Amendment 12

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report – in the House of Lords at 7:45 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Elton Lord Elton Conservative 7:45 pm, 17th July 2019

I do not question that things have changed a great deal, but I do say to my noble friend on the Front Bench that the Commons do not send us instructions and our function is not to concur with them. They send us proposals for legislation, and they seek and consider our views on them, and our views are important. There is a momentum behind this proposal. It is driven by enthusiasm. It has an enormous backing in the House of Commons. But we still have a duty to see that it is fit for purpose.

What worries me, and should worry your Lordships, are all the things that the noble Baroness has just referred to as to how in some ways it will make things worse. It will allow children to be born who will then have to be left to die. I mention the most emotive of these, but there are many. It seems to me that we should not simply give in to a pressure to get things done quickly and do them wrong; we should do them perfectly. In my view, your Lordships should consider very carefully whether we should not adhere to our function and our traditions and take the time to ask the other place to consider whether in fact what has been shown to be wrong can be put right.