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Clause 94 - Making of order

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 6th December 2001.

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Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes Minister of State, Scottish Office, Minister of State (Scotland Office) 10:00 am, 6th December 2001

I understand that. The hon. Gentleman objected to my allusion but I object—my hon. Friends will support me—to his earlier assertion that we made a backroom deal. We could not have been more open and upfront about the matter. I have made statements, held discussions and issued press releases. I do not know whether he sees the Scottish newspapers now that he is no longer a Scottish spokesman, but they have contained details of the change. No one objects to it. I have not received floods of objections from MSPs, except from SNP Members for purely nationalistic reasons. Devolution is about dialogue, partnership and trust between two Parliaments. We are building trust, and consultation with Scottish Ministers is part of that process.

I hope that I have answered the points that have been made. We have dealt with the matter in an open and upfront way and consulted with our colleagues in the Scottish Executive. They want us to move in this direction and there are no objections. The people of Scotland who are represented by my colleagues and me want us to move in this direction. We want a unified system throughout the United Kingdom with no hiding place for drug dealers. That is why the word ''may'' must be changed to ''must''.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 12, Noes 5.