Clause 105 — Removal from most senior judicial offices

Part of Orders of the Day — Constitutional Reform Bill [Lords] — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 1st February 2005.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party 4:30 pm, 1st February 2005

I think that the Minister is, uncharacteristically, in error. What we are discussing is in no way related to the current suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly. If it resumed tomorrow, the provisions in the 2002 Act would not apply. They are not part of the settlement to which the Minister refers, but they are part of an entirely separate arrangement about the possible future devolution of justice and policing matters to the Northern Ireland Assembly. That will not happen without the agreement of both sides of the community in Northern Ireland, and at present there is absolutely no prospect of that happening in the foreseeable future. We have turned our face very firmly against it. In that situation, to introduce measures that would come into effect only in the distant future is a retrograde step, and to pass this off as following on from the 1998 agreement is not right.