13/03/2017 House of Lords


13/03/2017

Live coverage from the House of Lords on consideration of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.


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A message from the Commons that they disagree to the amendments made by

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the House of Lords to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal)

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Bill for which they assign reasons. My Lord I beg to move that the

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Commons reasons be considered forthwith. The question is that the

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Commons reasons be considered forthwith. As many of that opinion

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will stay content. The contrary not content. The content ball have it.

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I beg to move a motion a that this House does not insist on amendment

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one to which the other place disagreed for their reason one A. My

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Lords, now we are past the 70th hour of parliamentary debate on these 137

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words let me begin by saying this. The United Kingdom's withdrawal from

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the European Union is obviously one of the most momentous steps that our

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nation will take in our lifetimes. I believe that significant

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opportunities do indeed lie before us. But as someone who voted to

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remain, I am not deaf to people's concerns and I do not dismiss those

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concerns as somehow portraying a lack of patriotism. But that

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decision to leave the European Union has been made and this Bill, this

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very simple Bill, delivers on that decision. The debate has been one of

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conviction and passion and has displayed some of the very best

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qualities of your lordship's house. But despite my best efforts to

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convince your Lordships' otherwise this little Bill was amended twice.

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Now we all agreed that this House is perfectly entitled to ask the other

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place to think again. And the other place has now done that. And debated

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this again. And once again they have decided to pass this Bill without

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amendment. The issue at stake in this amendment is very simple. We

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all agree we want to give certainty for those EU nationals who have made

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the United Kingdom their home and UK nationals who live in the EU. The

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disagreement is over how we do that. And the Government's position has

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been clear from June. We have always said that we want to secure the

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status of EU citizens here in the UK so long as we get a similar

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guaranteed for UK citizens in the EU. We believe this approach is fair

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and reflects the duty of care we have as a government to the 900,000

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UK citizens in the EU. My Lords, we need an agreement on this issue

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quickly and we have tried to get one. However a number of EU member

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states were not willing to discuss it until we have begun the formal

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negotiations and that is why my right honourable friend the

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Secretary of State confirmed over the weekend that we intend this

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issue to be one of the first to stillbirth. And that is why we want

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to pass this Bill as possible so we can start negotiating and set about

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reaching that agreement. -- first to discuss. Even the other place has

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done as we have asked and thought again and decided to reject this

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majority of 48. Given all this I would argue, with respect, that this

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evening is really not the time nor the place to return to the fray and

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insert terms and conditions to our negotiating condition still listed

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as the place the Government make a unilateral move as regard the status

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of EU nationals in the UK. This Bill has only one purpose, the lengthy

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outcome of the referendum result in June and respect the judgment of the

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supreme court. Nothing more, nothing less. So I urge this has two pass

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this Bill unamended and I beg to move. The question is that Bush and

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Abie agreed to come amendment one, Lord Davies. My Lords, I beg to move

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and one is the motion to one day, they vowed, do insist on this

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amendment one. I do so for the following reasons. First, despite

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the large majority which voted for the amendment to the Bill in this

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House, the Government has failed not only to make any concessions but it

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has not even attempted to address the many issues that were raised by

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noble lord at Committee Stage. Secondly the profound nature of the

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issue at stake should make us think very carefully before we concede.

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This debate is not on some arcane technicality or over some petty

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partisan disagreement. It is about people's lives. It is about whether

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people will be allowed to live in the country they have made their

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home with the people for whom they care. Whether they can stay in a job

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or plan a career, whether their children can remain in the school

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they know and study with the friends they have made. It is about their

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futures, homes and families and it is about the fear and misery that is

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being caused by every further day of uncertainty. Thirdly, we should

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weigh our decision very carefully because this debate is also about

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the integrity of our country. It is about whether we will honour the

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unequivocal commitment made by the official from leaves campaign that

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if the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, the rights of

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all EU citizens in the UK would be guaranteed. Unlike most other issues

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arising from the referendum, there is absolutely no dispute about what

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was promised to EU citizens. During the campaign the vote leaves

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campaign which was supported by a number of Noble Lords in this House

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made the following categorical statement. There will be no change

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for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK. These EU

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citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain

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in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at

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present. There were no caveats, no issue of replica city or talk of

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negotiations. Just eight categorical commitment unilaterally given. And

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finally, this debate is about the role of this House. President

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indicates that when the rights of individuals have been threatened,

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this House has always been robust in its defence of them. I hope we will

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live up to that president today. So, the facts are clear, a firm and

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explicit commitment was made by the Vote Leave campaign that rights of

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EU citizens in the UK would be protected. Parliamentary committees

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of both houses agreed that a unilateral guaranteed should be

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provided now. And all the bodies representing British citizens in the

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EU who have contacted me and many other members of this House have

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supported that position. It is clear that if we do not insist on or

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amendment, there is a real possibility that EU citizens in the

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UK and UK citizens in the EU may not have clarity as to their status for

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another two years. The Commons exiting the EU Committee rightly

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described such a situation as unconscionable. I understand the

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nervousness of some Noble Lords about challenging the elected house

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on this matter. But to those who argue that this is not the right

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time for us to insist on or amendment, or this Bill is the wrong

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place for us to insist, or that president tells us we should do

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insist, I would respectively argued the contrary. But if your lordship's

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EU just a sub sub Committee and the House of Commons exiting the EU

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Committee unanimously agreed that the UK should act unilaterally and

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that the time to act is now. This Bill is the only place to act if we

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are to end the debilitating uncertainty that is causing so much

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distress. The minister says that we have a right to amend the Bill. My

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Lords, we also have a right to insist on our amendments. And the

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president tells us that we should. But when issues of important

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principle or individuals are at stake your Lordships' house can and

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does insist on its position and necessary repeatedly pushes the

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issue back to the conference. It did so on the 2014 criminal Justice and

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Courts Bill and be 2012 legal aid sentencing and punishment of

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offenders Bill. It did so three times over the 2007 corporate

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manslaughter and homicide Bill, four times over the 2006 identity cards

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Bill and five times over the 2005 prevention of terrorism Bill. And it

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has regularly insisted on amendments to bills went far less was at stake

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than today. On the powers of the learning and skills Council, with

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the means by which the chairman of the legal services board has

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appointed or even on the fitting of retro reflective tape on heavy goods

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vehicles whatever that is. How then, when the rights of millions of

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people are on the line, could this has given up at the first attempt?

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Howell, went clear and unequivocal commitments were made to EU citizens

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in our country, could this has failed to insist that they are

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upheld? How, when the integrity of our country is at stake, could this

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has failed to insist that it is upheld? My Lords, many people will

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be watching us tonight will stop please them all. But we can show

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them that no matter the pressures from the media or threats from the

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Government we are prepared to do what we know to be the right thing.

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I have no doubt that the right thing is to insist on this amendment. To

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protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and in doing so to uphold the

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honour and integrity of this country. My Lords, I beg to move.

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The original question was that motion A be agreed to since when

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motion amendment A1 has been grew to leave out from the House to the end

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to insert, do insist on its amendment one. The question

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therefore is that amendment A1 be agreed to. It is not in anyway my

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intention to repeat the arguments I have used about Brexit in the

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various sessions we have had over the last few weeks. But there is a

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question that I must ask to the noble lord. And it is a question the

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answer to West I think is very important indeed all of us because

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it it goes to the heart of the earliest intention of the Government

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to be quite transparent with the House and the public as these Brexit

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negotiations continue. As they will do for a long time starting

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presumably in a few days' time. I have not been very successful in

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getting answers to questions I have asked the Minister in previous

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sessions on this Bill. I concern with a big thinking it is maybe

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because I have touched some rather delicate things and potentially

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embarrassing points but that is not great consolation. I would rather

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have full and frank answers and I do hope that I have one tonight. But it

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all my interest but in the interests of the issues I have just raised.

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The Minister has just told the House today and the Prime Minister and the

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Minister for Brexit has said on many occasions that it is their intention

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and original hope to negotiate a deal on the future residency rights

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of EU citizens here and of British citizens in the remaining part of

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the EU in advance even giving notice in Article 50, but that proved

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unfortunately impossible because as other continentals were willing to

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do that and now the Government would really like to negotiate on that

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matter, resolve it in advance of negotiations on other general

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subjects, economic and other difficulties. So that because the

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quickly. My Lords, my question is this, how can that possibly be

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cosmic because a negotiation on residency rights of British citizens

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in the EU or EU citizens here is nothing -- not a negotiation that

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this can be pursued, it is not a matter for Mr Juncker. Residency

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issues, the regime regarding persons who are not members were citizens of

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a member state, but equally not citizens of another member state, or

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a non-EU state, residency issues, residency requirements, residency

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regimes throughout the European Union are not a matter for the

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treaty. They are a matter for each individual member state. Every

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individual member state has its own residency rules as they are

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different. What is more, the arguments and the forces would be

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brought to bear if there is a suggestion of changing those

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residency rules will be different in each country. So if you want to

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negotiate the Prime Minister says that as the noble lord has said this

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evening, in order to negotiate on the particular matter, you have to

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conduct a separate bilateral negotiation with 27 different

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countries. And eventually the result of that negotiation has to be

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ratified by 27 different countries, actually 28 because it is ratified

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here I hope. That is not something that can be done in a few weeks, but

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even something that I can be done in a short number of months, it is

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something that if it had been attempted before, notice was given

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under Article 50, would have been delayed by many months, the issuing

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of a notice under Article 50, quite contrary to the Minister said her

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intention was. That is something which was undertaken immediately we

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do issuing notice under Article 50 would itself delay the procedures

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for a very long time. How can it be that in fact the Government thought

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that this was a way of accelerating progress on the Brexit negotiations?

