Amendment 5

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - Committee – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Ludford Baroness Ludford Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 4:00 pm, 8th April 2019

My Lords, perhaps I could assist the noble Lord, Lord Howard, to see this situation in a different light when it comes to the European Council on Wednesday: as a happy blend of parliamentary accountability and government flexibility. I agree with the noble and learned Lord, Lord Goldsmith, and the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, that the combination of Amendments 5 and 7 supplies both legal and practical certainty. They perhaps take away the complication that might be in the minds of the Council on Wednesday night about what happens if the Prime Minister proposes or agrees to a different extension to what is being discussed in the other place.

The noble and learned Lord, Lord Goldsmith, is also right that there could be some discussion about the difference in wording between Clause 1(7), about a proposal, and a scenario of agreement by the Prime Minister at the European Council. We need to remember that the specific context that is being addressed by Amendment 7 is envisaging what happens in those negotiations at the European Council. Like the noble and learned Lord, I look forward to the response from the Minister—