European Union (Accessions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:06 pm on 7th February 2006.

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Photo of Lord Dykes Lord Dykes Spokesperson in the Lords (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs 3:06 pm, 7th February 2006

My Lords, I rise to say only a few words, because there is some surprise at the limited, but none the less detailed, points made by the spokesman for the Opposition Benches, who has just spoken. These matters were thoroughly aired at all stages of the Bill. Quite rightly, no further points were made on Report, because no amendments had been made in Committee.

Quite legitimate anxieties were expressed at Second Reading and in Committee in the Commons and in our House, although not so much on the treaty accession points—important as they are—as on immigrants coming in from the two countries. To some extent, those points have been answered by the Government, although now that the matter has been raised again, I would welcome it if the Minister reiterated answers to reassure the House and if he said something about the fact that we are getting closer to the end of April and the beginning of May, when the Commission has promised its extremely detailed report on the monitoring activities and its recommendations about whether January 2007 or January 2008 should be the target entry date. Many opinions are floating around on this and much goodwill has already been expressed strongly in all parts of the House about the entry of those two countries, but, none the less, there is a wish to have further information, if that is available.