Scotland Bill — Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 21st March 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Cormack Lord Cormack Conservative 3:30 pm, 21st March 2016

My Lords, both noble and learned Lords have made powerful points. I do not wish to make anything other than a very brief intervention, but I have amendments, strongly supported both in Committee and on Report, concerning the word “normally”. I am extremely sorry that the Minister has not really met that point. It has been made with great eloquence by noble Lords learned in the law, and it was made by those of us throughout the United Kingdom who share the concern of the two noble and learned Lords who have just spoken. I am sorry that their amendments have not been deemed admissible. Of course they have done entirely properly in not seeking to move them, but this is an unsatisfactory Bill and we are in an unsatisfactory situation.

I put it on record that I remain extremely concerned about the use of this very loose word “normally”. I believe as a layman that it is clearly something that could be justiciable. I know not what will happen, but I fear that we are not putting on the statute book something that recognises what noble Lords in all parts of this House have recognised. In my opinion this is a flaw in the Bill, and it has been demonstrated as such by many people. I am sorry that the Minister has not felt able to move on this issue.