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I think that is a question which nobody ever asked. I tried to ask

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the other day but I wasn't able to capture your Lordships' attention. I

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ask it now. It is something which is absolutely essential if I think the

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House is going to achieve a complete picture of what is really going on

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in this very important area. I want to speak on an issue

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tangential to the one raised by my noble friend and I rise to ask a

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couple of simple questions and they are essentially the subject of an

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amendment that I tabled to the Bill last week and which was subsequently

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removed when it became clear that the amendment on these matters and

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my noble friends from the front bench was likely to be carried by

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the House. My first question is under a mixed agreement association,

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does a negotiated settlement in the council remain valid as far as the

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rights of United Kingdom citizens living in Europe are concerned, even

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if such an agreement was not supported in either your European

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Parliament or in the parliaments of the nation states? Does it stand

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alone? And secondly, in the event that we were to take this whole

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debate on EU and UK citizens rights outside the Article 50 process,

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which is what essentially my Lords appear to be alluding to, the

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hurdles of qualified majority voting, the hurdle of a European

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Parliament vote and approval by nation states were to be avoided,

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that is if they are actually required, and also if we had

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problems and in the event that a number of European states outside

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Article 50 were to indicate their support for upholding the indefinite

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rights of UK citizens living in the EU, would the government in those

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circumstances be prepared to concede the rights of EU citizens from those

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same states living in the United Kingdom? That would mean that some

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states who did not agree would be excluded. The government being able

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to do so would be reading the hurdles of the European Parliament

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or votes in national parliaments if they are needed. -- would be

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removing the hurdles. That approach would lead to an earlier closure on

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the whole debate, which members are concerned will be dragged out over

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years. It is all right by Minister saying that UK citizens rights will

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be top of the agenda but what is worrying some of us is that a

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victory or a so-called victory in the Council of ministers may not

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provide the assurances that people want and also that assurances given

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in private to David Davis that some countries may seek to carry

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decisions on citizenship into arguments that some countries, who

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despite the insurance of David Davis, they seek to carry their

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decisions on citizenship actually into arguments over the contribution

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that Russian must -- that the United Kingdom must make to wind up costs.

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It might be that despite all of these Asher and says that

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governments, nation states in Europe, might say we are going to

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turn this into an argument about the contributions of Britain and I

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wonder in that light if the Minister would be prepared to give me a

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response. -- despite all of these assurances. I have no doubt that

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Article 50 must be triggered sooner rather than later but I have equally

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no doubt of the merits of this motion on this particular amendment,

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I supported it before as did 358 members of this House, a majority of

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102. Those decisions we take in this House are nicely balanced. This one

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I suggest is perfectly clear, arguments are compelling no one

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doubts the need for the EU nationals already lawfully here to remain

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here, for the sake of health services, the care services, the

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building industry and so forth and no one doubts that those we most

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need to stay are starting to bleed away. Remember what Lord Winston

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said about the medics, read your Times newspaper and a letter from

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the academics at Oxford today. The government says assurances are

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unnecessary, in fact no possibility of our ever wanting to deny these

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people are present rights let alone deport them. And of course logically

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that is indeed so but as the hammer during of this group shows -- but as

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the haemorrhage of this group shows, it was said that fairness demands

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that all expatriates, EU nationals are treated identically so that no

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assurance should be given to those here until reciprocal assurances are

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given to our citizens in the other member states. I would give three

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answers to that suggestion. First, this. As the noble Lord Lord Hani

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and others pointed out, those representing UK nationals in other

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EU states positively support our giving this assurance and they

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believe rightly, I would suggest, that their case would be

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strengthened, not weakened, by our taking this initiative. As the noble

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Lord said in committee, a generous gesture freely given will assist in

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creating a good climate for the start of these negotiations,

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difficult though they are going to be with the other 27 nations as the

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noble Lord Lord Davies has emphasised again today but that is

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reason one. Reason to, the stronger the government point that really no

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assurance is necessary because EU nationals here are desperately

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needed for our own economy, health service and so forth and therefore

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they face no risk of losing these rights anyway, the stronger that

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argument, the weaker the argument that there is actually any advantage

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to our citizens abroad in keeping the future of EU nationals here in

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doubt for the purpose of negotiating our national is' future abroad. In

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short, even if other member states chose not to allow UK nationals to

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remain there, and we can understand the case of some of theirs is rather

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less compelling than our need here to keep EU nationals here, we should

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still want to keep their nationals here. And thirdly, this. It is

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hardly the size in -- surprising that other states are refusing to

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discuss this issue until we actually trigger Article 50 but it is the

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UK's decision to pursue Brexit, sensible or not, obviously there are

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different views on that, but it is that decision which has precipitated

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this crisis, created this uncertainty, the insecurity felt by

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this group. We can and should, I suggest, and lay their fears at the

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same time as we trigger Article 50. This clause will not delay it. The

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noble lord knows I agree with much of what he is saying but that is not

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the issue tonight. The issue tonight is whether we recognise our

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constitutional limitations and whether we fly in the face of what

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the Commons, having been given the opportunity to reconsider, has now

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decided emphatically and as a great constitutionalist, which the noble

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Lord is, I would think he would agree with that. Of course I agree,

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I have never previously voted against government ping-pong. I

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don't know how often my noble friend plays ping-pong but is it so

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exceptional to keep a rally going beyond two strokes? I would suggest

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not. I suggest we do it. I support the amendment. The amendment that

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was carried in this House a few days ago was by a huge majority on a near

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record turnout of noble Lords in that division. It appears to me that

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very little attempt has been made, if any, to meet the points that were

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made in this chamber the government has relied on its power to get a

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whipped vote through anti-steam roller this through the stop the

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government could have accepted this or they could have come and met us

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but they have not done so. -- and steam roller this through. Regarding

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the government seeking other countries in the European Union to

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agree to the status of UK citizens first, what if they don't? What if

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they don't, do we then pick out European citizens that are here? Is

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that the logic of the argument? If it is, is that acceptable to this

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House? My Lords, the noble Lord Lord Bridges said this is a debate of

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conviction and of passion. Yes it is a debate of conviction and

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convictions do not change just because they have been beaten by a

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whipped vote in another place. They don't get kicked into touch. My

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conviction still stands and however others will do tonight, mine will

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stand in the division lobby. I added my name to and spoke in favour of

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and voted for the original amendment and I believe that the arguments

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that were advanced in support of that amendment were correct and

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remain so today. The fact that the government has chosen to force

:26:18.:26:19.

through the Bill in its unamended form doesn't change my view on that.

:26:20.:26:27.

It is perhaps worthy of noting as was noted by the noble Lord that

:26:28.:26:33.

although one of the arguments put forward was concern by the

:26:34.:26:39.

government, concern about the status of UK citizens in the rest of the

:26:40.:26:43.

European Union, much of the support for the amendment have come from

:26:44.:26:49.

those UK nationals who felt the amendment living in the European

:26:50.:26:55.

Union who felt that our amendment was in their interests. Now, my

:26:56.:27:00.

Lords, I only speak because I feel I cannot keep silence the night. In

:27:01.:27:05.

view of all the communications one has received from people asking one

:27:06.:27:09.

to insist on this particular amendment. But I feel that I have to

:27:10.:27:17.

say openly and publicly that I cannot support continued insistence,

:27:18.:27:24.

which in different circumstances I would have been tempted so to do. To

:27:25.:27:30.

do so is possibly to delay the process of invoking Article 50,

:27:31.:27:34.

which would not be in the interest of the European Union or indeed the

:27:35.:27:42.

United Kingdom and indeed if I accept, and of course I accept, from

:27:43.:27:46.

the noble lord the minister, it could delay the start of

:27:47.:27:51.

negotiations to safeguard the interests of EU citizens here and UK

:27:52.:27:57.

citizens in the European Union. But I would, my Lords, make one comment.

:27:58.:28:04.

Which is applicable to the second amendment moved tonight. I hope that

:28:05.:28:10.

the government and those with in it who favour a quick, Haj Brexit

:28:11.:28:18.

appreciate -- hard Brexit that the referendum, whilst expressing the

:28:19.:28:23.

will of the people, did not give them a blank cheque as to how to

:28:24.:28:26.

implement it and that the answer to any question or criticism cannot be

:28:27.:28:32.

an allegation that the questioner is trying to thwart the will of the

:28:33.:28:36.

people and somehow acting undemocratically. It is neither an

:28:37.:28:39.

answer to the question nor is it true. Many of us who at this time at

:28:40.:28:47.

least have to accept the inevitability of the referendum and

:28:48.:28:50.

