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I know of the case to which the hon. Gentleman mis-refers—it was heard not in the International Court of Human Rights but the lower chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. Moreover, the vote, which was four to three against the application, is being appealed, and the British judge was one of the three who voted in favour. The amendments that the hon. Gentleman is likely to support are not compatible, therefore, with human rights legislation—a point on which the Minister doubtless also has a view.
The failure of the Labour Government to support the amendments is very disappointing, given their high opinion poll rating, their large majority and the admirable interest that the Prime Minister has shown in the matter. I pay tribute to the Minister, her ministerial colleagues, and the hon. Members for Sheffield, Heeley (Ms Munn) and for Wakefield (Mr. Hinchliffe) for winning the battle for a free vote, at least. A battle it must have been, given that, on