Police (Northern Ireland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:45 pm on 8th November 2000.

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Photo of Viscount Brookeborough Viscount Brookeborough Crossbench 9:45 pm, 8th November 2000

My Lords, I rise to support this amendment. I do not see why we need on the face of the Bill the possibility or availability of co-operation. I do not see why it cannot be on a much more casual and flexible basis when it comes to the two police forces.

I accept that governments may need legislation to permit them to do certain things between themselves. But the police forces are already beginning to co-operate. There are already RUC officers at the Garda training school. The secondment about which the noble Lord, Lord Dubs, spoke, does not need an Act of Parliament to take place. I do not believe that it needs such an Act of Parliament for that to take place between any states in Europe. We are talking about Europe as an open market, about co-operation on crime. Everything we do with the Garda should be taken within that context. I do not want to see such a provision on the face of the Bill. I support the amendment.