Brexit want to maintain closest possible links with the European

:28:51.:28:59.

Union. My Lords, there are many ways to... Take you out into the street

:29:00.:29:03.

and it is perfectly possible to want to be nearer to Millbank or the

:29:04.:29:07.

Westminster Underground. There are valid reasons for choosing either

:29:08.:29:11.

but there is not much wisdom in choosing to leap out at the -- of

:29:12.:29:18.

the nearest first-floor window. Those of us who believe we were

:29:19.:29:22.

correct in passing this amendment and asking the other place to think

:29:23.:29:26.

again will not be pressured into acquiescence by continued

:29:27.:29:29.

allegations that our actions are undemocratic, ignore the people or

:29:30.:29:35.

are disloyal. I have to say my Lords from these benches and my point of

:29:36.:29:41.

view about the European Union, we don't need lessons in loyalty from

:29:42.:29:46.

some, not all, I accept, whose history on the issues of Europe make

:29:47.:29:57.

them experts in disloyalty. I would like to put my name to the amendment

:29:58.:30:00.

that has been rejected by the Commons which we are now debating

:30:01.:30:07.

another amendment on. My position is identical to the noble Lord. I have

:30:08.:30:13.

not moved from my belief in a unilateral statement by the British

:30:14.:30:19.

government would be best for the United Kingdom and best for our

:30:20.:30:23.

citizens in the rest of Europe. But like the noble Lord I am not sure

:30:24.:30:28.

this is the moment to return the ball. But if I may just say to the

:30:29.:30:32.

noble lord the Minister, I have many dealings over the years with the

:30:33.:30:37.

noble lady Baroness Thatcher, mainly on budgetary issues, which were

:30:38.:30:38.

quite stressful. On one occasion when I persuaded her

:30:39.:30:48.

to follow a tactic that I suggested would be the best and she was

:30:49.:30:52.

doubtful about, she looked up and she said, OK, but you had better be

:30:53.:30:58.

right. Well, that is what I say to the Government because their choice

:30:59.:31:01.

of a transactional approach could end in tears and then we will be

:31:02.:31:09.

back here. May I just very briefly come in, as your Lordships' know I

:31:10.:31:13.

voted for the amendments that the Committee Stage, but for the reasons

:31:14.:31:18.

advanced by my noble friend Lord Bowness and for the advanced

:31:19.:31:24.

primates Lord Cormack and Lord Hani I shall not be supporting this

:31:25.:31:30.

moment. I think it has time to come to accept the House of Commons view.

:31:31.:31:35.

There has been a great deal of weeping and gnashing of gums on

:31:36.:31:41.

these issues in recent weeks and months. I don't like the Government

:31:42.:31:45.

policy on this either. It appears to be if we can't help everyone we

:31:46.:31:51.

won't help anyone. Nevertheless, my Lords, we have asked the other place

:31:52.:31:55.

to think again. They have fought again. They have not taken our

:31:56.:32:00.

advice and roll now I believe is not to insist. Front bench. Front bench.

:32:01.:32:13.

I don't want to repeat what I said and I have been listening to people.

:32:14.:32:19.

Some of us who object to the amendments, it isn't because we lack

:32:20.:32:25.

sympathy, understanding or compassion. We did it simply because

:32:26.:32:30.

we thought there was a confusion of process with substance. The second

:32:31.:32:37.

thing that we object to is this which appeared in the Government

:32:38.:32:43.

paper 6.2. It says well we are members of the EU the rights of EU

:32:44.:32:47.

nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU remain

:32:48.:32:53.

unchanged, as provided for both in the EU free movement directive

:32:54.:33:00.

Article 16 of 2004... And in UK law. Those who have continuously and

:33:01.:33:05.

lawfully been in a country for at least five years automatically have

:33:06.:33:11.

a permanent right to reside. And at the time of Brexit, if that happens

:33:12.:33:16.

and I'm sure it'll happen, EU law will be incorporated into British

:33:17.:33:21.

law. It will be quite a tough thing for the Government went there has

:33:22.:33:26.

been this, to argue that those who have been here for more than five

:33:27.:33:32.

years do not have a right to reside and what it has been passed on the

:33:33.:33:37.

other guys will have to argue again, as far as I am concerned, I came

:33:38.:33:45.

here running from means of torture and difficulty of nearly 50 years I

:33:46.:33:51.

was levelling under the travel document, as a student I was

:33:52.:33:56.

prevented from working, so I know the difficulties. But when I sit

:33:57.:34:02.

here and I think of the members who said that the other side isn't the

:34:03.:34:07.

only one who is right, I think we should all find a language which

:34:08.:34:14.

talks about people as people, they are being used as a bargaining chip,

:34:15.:34:21.

that can't be right, because that casts aspersions who are arguing the

:34:22.:34:27.

other way. And so, my Lords, I think the time has come for us to decide,

:34:28.:34:33.

and I will find it difficult if we want a quick resolution to the EU

:34:34.:34:37.

citizens who are living in this country to continue with further

:34:38.:34:40.

delay as tricking the article as quickly as possible. -- triggering.

:34:41.:34:49.

May I thank the Minister for his rather unfortunate task of having to

:34:50.:34:53.

bring to us the regrettable decision of the Commons on the rights of EU

:34:54.:34:58.

nationals living here, many of course married to Brits with

:34:59.:35:02.

British-born children and possibly no right to remain after Brexit

:35:03.:35:06.

date. This has by a majority of 102 at the Commons to do two very easy

:35:07.:35:14.

things and it asks for both pragmatic and ethical reasons. One

:35:15.:35:19.

was to make it clear to EU citizens whether Brits abroad or Europeans

:35:20.:35:23.

here should not be treated as bargaining chips, to be traded off

:35:24.:35:29.

against each other. The House felt strongly that these families who had

:35:30.:35:33.

as a result of our forthcoming exit suddenly found their own lives on

:35:34.:35:38.

hold given the uncertainty over their future should have their

:35:39.:35:42.

rights secured as soon as possible, but without holding one group's

:35:43.:35:45.

interest hostage for those of another group. Secondly we called on

:35:46.:35:50.

the Prime Minister to act unilaterally in the one area under

:35:51.:35:55.

her control and to say to EU nationals we will ensure you

:35:56.:35:58.

continue to have the rights you expected when you arrived even after

:35:59.:36:03.

we withdraw from the EU. We did it because of the cause of those

:36:04.:36:09.

affected and also of their employers fear the loss of valuable

:36:10.:36:12.

colleagues, some 25,000 from the health service alone now thinking of

:36:13.:36:20.

leaving. The Government and the Commons have rejected Oracle, though

:36:21.:36:24.

I absolve the Brexit Committee who unanimously felt that the Government

:36:25.:36:29.

should act unilaterally on this. And the only reason for the rejection is

:36:30.:36:34.

that it is not a matter that needs to be dealt with in the Bill.

:36:35.:36:38.

Presumably the Government have no other rational for saying to those

:36:39.:36:43.

here, you must wait to know about your future until the 27 have agreed

:36:44.:36:48.

how they will treat UK nationals. But that could take months if not

:36:49.:36:54.

years. We are hearing from Brussels that although citizens rights will

:36:55.:36:58.

be high on the negotiator's agenda it could take years for the final

:36:59.:37:05.

deal as I believe Liam Fox and David Davies confirmed yesterday

:37:06.:37:08.

reflecting on the normal practice of nothing is agreed until everything

:37:09.:37:14.

is agreed. We regret this delay and we lay the blame for this hiatus

:37:15.:37:21.

fairly and squarely at the door of number ten. But we will also

:37:22.:37:24.

campaign for an early resolution to the plight of those caught up in the

:37:25.:37:29.

legal Neverland not of their making. And we will continue to press the

:37:30.:37:34.

Government to move on this and to provide the certainty of our

:37:35.:37:40.

amendments sought. Albeit maybe by other, perhaps I should say

:37:41.:37:45.

imaginative parliamentary roots, a number of which are already under

:37:46.:37:49.

consideration. Because the people concerned cannot wait until March

:37:50.:37:57.

the 20 19th hear their fate -- March 20 19. Turning to the Liberal

:37:58.:38:01.

Democrat amendment, we do not think this is irresponsible move. It is

:38:02.:38:08.

not one that we could support. This has's of Uganda by a majority of

:38:09.:38:20.

102, is clear -- this has's view. As the mover of the original motion, no

:38:21.:38:26.

one in this has will doubt my support, but our view has been

:38:27.:38:31.

rejected in the elected House of Commons and it is clear that the

:38:32.:38:36.

