I wish to make a few comments. First, we are all delighted to see you back, Mr. Cook. Such stoicism is to be commended and proves that British politicians are every bit as resilient as American former Presidents.
The Scottish clauses in the Civil Partnership Bill achieve the same policy purpose as part 2, but have been drafted to reflect the special characteristics of Scots law. The purpose of the Government's amendments is to ensure complete legal consistency between rights that accrue to civil partners and married couples.
I trust that we shall have an opportunity this morning to consider not just the Scottish provisions but the Northern Irish provisions as we are discussing three jurisdictions in the Bill.
Question put, That the clause stand part of the Bill:—
The Committee divided: Ayes 12, Noes 1.