Clause 1 — United Kingdom loans to Ireland

Part of Loans to Ireland Bill (Allocation of Time) – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 15th December 2010.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee, Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 4:45 pm, 15th December 2010

I happen to agree with that, which is why I did not vote against the Bill, but I must say that this is not a matter of merely academic interest, because the consequence that I mentioned at the beginning of my speech, which led me to abstain, is that there is no restriction on the greater amount. I wait with enormous interest to hear whether the Minister will differ from the Chancellor of the Exchequer on that, but when it is an open-ended provision for a greater amount, I would like to know what that greater amount's limit would be.

In the context of the interlocking aspect to which I have just referred, I remain deeply concerned that the amount could be greater, and that this matter could get caught up in the complicated ongoing negotiations-I recognise that the Chancellor and his Ministers have had some very complicated negotiations. I remain worried about the direction in which we seem to be going, therefore. It would be so simple for the Government to give me either a direct assurance, which I would regard as a second-tier response, or a specific agreement to accept my amendment just to get me off their back. I would regard such an agreement as a useful way of dealing with the situation, but I bet I do not get that.