Government is not for turning. On behalf of the opposition I say to

:38:37.:38:39.

the people concerned, we are not giving up on new. We will pursue

:38:40.:38:45.

your interests -- on new. We will pursue your distance in other ways

:38:46.:38:50.

and I will take no lessons from the Liberal Democrats! Who confessed to

:38:51.:38:56.

me outside the chamber that this is appealing to their core vote and

:38:57.:39:00.

they are piling on members because of it. So we are here to move the

:39:01.:39:09.

amendment to help them make members. Well, that may be suitable for them,

:39:10.:39:15.

that is not taking this House is a legislative body seriously. And more

:39:16.:39:22.

than that, they are falsely raising people's hopes when they know that

:39:23.:39:28.

this government in the Commons, despite my best endeavours and

:39:29.:39:34.

others are not going to change their mind, so they should think hard

:39:35.:39:38.

about what they are doing to those people whose expectations they are

:39:39.:39:41.

raising, which will not be fulfilled. I worry that they are

:39:42.:39:48.

also making a bit of a mockery of the House if they think we will vote

:39:49.:39:51.

on this like they did last week in the safe knowledge that others will

:39:52.:39:55.

vote the other way and it would be carried. I also wonder even more

:39:56.:40:03.

about what it does to the decision we took. The Lords majority of 102

:40:04.:40:09.

is bound to shrink. We know that the House, we have heard it already,

:40:10.:40:13.

does not have the appetite to send this back given the majority in the

:40:14.:40:16.

Commons which was higher than before. So instead of us being able

:40:17.:40:22.

to go out from this on the high level of saying by 102 we think the

:40:23.:40:29.

Government is wrong, instead of that, you would have either a lower

:40:30.:40:32.

vote or a lower vote an hour later if it ping-pong is and the way I

:40:33.:40:37.

played ping-pong I never even get it back once! But instead of saying

:40:38.:40:46.

that we ended up on the side of those EU nationals here with the

:40:47.:40:51.

majority of 102, we are going to have a lower vote either now or

:40:52.:40:56.

later on. So, my Lords, it will be I am sure with enormous regret, not so

:40:57.:41:03.

much on behalf of the side of the chamber, but on behalf of the 3

:41:04.:41:07.

million people who are looking for us and to ask for some help it is a

:41:08.:41:13.

regret to me, the Government's position. I don't think it is

:41:14.:41:17.

correct or moral, ethical, I don't even think it is clever

:41:18.:41:21.

negotiations. However we accept the view of the elected house but we

:41:22.:41:25.

won't rest after the night. We will be back urging the Government to

:41:26.:41:31.

allay the fears of people caught in this limbo. I would like to thank

:41:32.:41:37.

those who have contributed to this short debate and once again many of

:41:38.:41:40.

your Lordships' have spoken with great passion. After so many hours

:41:41.:41:43.

of debate I fear that there is very little I can say without repeating

:41:44.:41:47.

myself and travelling over well worn ground so I will be quick and brief.

:41:48.:41:51.

I would start by reiterating once again that the Government's position

:41:52.:41:57.

on this issue is very clear. We do want to secure the status of the UK

:41:58.:42:02.

just so long as we can do so while guaranteeing the position of UK

:42:03.:42:07.

citizens to whom we have a responsibility across the European

:42:08.:42:10.

Union. We cannot and we should not seek to do one without the other.

:42:11.:42:15.

All 4 million people matter. As the assurances given to EU nationals

:42:16.:42:21.

here today, let me repeat what I said previously in debates. Nothing

:42:22.:42:25.

changes in terms of their status until we have left the EU. Nothing

:42:26.:42:29.

can change without the approval of Parliament and the Government will

:42:30.:42:32.

continue to respect its obligations under the ECA chart. This is held by

:42:33.:42:38.

the Government and now by the other place and I would like to remind

:42:39.:42:42.

your Lordships' of the European partners are saying. Many of them

:42:43.:42:45.

have made it clear that they too want a speedy agreement but once we

:42:46.:42:50.

have studied the negotiations. Indeed the bullish premise has said

:42:51.:42:56.

of course these guarantees a group Polish Prime Minister said these

:42:57.:43:03.

would need to be reciprocal. Also British citizens living in other

:43:04.:43:07.

states of European Union would have. We agreement as soon as possible and

:43:08.:43:11.

I believe we are in a good position to do just that. Just last Friday,

:43:12.:43:17.

the lead negotiator for the European Parliament told the BBC that the

:43:18.:43:21.

issue of EU citizens' rights post Brexit should be addressed and I

:43:22.:43:25.

quote before we talk about anything else. And on the matters raised by

:43:26.:43:32.

Lord Davies and Lord Campbell savours I would highlight the words

:43:33.:43:37.

of my honourable friend the Secretary of State who said earlier

:43:38.:43:40.

this afternoon and the other place that the Government would aim to get

:43:41.:43:43.

all member states, the commission and the council in an exchange of

:43:44.:43:47.

letters to explain what they read the right of EU citizens are and

:43:48.:43:51.

will be once the E in the UK has left the EU, once an agreement has

:43:52.:43:57.

been reached in negotiations. The process of ratification, this is a

:43:58.:44:01.

matter for negotiation but it is the Government's intention to have this

:44:02.:44:04.

agreement concluded by the end of the two years. Our commitment to

:44:05.:44:07.

seeking an agreement is clear but the Government will not be able to

:44:08.:44:12.

set about securing the strip Sepracor guarantee until we have

:44:13.:44:16.

passed the Bill and trickled article 30. So I would urge your Lordships'

:44:17.:44:20.

to let this Bill go through unamended and not to prolong the

:44:21.:44:23.

passing of this Bill is lead Prime Minister can indeed trigger article

:44:24.:44:26.

that the ANSI B certainty we all want to offer both European and UK

:44:27.:44:35.

citizens. -- uncertainty. I thank the noble lord to have taken part in

:44:36.:44:40.

this debate. I pay tribute to the noble lord Lord Cormack for the

:44:41.:44:44.

principled advocacy he has undertaken on behalf of this issue

:44:45.:44:50.

but I must confess I cannot follow the constitutional argument that he

:44:51.:44:55.

has made that somehow we cannot insist to the elected house or in

:44:56.:44:59.

deed that other noble lord 's have made. I could understand that if

:45:00.:45:05.

this has never did insist, I could understand if the noble lord Lord

:45:06.:45:08.

Cormack never voted to insist against the will of the elected

:45:09.:45:13.

house, but he knows that is not the case so I wonder why on this issue

:45:14.:45:18.

of such vital importance to so many people we should not.

:45:19.:45:24.

Perhaps I can answer him. We do agree on the fundamentals of the

:45:25.:45:29.

issue that this is a constitutional matter and what is the point of

:45:30.:45:36.

prolonging a time sensitive Bill on which the fortunes of so many do

:45:37.:45:41.

ultimately depend, merely to have the satisfaction of being soundly

:45:42.:45:49.

beaten in the lobbies? Whether we are soundly beaten in the lobby is a

:45:50.:45:52.

matter for noble Lords in this House, it is not a matter for Lord

:45:53.:45:58.

Cormack. I seek to put my argument and I hope to convince people.

:45:59.:46:02.

Nonetheless, as I have said, I pay tribute to the advocacy he has given

:46:03.:46:06.

so far and to all the noble Lords who have made this issue a crucial

:46:07.:46:15.

one. I am sorry that the government continues to refuse to do the right

:46:16.:46:19.

sings, my Lords, and I am sorry that they have hailed to make any

:46:20.:46:23.

concessions or indeed to answer any of the questions that we will put to

:46:24.:46:31.

them at committee stage. -- that were put to them at committee stage.

:46:32.:46:35.

I am particularly sorry that they intend to allow fear and uncertainty

:46:36.:46:40.

of millions of EU and UK citizens to continue. But, my noble Lords, the

:46:41.:46:47.

Minister to be fair to him has been given an impossible job, defending

:46:48.:46:51.

the indefensible and I respect the skill with which he does it but what

:46:52.:46:57.

I cannot respect is the seven current cabinet ministers who backed

:46:58.:47:00.

the vote league campaign which made an unequivocal unilateral commitment

:47:01.:47:06.

to EU citizens during the referendum campaign, a commitment that has been

:47:07.:47:11.

betrayed and I hope the noble Lords in this House who supported that

:47:12.:47:19.

campaign and were involved in vote Leave will think about that

:47:20.:47:24.

commitment without caveats and conditions. That is the position of

:47:25.:47:27.

the government. What I don't understand is the position taken by

:47:28.:47:32.

the Labour front bench in the House today. Though I recognise that it

:47:33.:47:38.

would be as the world rings too many Labour members as it is to me, I

:47:39.:47:45.

would say to that noble lady that if you want to get the ball back across

:47:46.:47:50.

the net it is very important not to drop the bat before you get there

:47:51.:47:56.

and the way in which things are decided in this House, the Labour

:47:57.:48:02.

