Northern Ireland Budget Bill - Second Reading (and remaining stages)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:13 pm on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Hain Lord Hain Labour 12:13 pm, 31st October 2019

Perhaps the noble Lord would follow up on our previous exchange, and I apologise to noble Lords for briefly pursuing this. It is my understanding, based on recent discussions I have had at the Bar of the House with Members of Parliament, including MPs from Northern Ireland, that business managers in the Commons are telling them that there is no time to take the remaining stages of the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill. If that is the case, perhaps I may put two things on the record. First, that is not right. To use the excuse of electing the Speaker on Monday as a reason not to take through the Bill is unacceptable. If it means MPs sitting for a few hours more on Monday, they must do so in order in to protect the victims of historical institutional abuse because they have suffered horrendously.

The other procedural option—I have checked this, and I am a former Leader of the Commons—is that a First Reading in the Commons could take place. It could then go into the wash-up period. I have been told for a fact by Members of the Labour Opposition that they will support it, as will the DUP, Lady Sylvia Hermon, the Liberal Democrats and, I am sure, the SNP, so it could receive Royal Assent. The information that MPs have been given that there is no time for Royal Assent is nonsense. Royal Assent could be given at any time before Dissolution formally takes place. I am sorry to burden the House with this, but it is important to put it on the record.