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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:24 pm on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Campbell of Pittenweem Lord Campbell of Pittenweem Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Defence) 5:24 pm, 12th May 2020

My Lords, the unwillingness of the Government—indeed, their refusal —to countenance any extension beyond 31 December is irresponsible, not least because it leaves open the possible catastrophic outcome of no deal whatever. I ask myself: what is the Prime Minister afraid of? He now has a majority of 80 in the House of Commons, and the remainers, many of whom have already spoken in this debate, are silenced.

After the virus crisis, we shall need friends and influence in Europe, but most of all we now need the best possible trade deal that can be achieved. It is no use looking to President Trump, as people frequently do. Current American unemployment and Joe Biden’s lead in the polls will mean that Mr Trump, once again, will be focusing on “America first”, and indeed, you might say, “second” and “third” as well.

The Prime Minister has a long and undistinguished record of changing his mind for his own interests. He should change his mind on this occasion for the public interest.