13/03/2017 House of Lords


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


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


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


Commons reasons be considered forthwith. The question is that the


Commons reasons be considered forthwith. As many of that opinion


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


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


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


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


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


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


nation will take in our lifetimes. I believe that significant


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


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


concerns as somehow portraying a lack of patriotism. But that


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


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


conviction and passion and has displayed some of the very best


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


negotiations and that is why my right honourable friend the


Secretary of State confirmed over the weekend that we intend this


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


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


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


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


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


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


insert terms and conditions to our negotiating condition still listed


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


weigh our decision very carefully because this debate is also about


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


unequivocal commitment made by the official from leaves campaign that


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


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


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


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


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


made the following categorical statement. There will be no change


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


citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain


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


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


negotiations. Just eight categorical commitment unilaterally given. And


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


indicates that when the rights of individuals have been threatened,


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


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


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


EU citizens in the UK would be protected. Parliamentary committees


of both houses agreed that a unilateral guaranteed should be


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


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


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


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


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


another two years. The Commons exiting the EU Committee rightly


described such a situation as unconscionable. I understand the


nervousness of some Noble Lords about challenging the elected house


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


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


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


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


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


Committee unanimously agreed that the UK should act unilaterally and


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


are to end the debilitating uncertainty that is causing so much


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


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


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


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


does insist on its position and necessary repeatedly pushes the


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


Courts Bill and be 2012 legal aid sentencing and punishment of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


getting answers to questions I have asked the Minister in previous


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


because I have touched some rather delicate things and potentially


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


unfortunately impossible because as other continentals were willing to


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


matter, resolve it in advance of negotiations on other general


subjects, economic and other difficulties. So that because the


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


cosmic because a negotiation on residency rights of British citizens


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


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


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


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


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


regimes throughout the European Union are not a matter for the


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


individual member state has its own residency rules as they are


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


brought to bear if there is a suggestion of changing those


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


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


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


conduct a separate bilateral negotiation with 27 different


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


intention was. That is something which was undertaken immediately we


do issuing notice under Article 50 would itself delay the procedures


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


if such an agreement was not supported in either your European


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


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


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


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


hurdles of qualified majority voting, the hurdle of a European


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


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


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


Article 50 were to indicate their support for upholding the indefinite


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


provide the assurances that people want and also that assurances given


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


decisions on citizenship into arguments that some countries, who


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


decisions on citizenship actually into arguments over the contribution


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


I suggest is perfectly clear, arguments are compelling no one


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


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


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


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


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


the academics at Oxford today. The government says assurances are


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


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


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


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


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


assurance should be given to those here until reciprocal assurances are


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


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


and others pointed out, those representing UK nationals in other


EU states positively support our giving this assurance and they


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


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


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


creating a good climate for the start of these negotiations,


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


noble Lord Lord Davies has emphasised again today but that is


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


assurance is necessary because EU nationals here are desperately


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


this crisis, created this uncertainty, the insecurity felt by


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


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


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


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


constitutional limitations and whether we fly in the face of what


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


decided emphatically and as a great constitutionalist, which the noble


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the government seeking other countries in the European Union to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that were advanced in support of that amendment were correct and


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


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


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


although one of the arguments put forward was concern by the


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


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


those UK nationals who felt the amendment living in the European


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


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


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


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


say openly and publicly that I cannot support continued insistence,


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


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


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


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


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


negotiations to safeguard the interests of EU citizens here and UK


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


people and somehow acting undemocratically. It is neither an


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


least have to accept the inevitability of the referendum and


Brexit want to maintain closest possible links with the European


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


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


Westminster Underground. There are valid reasons for choosing either


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


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


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


again will not be pressured into acquiescence by continued


allegations that our actions are undemocratic, ignore the people or


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


quite stressful. On one occasion when I persuaded her


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


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


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


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


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


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


advanced by my noble friend Lord Bowness and for the advanced


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


sympathy, understanding or compassion. We did it simply because


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


citizens who are living in this country to continue with further


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


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


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


nationals living here, many of course married to Brits with


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


hold given the uncertainty over their future should have their


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


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


the Prime Minister to act unilaterally in the one area under


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


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


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


affected and also of their employers fear the loss of valuable


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


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


I absolve the Brexit Committee who unanimously felt that the Government


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


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


Presumably the Government have no other rational for saying to those


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


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


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


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


deal as I believe Liam Fox and David Davies confirmed yesterday


reflecting on the normal practice of nothing is agreed until everything


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


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


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


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


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


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


imaginative parliamentary roots, a number of which are already under


consideration. Because the people concerned cannot wait until March


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


this government in the Commons, despite my best endeavours and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