Party has a key role and if it was prepared to stand behind this then

:48:03.:48:08.

obviously there would be much more chance of success. Last Tuesday the

:48:09.:48:15.

leader of the Labour peers in this House made the great play of

:48:16.:48:20.

attacking the Liberal Democrats as indeed the noble lady has done and

:48:21.:48:26.

she asked how we could oppose the ill given how extraordinary

:48:27.:48:31.

important the amendment on citizens rights was. I voted that the Bill

:48:32.:48:37.

should not pass because I firmly believe that we should not begin

:48:38.:48:42.

withdrawal negotiations until there is a mechanism for the people to

:48:43.:48:46.

have a final say on the outcome of those negotiations but I can say

:48:47.:48:51.

that there were two things in my mind when I went through the

:48:52.:48:55.

division lobby. The first thing was that the government was making it

:48:56.:48:59.

crystal clear, even at that stage, that they would concede nothing in

:49:00.:49:06.

regard to the amendments and the second thing I had in my mind was

:49:07.:49:11.

that the noble lady, Ladysmith of Basildon, had already indicated that

:49:12.:49:16.

if the Bill was returned to this House then she would concede

:49:17.:49:21.

everything, that she would not... He is absolutely wrong on that. If he

:49:22.:49:26.

is going to quote me, he should do so correctly. What I have always

:49:27.:49:29.

said is in this House we respect the privacy of the other place. We also

:49:30.:49:34.

said no extended ping-pong but we also have said we would listen to

:49:35.:49:40.

what the Commons had to say. If he believes by voting for this

:49:41.:49:42.

amendment to night that it will change the mind of the other place,

:49:43.:49:45.

he can go ahead but do not give false hope to people in this House

:49:46.:49:49.

to make a point and the other side to think again. You got us into this

:49:50.:49:56.

mess, no use in you people opposite jeering me. The noble lady's

:49:57.:50:04.

argument makes no sense at all, she has quoted in the many, many

:50:05.:50:10.

divisions insisting on amendments. Insisting on amendments when she

:50:11.:50:17.

knew they had no chance of success. It is true. So, my Lords, it turns

:50:18.:50:26.

out that those amendments were apparently, the many amendments she

:50:27.:50:32.

has voted for in the past to insist to the Commons when they did not

:50:33.:50:36.

give in were not going to give in, were more important than this

:50:37.:50:39.

amendment. I am sorry about that and I am the Wills Byatt but I hope the

:50:40.:50:46.

noble Lords -- and I am the Wills Byatt. But I hope the noble Lords

:50:47.:50:49.

will pay attention to their conscience rather than their party

:50:50.:50:53.

whip and join us in the division lobby and in view of the portals of

:50:54.:50:57.

this issue to millions of EU and UK citizens, I would like to test the

:50:58.:51:03.

opinion of the House. -- in view of the importance of this issue. The

:51:04.:51:09.

question is that A1 be agreed to. As many of that opinion will say

:51:10.:51:13.

content. The contrary not content. Clearly bar.

:51:14.:54:13.

The question is that amendment tend to work -- A1 be agreed to. As many

:54:14.:54:23.

that opinion will say content. The contrary not content. The contents

:54:24.:54:29.

will go to the right by the throne, the not contents to the left by the

:54:30.:54:31.

bar. The question is that amendment A1 be

:54:32.:59:56.

agreed to. They have voted, content 135, not

:59:57.:05:27.

content 's 274. So will they not content 's habit. -- the not

:05:28.:05:35.

contents have it. The question is now that motion A be agreed to. As

:05:36.:05:43.

many of that opinion will say content, the country but content,

:05:44.:05:48.

the contents have it. Bush be, Lord Bridges. I beg to move motion B that

:05:49.:05:56.

this House does not insist on its amendment two to which the House

:05:57.:06:02.

disagreed. My Lords, last week I set out the three core principles

:06:03.:06:08.

governing the UK approach to living the European Union. Namely that the

:06:09.:06:11.

Government is determined to honour the result of the referendum, that

:06:12.:06:16.

everything we do will be determined by our national interest and that

:06:17.:06:22.

Parliamentary sovereignty is key. This that principle was reflected in

:06:23.:06:26.

the Government commitment to give parliament a vote on the final

:06:27.:06:32.

agreement. This House believes that this commitment to be enshrined in

:06:33.:06:36.

legislation and your Lordships' also sought to go further by giving

:06:37.:06:40.

Parliament the power to say whether or not the Prime Minister can

:06:41.:06:43.

terminate negotiations with the European Union. The issue of

:06:44.:06:48.

Parliamentary approval had been debated by the other place before

:06:49.:06:52.

the Bill came to this House. It disagreed with amending the Bill

:06:53.:06:57.

then and having considered this specific amendment it has no

:06:58.:07:03.

disagreed again by a majority of 45. So, my Lords, in essence and to keep

:07:04.:07:07.

it very short, the Government position has not changed. This

:07:08.:07:12.

amendment is unnecessary, it would create untold uncertainty and it

:07:13.:07:15.

would undermine our negotiating position. This is why the other

:07:16.:07:19.

place consider... This is why the other place considered this issue

:07:20.:07:23.

again, let me finish this and then he will be able to speak I am sure

:07:24.:07:27.

once I have sat down, rejected this amendment and therefore I urge the

:07:28.:07:30.

House not to suspend it on this amendment and I beg to move. I will

:07:31.:07:36.

take... I will take one intervention. I'm grateful for

:07:37.:07:42.

taking an intervention. I am genuinely puzzled. If it is the case

:07:43.:07:46.

that John Major could seek Parliamentary approval for the

:07:47.:07:51.

Maastricht Bill twice without weakening his bargaining position,

:07:52.:07:53.

how is it that this government cannot allow Parliament to have a

:07:54.:07:58.

say once without weakening various? I genuinely puzzled by his position.

:07:59.:08:02.

He went on national television saying that he would obey the

:08:03.:08:05.

decision of the British people and now he is trying to get away from

:08:06.:08:10.

those comments. That is what I think will baffle many people. We have

:08:11.:08:14.

made it very clear about the Government position. When an

:08:15.:08:17.

agreement has been reached we will give this House and the other place

:08:18.:08:21.

the chance to vote on that but that is the Government's position but I

:08:22.:08:25.

urge your Lordships' not to insist on this amendment and I beg to move.

:08:26.:08:31.

The question is that motion B be agreed to, amendment B1. I beg to

:08:32.:08:41.

move amendment B as an amendment to motion B. Leave out from house to

:08:42.:08:48.

amend and insert, do insist on its amendment. The Secretary of State

:08:49.:08:56.

for Exiting the EU David Davis told the Andrew Marr show yesterday that

:08:57.:08:59.

he was determined to make sure Britain does not fall off a cliff

:09:00.:09:04.

edge, without an agreement in other words. Meanwhile Foreign Secretary

:09:05.:09:09.

Boris Johnson told the rival pastern on Sunday that it would be perfectly

:09:10.:09:14.

OK if we weren't able to get an agreement. While the last in the

:09:15.:09:19.

trio trade Secretary Liam Fox told Sky News that not having a deal

:09:20.:09:23.

would be bad, not just with the EU but for Europe as a whole and I

:09:24.:09:28.

agree with Liam Fox. So the three Mary Brexiteer is seen to be rather

:09:29.:09:34.

at odds about the prospects. -- merry. Another thinks it would be

:09:35.:09:39.

bad another thinks it would be bad, OK, another says it wouldn't happen.

:09:40.:09:45.

Given that Cabinet is all over the place it is perfectly self-evident

:09:46.:09:48.

that Parliament needs to stay in the driving seat throughout the process

:09:49.:09:55.

to prevent a disorderly and catastrophic plunge over the cliff

:09:56.:09:59.

edge. The Liberal Democrats would add is with the people having the

:10:00.:10:04.

last word. We have been reminded by the press of the Treasury view that

:10:05.:10:08.

an extreme Brexit, crashing out of the EU without a trade deal and

:10:09.:10:14.

relying only on WTO rules, would cause a major economic shock and the

:10:15.:10:18.

option with the most negative long-term impact on the economy. And

:10:19.:10:24.

the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by Conservative MP

:10:25.:10:29.

Kristian Blunt has just now warned of uncertainty and shock of eight

:10:30.:10:35.

hard Brexit including confusion for EU and British citizens, the sudden

:10:36.:10:39.

return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic as

:10:40.:10:45.

well as a major hit to the economy. My Lords, government assurances of a

:10:46.:10:52.

vote on a final deal are not enough. Firstly it is Executive arrogance

:10:53.:10:56.

and presumption of the most preposterous kind for the Government

:10:57.:11:01.

to insist that MPs would have to choose only between the deal

:11:02.:11:05.

brokered by the Prime Minister and crashing out of the EU on the WTO

:11:06.:11:13.

terms in a hard Brexit. Secondly Tory government assurances do not

:11:14.:11:18.

have a good track record. There are broken promises include manifesto

:11:19.:11:22.

commitments on safeguarding the UK's position in the single market, I'm

:11:23.:11:27.

not raising National Insurance contributions and on lifting the 15

:11:28.:11:32.

year cap on votes for Brits abroad, the very Brits they claim to be

:11:33.:11:37.

looking after incidentally. This is in addition to unfulfilled

:11:38.:11:41.

assurances in respect of the dubs amendment on refugee children and

:11:42.:11:46.

pledges on the full implementation of Ledson. At Report Stage the noble

:11:47.:11:53.

lord Bridges said that of course we will honour our promise. But that is

:11:54.:12:03.

five broken promises already and an assurance now and Parliamentary

:12:04.:12:05.

sovereignty may well be destined to go just the same way. Given that the

:12:06.:12:11.

track record on the issue of Parliamentary sovereignty itself

:12:12.:12:15.

since last June has involved resistance all the way from this

:12:16.:12:21.

government on any restraint on Executive power. So a commitment on

:12:22.:12:26.

a vote is wide enough in scope to be meaningful in the event of no deal

:12:27.:12:31.

must be written into this Bill. The Government has given no good reason

:12:32.:12:40.

way that should not be so. The noble lord Lord Heseltine who sadly I

:12:41.:12:47.

think is not in his place tonight... LAUGHTER

:12:48.:12:52.

