Amendment 1

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill - Report – in the House of Lords at 1:15 pm on 6th September 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Jones of Birmingham Lord Jones of Birmingham Crossbench 1:15 pm, 6th September 2019

So tolerant of democracy.

I support the amendment suggested by the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, for one reason only: there is not a small business woman or small business man in this land who has not had it up to here with this place and the other place. They just want everybody to get on with it and give the businesses of the land—which generate the profit, pay the tax and build the schools and hospitals—the chance to get on and make money, employ people and pay tax. They hold us all in very high disregard at the moment—all of us. The political class has let down this country and business, and that is not a partisan point. We should all, of every party in both places, look into our souls about what we have done to this country in so many ways. If these people, who hold us in such high disregard, thought we spent a Friday afternoon accepting the fact that we just knocked through on the nod something factually inaccurate, they would think we were even worse than they do right now.

I thought the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Brooke, was excellent. The chance of coming together and healing—he used that word, and I thought it was excellent—has a lot of merit in it, but we surely cannot knowingly vote for something that is factually wrong. On that basis I support the amendment—I do not think it would hold up anything on Monday—but after this debacle is over we ought to go from this place and just start trying to respect the optics: the businesses, the businesswomen and businessmen, the good people of this country, have had enough of us. If we do not start communicating with them as to why we are on their side, God help us.