My Lords, I apologise for the fact that our BT hub has been playing hell with us this morning—and indeed for several days—which prevented my coming in earlier. I am grateful to those who have accommodated my coming in now.
I want to speak briefly but very strongly in support of my noble friend Lord Stevenson’s amendments. We are talking about taking back control; the Government have repeatedly told us that the whole purpose of Brexit and the rest is so that we take back control. What does this mean? Above all, it means that we are taking responsibility more fully into the hands of the representatives of the British people in our Parliament. It is therefore very important that, when an appointment is made, Parliament can be reassured that the proper procedures have been followed. It is part of scrutiny; it is the nuts of bolts of scrutiny.
As for Amendment 106 and so on, dealing with representation of trade unions and other equally significant organisations in the process, I just do not agree with the noble Viscount. To me, it is common sense and self-evident that the quality of the accountability being exercised by Parliament needs to be informed by those intimately involved in the processes and their consequences.
This is a very sensible amendment. My noble friend’s amendments are about how you effectively make accountability to Parliament and the people have muscle and good effect, as well as rhetoric. I am very glad to support him in his amendment.