Baroness Sherlock (Lab)
My Lords, I too pay tribute to all those involved with the Bill, especially my honourable friend Rosie Cooper, who not only steered this Bill through another place but built such wonderful cross-party support to bring us to where we are today. The noble Lord, Lord Holmes, did a fine job carrying it through this House, so I thank and commend him too.
It is such a privilege to know that finally, the words we say here are being interpreted for BSL users at home, so I thank and congratulate all those BSL users who have campaigned to get to this point today. I encourage them to keep up the pressure.
I was sorry to miss the earlier stages of this Bill—also due to Covid—but I was very grateful to my noble friend Lady Merron, who did such a great job at the Dispatch Box that I was not missed in the slightest. Indeed, there were no calls for me to return. I am also grateful to Milton Brown from our Opposition Whips’ Office, who worked very hard on this Bill and the other DWP Bill that concluded today.
I was very moved by the stories told during the passage of this Bill of gifted BSL users being denied opportunities, and, as the noble Lord, Lord Holmes, said, of children having to interpret for their parents in situations they should never have been exposed to, simply because they could not get the interpreters they should have had a right to.
I hope that as the Bill goes through, people watching at home and in the Gallery are confident that it is one more step in making our country a better place for BSL users and their families. We are very pleased to support this Bill.