citizens to whom we have a responsibility across the European


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


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


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


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


can change without the approval of Parliament and the Government will


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


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


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


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


have studied the negotiations. Indeed the bullish premise has said


of course these guarantees a group Polish Prime Minister said these


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


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


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


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


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


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


Lord Davies and Lord Campbell savours I would highlight the words


of my honourable friend the Secretary of State who said earlier


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


set about securing the strip Sepracor guarantee until we have


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


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


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


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


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


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


principled advocacy he has undertaken on behalf of this issue


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


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


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


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


Cormack never voted to insist against the will of the elected


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


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


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


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


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


ultimately depend, merely to have the satisfaction of being soundly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


I cannot respect is the seven current cabinet ministers who backed


the vote league campaign which made an unequivocal unilateral commitment


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


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


campaign and were involved in vote Leave will think about that


commitment without caveats and conditions. That is the position of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


she asked how we could oppose the ill given how extraordinary


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


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


withdrawal negotiations until there is a mechanism for the people to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


divisions insisting on amendments. Insisting on amendments when she


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


out that those amendments were apparently, the many amendments she


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


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


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


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


will pay attention to their conscience rather than their party


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


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


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


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


content. The contrary not content. Clearly bar.


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


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


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


bar. The question is that amendment A1 be


agreed to. They have voted, content 135, not


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Parliamentary sovereignty is key. This that principle was reflected in


the Government commitment to give parliament a vote on the final


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


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


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


terminate negotiations with the European Union. The issue of


Parliamentary approval had been debated by the other place before


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


then and having considered this specific amendment it has no


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


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


amendment is unnecessary, it would create untold uncertainty and it


would undermine our negotiating position. This is why the other


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


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


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


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


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


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


that John Major could seek Parliamentary approval for the


Maastricht Bill twice without weakening his bargaining position,


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


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


He went on national television saying that he would obey the


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


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


made it very clear about the Government position. When an


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to prevent a disorderly and catastrophic plunge over the cliff


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


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


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


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


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


the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by Conservative MP


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


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


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


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


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


and presumption of the most preposterous kind for the Government


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


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


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


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


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


not raising National Insurance contributions and on lifting the 15


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


looking after incidentally. This is in addition to unfulfilled


assurances in respect of the dubs amendment on refugee children and


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


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


five broken promises already and an assurance now and Parliamentary


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


track record on the issue of Parliamentary sovereignty itself


since last June has involved resistance all the way from this


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


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


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


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


think is not in his place tonight... LAUGHTER


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


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


Parliament in approving or rejecting the outcome of his Brexit


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


cry that responsibility is not just about winning but also taking


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


in parliamentary terms it is a completely pointless gesture and I


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


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


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


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


Parliamentary approval if the Prime Minister decides that it would be


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


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


who were supporting the government that Parliament has ample means of


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


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


value of Parliamentary sovereignty at this stage of notifying our


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


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


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


-- Mrs Gina Miller. I hope the governors


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


notice that this House will be scrutinising that Bill with especial


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


other constitutional principles are upheld. Your lordship' Constitution


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


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


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


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


Parliamentary sovereignty. I very much look forward to continuing the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


now, in effect, abandoned the principle of Parliamentary democracy


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


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


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


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


Parliamentary government considering the argument and debate, considering


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are abandoning it. We are the guardians of Parliamentary democracy


