Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Brexit: Negotiations - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:28 pm on 3rd October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Labour 4:28 pm, 3rd October 2019

My Lords, it is difficult to reconcile the intention to complete this by 31 October with the noble Baroness’s recognition that further compromises, details and clarifications will be required. Would it not therefore be sensible, in order to clarify the situation, for the Prime Minister at this stage to say, “Well, I’ve got so far. There’s been a relatively good response from Europe. I, on my own initiative, will extend the time”?

I have two other questions. First, if that fails and we are in a no-deal situation, what happens to all the arrangements that have been made in the good times between the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic? Do they fall, because they are predicated on us both being members of the European Union and observing the same regulations and conventions?

My second point is that, in a no-deal situation, the Prime Minister was reported last week as saying, “Well, the EU can do what it likes and therefore the Irish Republic can set up customs checks on its side of the border, but we will let them in”. Leaving aside that that seems to be the opposite of what the Brexiteers wanted, is that not in contravention of the WTO, because we will have to be tied to a different EU tariff schedule from everybody else, and a nil tariff on the border?