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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:17 pm on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour 5:17 pm, 12th May 2020

My Lords, I join those who have paid tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Boswell, for this very helpful—indeed, excellent—report. I take this opportunity to say how much we should all appreciate his dedicated work on the European scene for so long.

The work of the European committees becomes more important than ever. It is vital. I am totally convinced that Governments will be judged in history by their effectiveness in playing a dynamic part in international co-operation. The first reality of life—of humanity itself—is that we are, demonstrably, totally interdependent. We must therefore face the fact that the major issues that affect us—Covid-19, climate change, security, Ireland, migration or economic stability—cannot be successfully handled but on an international, co-operative basis.

I am concerned: where is the evidence that the Government understand this and have made it central to their whole approach to governance? For example, what is the evidence of what the Government are doing with European allies to combat the ugly and sinister jingoistic nationalism that is now, unfortunately, raising its head again in Europe, the United States and elsewhere in the world?

It is on international co-operation and effectiveness—not least with our European allies, although we are no longer part of the European Union—that our future depends. Anything less is to betray our people.