That a Select Committee be appointed to consider the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic and social wellbeing of the United Kingdom; and that, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the following members be appointed to the Committee:
Alderdice, L, Benjamin, B, Chisholm of Owlpen, B, Duncan of Springbank, L, Elder, L, Hain, L, Harris of Haringey, L, Jay of Paddington, B, Lane-Fox of Soho, B, (Chair), Morgan of Cotes, B, Pickles, L, Young of Hornsey, B,
That the Committee have power to co-opt any member to serve on the Committee;
That the Committee have power to send for persons, papers and records;
That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers;
That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place;
That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;
That the reports of the Committee be printed, regardless of any adjournment of the House;
That the evidence taken by the Committee be published, if the Committee so wishes.
My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.
Two Members have given notice that they intend to speak. I will call the noble Lord, Lord Newby, and then the noble Lord, Lord Adonis, although he has not yet arrived in the Chamber.
My Lords, I welcome the formation of the committee and its composition. I certainly do not want to attempt to dictate to it what it should do, but I will make one very brief point. Two Members of your Lordships’ House have been appointed to senior positions by the Government to undertake work in respect of coronavirus: the noble Lord, Lord Deighton, and the noble Baroness, Lady Harding. There has been some discussion about whether it would be appropriate for them to come to the Chamber to explain what they are doing. I do not think that that would be appropriate, but it would be appropriate if they were to appear before this new Select Committee to explain the work they are doing. I hope very much that that will be one of the first items on the committee’s agenda.
My Lords, I welcome the support of the noble Lord, Lord Newby, for the committee. Its aim is to look at the longer-term implications for the economic, social and international dimensions of the country. Any expertise available is important. Indeed, this Motion allows for co-option of Members who have expertise to be on the committee. I am sure that the committee’s chair, the noble Baroness, Lady Lane-Fox, will take these issues up. I will meet her next week to discuss these particular matters.
The noble Lord mentioned two particular Members. They would be a perfect fit for witnesses for the committee on the long-term future of the country post the pandemic.