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Early Parliamentary General Election Bill - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:23 pm on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Framlingham Lord Framlingham Conservative 5:23 pm, 30th October 2019

My Lords, the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, illustrate how deeply entrenched views are and how three and a half years’ debate has not made the slightest difference to them. I think that the country is just weary of this—nobody, I suspect, more so than the noble Lord, Lord Callanan, who has done a fantastic job throughout the proceedings on these Bills.

Until recently, I did not want an election; I thought that we should deal with Brexit before moving on to other, more serious national matters, but recent events, the obduracy and intransigence of some of the parties to the Brexit arrangements, have made it inevitable. We must have a new House of Commons. The nation is weary of it and it has become deeply damaging in so many ways; we simply must start again.

I feel sure that your Lordships’ House will not stand in the way of this Bill and the general election. Having served in both Houses of Parliament, I am well aware of the delicate balance between the two. It is our job to revise and not to block. The Bill carried in the other place by 438 to 20 could not be clearer. During these many debates, I have warned that by blocking Brexit in this House we were not just damaging the nation’s future but putting in jeopardy our reputation and the future of your Lordships’ House. It remains to be seen just what the different party manifestos say about our future now.

The time has come to resolve so many issues and for each one of us to stand up and be counted. My personal belief is that, in Boris Johnson, we have someone who, in a few short weeks, has transformed the atmosphere in the country and shown his ability to be a truly great Prime Minister for the whole of the United Kingdom. He has my total support in the enormous task that lies ahead to carry out the will of the people and lead the nation to a confident and bright future.