Results 81–100 of 600 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 Empey

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

Lord Empey: My Lords, before I speak to the amendment in my name, the noble Lord, Lord Tope, tempts me down memory lane. I served on only the first two terms of the Committee of the Regions; he is a veteran with many stripes on his arm and much more experience. I recall that when it began we had a president, Jacques Blanc, who was the president of Languedoc-Roussillon. We invited him to Belfast and he...

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

Lord Empey: It is an incompatibility. There is no point in replacing one incompatibility with another. I am simply saying that if you are in the customs union and the single market, you are in the European Union. If you are out of the European Union, you are not in the single market or the customs union. It is an inevitable consequence. We are arguing for two different things. Let me point out the scale...

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

Lord Empey: I am grateful to the noble Lord for that. I have to say that the chief constable was using as an example the erection of customs posts and things that used to exist in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as all sorts of other concrete establishments and so on which we are not going to have. In many respects, the United Kingdom Government have committed themselves not to produce that material at the...

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

Lord Empey: I understand what the noble Lord is saying perfectly well. To put this into context, my party supported remain in the referendum, on a free vote. We cited two things: Scotland and the border. I have had this discussion with the noble Lord, Lord Cormack. I am not a Europhile at all—I never have been, even though I spent eight years in Brussels on the Committee of the Regions, very minor body...

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

Lord Empey: I was not responding to that part of the amendment but I am quite happy to give my opinion on it. I think that a number of measures can be achieved. First, the Republic is not in Schengen, and that is helpful. Clearly, there has to be co-operation between the relevant authorities, which there already is. Regarding immigration controls, cars are often stopped by the authorities on both sides....

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

Lord Empey: First, I believe that you cannot leave the European Union and remain in the single market and the customs union. I am making the point that the December statement has a contradiction in it.

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

Lord Empey: No, I do not. Our big market is here; it is not in the Republic. The same applies to Scotland and everywhere else. The common market of the United Kingdom is more important to us economically than the European Union.

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

Lord Empey: My Lords, naively, I thought we were discussing the relevance of the amendment to the Bill but I am afraid we have moved on to another Second Reading debate. There a few specific items I want to mention about the amendment. I do not know how “hard border” is defined on the face of the Bill. There is disagreement as to what a hard or a soft border is, and they are not terms that I...

Northern Ireland Finances - Statement (13 Mar 2018)

Lord Empey: My Lords, surely the Minister accepts that there is a need to do things differently. We have come to a series of Statements of this nature over the last 14 months and there is little or no prospect of any immediate resumption of devolution. In fact, people are now talking in terms of “post Brexit”. Members will know the effect of a vacuum in Northern Ireland and who is likely to fill...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (6th Day) (Continued) (12 Mar 2018)

Lord Empey: My Lords, before we whip ourselves into a lather of outrage at the prospect of doing something without the consent of the devolved Administrations, perhaps I may remind the House that we have a short memory. The devolution settlement in Northern Ireland represented by the 1998 Act was butchered—a term I used some weeks ago—by this Parliament without a by your leave, without the consent of...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (6th Day) (Continued) (12 Mar 2018)

Lord Empey: I think that we have to be careful because this is complicated. It is obvious that the devolution settlements are not uniform; they are at different levels. My concern with the whole point of having consent is that, while it is obviously highly desirable to have it, although we are talking about the institutions, in practice we are talking about the people who at any point in time are...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (6th Day) (Continued) (12 Mar 2018)

Lord Empey: Will the noble and learned Lord elaborate on his suggestion for how a middle way could be established? We would all want to see consent if that is achievable, but the problem is that it is very difficult to design a situation in the legislation to say we will seek consent but we do not really need it. The second problem that we have in Northern Ireland is the absence of the Assembly. That...

Northern Ireland Update - Statement (20 Feb 2018)

Lord Empey: My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, talked about transparency. We have a “she said/she said” argument at home over what was and was not on the table, which I believe will be settled only when those documents are in the public domain. I seem to recall the late Lord Bannside talking many times about secret documents; well, now there is a chance to make secret documents public. Let us...

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

Lord Empey: My Lords, naturally I want to begin by referring to the Irish border question, as we are one of the regions most affected by the decision taken in 2016. I believe that the question of the Irish border has almost been weaponised in this debate because, in my view, the scale of the problem has been grossly exaggerated. Statistics are dangerous things, but I want to give some figures from the...

Asset Freezing (Compensation) Bill [HL] - Order of Commitment Discharged (24 Jan 2018)

Lord Empey: My Lords, I understand that no amendments have been set down to this Bill and that no noble Lord has indicated a wish to move a manuscript amendment or to speak in Committee. Unless, therefore, any noble Lord objects, I beg to move that the order of commitment be discharged. Motion agreed.

Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2017 - Motion to Approve (10 Jan 2018)

Lord Empey: Perhaps I may raise one point with the noble Lord. Where is the national interest in all of this? The Scottish Parliament cannot reflect it. A programme board is made up of two halves, one half of which is the Scottish Parliament and the other the UK Government. That board cannot have a national responsibility because it is made up of one part which does not have such a responsibility. My...

Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2017 - Motion to Approve (10 Jan 2018)

Lord Empey: The noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, in his customary understated and quiet way, has introduced this proposal and, I have to say, it brings back memories of when we discussed the Scotland Bill. As the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, has pointed out, every concern that Members expressed at that stage has been borne out. I believe there is an overwhelming national interest in this, not simply a Scottish...

House of Lords: Lord Speaker’s Committee Report - Motion to Take Note (19 Dec 2017)

Lord Empey: My Lords, I am the 14th speaker, so I have great sympathy for those who will be 84th or even further back. We are greatly indebted, as others have said, not only to the noble Lord, Lord Burns, and his colleagues but to the Lord Speaker for taking the initiative. Credit must be given to my noble friend Lord Cormack and our absent colleague, the noble Lord, Lord Norton of Louth, who have...

Tackling Financial Exclusion (Financial Exclusion Report) - Motion to Take Note (18 Dec 2017)

Lord Empey: My Lords, I join other colleagues in thanking our chair, the noble Baroness, Lady Tyler, for her consistent and enthusiastic chairmanship over many months. It was a pleasure to work with her and other members of the committee. We were also exceptionally well serviced by our clerks and special advisers, who were exceptional before, during and after the publication of our report. When the...

Social Security (Restrictions on Amounts for Children and Qualifying Young Persons) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 - Motion to Regret (6 Dec 2017)

Lord Empey: My Lords, I start by apologising to the House and to the noble Lord for my late arrival. The noble Lord, Lord Patten, is correct that Northern Ireland has followed a policy of parity for decades. That ceased a couple of years ago, when spare room subsidy legislation came in—colloquially known as the “bedroom tax”. Many of us in Northern Ireland were opposed to that because, for...

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