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Brexit - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:49 am on 19th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Baker of Dorking Lord Baker of Dorking Conservative 10:49 am, 19th October 2019

If I might support what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, has said, it is about time that Parliament made up its mind on this matter. I thought that I would start in an uncontroversial way by praising the Prime Minister. Against all odds, he has brought a deal back when Europe said that it would not do that in any way. He stuck at it, was attacked for it and was thought to be a rash optimist, but he has negotiated a deal. It began with the Taoiseach and the prose was then changed a great deal. As the noble Lord, Lord Newby, said, he had to eat many of his words—but, as Churchill said, the most nourishing diet you can have is eating your own words. When I saw the pictures of the Prime Minister being congratulated and smiled at by the other Heads of State after agreeing the deal, it reminded me of how Macaulay described Horatius keeping the bridge,

“In the brave days of old”.

He did it so well that,

“even the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbear to cheer”.

We have seen a remarkable transformation of the Prime Minister, from being a bit of a buffoon to a bit of a statesman.