are told that this business is an emergency, but of course it is not. We have had nearly three years to prepare for it and the Government have assured us that they are ready to leave without an agreement if necessary. Indeed, more than half the public now thinks that it is the right thing to do. I am rather nervous about using YouGov, but it did a study and asked voters:

“If Britain has not agreed a deal by April 12th, what do you think should happen?”.

I am sorry to disappoint the noble Lords, Lord Hannay, Lord Adonis and Lord Bilimoria, but every English and Welsh region outside the M25 would be happy to leave the EU without a deal if no agreement has been reached by the end of next week.