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


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


thinking of voting against the Commons and in favour of previous


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


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


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


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


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


European Union is precisely that national parliaments have been


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


the institutions of the European Union. The unelected bureaucrats in


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


then negotiated in secret by more bureaucrats in the committee of


permanent representatives and other undecided in the Council of


ministers from national governments, not parliaments. Our government has


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


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


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


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


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


parliament which scrutinise and very little of the legislation which is


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


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


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


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


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


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


The House of Commons has this evening again agreed with the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


clear that treaties will cease to apply two years after negotiation


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


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


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


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


reality is actually presented by Article 50 timescale, so this


amendment overlooks the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal)


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


means that all amendments of the European Parliament, including the


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


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


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


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


that supporting the EU Parliament, having legal rights on the


withdrawal agreement that our own elected members of parliament will


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


on the Article 50 withdrawal agreement, the matter will be


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Baroness Symons has said, without our change the European Parliament


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


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


amendment last week gave legal certainty to the promised vote and


the legislative authority for the withdrawal agreement. Something with


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


there is currently no legislative way of authorising the withdrawal


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


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


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


forging a new partnership are concordat which will cover so much


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


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


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


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


openness and our willingness to retain our strong bonds because that


will influence our future relationships with the EU as a block


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


before that in the European Parliament and we will work to


devise a parliamentary route of establishing it more firmly, not


least because having the support of Parliament during negotiations would


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


personal, just business. But my right honourable friend the


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


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


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


said, this is a simple and straightforward Bill designed to


implement the referendum result and respect the Supreme Court's


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


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


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


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


and passing future legislation. Through questions and debate and


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


noble lord said we are not abandoning Parliamentary


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


expect and intend to take place before the European Parliament votes


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


-- commitment. Furthermore as my right honourable friend the


Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union said this afternoon


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the European Parliament if they wanted to walk away from the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have said, such vagueness for something so critical is


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


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


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


positive deal on our future partnership, as this would read the


mutual benefit of both this country and the European Union. And we will


approach the negotiations in that spread. So as the noble lord point,


it is very hard to see what vote would be there was no deal at all,


in the absence of agreement I have no doubt they would be further


statements to the south but we are leaving the European Union. Either


through the deal we have agreed without a deal. And so what we now


need to consider is whether the other place should be asked to


consider this issue yet again given they have considered and decided


against amendments twice seek to put on the face of the Bill a vote on


the final agreement. Let me end by saying this. This Bill is to trigger


the process of our leaving and fulfil the Supreme Court's


requirements. As I have said many times before, tonight we must just


might just make it to the legislative base camp in terms of


parliamentary scrutiny and debate. There is a lot more to come. My


Lords, the other place is clearly satisfied with this approach and


that this Bill does not merit amendment. I would therefore add key


noble lord is to be mindful of that and to pass this Bill amended. The


noble lord the Minister attempts to bamboozle us and produce some of the


same red herrings that I mentioned last week. The key point is that if


he pledges that the Government will honour the commitment and assurance


to a parliamentary vote, why not put it in the legislation? No good


reason has been produced why that should not be enshrined in statute.


And the more he doffed protest too much, more he generates concern,


that that commitment to honour a parliamentary vote may be somewhat


fragile. If there are indeed ample means for Parliament to assert its


control, there is no problem then in writing them into the Bill. It is an


issue that is completely fundamental, a fundamental


principle. This is the most important decision for this country


in over 70 years. Noble lord lordly Chronicle referred to this Bill is


the shortest suicide in history. Didn't need to be that if the


Government had given end the indication of issuing a sensible


bracelet. But unfortunately it gives every indication of hurtling towards


an extreme, brittle Brexit. -- sensible Brexit. That makes many


people inside and outside this building very nervous. Lady Hayter


said that from the opposition front bench she wanted to show that this


Parliament is a player, wanted recognition of Parliament's role.


The best way to do that is to follow the advice of my noble friend Lord


Taverne that we should not abdicate parliamentary responsibility. There


is a huge bonus on us to continue to maintain -- bonus to maintain that


principle in the face of considerable lustre and not enough


actual legislative commitment. -- bluster. I therefore believe that it


is justified to press this amendment. I would ask the House to


agree to amendment B1 and I wish to test the opinion of the House. The


question is that amendment B1 be agreed to. As many of that opinion


will say content. The contrary not content. Clear the