International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill — Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:15 pm on 27th February 2015.

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Photo of Lord Purvis of Tweed Lord Purvis of Tweed Liberal Democrat 2:15 pm, 27th February 2015

My Lords, this is a sunrise clause amendment before we debate a sunset clause amendment, neither of which I would accept. Commencement orders come with legislation, usually through secondary legislation to do with the administrative implementation of agreed primary legislation, but usually to do with technical aspects of proper timing for administrative or technical purposes. That is quite different from this measure. The Bill has now had more than 25-and-a-half hours of parliamentary scrutiny. It has gone through the House of Commons and has been tested by Division in both Houses. Once it is on the statute book in this Parliament the proper parliamentary manner in which this would be repealed would be for a measure to be put forward in the next Parliament to repeal it. That would have to be done in the full glare of public opinion after significant debate and, one hopes, after a degree of consensus. Funnily enough, all those aspects are why this Bill was presented to Parliament. All those aspects are there, and that is why I believe it is strong. I know that the noble Lord who put forward this amendment is not like other noble Lords who have indicated very clearly that they oppose the 0.7% target in principle. They have said that it is gesture politics and a dishcloth of a proposal. I know that the noble Lord does not hold those views, but nevertheless I do not believe that this is appropriate. Parliament will have expressed its view on the Bill. I hope that it will be enduring legislation but the proper course would be for a future Parliament to repeal it, if it so chose. Therefore I hope that the noble Lord will withdraw his amendment. If he does not do so, I would ask the House not to accept the amendment.