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 Kerr of Kinlochard Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Crossbench 3:56 pm, 17th July 2019

My noble friend Lady Deech would have made a marvellous Permanent Secretary. We heard about a dangerous precedent, unripe time and the risk of judicial review. I cannot see that risk; the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Anderson, seems designed to reduce the risk of a situation that might go to judicial review arising.

I support the noble Lord’s amendment. As he said, it is strange and alarming that we should find ourselves in this situation, having to resort to a device to prevent a constitutional outrage—which it would be if Parliament were sent away so that the Prime Minister of the day could follow a course that both Houses of Parliament have consistently and regularly rejected.

To add one more point, I hope that the noble Baroness the Leader—I am sorry she is not in her place—is pursuing with the other place the proposal that we in this House put forward a fortnight ago for a Joint Committee to examine the costs and implications of a no-deal crash-out. In this House, the Leader represents not just the Government but all of us. We put forward the proposal but, to my knowledge, the other place has not yet done us the courtesy of even considering it. I hope that the noble Baroness is advancing our proposal and urging the other place to respond positively to it. I support the amendment.