Lord Green of Deddington: My Lords, in that case, how is it that no other European country allows foreign citizens to vote in their referenda?
Lord Green of Deddington: The noble Lord will be aware that I have an amendment in the next group that would deal with his problem.
Lord Green of Deddington: I apologise for interrupting the noble Lord, but does he accept that mine was a point of fact, not an accusation?
Lord Green of Deddington: I made it clear to noble Lords that that calculation was based on the Labour Force Survey, which as they will know is a survey and is therefore subject to some variation. However, when the noble Lord talks about 1.9 million he is talking about a lot of people who have been resident here for five years.
Lord Green of Deddington: My Lords, there is not much between us. The noble Lord said 1.75 million; I said 1.9 million.
Lord Green of Deddington: I think it is true to say that, for all EU nationalities, dual citizenship is permitted.
Lord Green of Deddington: My Lords, 20 minutes ago, we thought that we would try to get this done tonight. Do your Lordships want to proceed or would you rather do it on Monday?
Lord Green of Deddington: Okay. The hour is late, and I shall be extremely brief; I think that I can do this in five minutes or so. Let me set out very briefly the reasoning behind my amendments to Clause 2. Your Lordships will be well aware that the franchise in the referendum Bill is based on that which applies to general elections and is the same as for those. As such, it includes Commonwealth and Irish citizens,...
Lord Green of Deddington: The quote was precise. The proposal was that it should be phased out, if that is what you mean—
Lord Green of Deddington: Well, what the noble and learned Lord said is that it should be phased out. His view was clearly, as in the bit that I quoted, that those who are not British citizens should not continue to have the vote. Of the three reasons, the first is the importance of the decision for Britain’s long-term future—that is obvious. Secondly, there is the issue of reciprocity, since no EU Government...
Lord Green of Deddington: In that case, will the noble Lord explain why British citizens are not able to vote in a referendum in Ireland?
Lord Green of Deddington: The noble Lord asks a very good question. People from the islands he mentions—I think they are all islands—would have the vote if they were resident in Britain. The numbers involved would be trivial. This is a de minimis situation. As the noble Lord said, this is a very complex question of nationality, so there is no answer that will be entirely perfect, but I reckon my suggestion is as...
Lord Green of Deddington: That is wrong.
Lord Green of Deddington: Did the noble Lord hear me say earlier that I have a letter from the noble and learned Lord, Lord Goldsmith, which supports my amendment?
Lord Green of Deddington: I thank noble Lords. It is late enough. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment. Amendment 12 withdrawn. Amendment 13 not moved. House resumed.
Lord Green of Deddington: My Lords, I welcome the Question from the noble Lord, Lord Avebury. As it happens, Yemen was my first post and Saudi Arabia was my last. I suggest to the Minister that we should focus our efforts on the humanitarian aspects here, partly for the reasons given by the noble Lord, Lord Anderson. It is a hugely complex situation, internally in Yemen and externally in the regional powers. The best...
Lord Green of Deddington: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the budget totals for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in each of the last five available financial years; how much of each budget was within the discretion of that department's management; and what proportion of the overall national budget expenditure those two figures represent for the last available year.
Lord Green of Deddington: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 19 October (HL2532), which specific elements of European law require the right to challenge an adverse asylum decision via an effective remedy; and whether the nature of such a remedy is prescribed.
Lord Green of Deddington: My Lords, I have one question. Some very powerful points have been made and I do not dissent from the case for granting the vote to British residents in the EU. But we need to be clear that we are talking about a very substantial number of people here. The number of British citizens in the EU is about 1.3 million, according to the UN Population Division; maybe a couple of million, according...
Lord Green of Deddington: It is most interesting that the noble Lord should say that the number of registrations is so low. Of course, it will be higher if there is actually a referendum. But if the numbers are relatively small, perhaps I should turn my argument on its head and say that if a large number of people are not concerned here, why take the risk of appearing to alter the franchise in your own direction?