Indeed, my Lady and my Lords.
If I am short, it is not because I wish to appear in any way dismissive of the submissions by my learned friend the Lord Advocate, by my learned friend Mr Gordon, and by my learned friends for the Northern Ireland Bar, Mr Scoffield and Mr Lavery; it is because I stand between you and my learned friend, Mr Eadie.
My Lords, could I shortly address one or two issues that have been raised with regard to the devolved legislation. First of all, with regard to Northern Ireland, the Government is fully and obviously firmly committed to the Belfast agreement and the institutions that are thereby established. We have sought to explain in detail in our printed case why the trigger of Article 50 and the United Kingdom's exit from the EU will not undermine any of that. We have already responded to the applicant's written arguments in that regard.
My learned friend Mr Scoffield made quite a lot, as anticipated, of the North South Ministerial Council and implementation bodies, and in particular the special EU programmes body. In order to respond to that, my learned friends, Dr McGleenan and Paul McLaughlin of the Northern Ireland Bar have prepared a short note as I anticipated when I originally addressed the court, and I wonder if your Lordships have a copy of that. I don't propose at this stage to take your Lordships through it in detail.