European Council - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:20 pm on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Smith of Newnham Baroness Smith of Newnham Liberal Democrat 3:20 pm, 11th April 2019

My Lords, I have a technical question. I am slightly puzzled by the part of the Statement that says,

“so, for example, if we were to pass a deal by 22 May, we would not have to take part in European elections, and when the EU has also ratified, we would be able to leave at 11 pm on 31 May”.

I have a particular interest to declare. My 50th birthday is on 1 June, so I would be quite pleased not to be commiserating on having left on 31 May. I cannot understand how, if we ratified a deal on 22 May, we would be able to leave by 31 May. Does the European Parliament not have to ratify? It will cease to sit on, I believe, 22 April and not come back until July. How is it possible that the deal can be ratified in order for us to leave by the end of May if we do not ratify until 22 May?