Amendment 6

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Committee – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Chair, Economic Affairs Committee, Chair, Finance Bill Sub-Committee 4:00 pm, 15th July 2019

We have just heard speeches from the other side of the House against the amendment of my noble friend Lord Cormack, which sought to extend the deadline in respect of the Bill, that it would be foolish to do so because it would take off the pressure and would mean that we were kicking the can down the road. At the same time, it is perfectly clear that the mover of the amendment is passionately determined to prevent us leaving the European Union. That is what this amendment is about.

I wish to make a more general point about the Bill as a whole. The noble Lord, Lord Pannick, welcomed the fact that my noble friend is to join the Constitution Committee, whose report on the Bill is extremely damning. I have never seen a bigger Christmas tree than this Bill—all sorts of things have been added. The Bill has been fast-tracked, which means that there is no opportunity to consider many of the important matters in detail. I do not blame the Government for that. The House of Commons has chosen to add a range of issues and the whole thing is going to be fast-tracked through this House. To my mind, when added to a device to try to frustrate the elected Government implementing what the people voted for in the referendum, that is deeply worrying.