Succession to the Crown Bill — Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 22nd April 2013.

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Photo of Lord Trefgarne Lord Trefgarne Conservative 3:15 pm, 22nd April 2013

My Lords, I take a slightly different view from that of my noble friend Lord Deben and indeed have some sympathy with the amendment proposed by my noble friend Lord Cormack. As I see it, the Bill in its present form paves the way, possibly, for the heir to the Throne and hence the occupant of the Throne to be a Roman Catholic-although I know that there are other provisions that prevent that-and at the same time Supreme Governor of the Church of England. That seems to be an absurdity which has not been addressed by the Bill although it was pointed out in earlier stages.

I am happy to be told that I am entirely wrong in all this, that I have misunderstood that it will not happen and that there are ways and means of preventing it, in which case that is a good thing. That said, the position of the Roman Catholics as described by my noble friend is an important one, which likewise needs to be taken into account. I shall have a little bit more to say when we get to the Motion that the Bill do now pass, but for the mean time I address my remarks only to the amendment of my noble friend.