Transport Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 9th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley Labour 7:15 pm, 9th November 2000

My Lords, I declare an interest as chairman of the Rail Freight Group. I oppose these amendments. The clause is absolutely essential in the move towards encouraging more efficient, more frequent and generally more cross-Channel freight and, I suspect, passengers as well.

The big problem of the European rail freight industry and the rail passenger industry--I shall not give a long lecture at this time of night--is that each member state has done its own thing. I certainly commend the European Commission for the initiative it has taken. Technical standards are a major part of it, but not the only part. The amendments would constrain the clause to "technical" standards. It must cover everything--including some of the matters mentioned by the noble Earl, Lord Attlee--if it is to be at all effective.