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Extension of Article 50 - Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:14 pm on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:14 pm, 25th September 2019

I am most impressed by the optimism the Minister expresses on the progress of the negotiations. We all hear reports that the Government have presented three sides of paper in their proposals so far in Brussels; it does not seem that either the pace or the detail has got very far yet. Given that, and given that business and the Civil Service are struggling with uncertainty around how far they should take preparations for no deal at the present—uncertainty which is very damaging for the economy and our society as a whole—and given that Operation Yellowhammer, in so far as we have been allowed to read the reports, suggests that the outcome of no deal would be disastrous, would it not be helpful if the Government were now to say that if the negotiations do not make sufficient progress, they will shortly ask to extend Article 50?