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Amendment 4

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - Committee – in the House of Lords at 3:13 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Viscount Trenchard Viscount Trenchard Conservative 3:13 pm, 8th April 2019

I am well aware, and I thank the noble Lord for his advice.

However, I congratulate my noble friend Lord Blencathra on the report from his committee and on the fact that he so quickly responded.

The amendment moved by my noble friend Lady Neville-Rolfe is much needed. In her speech at Second Reading and again today, she has made the very good point that the Bill has profound financial implications. My noble friend Lord Cathcart also made this point most clearly in his powerful speech. It is reasonable to say that the terms of withdrawal should require the UK to honour its commitments during the current EU spending round, provided of course that the UK is not disadvantaged by its decision to leave the EU in terms of the amounts that UK projects and companies would otherwise have received from EU programmes.

Besides that, any extension beyond 22 May would require us to participate in the European Parliament elections, and that requirement would of course have financial implications. It is therefore strange that the Speaker has ruled that this is not a money Bill, but it is not surprising given his increasing willingness to allow his own political views and prejudices—