New Psychoactive Substances: EUC Report — Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:00 pm on 11th November 2013.

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Photo of Viscount Bridgeman Viscount Bridgeman Conservative 8:00 pm, 11th November 2013

My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Hannay, for his excellent exposition of this report. My noble friend Lord Sharkey has given the background in some detail. The noble Baroness, Lady Meacher, has given more qualified support.

As a relatively new member of this committee I am struck that this is a classic case of subsidiarity: where there is a clash of joint competences between the

Commission and a member state, the member state should prevail. I hope that I do not put that too simply. It is also an example of proportionality. We found that the Commission’s concern that legal transmission of these substances was disproportionate. Insufficient data were produced. We therefore disagreed with the Commission on that point. My third point is that this report makes it clear, if our views are taken into account, that the member states will be dependent on the two central bodies referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Hannay, and other back-up services from the Commission.

I conclude by reminding your Lordships that my honourable friend Norman Baker, my Liberal Democrat colleague in the Commons, was fully supportive of the view at which the committee has arrived.