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 Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Chair, Economic Affairs Committee, Chair, Finance Bill Sub-Committee 3:20 pm, 11th April 2019

My Lords, does my noble friend not think it utterly obscene to spend £100 million—apparently more than it cost to spend a spacecraft to the moon—on fighting a set of elections to elect people to a European Parliament who will be there for five minutes and then presumably be able to claim their redundancies to the cost of the taxpayer? Should we not do everything in our power to prevent our having to fight these European elections, which will cause great dismay around the country? It is all very well for the Liberals to say that it would be a good opportunity for them to have a platform to spell out the consequences of reversing the referendum. They had that in the general election and ended up with 8% of the vote. We do not need to spend £100 million to find out what people think of that. Could my noble friend give us some assurance that the Government have set their face against having these European elections, which will be an affront to the British public and cause great unease?