Lords Amendment No. 110

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 22nd July 2002.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith Lord Goldsmith Attorney General, Law Officers' Department, Attorney General (Law Officers) 6:00 pm, 22nd July 2002

My Lords, having listened to noble Lords, I agree that it is necessary to explain how we are in this situation.

A programme Motion was agreed with the Opposition in another place before the debate took place. It was an agreed programme Motion, not Government insisting on or forcing it. The programme Motion allowed three hours, if I correctly understand, to consider Lords amendments. That time was taken up with those matters which Members of another place wished to debate. Your Lordships have considered some of those other amendments today. When the guillotine Motion was put, it was not voted against so that matters of timing proceeded by way of agreement in another place. As it happens, which is plain from the reasons, this particular amendment was not debated. What happened thereafter, as those of your Lordships who have been in the other place will know, such as the noble Lords, Lord Renton and Lord Tebbit, the Reasons Committee will have been charged with the job of assigning a reason as best it understood it as to why the amendment had not been accepted.

The principal reason, which is both a proper and a good one, is:

"Because it is not appropriate to provide any such exceptions".

That is the first half of the reason given. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, will agree that that was submitted on behalf of the Government when I dealt with the matter at length both on Report and at Third Reading. There is nothing surprising or wrong about the proposition that the reason why the amendment is not acceptable is:

"Because it is not appropriate to provide any such exceptions".

It is right to say, too, that the other place debated Part 5 of the Bill at some length prior to the proceedings in your Lordships' House. Its view on the provisions was formed at that time and the provisions did not include any exceptions.