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 Ludford Baroness Ludford Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 3:20 pm, 11th April 2019

My Lords, will the Leader of the House supply the clarification that my noble friend Lady Smith of Newnham did not receive? My noble friend asked how we can get ratification from the EU to be able to leave at 11 pm on 31 May, since the European Parliament will not be sitting from later this month until 2 July and has to give its consent. The noble Baroness answered by pointing to what she said was paragraph 10 of the Statement—I think it was paragraph 3 of the European Council conclusions she quoted from. That says:

“If the UK fails to live up to this obligation”— the obligation to hold European Parliament elections—

“the withdrawal will take place on 1 June 2019”.

That curious assertion appears to suggest that it will impose a no-deal withdrawal on us. Will she, first, answer the question and, secondly, explain her under- standing of the end of paragraph 3 of the European Council conclusions?