Amendment 2

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report – in the House of Lords at 3:56 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Newby Lord Newby Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords 3:56 pm, 17th July 2019

My Lords, I think everybody agrees that this is a very curious device and in many ways a very curious amendment. I am sure that the House of Commons and your Lordships’ House will look forward to receiving regular reports about the situation in respect of Northern Ireland; it might help move things forward very marginally. However, as the noble Lord, Lord Anderson, said, that is not why this amendment is being proposed. The amendment is considered necessary by him and me only because we face the constitutional outrage of a potential Prime Minister refusing to rule out proroguing Parliament to get through the most major public policy decision of our lifetimes without debate, because he knows he cannot win a vote in a debate. This is the activity of a banana republic, not the mother of parliaments; we should do whatever we can, however strange, to stop it. This is a clever, ingenious device with that in mind, and it has our full support.