Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, would it not be a better solution to have a coherent system of devolution of powers, including transport, to all the regions of England? Will the Government look at this? If they do not do it soon I can assure them that it will be brought in by a Labour Government. The way things are going, that cannot be far away.
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, on all these reports, we now have the report of the Electoral Commission, which found that the Leave campaign broke the law; we have very strong evidence of Russian involvement; and there are reports of other investigations which have been carried out into the veracity of the referendum. Yet the Minister says that the Government are still willing to accept the result. What would it...
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, I declare an interest as chair of Age Scotland. Charities are finding it very difficult at the moment because of cutbacks in grants from government and local government and difficulty in fundraising. Can I suggest that we ask the views of the chair of the Charity Commission on this? We will then find out whether her interest is really in favour of charities or of the Government.
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, does the Minister agree that cheating in universities is nothing when compared with the cheating in the EU referendum by Nigel Farage and his cronies? In the light of the report by the Electoral Commission, should the result of that referendum now be declared invalid?
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, the Leader of the House has indicated that a lot more work has been done by the Government on the possibility of a no-deal outcome. How would such an outcome affect the Northern Ireland border, the position of European Union citizens in the United Kingdom and United Kingdom citizens in Europe, and our payments to the European Union?
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, given what we have just heard about the draft report from the Electoral Commission and what the Minister heard yesterday from my noble friend Lord Rooker and myself on the Bloomberg report, how can the result of that referendum still be considered valid?
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: I respect what the Minister said. We are not asking him to comment on a private deal. There are two points to be made. First, if information is made available to a section of the public, the law is clear—that it is effectively being made available publicly—and the section of the public in this case was the hedge funds. So some breach clearly took place. Secondly, the evidence may...
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: One problem, as I understand it, is that this may not be something that the Department for which the Minister is directly responsible can deal with. Will he draw it to the attention of Ministers in the department which might be able to act?
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, I add my thanks to our chair, the noble Lord, Lord Lipsey, and our locum chair, the noble Baroness, Lady Jay, both of whom were really exceptional and showed their vast experience in politics and Parliament. I also thank the staff, who were exceptional, and the witnesses, without whom we would not have had a report. Like most, if not all, the Select Committee reports that we see,...
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: The right reverend Prelate is also shaking her head.
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, is the Minister aware that there is one part of this country, the United Kingdom, where we do not have any of these problems of highly paid water executives, because under successive Governments of different parties, water has remained in public ownership—and that is Scotland?
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: Come to Scotland!
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, is the Minister aware that, notwithstanding his replies and the squalid stitch-up taking place down the Corridor, we are on our way to disaster if we continue down the road to Brexit?
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following reports of further deaths of those protesting against President Ortega, what representations they are making to the Government of Nicaragua to ensure that the human rights of those demonstrating against the President are protected.
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: I am grateful to the Minister for that helpful Answer. Is she aware that, having rejoiced at the Sandinista victory over the dictator Somoza in 1979 and having condemned the US intervention in Nicaragua by funding the Contras, it grieves me and my colleagues to read the report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the human rights violations by the Government of Nicaragua,...
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, I wonder whether I can add something as a fellow rebel. The Order Paper is inaccurate. It is wrong to say that the noble Lord, Lord Balfe, resigned. We have just heard that he did not, so the Motion is not correct. I address the Senior Deputy Speaker because he is moving the Motion. As the House heard last week, I have the greatest respect for him, sitting with him as I do on the...
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: I am not clear, although I normally understand exactly what the noble Lord, Lord McFall, says. Is he saying he is going to take this Motion back and reconsider this appointment to the International Relations Committee? Is that going back to the committee?
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: My Lords, I support the Motion and think this is a very good report. I was at the meeting that took place and supported all the recommendations. I also commend the Senior Deputy Speaker for the way in which he conducted the meeting and for his sympathetic consideration of all the points raised.
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: Will the Minister join me in commending the Electoral Commission for making provision for elections to the European Parliament, should we still remain as members?