Debates between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True

There have been 14 exchanges between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True

1 Thu 4th February 2021 Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland: Border Controls
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (226 words)
2 Thu 14th January 2021 Constitution, Democracy and Human Rights Commission
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (64 words)
3 Tue 12th January 2021 Essential Services: Large-scale Technology
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (89 words)
4 Thu 10th December 2020 UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (178 words)
5 Thu 19th November 2020 Northern Ireland Protocol: Implementation Proposals
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (258 words)
6 Thu 19th November 2020 Union Capability: Dunlop Review
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (83 words)
7 Wed 21st October 2020 EU Exit: Negotiations and the Joint Committee
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (224 words)
8 Wed 15th July 2020 EU Exit: End of Transition Period
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (247 words)
9 Tue 30th June 2020 David Frost
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (176 words)
10 Thu 18th June 2020 UK-EU Negotiations
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (295 words)
11 Tue 9th June 2020 EU: Trade and Security Partnership
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (117 words)
12 Thu 21st May 2020 Northern Ireland Protocol
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (301 words)
13 Wed 20th May 2020 EU: Future Relationship
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (325 words)
14 Wed 29th April 2020 Public Services: Update
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (338 words)

Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland: Border Controls

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Thursday 4th February 2021

(3 weeks, 4 days ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
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My Lords, the position of businesses and the impact on them are obviously something that the Government monitor and watch with concern. My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has told Vice-President Šefčovič that our focus must be on making the protocol work in the interests of people and businesses in Northern Ireland. As to the last part of my noble friend’s question, I do not resile from, indeed I support strongly, what the Prime Minister said in the other place yesterday.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl) [V]
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My Lords, cool heads and dialogue are needed in such difficult circumstances between all the institutions of the UK, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the EU. I welcome the joint statement’s commitment yesterday to the Good Friday agreement and to avoiding disruption to the everyday lives of the people of Northern Ireland. What further changes to arrangements for the movement of goods arising out of the joint committee agreement of 17 December are still to be enacted, and when will they be?

Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
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My Lords, this is an ongoing process and obviously, as the noble Earl will know, my right honourable friend sent a further letter to Vice-President Šefčovič this week embracing a wide range of matters that we believe need to be addressed. However, I certainly agree with the noble Earl’s original remark that cool heads are required in this situation.

Constitution, Democracy and Human Rights Commission

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Thursday 14th January 2021

(1 month, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
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I am grateful for the noble Baroness’s support for the approach that I have outlined. On her specific question, I cannot give a commitment on that at the Dispatch Box now, but I will repeat what I have said to the House: other workstreams on constitutional review will be announced in due course.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Deputy Speaker (The Earl of Kinnoull) (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has now elapsed.

Essential Services: Large-scale Technology

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Tuesday 12th January 2021

(1 month, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
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My Lords, the noble Lord makes a very important point. Looking at the colour of our hair, he and I should declare an interest in this matter. We need to extend understanding and use of technology, and access to it, but equally I urge all organisations, including banks, to remember that for many people a personal service is not only a matter of choice but a matter of necessity.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Deputy Speaker (The Earl of Kinnoull) (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has now elapsed and we therefore move to the fourth Oral Question.

UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Thursday 10th December 2020

(2 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl) [V]
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My Lords, the Statement and its associated Command Paper are very welcome, particularly as they are evidence that both sides in the UK-EU joint committee are now working together in a pragmatic and friendly way. I congratulate all involved. However, we still have no satisfactory structures in place for parliamentary scrutiny, either of the joint committee itself or of new EU law applying to Northern Ireland under the protocol. What steps is the Minister taking to facilitate such scrutiny?

Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
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My Lords, I am a poor and feeble plant, but by standing here I am seeking to assist scrutiny. I understand the broader thrust of the question from the noble Earl, but he will also understand that arrangements for the scrutiny of government across the board by committees in your Lordships’ House is not a matter for the Executive. It is matter for your Lordships’ House and it is not for me to declare. As far as my ministerial responsibility is concerned, I am ready to appear before whatever committee, and this House, at any time that is requested.

