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Scrutiny of International Agreements: Lessons Learned (EUC Report)

Volume 805: debated on Monday 7 September 2020

Motion to Take Note

Moved by

That the Grand Committee takes note of the Report from the European Union Committee Scrutiny of international agreements: lessons learned (42nd Report, Session 2017–19, HL Paper 387).

My Lords, I want briefly to say one or two things. First, I thank all the speakers, going in reverse order. I say to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Goldsmith, that it has been an interesting debate. Even the things that I did not agree with were of immense interest and the standard of debate was very high. I am grateful for that.

I am also grateful to the Minister, who was, as ever, charming. I thought that I was going to be disappointed but, in the end, he came back and said a number a things that, on reading, showed a lot of hope for the situation. I always thought that the general principle of Brexit was replication of EU law in British law; this appeared to be in danger of being the exception, in that the man in the street had the protection of the scrutiny of the European Parliament and others but was then not going to have any. I was heartened by what the Minister said, especially about the engagement with the International Relations Committee.

That brings me to today’s guiding theme: the importance of an international agreements committee for the House. We have had a sense of the excellence that has already been injected into the committee by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Goldsmith. Like others, I very much look forward to it being established on a stand-alone basis for the House—and in short order. I know that that potentially means a long time in House of Lords-speak, but I mean in short order because the committee is already proving very valuable. I beg to move.

Motion agreed.

My Lords, that completes the business before the Grand Committee this afternoon. I remind Members to sanitise their desks and chairs before leaving the Room.

Committee adjourned at 6.37 pm.