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Amendment 11

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - Committee (1st Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 14th January 2020.

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Photo of Lord Howarth of Newport Lord Howarth of Newport Labour 6:15 pm, 14th January 2020

My Lords, I want to underscore the very important point that was very well made by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, about the need for courtesy and respect. The union is under considerable stress. The stress is perhaps less severe between Wales and England, because Wales voted to leave the European Union. None the less, we are dealing with very sensitive matters. It is surely elementary that the UK Government in London should consult and proceed with the maximum delicacy and sensitivity. There will be sensitive questions when it comes to the implementation of many of the arrangements that feature in our EU withdrawal. The right of Wales to diverge on the implementation of these regulations and other matters will obviously be important to respect.

At the same time, it will be very important that in Wales there is a recognition that divergence can be a fairly perilous course. Given this range of sensitivities, it would send a very helpful signal if the Government accepted Amendment 59. I cannot imagine why they would have any difficulty in doing so. It would signal their intent to continue in a fully conciliatory, fully constructive spirit of co-operation and respect for the rights of the devolved Administrations.