Northern Ireland Protocol: Implementation Proposals

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Thursday 19th November 2020

(3 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
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My noble friend raises an important point and I can certainly reassure him that the Government remain committed to the Belfast/Good Friday agreement in its entirety, including all three strands; east-west is vital, as he says. We are delivering on our unequivocal commitment to deliver unfettered access, and I hope very much that noble Lords will reconsider their obstruction of the legislation on that subject.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, I warmly welcome the joint letter of 5 November from the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to Commissioner Šefčovič. In view of the significant concerns that they jointly expressed, what is being done to allow supermarkets to continue to service Northern Ireland from Great Britain? Can the Minister confirm reports that the UK and the EU are considering agreeing a grace period to allow supermarkets time to adapt to the protocols approach, which is still under discussion in the Joint Committee?

Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
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My Lords, the noble Earl raises an extremely important point. I cannot go into matters that are, as he implies, under active discussion, but we have certainly committed to an intensified process of engagement with the EU to resolve all outstanding issues such as this, which includes securing flexibilities for trade from GB to NI. That is particularly important for supermarkets, where we have been clear that specific solutions are required. The recent joint letter from the First Minister and Deputy First Minister reflects how important that issue is for Northern Ireland, and we will continue to work closely with the Executive to get a solution to this problem.

Union Capability: Dunlop Review

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Thursday 19th November 2020

(3 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
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My Lords, I do not agree that the United Kingdom is imploding. That is unhelpful talk. No political party in this country wishes to actively and swiftly break up the United Kingdom, except the one that I have mentioned. There is important co-operative work going on which will continue in full respect of the devolution settlement. We should all, in all parties, subscribe to that, as the noble Lord, Lord Caine, said.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Deputy Speaker (The Earl of Kinnoull) (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, the time allowed for this Question has now elapsed.

EU Exit: Negotiations and the Joint Committee

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Wednesday 21st October 2020

(4 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, there is a stark difference between the level of information contained in the statements made by the two sides following the joint committee meeting on Monday. Why is it that this sovereign Parliament gets so much less information than the EU 27 Parliaments and the European Parliament? Will the Minister commit that, going forward, a much greater level of information will be given on meetings of the joint committee and its sub-committees?

Lord True Portrait Lord True (Con)
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My Lords, a Written Ministerial Statement was issued. I am sorry if the noble Earl feels that more could and should be said. I always enjoy my engagements with him. The Statement referred to a number of matters discussed in the joint committee on 19 October. In addition to that, if he wants, I can be more helpful: the committee discussed work on the establishment of a list of individuals to sit on an arbitration panel, as required under the WA. Both parties are progressing work to establish a list of suitable arbitrators. As the noble Earl knows, it was agreed to have a further meeting of the committee in November, and other work will continue in the interim. The discussions are obviously ongoing, and I know that he understands, and I respect that, that there are some constraints on what one can share at a time of active talks.

EU Exit: End of Transition Period

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Wednesday 15th July 2020

(7 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, unfortunately, I could not hear absolutely clearly. I will say, first, that the advertising campaign will certainly be directed to both businesses and individuals. The right reverend Prelate makes the wise point that specialist advisers will be available to help; it will not be simply a question of looking at a website, although I think the government website is to be commended.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl) [V]
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My Lords, the Statement says that the guidance for Northern Ireland is to be published

“in the coming weeks and on an ongoing basis throughout the transition period”.—[Official Report, Commons, 13/7/20; col. 1270.]

We heard a bit from the Minister about “in the coming weeks”, but it is clear that Northern Ireland is far from being in the same position as the rest of the UK. Is it really the case that Northern Ireland business could be receiving vital guidance in December, as the wording of the Statement implies, and will Northern Ireland be able to take full advantage of the phased approach outlined in the Statement, given the terms of the Northern Ireland protocol?

