Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – ping pong

On 7th March 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Report. A vote was held on an amendment from Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Newby to hold a second referendum on the outcome of Brexit negotiations . Seven Lords Spiritual took part. 

On 13th March 2017, the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill during ping pong, after the Commons had refused to accept amendments from the House of Lords. A vote was held on two amendments tabled by the Liberal Democrats to reinstate previously accepted amendments on the status of EU nationals and on parliamentary scrutiny. Five Lords Spiritual took part.  Continue reading “Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – ping pong”

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York speaks to amendment on Parliamentary Scrutiny

On Monday 13th March, the House of Lords debated an amendment to the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, during ping pong. This amendment would have insisted on retaining the Lords’ original amendment to protect the status of EU nationals in the UK.  The Archbishop of York spoke against the amendment, which was later defeated during […]

On Monday 13th March, the House of Lords considered the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which had been returned to it by the House of Commons during a parliamentary process known as ‘ping pong’. MPs had rejected an amendment passed by the Lords  to ensure Parliamentary scrutiny of any final EU negotiated deal.  The Liberal Democrats tabled a further amendment to disagree with the Commons in its decision. The Archbishop of York, the Rt Hon and Most Rev Dr John Sentamu, spoke in favour of agreeing with the Commons (so opposing the amendment, which was later defeated during a vote).

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The Archbishop of York: I shall not detain noble Lords long, but in response to the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, who always speaks with such clarity and grace, I must say that the problem with the amendment is with subsection (4). If the Prime Minister does not get an agreement, whatever she does she has to have the rule of Parliament. She will bring it to Parliament, but the problem is this, if I understand it right—that triggering Article 50 is an irreversible act. Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York speaks to amendment on Parliamentary Scrutiny”

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York speaks to amendment on EU Nationals

york-170117On Monday 13th March, the House of Lords considered the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which had been returned to it by the House of Commons during a parliamentary process known as ‘ping pong’. MPs had rejected an amendment passed by the Lords  to make protection of EU/EAA nationals a priority in the Brexit negotiation process.  The Liberal Democrats tabled a further amendment to disagree with the Commons in its decision. The Archbishop of York, the Rt Hon and Most Rev Dr John Sentamu, spoke in favour of agreeing with the Commons (so opposing the amendment, which was later defeated during a vote).


The Archbishop of York: My Lords, I have been listening to what people have said and do not want to repeat anything. However, some of us objected to the amendments not because we lacked sympathy, understanding or compassion. We did it simply because we thought there was a confusion of process with substance. Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York speaks to amendment on EU Nationals”

Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – that the Bill should not proceed

On 7th March 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Third Reading. A vote was called on a Liberal Democrat motion that the Bill should not pass.Six Lords Spiritual took part in the vote. 
Continue reading “Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – that the Bill should not proceed”

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York speaks on amendment about Northern Ireland impact

york-170117-bOn Tuesday 7th March 2017, the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Report stage and Third Reading. Labour Peer Lord Hain moved Amendment 5, seeking to ensure the Prime Minister give an undertaking to support the right of Northern Irish people to claim Irish citizenship as per the Belfast Agreement in negotiations following the triggering of Article 50. The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu welcomed the probing amendment for raising awareness of the issue.

The Archbishop of York My Lords, it is a real delight to follow the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Eames. When he was Archbishop of Armagh he invited me endless times to visit Northern Ireland, even during the terrible Troubles. As a result we ended up spending a lot of holidays in that particular part of Ireland. It is a very beautiful, wonderful place. The noble Lords, Lord Hain and Lord Reid, spoke with insight. I would like to follow in their footsteps on this wonderful probing amendment that the noble Lord, Lord Hain, says he is not going to put to a vote. Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York speaks on amendment about Northern Ireland impact”

Votes: EU (notification of Withdrawal) Bill – parliamentary approval of Brexit deal

On 7th March 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Report. A vote was called on a cross-party amendment to give parliament an approval vote on a negotiated Brexit deal. Ten bishops took part.  Continue reading “Votes: EU (notification of Withdrawal) Bill – parliamentary approval of Brexit deal”

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Chester on difficulties of amendment on parliamentary approval of Brexit deal

On Tuesday 7th March 2017, the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Report Stage and Third Reading. A cross-party amendment led by Lord Pannick sought to ensure that Parliament had final approval of any Brexit deal negotiated with the EU by the Prime Minister. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate on the amendment.

The Lord Bishop of Chester My Lords, whether Article 50 notification is revocable or irrevocable is a matter of policy or law. I believe that we could interrupt the process of leaving the EU only by another referendum. I think this is the point that the noble Lord, Lord Lawson, touched upon. In fact, the noble Baroness, Lady Altmann, made the same point at the beginning of her speech. If in two years’ time Parliament were seen to be blocking the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union without another referendum, there would be a serious political situation in our country. Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Bishop of Chester on difficulties of amendment on parliamentary approval of Brexit deal”

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York on difficulties of amendment giving parliament the final say on Brexit deal

york-170117On Tuesday 7th March 2017, the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Report Stage and Third Reading. A cross-party amendment led by Lord Pannick sought to ensure that Parliament had final approval of any Brexit deal negotiated with the EU by the Prime Minister. The Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, spoke in the debate on the amendment.

The Archbishop of York My Lords, I hope you will permit me to think aloud; these are not yet crystallised thoughts. I heard the exchanges between the noble Lords, Lord Pannick, Lord Hannay and Lord Forsyth, and I still want to work out some of the complications. For me, Amendment 3 provides for the intrusion of Parliament into the negotiation processes—which I do not think should happen—in such a way that it could prevent any deal ever being reached, because we would be involving ourselves in the processes. Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of York on difficulties of amendment giving parliament the final say on Brexit deal”

Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – second referendum

On 7th March 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Report. A vote was held on an amendment from Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Newby to hold a second referendum on the outcome of Brexit negotiations . Seven Lords Spiritual took part.  Continue reading “Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – second referendum”

EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of Canterbury – second referendum would ‘add to divisions’ in society

abcvalues5On Tuesday 7th March 2017, the Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Report stage and Third Reading. Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Newby, tabled an amendment seeking a national referendum on the final Brexit deal. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby, spoke against the amendment. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury My Lords, I apologise to the House for not having been present at earlier stages of the Bill, for medical reasons beyond my control. The benefit for your Lordships is that I will not be on my feet for long.

I was disappointed to miss the excellent debates at early stages. What unites us in this House, across all Benches, is how seriously we take our role as scrutineers. On our best days, we approach each question not on the basis of tribe or loyalty, but on the strength of the argument and how it might work for the common good of the whole country. On these Benches, we are not a party, nor do we follow a Whip. Today will see a significant number of Bishops appearing, not because we hold ourselves out as constitutional experts but because we are deeply embedded in every local community in England. We may dress the same, but we have independent minds, as anyone observing church politics recently will be well aware. So I speak today not in a corporate but in a personal capacity. Continue reading “EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Archbishop of Canterbury – second referendum would ‘add to divisions’ in society”