Amendment 75

United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - Report (3rd Day) – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 25th November 2020.

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Lord Fox:

Moved by Lord Fox

75: Clause 50, page 39, line 5, at end insert “, subject to subsection (3A).(3A) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (3) may not appoint a day for the commencement of Part 1, 2, 3 or 4 until the following requirements are met—(a) the requirement in subsection (3B), and(b) the requirement in subsection (3C) or the requirement in subsection (3D).(3B) The requirement in this subsection is that the Prime Minister must convene a plenary session of the Joint Ministerial Council in order to seek agreement of the market access principles set out in section 1(2).(3C) If an agreement on the market access principles is reached at the conclusion of the Joint Ministerial Council session, the requirement in this subsection is that the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a memorandum of understanding which sets out—(a) details of the agreed principles; and(b) proposals for the establishment of an agreed dispute resolution mechanism relating to the internal market in the United Kingdom for any disputes among the Secretary of State, the Welsh Ministers, the Scottish Ministers, and a Northern Ireland department.(3D) If unanimous agreement is not reached at the conclusion of the Joint Ministerial Council session, the requirement in this subsection is that the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a report outlining—(a) why unanimous agreement could not be reached; and(b) proposals for the operation of the internal market in the United Kingdom in light of the fact that an agreement under subsection (3B) was not reached unanimously.”

Photo of Lord Fox Lord Fox Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

My Lords, it has been very helpful to hear the Minister. His description of the intergovernmental discussions is very important and we wish the Government good speed on that. If the Minister or his colleagues can keep us updated on the progress of those very important discussions, we would be grateful.

On Amendment 75, the Minister made great play about the timetable, but it should be noted that the Bill does not affect any existing legislation on day one. Furthermore, the devolved authorities have agreed to a standstill arrangement. The Minister is creating a false timetable pressure on your Lordships. I do not believe that your Lordships need to be constrained on time for this.

In conclusion, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay, spoke about the internal market as a living, breathing, changing process. To run that, there needs to be a structure with the JMC and the devolved authorities. Amendment 75 would set in place one way of doing that and I am sure we would be very happy to discuss other ways of doing that with the Government if they have ideas. To put that pressure on, I would like to test the will of the House.

Ayes 134, Noes 247.

Division number 5 United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - Report (3rd Day) — Amendment 75

Aye: 134 Members of the House of Lords

No: 247 Members of the House of Lords

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Division conducted remotely on Amendment 75

Amendment 75 disagreed.

Amendment 76 not moved.