Motion A

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Bill - Commons Amendment – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Newby Lord Newby Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords 3:15 pm, 22nd July 2019

My Lords, early on in the Brexit process the right honourable Kenneth Clarke MP said that we were entering an Alice in Wonderland world. This amendment takes us further down the rabbit hole because it invokes an obscure bit of legislation from 1797 that had a completely different purpose in mind. But we need to remind ourselves why the Commons passed this and why we should support the Commons. It did so because it did not trust the incoming Prime Minister to behave in a constitutionally proper manner. It was not just remainiacs such as my colleagues in the Commons who behaved in this way; it was the 17 Conservative Members who voted for this amendment and the slew of Cabinet Ministers who abstained on it. These are the people who know Boris Johnson much better than I do—much better than most of us do—and they had formed a judgment that he was not to be trusted. That is why they voted the way they did and it is why we should support them.