New vice-chairs to take the fight against a hard Brexit to Ministers in the House of Lords

The All Party Parliamentary Group on (APPG) EU Relations, co-chaired by Labour MP Chuka Umunna and Conservative MP Anna Soubry, has appointed new cross-party vice-chairs in the House of Lords to lead the fight against the Government’s Repeal Bill, and other Brexit legislation, when they reach the upper house.

The new vice-chairs are Baroness Ros Altmann, the former Conservative Pensions Minister; Lord Adonis, head of the National Infrastructure Commission and former Labour Transport Secretary; Lord Kerr, a cross-bencher who was UK Representative to the EU and former Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Office; Liberal Democrat Baroness Sharon Bowles, former Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament; and Lord Dafydd Wigley, former leader of Plaid Cymru.

Baroness Altmann has said of the Government’s Brexit strategy that “we are on track for a pretty disastrous outcome, and leaving with no deal will absolutely be a disastrous outcome as far as I am concerned” and has said that “Brexit is like leaping off a cliff without a parachute.” Lord Kerr recently accused Boris Johnson of being “silent” about the UK’s post-Brexit foreign policy.

The APPG’s co-chair, Anna Soubry, has dismissed the “macho” and “bullish” Government attitude to parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Co-Chair of the APPG on EU Relations, said:

“Through their not-so great Withdrawal Bill, the Government are seeking to ram massive legislative change, which will affect the lives of everyone in our country, with little scrutiny by MPs. Our APPG will focus on scrutinising and, if necessary, amending this Bill in both Houses, without fear or favour, as it goes through Parliament.

“That’s why we are delighted to announce our new vice-chairs in the House of Lords, who will bring their political experience and expert knowledge to bear to ensure that Brexit will not be built on a creaking foundation of bad legislation.

“MPs and Peers from across Parliament will not sit by passively and allow the Government to bulldoze their way to a hard, destructive Brexit that puts our prosperity and our relationship with our European allies at risk.”