We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Early Parliamentary General Election Bill - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:07 pm on 30th October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Noakes Baroness Noakes Conservative 5:07 pm, 30th October 2019

My Lords, I shall not be following the noble Baroness, Lady Ludford, with partisan remarks about Brexit. I will concentrate on the Bill before us. I shall not detain the House long because I am keen that the Bill should make rapid progress to the statute book.

We must rejoice that the other place has spoken in favour of something with a clarity not seen from that place for some considerable time. It voted overwhelmingly for the Bill at Third Reading yesterday and this House should be wary of disturbing that happy alignment. While your Lordships’ House has the power and the right to amend any Bill other than a money Bill, I hope noble Lords will not be tempted to break the spell and ask the other place to think again about any aspect of it. We will not enhance the standing of your Lordships’ House if we are seen to intervene in the calling of a general election that is desired, and indeed much needed, by the other place.

The Bill has a very narrow purpose. It is to allow a general election to take place on 12 December, and nothing else. It is not about wider issues, such as the definition of the franchise. I hope noble Lords will respect the Long Title and not seek to introduce amendments that go beyond the scope of the Bill. If they do, I hope that the excellent clerks in the Bill Office will be robust with them.

Lastly, I appeal to all noble Lords to be brief and efficient at all stages of this Bill. We should return it to the other place unchanged and as rapidly as possible. We must then let the country decide who should govern us, and thereby determine the future of Brexit.