Strathclyde Review — Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:45 pm on 13th January 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Strathclyde Lord Strathclyde Conservative 10:45 pm, 13th January 2016

My Lords, what is so refreshing about the debate we have had today is that we have been discussing what we are here to do, what we are for and what the House of Lords is for. What a contrast that is with the years we spent discussing how to get here. At last we are discussing what we have to do in practice.

I shall make two short points. First, for me the most significant and interesting contribution was from the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, which showed what a good thing it is to have properly qualified senior former members of the judiciary here—with due deference also to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope of Craighead—and how wrong we were to throw out the Law Lords all those years ago.

Secondly, and perhaps more substantively, there has been an enormously wide range of views expressed in the debate. I wish the Government the best of luck in trying to bring all this together and come out with a coherent response. It will be difficult.

My noble friend Lord Young of Cookham heard something that I also heard. Although there were numerous disagreements, if we are going to change the way we debate this, the key area of disagreement is whether it should be by legislation or by agreement. I urge all those who are in favour of doing it by agreement to work within the House and with the Opposition and the Government to see if that agreement would work.

The noble Lord, Lord Cunningham, misunderstood what I wrote in my report—it is my fault because it was not clear. In my foreword, I talked about conventions, but conventions cannot be imposed by me, by the Government or by the Opposition. They can be reached only by agreement, by good will, by compromise and by joint objective. If that is the result we end up with, I will be the first to cheer.

Motion agreed.