Transport Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 9th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Brabazon of Tara Lord Brabazon of Tara Crossbench 4:45 pm, 9th November 2000

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his detailed reply, particularly for his reference to the fact that the special share, or golden share, is only one of the protection measures and that national security does not rely solely upon that. The noble Lord must admit, at least, that there is a danger that the Commission may adopt the same stance on this golden share as it has on the BAA articles of association. I know that the European Court will take some little while to make a decision on that issue, but I hope that the Government are right to be confident that they can withstand challenge on this matter. We have had many experiences where the Government--of whatever party--have thought that was going to be the case, but in the end it has turned out not to be.

Perhaps I may ask the Minister a question about the strategic partnership agreement to which he referred. Will that agreement be made public? Will we be able to see it when it comes into existence? If the noble Lord cannot answer at this stage, perhaps he will write to me on the matter.