Results 1–20 of 2000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Higgins

Constitutional Convention - Motion to Take Note (13 Dec 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, on his speech and the Motion he has tabled. He has been fortunate to find time for it. I thank him most sincerely for his extremely kind remarks about me. They are greatly appreciated. It has been noticeable with the relatively new practice of valedictory speeches that they are often attached to debates that have nothing...

Brexit: People’s Vote - Question (12 Dec 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, referendums are often described as democratic, but they are not what we usually mean by democratic in this country, where we have a system of representative parliamentary democracy. The effect of having a referendum is to undermine that system because it changes Members of Parliament from being representatives to delegates. Will the Minister look at the situation in the Netherlands,...

Brexit: Negotiations - Motion to Take Note (20 Nov 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, all of those who took part in the debates which set up the 2016 referendum were absolutely clear that what we were legislating for was an advisory referendum, not a mandatory one. But the morning after the result was announced, the Government immediately took the view that we should treat it as if it were a mandatory referendum. That was despite the fact that the campaign itself was...

Economy: Budget Statement - Motion to Take Note (13 Nov 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, research in the Library reveals the extraordinary fact that I have now spoken 59 times in Budget debates. This will be my 60th. Looking back on that period, there have been many memorable Budgets—by the late Lord Howe of Aberavon, by my noble friends Lord Lawson and Lord Lamont, and so on. This, I think, will not be a particularly memorable Budget, but it is certainly unique in...

Brexit: People’s Vote - Motion to Take Note (25 Oct 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, it is a great pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Sugar. I very much agree with what he said about the referendum, which has ended up in a Brexit situation. The plain and simple term that we might use is that the public were given a false prospectus. Lie after lie emerged. I am afraid the fact is that, if we have another referendum, we will find a similar situation where the...

Referendums: Parliamentary Democracy - Motion to Take Note (19 Jul 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, I was delighted and surprised to be fortunate in the Motions ballot. I am glad that my choice of subject produced a debate of such exceptional quality, even by your Lordships’ high standards, particularly with two outstanding maiden speeches from my noble friend Lord Pickles and the noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich. The Minister’s reply is very important. What has come out...

Referendums: Parliamentary Democracy - Motion to Take Note (19 Jul 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, our debates on Brexit have made frequent reference to referendums, but it seemed to me that the time had come to take a rather wider view of this issue. I am glad to see that a number of noble Lords who have added their names to the speakers’ list today take a similar view. I look forward with great interest to their comments, particularly the maiden speech from my noble friend...

European Council - Statement (2 Jul 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, the thing that is unpredictable about President Trump is that he is occasionally right. He is certainly right to have complained that the other members of NATO are not contributing their fair share and that the United States and United Kingdom are carrying a disproportionate burden. Was this matter raised at all at the summit and, if not, should it not be?

Long-term Plan for the NHS - Statement (19 Jun 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, given the Administration’s traditional objection to the hypothecation of revenue, does my noble friend agree that the Chancellor is likely to be reluctant to say that he is putting up taxation specifically for the NHS? In any case, would it be more acceptable to the public for the money to be raised by way of an increase in national insurance contributions rather than through...

Royal Bank of Scotland - Private Notice Question (5 Jun 2018)

Lord Higgins: Does my noble friend agree that this sale does not result in a loss but crystallises it? He just referred to advice he has received; would he say what advice he received about the future likely movement in the share price? He also refers to this being value for money for the taxpayer; could he explain in what way?

GKN/Melrose Takeover: Update - Statement (27 Mar 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, I share the view that this takeover proposal is important for the UK economy. My noble friend the Minister refers to legally binding contracts. There have been cases in the past where contracts have not been fulfilled by those taking companies over. What will be the consequences if these legally binding contracts are broken? In particular, since it seems unlikely that the takeover...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (8th Day) (19 Mar 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, I am tempted to reply to the vast mass of points that have been made during this debate. However, I shall deal with a more fundamental point: clearly, we need a debate and votes in both Houses on the principle of referendums. The reality is that this referendum has brought out very clearly the way in which referendums can undermine our system of democracy. This is a vital issue and...

Economy: Spring Statement - Motion to Take Note (15 Mar 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, I have long since forgotten how many Budget debates I have spoken in, but I have certainly spoken in every one since 1964, which is quite a long while. I have therefore got used to the annual Budget ritual, with the box outside No. 10, and so on. While I fully understand and accept the reasons which the Chancellor has put forward for changing our annual Budget arrangements, none the...

Economy: Spring Statement - Motion to Take Note (15 Mar 2018)

Lord Higgins: Conveniently or not, I happen to have forgotten that. At all events, let me consider what the noble Lord has just said. I am glad to see that the noble Lord, Lord Livermore, who had disappeared for a moment, is now back in his place, because what I really wanted to say is that although I did not agree with every single word he said, I very much agree with what he said in general. The...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (7th Day) (Continued) (14 Mar 2018)

Lord Higgins: My noble friend speaks of a clear instruction from the British people in the referendum but the Bill which was introduced for a referendum, and then debated and voted on in this House, was very clearly for an advisory referendum. It was in no sense an instruction.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (7th Day) (Continued) (14 Mar 2018)

Lord Higgins: But there was no decision taken; it was an advisory referendum. My noble friend refers to a leaflet distributed in the course of the referendum. If so, it was totally incompatible with what this House agreed.

United Kingdom-European Union Future Economic Partnership - Statement (5 Mar 2018)

Lord Higgins: Will my noble friend confirm that it is now the Government’s view that withdrawing from the customs union and the single market will have a damaging effect on the UK economy, as well as creating a problem for the Northern Irish border? If that is so, is that not a very strange position from which to start the negotiations? Should Parliament not have an option of voting at this stage on...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Second Reading (30 Jan 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, this Bill and the debate on it clearly mark something of a milestone in the move towards Brexit. It is appropriate that we should therefore take stock of the situation we are now in. We are effectively debating the principle of the Bill, which tends to embody the result of the referendum. Not all that many of those in the Chamber today took part in the debate on the referendum Bill....

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill [HL] - Report (2nd Day) (17 Jan 2018)

Lord Higgins: I am extremely grateful to my noble friend. It is quite clear that the grouping of these amendments is not a convenient way of proceeding. I understand that my noble friend has given careful thought to the wide range of issues covered by the amendments, and I understand that he is saying that he will make further changes to the Bill at a later stage. What I am not clear about is whether any...

Carillion - Statement (15 Jan 2018)

Lord Higgins: My Lords, following up the point on pensions, clearly a heavy burden will fall on the Pension Protection Fund. If I understand what my noble friend says, there are a number of individual pension funds involved. What is the position of the trustees of each of those, and will an inquiry be made into the extent to which they have fulfilled their obligations?


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