. He wrote yesterday about how members of the House of Lords were

:12:53.:12:59.

called upon to issue -- vote in an issue of principle, the supremacy of

:13:00.:13:03.

Parliament in approving or rejecting the outcome of his Brexit

:13:04.:13:09.

negotiations. He said, some say the involvement of Parliament will

:13:10.:13:13.

awaken the Prime Minister's hand. I reject this argument as mere

:13:14.:13:18.

blackmail. -- we can. Much of it peddled by extreme Brexiteers, some

:13:19.:13:24.

of whom he added anchor for the hardest Brexit of all without a deal

:13:25.:13:29.

of any kind with our EU partners. So he rejected the cheap jibes uttered

:13:30.:13:36.

by the Brexiteer fanatics, some of them he regretted to save sitting on

:13:37.:13:42.

the Government front bench. My Lords, the Noble Baroness Ladysmith

:13:43.:13:45.

from Basildon last week set the tone for staying the course. She said we

:13:46.:13:50.

passed those amendment but as some kind of vanity exercise or just to

:13:51.:13:54.

make a point, we are not a debating society where we have our debate and

:13:55.:14:00.

then shrugged off home to or to the pub because we have made our point

:14:01.:14:03.

and have no thought about what happens next. She issued a rallying

:14:04.:14:07.

cry that responsibility is not just about winning but also taking

:14:08.:14:12.

responsibility for our actions. Since she was, could, never much

:14:13.:14:18.

committed to these two mentalist. The group very much committed. I

:14:19.:14:22.

hope that that commitment will be made evident from the Labour benches

:14:23.:14:25.

tonight or at least from many of them. Because it is facilitating

:14:26.:14:33.

what is becoming clear is the real agenda of mini if not all of this

:14:34.:14:40.

Tory government which is to pursue Brexit at any cost, to go over that

:14:41.:14:44.

cliff in what they apparently believe will be a winning Tory Party

:14:45.:14:49.

formula for a 2020 election. We have delivered Brexit, maybe, but at what

:14:50.:14:58.

terrible cost? My Lords, for us as well as the noble lord Lord

:14:59.:15:02.

Heseltine last week, for the Liberal Democrats this is a matter of

:15:03.:15:11.

principle and conscience. Not the Government but Parliament must be in

:15:12.:15:15.

charge for the good of the country, so my Lords, I beg to move.

:15:16.:15:20.

The original question was that the motion be agreed to since when

:15:21.:15:32.

amendment B1 has been included. The question therefore is that amendment

:15:33.:15:41.

B1 be agreed to. I've moved the amendment last week, which was

:15:42.:15:47.

approved by your lordship's House. I very much regret that the House of

:15:48.:15:51.

Commons has not taken the advice of this House, indeed the government

:15:52.:15:57.

has made no effort to move in the direction of the use of this House.

:15:58.:16:03.

My Lords, we won the vote last week because we won the argument. That's

:16:04.:16:10.

why the amendment was carried by the majority of 98 with the largest

:16:11.:16:16.

number of noble Lords noted, so I understand, in any vote since 1831.

:16:17.:16:24.

But it is now time for this House to give way to the House of Commons on

:16:25.:16:31.

this matter. Earlier this evening, the government had a majority of 45

:16:32.:16:37.

in the Commons. There is no reason whatsoever to think that if this

:16:38.:16:43.

House were to stand its ground that the House of Commons would changes

:16:44.:16:50.

view later this evening. For the Liberal Democrats I have to say to

:16:51.:16:54.

the noble lady, for the Liberal Democrats to press this matter is in

:16:55.:16:59.

Parliamentary terms, I say nothing about any other consideration, but

:17:00.:17:03.

in parliamentary terms it is a completely pointless gesture and I

:17:04.:17:10.

am for my part, cannot support it. I also bear in mind that the Secretary

:17:11.:17:16.

of State this afternoon gave a very clear assurance that any agreement

:17:17.:17:23.

will be put to both houses for their approval. I would prefer that to be

:17:24.:17:28.

in the Bill but we do have an assurance. We have no assurance on

:17:29.:17:33.

Parliamentary approval if the Prime Minister decides that it would be

:17:34.:17:40.

better to leave the EU with no deal and I regret that at by take some

:17:41.:17:46.

comfort from the point that was made last week by a number of noble Lords

:17:47.:17:52.

who were supporting the government that Parliament has ample means of

:17:53.:17:58.

asserting its sovereignty in those circumcised is. My Lords, I have two

:17:59.:18:04.

other brief points. The first is that this Bill has demonstrated the

:18:05.:18:10.

value of Parliamentary sovereignty at this stage of notifying our

:18:11.:18:16.

intention to withdraw from the EU and my Lords, it is only because of

:18:17.:18:23.

the determination of my client, Mrs Jean Miller and the independence of

:18:24.:18:28.

the divisional Court and the Supreme Court that we have this Bill at all

:18:29.:18:31.

-- Mrs Gina Miller. I hope the governors

:18:32.:18:48.

will show more question on the issue of Parliamentary sovereignty down on

:18:49.:18:51.

this notification stage. My Lords, the other point I want to make is

:18:52.:18:56.

that I bought my part where very much in mind that this is only the

:18:57.:19:04.

beginning of the process for withdrawal from the EU, point which

:19:05.:19:07.

the noble Lord and Minister has repeatedly emphasised. A much more

:19:08.:19:12.

complex Bill is going to be brought forward in the next session to

:19:13.:19:17.

repeal the 1972 European communities act and to maintain the rights and

:19:18.:19:22.

duties which owe their origin to EU law. The government is, I think, on

:19:23.:19:29.

notice that this House will be scrutinising that Bill with especial

:19:30.:19:35.

care to ensure that Parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law and

:19:36.:19:39.

other constitutional principles are upheld. Your lordship' Constitution

:19:40.:19:47.

committee, of which I am a member, has produced under the excellent

:19:48.:19:52.

chairmanship of the noble Lord, Lord Lang, an introduction to some of the

:19:53.:19:59.

issues which are going to arise. So, this is just the start of the

:20:00.:20:03.

debate. This House has made known its use on the importance of

:20:04.:20:08.

Parliamentary sovereignty. I very much look forward to continuing the

:20:09.:20:12.

debate with the noble Lord, the minister, but not on this Bill. For

:20:13.:20:21.

the best part of 35 years ago I had a hand in trying to amend what John

:20:22.:20:26.

Carpenter described as the longest suicide note in history. I played a

:20:27.:20:31.

part in trying to amend what I now think we should call the shortest

:20:32.:20:40.

suicide note in history. But on the question of how Parliament fits into

:20:41.:20:43.

this, Parliament will be there in two years' time and I think that

:20:44.:20:51.

there will be plenty of opportunity then, I would have preferred it

:20:52.:20:55.

today, but opportunity then for Parliament to have a decisive stage,

:20:56.:21:00.

whatever the small print says, both in oration to different scenarios --

:21:01.:21:07.

to have a decisive say, whatever the small print says, in relation to

:21:08.:21:11.

different scenarios, whatever the outcome may be, which I don't think

:21:12.:21:15.

will be a happy occasion. I want to discuss a fundamental issue. I think

:21:16.:21:20.

we are absolutely justified on this occasion for this amendment is not

:21:21.:21:25.

to give way to the House of Commons because the House of Commons has

:21:26.:21:30.

now, in effect, abandoned the principle of Parliamentary democracy

:21:31.:21:35.

and has taken the view that the referendum verdict is sacrosanct and

:21:36.:21:42.

cannot be challenged and that is quite clear what the opinion of the

:21:43.:21:47.

government is. Now, what does that mean? It means that MPs are

:21:48.:21:51.

delegates and not representatives. It means that there is no point in

:21:52.:21:56.

Parliamentary government considering the argument and debate, considering

:21:57.:22:01.

the evidence and the argument. They have two abate the will of the

:22:02.:22:04.

people. That is now the principal. Now, -- they have two abate a will

:22:05.:22:10.

of the people. Now, I was not an admirer of Margaret Thatcher but she

:22:11.:22:14.

was not someone who said to the electorate, these are my principles

:22:15.:22:17.

and if you don't like them, I will change them. That is, in effect,

:22:18.:22:22.

what those who supported the remainder cause and who have felt --

:22:23.:22:33.

the Remain cause and those he felt that Brexit would be disastrous for

:22:34.:22:36.

this country have now accepted it. It is a dangerous step toward the

:22:37.:22:41.

doctrine that the people's will must always prevail. My Lords, this is

:22:42.:22:46.

the doctrine which has always been favoured by Hitler, by Mussolini, by

:22:47.:22:58.

