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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:32 pm on 4th April 2019.

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Photo of Lord Newby Lord Newby Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords 10:32 pm, 4th April 2019

I am sorry to interrupt the noble Lord’s peroration. He may be aware that, contrary to what a number of noble Lords said, many people who, like myself, live hundreds of miles outside London, are very aware that the majority of farmers, particularly upland farmers in the Yorkshire Dales, voted leave—frankly, they do not like people from Leeds, far less people in Brussels; the noble Lord, Lord Woolmer, appreciates the strength of that view. They voted leave, not carelessly, but not thinking that it would have any personal consequences for them. Now, they very much realise that leaving without a deal could mean the end of their careers. Therefore, when the extremely impressive group North Yorkshire for Europe held a stall at the Leyburn cattle market a couple of months ago, expecting to be nearly lynched by all these farmers who voted leave, much to their surprise they were if not physically embraced, mentally embraced, by people who said, “My goodness! We now realise that our livelihood is seriously at risk”.

Is this not just one example of the many we have heard from noble Lords today of the potential economic consequences—not minor but visceral—of crashing out without a deal for the livelihoods and lives of people we respect for the contribution they make not just to the economy but to the environment, and who, as we speak, are going to bed worried about what is happening to our country?