Lord Cope of Berkeley (Conservative)
As I said in connection with the previous amendment, I accept Amendment No. 18 and those that are associated with it as a small but important concession on the Government's part. However, I wonder how it fits in with the choreography of Northern Ireland that we heard about earlier from the Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms. Nevertheless, it is welcome.
However, as the Minister pointed out, Amendment No. 20 and those that are associated with it attempt to go further. I see no reason why Members of the Dail should be acceptable as Northern Ireland Ministers. I think that that would constitute a terrible conflict of interest. Given the d'Hondt procedure, it is not in anyone's gift to stop it unless we stop it in the legislation. That is the purpose of the amendments I mentioned which go further than the Government's.