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 Earl Attlee Earl Attlee Conservative 7:15 pm, 9th November 2000

My Lords, some may think that this amendment deals with exactly the same issue as the previous amendment. It does not. The amendment deals with the new attempt by officials to goldplate yet another perfectly sensible EU directive and further alienate the people from the EU.

I do not believe that it is necessary to create any specific offences. No person manufacturing, installing or even operating railway equipment would not want to adhere to the technical interoperability standards. First, there would be no point, as the objectives of the directive are laudable; secondly, the persons involved are highly responsible, and if they were not they would be experiencing severe difficulties with the regulatory authorities; and, finally, if there was a management failure which caused a problem, the HSE would get involved, which has available a wide range of sanctions--and it has sharp teeth.

For the Minister to convince the House that the directive has not been goldplated, he will have to tell us where in the directive it states that the member states must create criminal offences. I have studied the directive very carefully and I cannot find where it suggests that member states should create criminal offences. I beg to move.