Results 1–20 of 4711 for speaker:Lord Bruce of Bennachie

International Sustainability: Natural Resources and Biodiversity - Motion to Take Note (4 Nov 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Jenkin, for introducing this debate and giving us the opportunity to address an issue relevant to the general election, as has been said, but much more so to the very pressing, urgent case of the future of our planet. The House will know of my long-standing interest in international development, both as chair of the International Development...

Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill [HL] - Committee (and remaining stages): Motion (31 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, if we had not had our concerns about what the other place would do, I think Hansard would have recorded that this Bill went through all its final stages in about three minutes. It is beyond belief that, at the other end, the House of Commons cannot find a few minutes to deal with the Bill, given that I cannot believe that any Member of Parliament would raise any objection from any...

Northern Ireland (Extension of Period for Executive Formation) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 - Motion to Approve (31 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, I have two things to say to the Minister. It is interesting that he thinks this might be the last step on the way. That may or may not be true. We are on the brink of an election. These issues will be pretty actively debated across Northern Ireland and Sinn Féin, the DUP and the other parties will have to explain why there is no Assembly. The outcome of the election may give an...

Northern Ireland Budget Bill - Second Reading (and remaining stages) (31 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, I think that all of us, including the Minister, will agree that this is a very inadequate substitute for proper debate and decision-making by the elected representatives of the people of Northern Ireland. However, this is a necessary Bill that has to pass before the dissolution of Parliament if services are to be maintained in the Province. My understanding is that this will...

Business of the House - Motion on Standing Orders: Amendment to the Motion (30 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, these Benches also support the manuscript amendment from the noble Lord, Lord Hain. I repeat that there is unanimity in this House and complete agreement across all the Northern Ireland parties. This can be done very quickly. It would be a travesty for a procedural block to be put on something positive that the Westminster Parliament can do in agreement with the politicians of...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019: Section 3(5) - Motion to Take Note (28 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, we are here because the Government have been mandated to provide regular updates and reports. I think we all want to thank the Minister for the conscientious way in which he has consistently brought these reports forward, and indeed for the progress that has been made in the absence of Ministers with full responsibilities, a functioning Assembly and a functioning Executive....

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019: Section 3(5) - Motion to Take Note (28 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: I take note of that. Obviously, there is real concern out there. Regarding the medical school in Derry/Londonderry, it would be good if we could establish that there is freedom to pursue this idea. Many of us have engaged in different ways. The university tells me that it is in a position to do this, if it is possible to do it. It would still be matter of getting its hands on the money—we...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019: Section 3(5) - Motion to Take Note (28 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: I am glad to have that clarification. At the end of the day, the point is that the Assembly, which has been dysfunctional for three years, ultimately loses any kind of legitimacy if its mandate is not renewed. It is perfectly likely—as may well be the case with a general election for the House of Commons—that the result will not be that dissimilar to the previous result, and the deadlock...

Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill [HL] - Second Reading (28 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, there is complete support for the Bill right across the House. It is very welcome, but it is of course shocking that we are talking about generations of abuse and decades of waiting for the potential to resolve what has happened. The range of abuse shown in the report covers the entire gamut, and obviously the legacy of abuse for those who have survived, and those who sadly did not...

Northern Ireland: Devolved Government - Question (28 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, how many more times will the Government watch a failed attempt to bring the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive back into being before they find the kind of initiative that might break the deadlock and give the people of Northern Ireland what they need, which is local politicians capable of delivering and willing to deliver so many things which are hanging undone, unfinanced and...

Irish Border: Checks and Customs Arrangements - Statement (1 Oct 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, has the Prime Minister not acknowledged that there will be physical customs posts within striking distance of both sides of the border? Would that in itself, according to the reaction that we have seen across Northern Ireland, not be deemed by most people to be incompatible with the Good Friday agreement? Could the Minister respond to the freight industry’s suggestion that any...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Bill - Commons Amendment: Motion A (22 Jul 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, on same-sex marriage and abortion, the reality is that this House was implementing the express will of the Commons and improving the workability of those amendments. This issue has come from the Commons in response to an amendment that we passed back to them. I echo the noble Baroness in saying that to suggest that this has nothing to do with the people of Northern Ireland could not...

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - Statement (18 Jul 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, I met Richard Ratcliffe when he was working in the House of Commons, and I am absolutely sure that his wife is innocent and that his family do not deserve to be suffering what they have suffered. I ask the Minister to correct her response to the noble Lord, Lord Hannay: she has actually been in prison for three years and, as I understand it, would be entitled for release under...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report: Amendment 17 (17 Jul 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, as a signatory to this amendment, I thank and congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Hain, on the work he has done on this and on taking this opportunity to bring it to a conclusion—and, I hope, by negotiation with the Minister to have a clause that will be acceptable. I want to back up what he has asked the Minister to say on the record about the “no fault of their own”...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report: Amendment 16A (to Amendment 16) (17 Jul 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady O’Loan, in introducing this amendment acknowledged that it is effectively an amendment to the previous amendment that was carried. She also gave some anecdotes about people who were told to have an abortion. I do not believe that anybody in this House believes people should be told to have an abortion or that there are practitioners who would do that. We...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report: Amendment 12 (17 Jul 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, this is a conscience issue and a sensitive one and, certainly on these Benches, it is a matter for a free vote. Nevertheless, we are also faced with the fact, as the noble Baroness just said, this is not necessarily the ideal way to legislate on this issue. But we are not in an ideal situation: we have no Assembly, we have growing pressures for change, and we have the view of the...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report: Amendment 11A (to Amendment 11) (17 Jul 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, I was pleased to be a signatory to the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Hayward, and I am grateful to him for introducing it in comprehensive detail. We have had to move at some speed, but considerable work has gone into trying to ensure that we have an amendment that is fit for purpose and delivers the intention: to bring Northern Ireland into line with the law passed for the rest...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report: Amendment 11A (to Amendment 11) (17 Jul 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: I do not dispute that whatsoever. I am taking the specific issue of same-sex marriage, and on that, Sinn Féin politicians have said that they would welcome this Parliament passing a law to introduce same-sex marriage. Indeed, politicians, leaders and leading politicians of every party bar one have done so. Had the Assembly been sitting, possibly without the use of a petition of concern, it...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report: Amendment 11A (to Amendment 11) (17 Jul 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: I think the noble Lord is misinterpreting what I said. I was quoting what had been said by Northern Ireland politicians and talking about how the Northern Ireland Assembly had voted. I am not talking about opinion polls, but about votes and the expressed views of political leaders in Northern Ireland—not my opinions but their opinions. I am simply reporting them to the House, and I suggest,...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report: Amendment 5 (17 Jul 2019)

Lord Bruce of Bennachie: My Lords, I support these amendments, which I hope the Government will be able to accept—I think they have indicated that they will, as they are asking for reports. This is valuable work that the noble Lord, Lord Empey, is recommending, covering what I regard as the people’s priorities in Northern Ireland. The reality right now is that these issues are adversely affecting people in a...


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