Amendment 5

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill - Committee – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Lord Faulks Lord Faulks Conservative 4:15 pm, 8th April 2019

I do not want to misrepresent what the noble Lord said, but he suggested that there might be some legal uncertainty and that, theoretically at least, I or some other barrister might be instructed to argue something in court, and this is to avoid legal uncertainty. I am all for avoiding legal uncertainty, but the existence of the royal prerogative can surely not be in doubt, and this is, I suggest, an attempt to fetter that royal prerogative.

I finish with this observation. Lord Reed, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, said in the Gina Miller case of the royal prerogative that the,

“the value of unanimity, strength and dispatch in the conduct of foreign affairs are as evident in the 21st century as they were in the 18th”.

This Bill and this amendment substantially undermine that strength.