Clause 3

Part of Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 9th March 2010.

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Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley 10:30 am, 9th March 2010

Perhaps I see things from a different perspective. Let us say that we have an insolvent country that cannot pay all its debts and we do not want any creditor to be preferred, and let us assume for a moment that the Bill will have sufficient force and that people will not jurisdiction-shop and go somewhere else to enforce the debt. In principle, we are saying that insolvent countries cannot pay all the debts. It is in the interest of all creditors to get paid their poundage, and we are saying that that should be fair and no creditor should be preferred. I do not see that as retrospective, because that is current—the current situation is that it cannot pay its debts. Yes, that interferes with contracts, but not to the extent that the contract is enforceable. Creditors can get their money paid only because there is an agreement to have a poundage. I do not see the difficulty.