Beyond Brexit (European Union Committee Report) - Motion to Consider

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:53 pm on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Cormack Lord Cormack Conservative 4:53 pm, 12th May 2020

My Lords, I begin by paying tribute to my noble friend Lord Boswell of Aynho. He gave an exemplary, statesmanlike speech today. Two minutes does not give anyone a proper chance to develop an argument. I wish to make a plea and a point.

The plea is to my noble friend Lord True, who will respond to this debate. I beg him not to be as dogmatic and dismissive as he was in what I believe was the last debate on this general subject in the Chamber on 16 March. In that debate, I suggested that Covid was transforming the political and economic landscape and that to insist on ending the transition period on 31 December was neither necessary nor wise. I believe that everything that has happened in the weeks since that debate has underlined the good sense of that attitude.

The point I wish to make is this: I urge colleagues in all parts of the House to be alert to the dangers we face and the fact that our negotiations with the EU are not at the top of the agenda, either here in the UK or in the EU. We in the United Kingdom have troubles enough at the moment without risking, let alone choosing, the no-deal conclusion to the transition period.