Amendment 41

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 16th January 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union), Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Labour) 3:15 pm, 16th January 2020

My Lords, perhaps it is a symptom of the way that Brexit has been handled that the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, even needs to table this amendment; we would have hoped that all this work had been done, published and debated well before any decisions were made. Indeed, I think reference was made yesterday to the Room 101 experience we had when we were called to be shown in secret the so-called sector-by-sector analyses of the impact of the withdrawal. They were of course no such thing—they were A-level descriptions which could have been got from published documents. Now we find that the Government want to head into negotiations on the future of the UK and its constituent parts with no prior appraisal of the impact of a range of outcomes, either on sectors or on geographical areas, and importantly, with no debate with either the industries concerned or with elected representatives of the geographical areas. Yet as we heard in the debate yesterday, important trade-offs and difficult judgments are going to have to be made as we struggle to find a workable trade relationship with the EU.

This should not be done in the dark. We should have full knowledge of the likely impact of each possible approach. The Government should have done this work, but I have little confidence that they have, which is why the amendment tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, is so relevant.