Amendment 6

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

Yes. I voted for Mr Johnson —I look forward to him becoming Prime Minister—because he seems to understand that the first rule of negotiation is not to make any concessions in advance of carrying out the negotiation. It is a foolish person who asks, “Will you make this or that concession?” and agrees to it along the way.

The very fact that this amendment is before us indicates that he is up against a Parliament in which some three to one in the House of Commons wish to reverse—or certainly voted against—the decision of the British people. I believe he will go into these negotiations from a position of strength, whereas I regret to say that his predecessor went in offering money before there was anything in return. The withdrawal agreement is an agreement to have a further negotiation about a whole range of things, including fishing, trade and other matters. We will be in good hands with Mr Johnson if he becomes leader of the Conservative Party. His approach to negotiations is entirely correct.