Results 41–60 of 290 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 Blackwell

European Union Bill: Committee (7th Day) (23 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: The noble Lord will not be surprised that I cannot agree with his amendment. Arguments are put forward for the merits of our membership of the European Union and arguments are put forward about some of the disadvantages and costs of our membership. Where Members of this House and people in this country will disagree is in the balance of those arguments. The noble Lord cannot really be serious...

European Union Bill: Committee (7th Day) (23 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: I think that that just illustrates the point that different Members of this Committee will have different views on this matter. My view is that if there has been a bias in the past, it has been for Ministers, in their desire to get the agreement of the House and the country to treaty changes, to downplay some of the consequences of those treaty changes that they did not wish the country to...

European Union Bill: Committee (7th Day) (23 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: Perhaps I may give way to the noble Lord, Lord Hannay.

European Union Bill: Committee (7th Day) (23 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: I may be corrected, but I am not aware that there is any statutory requirement for Ministers to make positive speeches about either of those organisations. It is up to Ministers to take their view and to make those views known. That is all I am saying about the European Union; namely, that it is up to Ministers to take a view and make that view known but that they should be allowed and,...

European Union Bill: Committee (4th Day) (9 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, I oppose the amendment for the opposite reasons to those that the noble Lord, Lord Liddle, and others gave for promoting it. It is important that it is very clear that the UK Government are not enabled to support or enable moves to go forward in Europe that imply a treaty change or a substantive shift in competences, without it being very clear that the UK Government must have...

European Union Bill: Committee (4th Day) (9 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: I am suggesting that because, as the noble Lord will know, in Councils in Europe if you abstain or are simply absent from the meeting you do not prevent binding decisions being taken that would have an impact on the UK. If there is a decision about something that implies a transfer of competence from the UK of the kind that this Bill deals with, I would not want a situation where the noble...

European Union Bill: Committee (4th Day) (9 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: If by not turning up you allow a decision to be taken that binds the UK, you are implicitly supporting it.

European Union Bill: Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) (3 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: I confess that I am having some difficulty following the noble Lord's argument on this point and I wonder whether he can help me. As my noble friend Lord Lamont has said, the EU already has exclusive competence in the area of international agreements. It has competence over the single market. It has competence over regulation. It can legislate in these areas using the normal provisions of the...

European Union Bill: Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) (3 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: This is the one amendment this evening with which I confess that I have some sympathy. My interpretation of Clause 4(4)(a) is that it talks about the codification of practice under an existing competence. It does not talk about the codification of an existing competence but the codification of practice. As my noble friend Lord Waddington said, the EU has a history of stretching the practice...

European Union Bill: Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) (3 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: I said that I had some sympathy with the amendment, and I very much hope that the Minister will be able to reassure me. To my mind, that was an example of a practice coming into effect which could then be claimed was an existing practice that simply needed to be codified. I am not a lawyer, but if something can be done under an existing competence, why does it need to be codified? The EU...

European Union Bill: Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) (3 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: I am grateful to the noble Lord for his clarification. However, he talks about trust, and I have to say to him that the reason why the British people have lost trust in politicians to represent them in Europe is that over many years they have seen politicians stand up and say, "Minor changes. These won't affect you", but cumulatively those changes have added up to a huge shift in powers....

European Union Bill: Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) (3 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: I thank the noble Lord for his intervention. Actually, I am fully aware of the nature of these amendments, all of which attempt to undermine the purpose of the Bill, which is to require a referendum if there is a major change to the treaties or a major shift in power. That is a principle that I fully support and which the noble Lord is attempting to undermine. I hope that there will never be...

European Union Bill: Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) (3 May 2011)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, I must apologise to the House and the Minister for having been unable to contribute to the debate on the Bill so far. I feel compelled to contribute at this point by the extraordinary speech of the noble Lord, Lord Liddle. When the Government of the day brought the Lisbon treaty to this House, one of their proud claims was that they had protected the red lines that they had set out,...

NHS Reform — Statement (4 Apr 2011)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, I am sure the Minister must be correct that, in a reform of this scale and magnitude, it is right to take as much advantage as possible to listen to those who can help in the implementation and timing of the reforms. I hope he can also assure the House that the Government will not be diverted from the essential purpose of these reforms by those who have never accepted that public...

Public Bodies Bill [HL]: Report (3rd Day) (4 Apr 2011)

Lord Blackwell: I thank the noble Lord for his intervention. I was going on to say that, if there were to be a change in procedures, the change would out-favour the one recommended by the noble Lord, Lord Dubs, to enable that debate to take place on the Floor of the House. However, I am reluctant to see a committee venture into areas that became highly controversial and that moved outside the narrow debate...

Public Bodies Bill [HL]: Report (3rd Day) (4 Apr 2011)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, I am not convinced that the additional procedures set out in Amendment 71 are necessary. I should stress that since I am a member of the Delegated Powers Committee, and a board member of an organisation that is referred to in the Bill, I am speaking in a personal capacity. Because of the way in which the powers of the Government have been limited as the Bill has passed through the...

Social Fund Maternity Grant Amendment Regulations 2011 — Motion to Resolve (7 Mar 2011)

Lord Blackwell: As I listen to this debate, I find myself completely out of sympathy with those proposing this Motion. It reminds me of attitudes that I thought we had moved past, of assuming that the state has an unlimited pot of money and that any spending is necessarily morally good. Of course, we all like justifying giving money to people, but the truth is that welfare has two sides to it. Every pound...

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill — Report (1st Day) (7 Feb 2011)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, I have been a loyal supporter of the Government on this Bill but I confess that this is one amendment where I have sympathy with the proposer given the role that referendums may have in other constitutional issues and the precedent that may be set. I ask myself how comfortable I would be with a referendum on joining the euro if less than one in five of the population-that is, 20 per...

Police: Crime Rates — Question (19 Jan 2011)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, is the Minister aware of the example being set by Surrey Police, whose chief constable has introduced efficiencies that allow him to combine significant savings with an increase in the number of police officers on the beat? Does the Minister believe that that is a model that other police forces could follow?

Public Bodies Bill [HL]: Committee (2nd Day) (29 Nov 2010)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, since this is the first time that I have participated in Committee on the Bill, perhaps I should declare my interest as a board member of Ofcom. I have to admit that I am puzzled by these amendments. The purpose of the Bill is to enable the Government to bring forward over time specific and detailed proposals on each of these bodies and to put those proposals in front of Parliament....


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