Josef Stalin, by Erdogan at this present time. It is a denial of

:22:59.:23:01.

democracy that we have supported to great effect in this country. Now we

:23:02.:23:08.

are abandoning it. We are the guardians of Parliamentary democracy

:23:09.:23:13.

and we are right in this, we are the Democrats and we are right to

:23:14.:23:23.

support the Democratic cause. I ask a question of noble Lords who may be

:23:24.:23:27.

thinking of voting against the Commons and in favour of previous

:23:28.:23:31.

amendment and the question is this, how do they justify extolling the

:23:32.:23:36.

supremacy of Parliament, the House of Commons and this House and want

:23:37.:23:40.

in Parliament to have the last word on the terms of our leaving the EU

:23:41.:23:45.

went for the last 43 years they have supported our EU membership and

:23:46.:23:51.

still do so? I ask my Lords because perhaps the main achievement of the

:23:52.:23:54.

European Union is precisely that national parliaments have been

:23:55.:23:59.

emasculated and that much of their former power has been transferred to

:24:00.:24:02.

the institutions of the European Union. The unelected bureaucrats in

:24:03.:24:11.

the commission have the monopoly to impose EU laws and secret which are

:24:12.:24:18.

then negotiated in secret by more bureaucrats in the committee of

:24:19.:24:21.

permanent representatives and other undecided in the Council of

:24:22.:24:23.

ministers from national governments, not parliaments. Our government has

:24:24.:24:33.

some 14% of the votes. EU law now a large proportion of our law is then

:24:34.:24:36.

enforced by the commission and the so-called Court of Justice in

:24:37.:24:40.

Luxembourg. The point is that our national parliament, which remain

:24:41.:24:50.

supporters have been talking about in this anti-democratic failure is

:24:51.:24:54.

excluded from this whole process. We have EU committees in both houses of

:24:55.:24:59.

parliament which scrutinise and very little of the legislation which is

:25:00.:25:02.

imposed on us by Brussels, they can't change any of it and never

:25:03.:25:07.

have. Nor can House of Commons or your Lordships House change any of

:25:08.:25:13.

it, nor have we ever. Yet, my Lords, it is this system which those who

:25:14.:25:18.

have tabled this new amendment in truth wish to perpetuate with their

:25:19.:25:22.

new-found faith in Parliamentary democracy. My Lords, the people,

:25:23.:25:27.

with whom ultimate sovereignty resides, voted to leave that system.

:25:28.:25:33.

The House of Commons has this evening again agreed with the

:25:34.:25:38.

government that the Bill should become law as originally drafted. I

:25:39.:25:42.

would of course be amused to hear the noble Remainers answer but I

:25:43.:25:55.

trust this is the end of the matter. A response to Lord Pannick who

:25:56.:26:04.

always speaks with clarity and grace. If the Prime Minister does

:26:05.:26:09.

not get an agreement, whatever she does, surely she will bring it to

:26:10.:26:16.

Parliament but the problem is this, if I understand it right, triggering

:26:17.:26:23.

Article 50 is an irreversible act. Two years after triggering Article

:26:24.:26:26.

50 the UK will be be used. It will do so with or without a deal but

:26:27.:26:32.

either way it will leave. Because Article 50 paragraph three makes

:26:33.:26:37.

clear that treaties will cease to apply two years after negotiation

:26:38.:26:43.

has been made. It is possible that the EU 27 might unanimously agreed

:26:44.:26:46.

to extend the negotiation period beyond the two years but this cannot

:26:47.:26:54.

taken for granted, nor should it be assumed that it will offer anything

:26:55.:26:56.

but a brief extension. The amendment for me shows no awareness and the

:26:57.:27:01.

reality is actually presented by Article 50 timescale, so this

:27:02.:27:07.

amendment overlooks the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal)

:27:08.:27:12.

Bill is about triggering Article 50 and the formal divorce agreement,

:27:13.:27:16.

neither this Bill nor Article 50 are without negotiating a new... As far

:27:17.:27:22.

as I am concerned, once we trigger it, we leave with an agreement or

:27:23.:27:30.

without, so why put it in section four in the amendment? Why don't we

:27:31.:27:36.

just follow what the House of Commons has just done? Article 50 of

:27:37.:27:42.

the Lisbon Treaty says that, and I quote, "The council needs to obtain

:27:43.:27:45.

the European Parliament's consent, voting by simple majority with the

:27:46.:27:52.

votes cast before it can conclude the withdrawal agreement." This

:27:53.:27:56.

means that all amendments of the European Parliament, including the

:27:57.:28:03.

UK members, have the legal right to vote on any final agreement or

:28:04.:28:07.

indeed lack of it last members of the British Parliament have no such

:28:08.:28:13.

legal right because the government refuses to put such a right on the

:28:14.:28:18.

face of the Bill. I think really that does try to answer his point

:28:19.:28:28.

that supporting the EU Parliament, having legal rights on the

:28:29.:28:32.

withdrawal agreement that our own elected members of parliament will

:28:33.:28:37.

not have, seems to me, at least, to be completely inconsistent with why

:28:38.:28:43.

many people voted for Brexit. They voted for Brexit to have better

:28:44.:28:47.

control of our own laws and by refusing to put this on the face of

:28:48.:28:53.

the Bill, the government is in effect making our legal rights less

:28:54.:28:58.

than those of the European Parliament. I think that is a very

:28:59.:29:02.

strong argument on this point that needs to be aired and I hope Lord

:29:03.:29:07.

Pearson accept is that that is indeed the legal position. I should

:29:08.:29:12.

like to answer Lord Pearson as well. I have not supported the youth for

:29:13.:29:17.

45 years but even I think that this amendment has validity -- I have not

:29:18.:29:21.

supported the EU for 45 years. I did not expect it to be, a prime

:29:22.:29:26.

ministers with a very small mandate and a small coterie of people making

:29:27.:29:30.

these decisions. I think people imagined they were voting that our

:29:31.:29:33.

parliament would have some sort of supremacy. I have listened very

:29:34.:29:39.

carefully to the government on this and I have found that their

:29:40.:29:42.

arguments are not argument at all, they are actually comments and

:29:43.:29:46.

specious comments at that. This is not a time sensitive issue. We are

:29:47.:29:50.

not actually triggering Article 50 until much later in the month. It is

:29:51.:29:55.

not true that a promise is as good as having something on the face of

:29:56.:29:59.

the Bill. Quite honestly, I think it is time that we accepted this is a

:30:00.:30:04.

mistake and we really ought to support the amendment. I will be

:30:05.:30:10.

voting for it. I regret that it won't pass, though.

:30:11.:30:16.

I want to put a noble lord question to Mr before the speech. If he could

:30:17.:30:27.

just answer a simple question, I think his colleague in the other

:30:28.:30:33.

place has answered the question as to what happens if there is a deal

:30:34.:30:37.

on the Article 50 withdrawal agreement, the matter will be

:30:38.:30:41.

brought to the two houses for approval. I think he has also

:30:42.:30:45.

answered the question as to what happens if there is a new

:30:46.:30:50.

partnership agreement, the agreement will be brought to both houses for

:30:51.:30:56.

their approval. So far so good. Now, could the noble lord just say, what

:30:57.:31:01.

happens if the Prime Minister decides that no deal is better than

:31:02.:31:05.

a bad deal? What happens then? Answer, please. My Lords, I was

:31:06.:31:15.

never someone to enjoy saying I told you so, because I rather expect my

:31:16.:31:22.

advice to be heeded. And never was this more the case done with the

:31:23.:31:25.

highest ever votes in the Lords last week. The 634 peers voting of which

:31:26.:31:36.

366 advised that the promised vote on the outcome of the negotiations

:31:37.:31:41.

should be inscribed in law. That would make it very clear to the

:31:42.:31:46.

Government but also to the EU commission and the Council as well

:31:47.:31:50.

as to the European Parliament that this Parliament is a player in the

:31:51.:31:54.

process of how we extract ourselves from the EU. As my noble friend

:31:55.:31:59.

Baroness Symons has said, without our change the European Parliament

:32:00.:32:05.

and indeed with its UK members in it, as the right in law to consent

:32:06.:32:10.

to the deal but this Parliament has no such guaranteed right. Our

:32:11.:32:16.

amendment last week gave legal certainty to the promised vote and

:32:17.:32:20.

the legislative authority for the withdrawal agreement. Something with

:32:21.:32:25.

the Government may well have to do another way if not in this Bill. As

:32:26.:32:31.

there is currently no legislative way of authorising the withdrawal

:32:32.:32:38.

deal ahead of a treaty. My Lords, there are challenges ahead,

:32:39.:32:42.

withdrawal is not simply about the divorce or even just about the

:32:43.:32:45.

potential shape of new trade deals with the EU 27, it will be about

:32:46.:32:51.

forging a new partnership are concordat which will cover so much

:32:52.:32:54.

more than trade vital though that is. We will need a vision of how we

:32:55.:33:01.

should work together after exit, not just on the hard subjects such as

:33:02.:33:05.

security and terrorism but on the whole slate of our approach to the

:33:06.:33:10.

economy. We will need to negotiate with the EU in a way that shows our

:33:11.:33:18.

openness and our willingness to retain our strong bonds because that

:33:19.:33:21.

will influence our future relationships with the EU as a block

:33:22.:33:29.

and the 27 members individually. It is with this reason that it is

:33:30.:33:33.

important to recognise Parliament's vote in the process. Because we will

:33:34.:33:41.

be a part of those negotiations with the EU and with the 27 countries.

