All 1 Lord Callanan contributions to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017

Read Bill Ministerial Extracts

Tue 7th Mar 2017
European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Lords Chamber

Report stage (Hansard - continued): House of Lords

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: Department for Exiting the European Union

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

Lord Callanan Excerpts
Report stage (Hansard - continued): House of Lords
Tuesday 7th March 2017

(7 years, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 108-I Marshalled list for Report (PDF, 67KB) - (3 Mar 2017)
Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Portrait Lord Forsyth of Drumlean
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble and learned Lord is normally very careful and precise. At the beginning of my speech I read out the words that David Jones used in the other House. He said: “We expect and intend” that that will happen before the European Parliament debates. This says that such approval “shall be required” before the European Parliament debates. There is a big difference between “expect and intend” and “shall be required”.

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
- Hansard - -

Does the noble Lord agree that the vote in the European Parliament will be about whether the deal that is negotiated will be acceptable, not about whether the UK actually leaves the EU or not?

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Portrait Lord Forsyth of Drumlean
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My noble friend is absolutely right on that point. Subsection (3) of the proposed new clause states that:

“The prior approval of both Houses of Parliament shall … be required in relation to an agreement on the future relationship of the United Kingdom with the European Union”.


I put that point to the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, in my intervention. This effectively gives this House, and the House of Commons, a veto on Brexit. It gives it the ability to prevent us from leaving the European Union, despite the fact that we have had the biggest vote in our history from people requiring that. It would be immensely destructive to the reputation of Parliament and of this House.

Subsection (4) states that:

“The prior approval of both Houses of Parliament shall also be required in relation to any decision by the Prime Minister that the United Kingdom shall leave the European Union without an agreement as to the applicable terms”.


That means that Ministers are unable to walk away. This was the mistake that David Cameron made. If he had walked away he might have been able to get a proper deal—who knows? He did not walk away and they knew he was not going to. That is why he got such a useless deal. This ensures that Ministers cannot walk away. For the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, to suggest that the amendment is simply implementing the Prime Minister’s promise is a complete misrepresentation.