Amendment 42

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Labour 4:00 pm, 16th January 2020

I thank the Minister for that very full reply, and I thank colleagues, particularly committee members, who contributed to this debate. I accept some of what the Minister said, in the sense that, theoretically, during the implementation period nothing is supposed to change—but some of the mechanisms for ensuring that things do not change have disappeared. That is probably an issue for my next amendment because, if we are not involved in discussions in the various agencies and issues arise, there will be a problem in the implementation period.

I agree that the real problem is from the new date of 31 December—or, in deference to my noble friend on the Front Bench, 22 December or thereabouts. The whole point of me asking for a report in July is to ensure that, in good time for the December date, all the various sectors, plus individual motorists, brokers and insurance companies and so forth, understand the position. It may be over-glossing it to require a vote of both Houses, but I think the industry and the nation require a comprehensive report, in some form, to the House and the country, to explain what will happen in all these modes of transport beyond December.

I will not press this amendment or the July date. This was always a probing amendment, and I have got a number of commitments from the Government, for which I am grateful. I am sure the Government are well aware of all these issues. I am not sure I entirely agree with my former colleague on the committee, the noble Baroness, Lady Noakes, about the degree of preparedness of Ministers before us; that was probably true of the last Minister we saw, but it may not have been true of earlier Ministers. I shall draw a curtain over that.

I accept the Government’s good intention in this respect, but, in the coming months, they will be under pressure from these various sectors to have greater clarification. It would be quite a good idea if we debated that again in the House, in whatever form the Government think is appropriate. Otherwise, we could still be in a situation where there is chaos in at least one of these sectors on 1 January next year. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 42 withdrawn.