Report (1st Day)

Part of European Union Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 8th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Liddle Lord Liddle Opposition Whip (Lords) 4:30 pm, 8th June 2011

My Lords, I would not go as far as the noble Baroness in describing this as a major concession in the Bill. However, in the spirit of good will in the consideration of the Bill on Report, we are prepared to withdraw the amendments in my name in the light of what the noble Lord, Lord Howell, has said, subject only to two points of clarification: first, that his letter to the noble Lord, Lord Hannay, will be deposited in the Library; and, secondly, that we are absolutely clear that the amendment to the interpretative clause, Clause 1(7), does therefore govern all the other references to "otherwise support" in the rest of the Bill, and that no one is going to turn around at a later stage and say that a Minister cannot publicly advocate a position, either in the Council or in a wider forum, until the point at which a formal decision has to be taken, so it is possible for Ministers publicly to advocate their support for a position, subject to the final decision having passed all the requirements of this eventual Act.