Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lord Lilley: Would my noble friend agree that the unionists in Northern Ireland are sensible to want a full analysis from the lawyers before they decide whether this is something they can implement? However, all of us can agree that the Prime Minister has achieved a major step forward. This is infinitely superior to what was in the protocol and validates his decision to ignore those who wanted to make a temporary and transitional arrangement permanent and implement it in full, as so many on the other side of the House did. Was not the Prime Minister right to follow Teddy Roosevelt’s advice and negotiate with a quiet voice but carrying a big stick?

    Lord True: My Lords, that last remark takes me back to the memoir writers. We shall see whether the big stick played its part. As I said—I am grateful to the noble Baroness opposite for also saying this—it is absolutely right and reasonable that all parties in Northern Ireland should look very carefully at the text and the details that the Government have laid out. That is why we have sought to lay out a detailed text in co-operation with the European Union. Of course this is better than the Northern Ireland protocol. I am delighted that that is the case, and I clearly agree with what my noble friend said on that point.