Equality Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 9th November 2005.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Advisory Team On Legal Matters, Non-Departmental & Cross Departmental Responsibilities 4:15 pm, 9th November 2005

My Lords, the advantage of not being in government is that you can move quickly. The disadvantage of being in government is that it reminds one of the prehistoric animal called the diplodocus. Noble Lords will remember that if you trod on this beast's tail, it took five seconds for the message of pain to reach its head. The problem is that one has to consult widely, and I sympathise with that.

I want, with respect, to correct one thing. It is not just a question of Article 13 of the Treaty of the European Union. The four freedoms—freedom of labour, of services, and the other freedoms—that were under the original treaty, not under Article 13, must all be enjoyed without discrimination based on nationality. That is why one needs to put this right. But I appreciate that there needs to be further consultation across Whitehall and I hope that the diplodocus will eventually move in the other place. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.