Amendment 1

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill - Committee – in the House of Lords at 10:06 am on 6th September 2019.

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Photo of Lord James of Blackheath Lord James of Blackheath Conservative 10:06 am, 6th September 2019

My Lords, a week ago, I wrote a letter to the Lord Speaker in which I suggested that in certain circumstances which might occur, such as this morning, the entire House of Lords is ineligible to sit. I do not intend to pursue this point, but I want to explain why it occurs. I think it is important to us.

If the Lisbon treaty is allowed to stand and is not wiped away at midnight on 31 October, we are all, every single man jack of us, in breach of our oath on joining this House because we have allowed the omniscience of Parliament to be reduced by the elimination of the veto which was standing in our benefit until the Lisbon treaty. That has far-reaching consequences which go way beyond us and reach into the Palace and the Crown itself. We need to be aware of those implications. If I am right on that assertion—I have taken it to the Table Office and asked it to think about it, so there must be some professional opinions around—then we would be ineligible to sit today, and it would mean that this Bill cannot pass the House. I am not pursuing that.

What I am going to say is that I think the basis on which we are going forward from here is wrong because we have a situation in which we are facing a choice between remain, the no-go solution and, as came very much into focus in the latter stages of yesterday, the possible resurrection of the May deal. The May deal and remain both carry the same consequence that they would still leave us in breach of our oath. We need to have our oaths restored to us, which would happen if at midnight on 31 October if the Lisbon treaty was wiped away.

The first person we need to be concerned about in that respect is Her Majesty because we have the power of government placed in our hands by the coronation oath which she swore never to diminish, but we have diminished it for her. In those circumstances, do the British public realise they are being asked to consider a situation which might create a position in which Her Majesty would consider it was essential for her to abdicate? If that occurred, would it ever be possible to resurrect the monarch because nobody else could swear the same coronation oath? Let us be realistic about this. My whole criticism of the situation of opposition to no-go at the moment is that we simply have not informed the British public of what is at stake. It goes way beyond this.

We have this wonderful paper called Yellowhammer, which tells us all the dreadful things that will happen if we do go no-go. My secretary has an alternative list that I have complied called the Black Vulture, which is my list of the things that people do not know about which will happen if we do not go no deal. The first is the hazard it creates for the Crown. The second is: will somebody please tell us the truth about the European defence union? This is by far the biggest issue facing the British public and they know nothing about it officially. Can we please have a proper account of what it entails? Is it really true that the Government have entered into private agreements with the European Community that they will, on completion of remain or whatever it is to be, transfer to the European Union in Brussels the entire control of our entire fighting forces, including all their equipment? [Laughter.] Noble Lords may jest, but it has been done and they should check it out. It is too important to ignore. We must know the truth of this. We must have it clear for the whole public to know. I believe it is true, and I think we should be told. I understand that it is intended that the oath of every serving member of our forces will be cancelled and they will be required to undertake a new oath of loyalty to Brussels. I understand that in recent months, we have had a series of people sent from our Armed Forces to create and install the command and control centres to be used for the control of our troops once we have ceased to have any control over their use, application or deployment. It goes beyond this. They are to take control of our intelligence services, the whole core of Five Eyes. They will have MI6 and the Cheltenham monitoring centre, and we will be completely excluded from it under the new arrangements and have no access either to the—