Amendment 2

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord True Lord True Chair, Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee 4:15 pm, 17th July 2019

The noble Lord also said other things, which the Hansard writers will record, including his saying that somehow a power was being conferred on Mr Johnson to do something that Mr Johnson has never said he would do, which is to advise the monarch to prorogue. That has been an inherent right of the Prime Minister and of the Crown for generations. It is an absurd statement, I am afraid, by my noble friend.

The first reason that these amendments should be resisted is, of course, one that I share but most of your Lordships will not: they are clearly designed to frustrate one route to Brexit on 31 October. That is freely admitted by all concerned. I can see that that is not a clinching argument with many of your Lordships, and, if we have learned anything in this House, it is that there is a dialogue of the deaf in this place between the remainer majority who wish to stop at nothing to prevent Brexit and those of us in the minority who believe that the vote of the public should be respected.

I fear that your Lordships’ House is getting itself into a worse and worse place in resisting Brexit. The very future of your Lordships’ House is now in play. That was made clear, not by me, but in the recent campaign for the European elections. I think these amendments take us to the outer fringe of where an unelected House should go.

The second strand of why I think they should be rejected is this canard of “constitutional outrage”, et cetera. This is an Aunt Sally. Mr Johnson—its target—has never said that he would use Prorogation to secure Brexit on 31 October. This danger, this threat, this crisis, this calamity, this catastrophe, this outrage—it is all got up by the remainers.