Police (Northern Ireland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 8th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Shepherd Lord Shepherd Labour 6:45 pm, 8th November 2000

My Lords, at the Committee stage we spent some two-and-a-quarter hours debating this difficult subject. The debate so far today seems to have followed very much the same pattern as the debate in Committee. One does not make any criticism of that--it is a difficult issue--but I wonder whether it is in the interests of the Bill. There is still much to be done. Your Lordships will certainly wish to see that it is done and that there is a reasonable amount of time in which to discuss these matters, but perhaps the House believes--like me--that we should gracefully bring this particular discussion to a conclusion.

I do not know whether the Leader of the House can suggest any procedure under which this can be achieved. I do not think so. I think it is a matter for the assent of the House. If we were to proceed in this way, I suggest that, after the Minister has spoken, those noble Lords who have brought forward the amendments should make their final remarks and that we should then reach a conclusion one way or the other.