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Clause 2 — Addition to list of treaties

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 5:48 pm on 30th January 2008.

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Photo of Rob Marris Rob Marris PPS (Rt Hon Shaun Woodward, Secretary of State), Northern Ireland Office 5:48 pm, 30th January 2008

I may surprise the hon. Gentleman on this occasion by not reading out part of a document. The argument that I understand him to be making is one to which I referred earlier in the themed debate. He seems to be saying that the bit he seeks to remove via his amendment is redundant in the treaty. I am not sure that I agree with that argument, although I understand it. He then seems not to follow the logic of that. I think he was here when I mentioned looking through the telescope the wrong way. If the piece that he seeks to remove were included, would it put a brake on the liberalisation that the House generally agrees that we wish? I understand the argument about redundancy—as a lawyer, I perhaps like it—but looking at it in the round, one has to ask whether it is really a problem if the provision were included. He says that we can have liberalisation under existing treaties, agreements and so on—that might well be the case—but is it a problem if it is in this treaty anyway? Would there be a downside, apart from inelegant wording and redundancy?