Results 121–140 of 369 for speaker:Lord Williamson of Horton

European Union (Amendment) Bill (12 May 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: I, too, would not wish to see the words "European Parliament and" excluded from the Bill as proposed in Amendment No. 40. I take the view that the European Parliament's intervention in agricultural matters as a result of changes in the budget system that give it some real power that it did not have before is likely to be positive for changes in the agricultural policy of the Union. I do not...

European Union (Amendment) Bill (12 May 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: I thank the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Wirral, for putting these amendments together into one block—a great advantage—and for using the old English word "zeal", which I have not heard from the opposition Benches for some time. I also support what the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, said, about the incredible importance of this part of the responsibilities of the European Union. I accept that...

European Union (Amendment) Bill (12 May 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: I recall that I made a declaration of interest when we began Committee, many years ago, it seems. We come now to the proposed inclusion in the treaty of categories and areas of Union competence, and I certainly do not support the amendment to exclude that from the Bill. Surely it is right, and overdue, to make the competences clear in the treaty. I must say that, over a long career, I have...

European Union (Amendment) Bill (29 Apr 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: I made a declaration of interest at the start of the Committee stage and I do not think I need to repeat it now. I know that the noble Lord who moved this amendment is a bold noble Lord, and it is certainly very bold indeed to strike out of the Bill the entire budgetary powers of an elected parliament, which would be the consequence of the amendment, although he has spoken on some other...

European Union (Amendment) Bill (22 Apr 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: More in sorrow than in anger, I come to this amendment. I am, frankly, surprised that the noble Lord, Lord Pearson, has chosen this subject to exclude from the coverage of the legislation that we are now looking at. When the noble Lord read out the extract from the text, I realised that under the rules of this House it is not considered correct to applaud, but I felt tempted to applaud that...

European Union (Amendment) Bill (22 Apr 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: Yes, I think that is the case. I stress that, while we may not always be satisfied with the way in which the principle of subsidiarity is operated, it is none the less a very valuable principle which goes in our interest. The proposal on the table from the noble Lord, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, would delete the lot. It would delete not only the bit about the national parliaments but everything...

European Union (Amendment) Bill (22 Apr 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: The phrase "he has the mulligrubs" means that he continues to grumble and grumble and grumble, which in the case of the noble Lord is true. He does not like the European Union and he continues to grumble. He has applied that to a part of the treaty which is not appropriate for either a grumble or deletion; it is a part of the treaty which we should preserve. The amendment is not a neutral...

European Union (Amendment) Bill (22 Apr 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: I declare an interest as having spent a large part of my life working on European affairs in the United Kingdom Civil Service and some part of it in the European Civil Service. As part of my conditions of employment, I have pensions from both sources. That is fairly straightforward. I hope that this declaration of interest will last for the whole of the Committee stage, because I would not...

European Union (Amendment) Bill (22 Apr 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: It is a great pleasure to be a friend of the noble Lord, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, while not being a friend of the United Kingdom Independence Party. As an independent Peer, I am in a remarkable position; that is, I have no political baggage whatever; I have no commitment to a referendum on the original constitution; and I have no commitment of a political kind to having no referendum on this...

European Union (Amendment) Bill ( 1 Apr 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: My Lords, I declare an interest as a former head of the European secretariat in the Cabinet Office in London and as a former official and a pension holder of the European Commission. I come to this Second Reading debate basing myself on the very simple principle that we need to decide whether the treaty of Lisbon improves the situation for our citizens and for the United Kingdom as a whole by...

House Committee: Fourth Report (31 Mar 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: My Lords, I was not a member of the House Committee when this matter was discussed and the fourth report published, so I do not speak as a member of that committee. I was not there. I did not nod off or forget. However, I was a member of the House Committee for many years and I am conscious from the discussions that took place then how much the workload in relation to accommodation and works...

Food: Grain Stocks (25 Mar 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: My Lords, does the Minister agree that, although there is no need to panic, we need a thorough examination by government and officials of the consequences of the extremely high world prices for wheat and, even more significantly, world record prices for rice, the principal food of the human race? Does he also agree that some countries have imposed export bans or intervened in the market...

Children and Young Persons Bill [HL] (17 Mar 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: My Lords, I also support the amendment. It is one of the more important amendments we have before us. We have a common interest, which I know the Minister shares, to prevent the sad outcome of some looked-after children who are taken into custody and who slide into a way of life which is very bad for them and for society. The question is how best to minimise the risk. This is one element that...

Children and Young Persons Bill [HL] (17 Mar 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: My Lords, I give a brief but warm welcome to government Amendment No. 18 which, in my view, goes to the heart of the matter. In the new clause, the local authorities are under a general duty to provide as far as reasonably practicable the necessary accommodation for looked-after children in their own area and meeting the children's needs. By this means, we will establish a more stable...

Children and Young Persons Bill [HL] (18 Feb 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: Unlike the proposed new clause before Clause 7 that we discussed earlier, this group of amendments is a form of replacement therapy; it proposes to remove Clauses 7 to 10 altogether and replace them with a single clause. It is also separately proposed to remove Clause 30 and to reinstate it in a schedule to the new clause. We are therefore dealing with quite a substantial change. I favour...

Children and Young Persons Bill [HL] (18 Feb 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: This substantive new clause was proposed by the Government after we completed the Committee stage or, more accurately, thought that we had done so. It is fair to say that it was not signalled at that stage, but the Minister has written to those of us who participated in the earlier debates in Committee and has set out his reasoning today in moving the amendment. Although we have to react...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Malawi (23 Jan 2008)

Lord Williamson of Horton: asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether, in view of the World Food Programme's press release of 19 December 2007 indicating that it would be unable to help many vulnerable people in Malawi between January and June 2008 owing to lack of funds, they will make an emergency contribution to the programme in Malawi, particularly in January to March.

European Council: 13-14 December 2007 ( 5 Dec 2007)

Lord Williamson of Horton: My Lords, I begin by welcoming the Government's decision to hold a debate before a European Council. We have traditionally had Statements after European Councils, with a rather brief time for comments, particularly for Cross-Benchers. This is one of the first debates in advance of decisions by heads of state and government in a European Council. It may be true that, in the particular case of...

Procedure of the House (26 Nov 2007)

Lord Williamson of Horton: My Lords, I was a member of the Procedure Committee when these points were discussed. I agree with the report. On the specific issue of "This day six months", I understand that often in this House a balance in our affection for mystique is required—sometimes a little camouflage is useful in political matters. That is one side of the issue. The other side is that the House is in a confident...

Debate on the Address ( 7 Nov 2007)

Lord Williamson of Horton: My Lords, recently released from the shackles of the convenorship of the Cross-Bench Peers, I welcome the opportunity to comment, in the light of the gracious Speech, on the UK's international objectives and specifically on public attitudes to our objectives in the European Union. This debate is already very wide; it covers, so far as I can see, the whole world and beyond to Armageddon, which...


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