European Union (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:30 pm on 19th May 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Ashton of Upholland Baroness Ashton of Upholland President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office) 9:30 pm, 19th May 2008

That is why I said to the noble Lord, Lord Willoughby de Broke, that I want to check that because figures get moved around, and we need to be clear. I was trying to demonstrate that scrutiny overrides are quite rare. My experience of them is that they are rare, but they happen. I accept that they happen. It is important, particularly as we look further at the implementation of the treaty, that we are clear about the issues and concerns that noble Lords have raised. The proposal that the Government have put forward is a simpler, better and more efficient process than an Act of Parliament. It makes sure that the Minister is bound by what Parliament says and that the process under which Ministers are bound is a new and rigorous process that involves not only the committees but also the opportunity to deal with issues on the Floor of both Houses. It is a process that noble Lords should welcome because it is the first time such a process has been put in place. It is a process to be used rarely, but it could be used in the UK's interest. I hope that noble Lords will feel able to support it and that the noble Lord will withdraw his amendment.