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, the noble Earl rightly says that Northern Ireland is on a separate track and governed by a separate protocol. Discussions are ongoing, as I think he knows. There will, as I told the House, be further information later this month. I take note of the points he makes about the timescale. The Government are well aware of the need for clarity and proper dispatch in carrying this forward.

David Frost

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Tuesday 30th June 2020

(8 months ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord True Portrait Lord True
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No, my Lords. Mr Frost has extensive diplomatic experience, and the previous four incumbents as National Security Adviser also emerged from a diplomatic career.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl) [V]
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My Lords, will the Minister explain how, in this intense phase of the Brexit negotiations—the tunnel—our chief negotiator will have the time for his induction into his new role? Does he accept that there is a strong risk that the Brexit negotiations will not be concluded by the end of September, and that the undivided attention of the chief negotiator is needed until they are concluded?

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I do not agree that there will be a difficulty. The announcement suggests that Mr Frost will take up his appointment around the end of August, and, as the noble Lord said, there will be a period of handover. Mr Frost will remain chief negotiator for the EU talks until agreement is reached, or until they end. That will remain his first priority. As I have already said, he will also be ready to answer to Select Committees of the House in that period.

UK-EU Negotiations

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Thursday 18th June 2020

(8 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I will preface my answer by saying that some noble Lords will have seen the name of my noble friend Lord Forsyth on the speakers’ list. It is not that he has not turned up; he suffered a close family bereavement, and I know that all noble Lords who may be asking themselves why he is not here will understand that.

The noble Viscount’s question was framed in a manner about the cultural, social and instinctive links that the United Kingdom has with other European nations. Some of those have been institutional links of different sorts, while others have been links that are not in any sense political. I am personally committed, as are the Government, to maintaining the closest possible cultural and societal links between the nations of Europe. The question is what institutions are required to secure that. I submit that the European Union is not one of them; other institutions and arrangements are currently still under consideration.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl) [V]
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My Lords, Michel Barnier, in his remarks following the fourth round of negotiations, said that the full legal text of the future relationship was needed by 31 October for planning and ratification reasons. There is no mention of these constraints in the Statement. Does the Minister agree with Monsieur Barnier’s analysis? If not, what is the date by which a full legal text is needed?

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I shall not go into specific dates regarding the text. We have published texts at appropriate stages of the negotiations. We have said—and the Prime Minister said again at the high-level meeting—that October is too late for us to get serious. If I remember, those were his words. I think that the intensification in the negotiations will help us to answer the noble Earl’s question and others.

EU: Trade and Security Partnership

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Tuesday 9th June 2020

(8 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord True Portrait Lord True [V]
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My Lords, there is regular contact between government Ministers and Ministers in the devolved Administrations. Those contacts will continue.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl) [V]
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My Lords, Michel Barnier, in his statement of 5 June, following the fourth round of negotiations, referred to the need to have

“a full legal text by 31 October at the latest, i.e. in less than 5 months.”

Does the Minister agree with that timetable? If not, what does he think the latest date is for a full legal text?

Lord True Portrait Lord True [V]
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My Lords, the Government still hope to have a successful outcome, as I said. Mr Frost indicated some measures that might be taken to intensify discussions. There will also be, as noble Lords know, a high-level meeting later this month.

Northern Ireland Protocol

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Thursday 21st May 2020

(9 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Lord True Portrait Lord True
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The status of Northern Ireland under the protocol is well known and often discussed. Northern Ireland will effectively be operating within the EU single market but also within the internal market of the United Kingdom. The arrangements that we have put in place are envisaged in the protocol but, at present, the details of their implementation are under discussion.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, I too welcome the arrival of the White Paper, if not everything in it. The transition period began at the end of January, with 11 months to plan and agree matters in Northern Ireland, of which just over seven months remain. However, the White Paper sets out for the first time a host of necessary future actions, with some important workstreams yet to start. These include data flows, new groups and fora, as well as new physical infrastructure for the agri-food sector. Can the Minister assure the House that the klaxons are sounding and that there is now real urgency and momentum behind preparing Northern Ireland for life under the protocol?

