European Communities (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 20th November 2001.

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Photo of Lord Bruce of Donington Lord Bruce of Donington Labour 6:00 pm, 20th November 2001

Can the Minister say how he regards the apparent distinction between fraud and irregularity? It would be useful to be informed of where the line is to be drawn between them. An irregularity is an irregularity. Therefore, the dividing line between that and fraud may be a question of intent. It may be a whole question which merits the decision of extremely skilled lawyers in the field. But it perhaps is a little dangerous—I put it no higher than that—to regard an irregularity as something that can be tolerated rather than checked and taken to its source and remedies for the "irregularity" instituted.