:33:42.:33:48.

All of our contracts and they in business, trade unions and consumers

:33:49.:33:52.

will be working across Europe's to help us get the best deal for this

:33:53.:33:58.

country. But Parliament should be a part of that. In so far as we heed

:33:59.:34:04.

the polls, they also indicate 2-1 in favour of Parliament having a

:34:05.:34:11.

meaningful vote at the end of negotiations. And this has spoke

:34:12.:34:16.

very clearly last week. So I deeply regret that the Government and the

:34:17.:34:22.

Commons did not hear our plea. But as the noble lord Lord Pannick says,

:34:23.:34:27.

their view will not change and we will not make a worthless gesture.

:34:28.:34:36.

What I believe the noble lady Lady Longford is now tweeting is shabby

:34:37.:34:45.

of us. That is it, that we have heard regrettably that the Commons

:34:46.:34:48.

did not hear the overwhelming vote in this House. But what they will

:34:49.:34:53.

say is that we will hold the Government to its promise of a vote

:34:54.:34:57.

before that in the European Parliament and we will work to

:34:58.:35:00.

devise a parliamentary route of establishing it more firmly, not

:35:01.:35:08.

least because having the support of Parliament during negotiations would

:35:09.:35:11.

be a source of strength rather than of weakness. The Government has made

:35:12.:35:18.

the wrong call on this amendment, but we will seek to rectify that

:35:19.:35:26.

another way. My Lords, we have spent considerable time debating this

:35:27.:35:31.

issue at Committee and report and again today and I fear that once

:35:32.:35:34.

again there is little I can really add to this debate, especially as I

:35:35.:35:40.

am very much aware that my last attempt to convince the House of the

:35:41.:35:43.

merits of my case not result in what I can call this excess, as the noble

:35:44.:35:48.

lord Pannick said it is the largest vote on this House on record with a

:35:49.:35:55.

turnover of 634 members, the fact that 366 of your Lordships' did not

:35:56.:36:00.

accept my arguments was, as I hope, as they put in Sicily, nothing

:36:01.:36:07.

personal, just business. But my right honourable friend the

:36:08.:36:10.

Secretary of State did a bit better is happening and the other place

:36:11.:36:14.

rejected this amendment by a majority of 45. And let me briefly

:36:15.:36:18.

remind your Lordships' of the Government's case. First, as I had

:36:19.:36:22.

said, this is a simple and straightforward Bill designed to

:36:23.:36:26.

implement the referendum result and respect the Supreme Court's

:36:27.:36:32.

judgment. It is the culmination of a long democratic process. A process

:36:33.:36:36.

started by the people at the last election endorsed by this House in

:36:37.:36:40.

an act of Parliament and then voted for by the people at the referendum

:36:41.:36:46.

itself. And Parliament will continue to play its part through scrutiny of

:36:47.:36:53.

and passing future legislation. Through questions and debate and

:36:54.:36:58.

most important of all, a vote on the final agreement. So despite putting

:36:59.:37:03.

noble lord said we are not abandoning Parliamentary

:37:04.:37:04.

sovereignty, our commitment to a vote in both houses, which we fully

:37:05.:37:10.

expect and intend to take place before the European Parliament votes

:37:11.:37:15.

on any deal, is an absolute consistent and it will be honoured.

:37:16.:37:21.

-- commitment. Furthermore as my right honourable friend the

:37:22.:37:23.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union said this afternoon

:37:24.:37:27.

in the other place, and I could, of course Parliament can, if it wishes,

:37:28.:37:32.

have a vote and a debate on any issue. But as a matter for

:37:33.:37:35.

Parliament and it is not for a minister to try and constrain it.

:37:36.:37:42.

And so, as I have said on a number of occasions now, subclauses 1-3 are

:37:43.:37:49.

unnecessary, but as I said before, this amendment goes further. It

:37:50.:37:52.

seeks to make it impossible for the Prime Minister to walk away without

:37:53.:37:57.

a vote in parliament. Article 50 does not give the European

:37:58.:38:00.

Parliament that power. The European Commission would not have to go to

:38:01.:38:03.

the European Parliament if they wanted to walk away from the

:38:04.:38:07.

negotiations. It is incorrect to say that the amendment would simply put

:38:08.:38:10.

on the face of the spilled the same power of that given to the European

:38:11.:38:15.

Parliament. And also as I argued before it is unclear what the

:38:16.:38:18.

effects of this would be in any case. If Parliament would devote

:38:19.:38:23.

against the Prime Minister walking away, is she to accept the deal on

:38:24.:38:26.

offer goes like this you meant to negotiate a better one or is she too

:38:27.:38:30.

tried to revoke the UK public but as withdraw? We don't know and as I

:38:31.:38:35.

have said, such vagueness for something so critical is

:38:36.:38:39.

unacceptable. My Lords, the people voted to leave the EU in a

:38:40.:38:43.

referendum granted to them by this Parliament. We will respect the

:38:44.:38:48.

result. We are confident that the UK and the EU can indeed reach a

:38:49.:38:51.

positive deal on our future partnership, as this would read the

:38:52.:38:55.

mutual benefit of both this country and the European Union. And we will

:38:56.:38:59.

approach the negotiations in that spread. So as the noble lord point,

:39:00.:39:07.

it is very hard to see what vote would be there was no deal at all,

:39:08.:39:11.

in the absence of agreement I have no doubt they would be further

:39:12.:39:15.

statements to the south but we are leaving the European Union. Either

:39:16.:39:18.

through the deal we have agreed without a deal. And so what we now

:39:19.:39:21.

need to consider is whether the other place should be asked to

:39:22.:39:27.

consider this issue yet again given they have considered and decided

:39:28.:39:30.

against amendments twice seek to put on the face of the Bill a vote on

:39:31.:39:35.

the final agreement. Let me end by saying this. This Bill is to trigger

:39:36.:39:39.

the process of our leaving and fulfil the Supreme Court's

:39:40.:39:43.

requirements. As I have said many times before, tonight we must just

:39:44.:39:49.

might just make it to the legislative base camp in terms of

:39:50.:39:52.

parliamentary scrutiny and debate. There is a lot more to come. My

:39:53.:39:57.

Lords, the other place is clearly satisfied with this approach and

:39:58.:40:00.

that this Bill does not merit amendment. I would therefore add key

:40:01.:40:04.

noble lord is to be mindful of that and to pass this Bill amended. The

:40:05.:40:14.

noble lord the Minister attempts to bamboozle us and produce some of the

:40:15.:40:21.

same red herrings that I mentioned last week. The key point is that if

:40:22.:40:29.

he pledges that the Government will honour the commitment and assurance

:40:30.:40:34.

to a parliamentary vote, why not put it in the legislation? No good

:40:35.:40:38.

reason has been produced why that should not be enshrined in statute.

:40:39.:40:46.

And the more he doffed protest too much, more he generates concern,

:40:47.:40:57.

that that commitment to honour a parliamentary vote may be somewhat

:40:58.:41:02.

fragile. If there are indeed ample means for Parliament to assert its

:41:03.:41:09.

control, there is no problem then in writing them into the Bill. It is an

:41:10.:41:17.

issue that is completely fundamental, a fundamental

:41:18.:41:21.

principle. This is the most important decision for this country

:41:22.:41:27.

in over 70 years. Noble lord lordly Chronicle referred to this Bill is

:41:28.:41:32.

the shortest suicide in history. Didn't need to be that if the

:41:33.:41:36.

Government had given end the indication of issuing a sensible

:41:37.:41:42.

bracelet. But unfortunately it gives every indication of hurtling towards

:41:43.:41:46.

an extreme, brittle Brexit. -- sensible Brexit. That makes many

:41:47.:41:51.

people inside and outside this building very nervous. Lady Hayter

:41:52.:42:02.

said that from the opposition front bench she wanted to show that this

:42:03.:42:07.

Parliament is a player, wanted recognition of Parliament's role.

:42:08.:42:10.

The best way to do that is to follow the advice of my noble friend Lord

:42:11.:42:17.

Taverne that we should not abdicate parliamentary responsibility. There

:42:18.:42:22.

is a huge bonus on us to continue to maintain -- bonus to maintain that

:42:23.:42:28.

principle in the face of considerable lustre and not enough

:42:29.:42:37.

actual legislative commitment. -- bluster. I therefore believe that it

:42:38.:42:45.

is justified to press this amendment. I would ask the House to

:42:46.:42:52.

agree to amendment B1 and I wish to test the opinion of the House. The

:42:53.:42:57.

question is that amendment B1 be agreed to. As many of that opinion

:42:58.:43:04.

will say content. The contrary not content. Clear the

:43:05.:43:05.