Results 1–20 of 97 for speaker:Lord Biffen

Enlargement of the EU: ECC Report (7 Dec 1999)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord St. John of Bletso, on presenting the Select Committee report and the members of that committee for all the work they put into it. I also echo the sadness that is felt because of the absence of Lord Grenfell, a man vastly experienced in international affairs. I look forward happily to his return to this Chamber. I take as my starting point, out of...

French Ban on British Beef (9 Dec 1999)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, does the Minister accept that a situation as fraught as this inevitably leads to recrimination? However, there comes a point when one seeks some solace from this miserable affair. Is the noble Baroness encouraged by the growing significance now given to the idea of origin marking in beef, and on a wider extension into other agricultural products generally? Are the French requests on...

European Council, Helsinki, 10th-11th December (13 Dec 1999)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, perhaps I may reinforce as best I can the points made by my noble friend Lord Boardman concerning the withholding tax. Does not the whole protracted debate on it and its complexity underline the value of the veto as part of the negotiating process? In that context, what does the noble Baroness believe to be the prospects at Helsinki of an enlarged European Union of 28 nation states...

The International Situation (12 Jan 2000)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, the Chamber has been privileged to hear a most compelling maiden speech by the noble Lord, Lord Fellowes. I am certain that his topic--namely, the future of the Commonwealth--should be entertained again and again in the future. Perhaps I may express a few words of thanks to my noble friend Lord Carrington. Almost all noble Lords have paid tribute to his political work, his...

National Health Service (2 Feb 2000)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, I should like to record my appreciation to my noble friend Lady Cumberlege for the choice of this topic and for the manner in which she introduced it. We must learn that there are great political issues that can be pursued without recourse to adversarial politics. The speech of the noble Lord, Lord Walton of Detchant, is an indication of how one can address the portentous...

Representation of the People Bill (14 Feb 2000)

Lord Biffen: I support my noble friend Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish in the caution that has been expressed with regard to the nomenclature of the Commonwealth embracing the United Kingdom and all other countries within the Commonwealth. We are, after all, talking about a sensitive designation; namely, the electoral roll. It implies an underlying community and shared commitment which is rather strained. The...

Representation of the People Bill (14 Feb 2000)

Lord Biffen: Before the Minister replies, perhaps I may say in a spirit of relaxed charity that one point has risen in the debate on which I should be grateful for elaboration; that is, the talk of Commonwealth membership being the subject of entitlement to vote and the discussion of reciprocity. New Section 1(1)(c) states that eligibility is conferred upon: "either a Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of...

Representation of the People Bill (14 Feb 2000)

Lord Biffen: I too support the sentiments expressed by my noble friend Lord Jopling. It is fascinating that in this particular instance legislation, which on the whole is designed to widen access to voting, imposes a restriction. One is entitled to ask what lies behind the bald print of this part of Clause 1. What is it about the situation in Northern Ireland which persuades the Minister to make this...

Representation of the People Bill (15 Feb 2000)

Lord Biffen: I welcome the debate initiated by my noble friend Lady Fookes. There is widespread unease about the state of electoral registration with regard to those who are entitled to vote and those who never go through the process of getting on to the register. I have the instinct that those who do not register today comprise a far greater number than would have been the case five, 10 or 15 years ago....

Representation of the People Bill (29 Feb 2000)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, I shall not detain your Lordships for long. However, I should like to place on record my appreciation for the statement made by the noble Lord, Lord Bassam of Brighton. He reacted as only he could to a situation created by the vote in this place. This has been a magnificently spontaneous debate. As it proceeds, it has become clear that the issues raised are of such complexity and...

Sudan (13 Mar 2000)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, in the context of the visit to the Sudan undertaken by the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury some while ago, will the Minister underline the value of that visit and indicate whether she would like a further such visit to be undertaken now?

Flags (Northern Ireland) Order 2000 (16 May 2000)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, no one can view the impractical affairs of Northern Ireland without having great sympathy for those on the Government Front Bench who have to handle the responsibilities of that Province. However, my sympathies lie with those who have great anxiety about the instrument before us. I say that because it seems that we are enveloping the whole business of flag flying with a most...

World Trade Organisation: EUC Report (14 Jul 2000)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Tomlinson, has moved the Motion with customary skill, diplomacy and persuasiveness. That is only right and proper given the very distinguished service he received from the Clerk to the committee and, indeed, the membership of the committee. My remarks will be brief and I shall cast a slightly sceptical eye over some of the provisions and implications. But I do...

Police (Northern Ireland) Bill (25 Oct 2000)

Lord Biffen: I have heard a great deal of the debate on the Bill, but I have had the proper diffidence of an Englishman in not wishing to make too assertive a comment. The debate echoes the constant desire for constitutional and social fine-tuning to bring about a more settled future for the Province. It seems to me that, far from bringing about a greater settlement, new recognitions and new loyalty, the...

Transport Bill (30 Oct 2000)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, I understand the noble Lord's exposition of the difference. Nevertheless, this place would not be doing its duty if it did not probe further the factors behind this division. I appreciate that the noble Lord does not bring a departmental view to the matter. But, for example, could the Public Accounts Committee be given the chance to carry out an investigation? We are talking about a...

Transport Bill (30 Oct 2000)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, I am more than happy to receive a reply in writing. I apologise for my mistake.

Written Answers — House of Lords: Armenian Massacre, 1915 (7 Feb 2001)

Lord Biffen: asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether they will list the factors which have dissuaded them from acknowledging as genocide the Armenian massacre in 1915.

Foot and Mouth Disease (13 Mar 2001)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Williams of Elvel, mentioned his interest in 30 acres of pasture land. I echo that. I too have 30 acres of Somerset pasture land. I believe that that makes me a people's landowner. But above all, although it is an interest, I can truthfully say that it is barely an influence on my opinions on the matters being discussed this evening. What is an influence is the...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Anglo-Georgian Trade (16 Mar 2001)

Lord Biffen: asked Her Majesty's Government: What has been the trend in Anglo-Georgian trade since 1996; what are the prospects for improvement; and whether Export Credit Guarantee cover will be made available for this business.

Offshore Combustion Installations (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Regulations 2001 (16 Mar 2001)

Lord Biffen: My Lords, I owe an explanation to the noble Lord, Lord Sainsbury, and to your Lordships generally. My late arrival was occasioned by my having spent four hours this morning in a dialysis chair. None the less, I am pleased to have arrived in time to make a brief observation. I apologise for not giving notice of this to the Minister. These provisions have been widely discussed within the...


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