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I do not know about klaxons; I have always found them rather unpleasant. The United Kingdom Government regard Northern Ireland and its people as equal in every way to the rest of the United Kingdom and thus deserving the same privileges and the same attention. I can assure the noble Earl that whatever problems there have been with Covid—we all recognise the need to deal with them—we have engaged, we are engaging and we will engage on the principles and the practicalities of making these systems work, and indeed making them work for the benefit of the people of Northern Ireland. At all stages, we will respect the Good Friday agreement and the need to carry the consent of parties on both sides of the sectarian divide.

EU: Future Relationship

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Wednesday 20th May 2020

(9 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Cabinet Office
Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, Question Time is not the moment for a debate on sovereignty. I must say I think the noble Lord probably used some much firmer language than Mr Frost in his diplomatic career occasionally. One of the issues is a sense that the EU wishes to exercise influence and authority within this country after the end of transition. The noble Lord quoted Latin the last time he spoke. I commend to him the wise advice of the Emperor Augustus, “consilium coercendi intra terminos imperii”—that is, a power should stay within its own fixed bounds. On issues such as the so-called level playing field, the jurisdiction of the ECJ and fisheries, we are asking the EU to recognise that the UK has chosen to be an independent state.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Earl of Kinnoull (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, in the last week my committee has had meetings with senior representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU 27. An emerging theme has been the need to rebuild mutual trust, and a vital part of addressing that is interparliamentary work. When asked about the EU proposals on inter- parliamentary work, the Minister told the House on 12 May:

“the government are keenly supportive of such proposals”.—[Official Report, 12/5/20; col. 657.]

Michel Barnier talked on 15 May of a “lack of ambition” on the respective roles of the European Parliament and the British Parliament. I ask the Minister: which is correct?

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I do not think there is any distinction between the two. The Government wish to see good relations between this Parliament—both your Lordships’ House and the other place—and other parliaments around the world, including the European Parliament. But it remains the Government’s view that while we are of course supportive of dialogue between parliamentarians, it is for your Lordships and those in the other place to determine how they wish to engage; it is not for a Government to bind this and future Parliaments to a particular methodology by a treaty.

Public Services: Update

Debate between Earl of Kinnoull and Lord True
Wednesday 29th April 2020

(10 months ago)

Lords Chamber

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Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I am not going to follow the noble Lord into considering history; otherwise, one could go back further and further into how we got into the 2008 crisis and so on. The thing we must do now is to go forward and look forward. I cannot at this virtual Dispatch Box anticipate what the Chancellor will do in managing the economy as and when we come out of this crisis, but it is this Government’s firm resolve to level up, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly stated. Indeed, in in this crisis, as we know, additional resources have been given to local authorities and the social care sector. Of course, I understand, accept and share the spirit of the noble Lord’s remarks, if not following him in every detail.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Deputy Speaker (The Earl of Kinnoull) (Non-Afl)
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Baroness Pinnock? Baroness Pinnock is not responding. Baroness Watkins of Tavistock.

Break in Debate

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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PPE is of course of fundamental importance. If anybody in the country did not realise it at the start of this crisis, it is fully understood now. Ministers have always understood it. We had a large stockpile. Great efforts will continue to be made to ensure that our front line has sufficient equipment. I note the points that the noble Baroness made about the experience of Spanish flu, and I would certainly be interested in talking to her about it on another occasion, but I must reiterate that the Government are 100% committed to securing a stable and safe supply of PPE now and in the future.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Deputy Speaker
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I again call the noble Baroness, Lady Pinnock.

Break in Debate

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I regret that the sound was not very good for my noble friend’s question. I certainly caught her concern for farmers, and I take that point; my right honourable friend George Eustice has been addressing that matter. I am sorry that could not catch the other parts of her question, but I will ensure that she gets a written reply.

Earl of Kinnoull Portrait The Deputy Speaker
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My Lords, that concludes Back-Bench questions on the Statement. The day’s Virtual Proceedings are now complete and are adjourned.