Lord Garel-Jones: My Lords, can my noble friend assure the House that, if these discussions with the European Union do not lead to a happy conclusion, the no-deal situation will be brought to Parliament for approval?
Lord Garel-Jones: My noble friend perhaps is not aware of the statement by the Supreme Court after the referendum which said that the statute authorising the referendum simply provided for it to be held without specifying the consequences and that the change in the law required to implement the outcome of the referendum must be made in the only way permitted by the UK constitution, namely, by legislation.
Lord Garel-Jones: Does my noble friend not accept that, while the British people voted to leave—he is quite right about that—they are entitled to know the terms and conditions of that departure and that that is what the Supreme Court said?
Lord Garel-Jones: I apologise to my noble friend for intervening during the time set aside for Front-Benchers. In addition to the reasons he has given, will he let the House know to what extent the cost of a judge-led review has influenced the Government’s decision? If it has, can he refer to any other similar judge-led reviews and their cost?
Lord Garel-Jones: I fully understand noble Lords’ disappointment. On amplifying those reasons, am I wrong in thinking that one factor is the cost of such a judicial review? If so, what precedents are there on that?
Lord Garel-Jones: I know the whole House will be extremely grateful to the noble Lord for raising the important matter of religious persecution. Has it occurred to him that very frequently religious persecution happens when one religion opposes another, and consequently that religious faith can be one of the principal causes of religious persecution?
Lord Garel-Jones: Does my noble friend agree that it is perhaps a little misleading to refer to sharia rules as law? All religions have a perfect right to set out the regulations of their faith, but is it not wrong to refer to those regulations as law? With the exception of the Church of England’s ecclesiastical and religious regulations, they are subject to UK law. Consequently, does my noble friend agree...
Lord Garel-Jones: To what extent does my noble friend the Minister feel that the Legislative Council in Hong Kong is in any sense aware of the depth of feeling among the Hong Kong people? Does she not agree that attending to these concerns is not only in the wider interest but in the interests of China itself?
Lord Garel-Jones: Can my noble friend advise the House on whether there has been any progress on the consultation aimed at extending to online electoral propaganda the same imprint that now applies to printed materials?
Lord Garel-Jones: Can my noble friend bring the House up to date? As a counterpoise to military intervention by Russia, what progress has the United Kingdom made in bringing humanitarian aid to this terrible crisis? And has any progress been made in persuading the leader of the Labour Party that President Maduro should not receive any support at all?
Lord Garel-Jones: My Lords, given the poor state of relations between the independent Palestinian territories and the State of Israel, what, if anything, are Her Majesty’s Government doing to help promote better relations between those two parties and thus advance the prospect of a two-state solution?
Lord Garel-Jones: Does my noble friend agree that universities are independent institutions and that that independence is an important ingredient in creating the prestige that British universities enjoy globally? Consequently, does he agree that universities should not have a responsibility to deploy effective recruitment procedures?
Lord Garel-Jones: My Lords, BA, along with Iberia, is part of the International Airlines Group—IAG. The head office of that company is in Madrid. Consequently, whatever restrictions might arise should not apply to British Airways.
Lord Garel-Jones: Would my noble friend give way?
Lord Garel-Jones: My noble friend will no doubt be aware of the ruling by the Supreme Court following the 2016 referendum. It stated that the, “legal significance is determined by what Parliament included in the statute authorising it, and that statute simply provided for the referendum to be held without specifying the consequences. The change in the law required to implement the referendum’s outcome must...
Lord Garel-Jones: But the Supreme Court has made it clear that under the British constitution, while Parliament agreed to hold the referendum, it did not agree on the outcome, and that outcome must be agreed by Parliament. If Parliament cannot agree, the people must be consulted.
Lord Garel-Jones: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to assist Venezuela in holding a free, fair and democratic presidential election.
Lord Garel-Jones: My Lords, I commend the Government for joining Germany, France, Spain and others in Europe in rejecting the failed Administration of Maduro. As soon as possible, will the United Kingdom Government provide aid for the humanitarian crisis facing that country? Furthermore, when we get a democratically elected Government, will Her Majesty’s Government make representations to the IMF and other...
Lord Garel-Jones: My Lords, I join other noble Lords in thanking the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, for introducing the Motion and above all congratulate him on the tone in which he introduced it. The challenge society faces in the social housing sector cannot be laid at the door of one political party but is the responsibility of the whole political class over the last 30 years. That point was eloquently made by...
Lord Garel-Jones: My Lords, my noble friend is well aware of the disparity, which has just been pointed out, between Northern Ireland and Scotland, where humanist marriages are permitted, and England and Wales, where they are not. Will she tell the House what steps the Government are taking to rectify this injustice? Consultation with the Law Commission simply will not do, because as long ago as 2013, when the...