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Division Details - Lords House of Lords

21:58, 13 March 2017, Division 5: European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

View the debate for this division

Preamble

Commons Reasons

Pre Vote

My Lords, the Minister attempts to bamboozle us and produce some of the same Aunt Sallies and red herrings that I mentioned last week. The key point is that, if he pledges that the Government will honour an assurance that there will be a parliamentary vote, why not put that in the legislation? No good reason has been produced why it should not be enshrined in statute. The more he doth protest too much, the more he generates concern that the 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 in writing them into the Bill.

This issue concerns a fundamental principle. It is the most important decision for this country in over 70 years. The noble Lord, Lord Lea of Crondall, referred to this Bill as the shortest suicide note in history. It would not have needed to be so if the Government had given any indication of pursuing a sensible Brexit, but unfortunately they give every indication of hurtling towards an extreme, brutal Brexit. That makes many people inside and outside this building very nervous.

The noble Baroness, Lady Hayter, said from the Opposition Front Bench that she wanted to show that this Parliament is a player and she wanted recognition of Parliament’s role. The best way to do that is to follow the advice of my noble friend Lord Taverne not to abdicate parliamentary responsibility. There is a huge onus on us to continue to maintain that principle in the face of considerable bluster and insufficient legislative commitments. I therefore believe that it is justified to press this matter and I ask noble Lords to agree Motion B1. I wish to test the opinion of the House.

Content - 118

Not Content - 274