On 30th December 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s European Union (Future Relationship) Bill at all stages. Three votes were held on the Bill, in which bishops took part:
At the beginning of proceedings Lord Adonis (Lab) moved, as an amendment to the Business of the House motion, to insert at the end –
“but that this House regrets the gross abuse of the Parliamentary process and lack of any opportunity for effective scrutiny that has been necessitated by the failure of Her Majesty’s Government (1) to enable Parliament to meet in a more timely manner, and (2) to make other provisions for the rights of Parliament to be upheld.”
The amendment was rejected by 125 Content to 323 Not Content (Government win).
The Bishop of Leeds voted Content
The Bishops of Southwark and Winchester voted Not Content
As an amendment to the Motion that the Bill be given a Second Reading, Labour Peer Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town moved, at end to insert –
“and this House welcomes that the agreement with the European Union has avoided the United Kingdom leaving the transition period without a deal, but regrets the many shortcomings including the bureaucratic burdens, regulatory hurdles, relative neglect of the services sector, limited provision for mutual recognition of qualifications, uncertainty on regulation of data flows, and limited concessions on integrated supply chains outside the European Union, included in that agreement; further regrets the failure to secure all the vital shared tools on security and policing required to keep people safe; notes that there are considerable details yet to be negotiated; and calls on Her Majesty’s Government to work with Parliament and the devolved authorities (1) to establish robust oversight procedures over the remaining areas to be agreed and the implementation of those aspects already in the agreement, and (2) to move quickly to establish the Parliamentary Partnership Assembly jointly with the European Parliament.”
The amendment was rejected by 213 Content to 312 Not Content (Government win).
The Bishops of Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Southwark and St Albans voted Content
The Bishop of Blackburn voted Not Content
Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Newby moved, as an amendment to the motion that this bill do now pass, to leave out from “that” to the end and insert –
“this House declines to allow the Bill to pass because it fails to meet the undertakings given to the people of the United Kingdom by the Prime Minister and other members of Her Majesty’s Government as it (1) implements the first free trade deal in history to put up new barriers to trade that will harm businesses and impose additional costs on consumers in the United Kingdom, (2) ends the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, (3) deprives the United Kingdom’s financial services sector of passporting rights, (4) deprives police in the United Kingdom of direct, real-time access to European Union law enforcement databases, (5) ends the United Kingdom’s participation in the Erasmus+ student exchange programme, (6) does not provide a grace period for businesses to prepare for and adapt to the new rules, and (7) will result in lower economic growth and less revenue for key public services; and because Her Majesty’s Government has failed to provide sufficient opportunity for Parliament or the public to scrutinise it properly.”
The amendment was rejected by 101 Content to 466 Not Content (Government win).
No bishop voted Content
The Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishops of Blackburn, Coventry, Ely, Leeds, London, Manchester, Southwark and St Albans voted Not Content