Results 161–180 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

Scotland Bill - Report (2nd Day) (29 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, I said earlier that I considered the terms of the Smith commission to be effectively a treaty. Nothing I have heard last week or this week has changed my mind on that. Can the Minister clarify a couple of things? A borrowing power for revenue shortfall is included in the framework. Certainly in Northern Ireland, if we had money left over, we used to be able to roll it over, but that...

Scotland Bill - Report (2nd Day) (29 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: I can say to the noble Lord that we raised several times with the Treasury the question of issuing bonds for capital projects. Some people in America who wanted to be helpful said that they would be interested in providing resources. However, the Treasury blocked that on the basis that it would have to go on to the national debt because, unless it was ultimately guaranteed by the Treasury,...

Scotland Bill - Report (2nd Day) (29 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, this amendment was debated last week and I hope the Minister will reflect on the significant debate that we had then. I hope he will take on board the fact that this amendment does no injustice or prejudice to the clauses in the Bill. He agreed to reflect on matters, and I reserve the right to look at this again at Third Reading. In those circumstances, I shall not move the...

Scotland Bill — Report (1st Day) (Continued) (24 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: If I understood the Minister correctly, does he seriously believe that even after efforts have been made to fix something that is not broken, the service provided subsequent to the Scottish Parliament taking over this function is going to be better than the service that is provided now? I accept that civil servants, working together, will patch something up. They are good at that and they...

Scotland Bill — Report (1st Day) (Continued) (24 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, I would like to speak to Amendments 41 and 42, and then move to Amendment 44 standing in my name. First, I thank the Minister and his staff for facilitating meetings and discussions, and, indeed, the representatives from the Department for Transport for making themselves available. I would also like to commend the contribution from the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner, which was a tour de...

Scotland Bill — Report (1st Day) (24 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, can the Advocate-General tell us whether the use of the word “normally” is to allow the Government sufficient flexibility in the event that a devolved Parliament actually breaks the rules of an international treaty obligation? The United Kingdom is signed up to a number of international treaties, and it is possible that the actions of a devolved legislature could break one of...

Scotland Bill — Report (1st Day) (24 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, if I may follow the point just made by the noble Lord, Lord McCluskey, I said in Committee that I believed the outcome of the Smith commission had the status of a treaty. I did not say that in any negative fashion, but I have seen all this before. Once these deals are done, we are going through the motions here. There is a political imperative: all the Front Benches signed up to...

Scotland Bill — Report (1st Day) (24 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: Perish the thought of such an outrageous consideration, but I suspect that the Government will be impervious to our arguments, if I might put it that way. The reason is that a political decision has been taken. We all know that. I happen to think that the Front Benches are wrong. I have had many years of experience of dealing with nationalism. It is a perfectly legitimate aspiration, in...

Middle East - Question for Short Debate (23 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, Captain Boycott, of course, had his debut in Ireland. The House will be aware that that was not a successful outcome; neither will this present arrangement, as the noble Lord, Lord Grade, indicated. In the western powers, we have an unmitigated and impeccable record of failure to understand the Middle East. We do not get it, not from the 19th century, not the 20th century and not...

Armed Forces Bill: Second Reading (11 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, I am in favour of annual reporting and we pushed that hard last time. I mentioned that the Northern Ireland Executive have failed to make a report. Therefore, that opportunity for Parliament to scrutinise what is happening with a reserved and accepted function, which will never be devolved, is no longer available. I raised this at the last occasion and would be most grateful if the...

Armed Forces Bill: Second Reading (11 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, it is a great pleasure for me to follow the very eloquent maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Murphy of Torfaen. His status as a former Cabinet Minister is demonstrated by the fact that he has two very distinguished Members of your Lordships’ House as his senior supporters on either side of him. One could assume that they are there to support the noble Lord. However, there is...

Commercial Debt: Late Payments — Question (2 Feb 2016)

Lord Empey: The Minister may be aware that, certainly in Northern Ireland this year and I suspect elsewhere, farm incomes dropped by 41%. I am sure that that is the case in many other areas. How is it possible to ignore the fact that large companies are screwing these small farmers because they can? There needs to be a more vigorous approach by his department. Does he agree?

Airports Act 1986 (Amendment) Bill [HL] — Order of Commitment Discharged (29 Jan 2016)

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. Therefore, unless any noble Lord objects, I beg to move that the Order of Commitment be discharged. Motion agreed.

House of Lords: Press Office — Question for Short Debate (27 Jan 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, I, too, serve on the Information Committee under the excellent chairmanship of the noble Baroness, Lady Donaghy. The noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, is to be congratulated on securing this debate, because this cannot go on any longer. I know the noble Lord, Lord Lipsey, said that we have been here before, but it is getting worse. We have not so far referred to the catastrophe that...

Scotland Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (19 Jan 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Dunlop, is a very capable Minister but, throughout his contribution this evening, not even he has been able to offer one scintilla of rationale for doing this. There is no advantage to be gained; we all know that. It is an ideological path that people have set themselves on and we are dealing with the consequences of that. This is not the opportunity to...

Scotland Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (19 Jan 2016)

Lord Empey: That was how our problem with the National Crime Agency was resolved: through reporting mechanisms. Our policing board would receive reports from the chief officers of the National Crime Agency. That is precisely the mechanism that was used, and that eventually got the consensus.

Scotland Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (19 Jan 2016)

Lord Empey: I know that the noble Lord is a great supporter of devolution; he has indicated that on many occasions. I support it too. However, what we are talking about is not yet devolved, and that is quite a distinct difference. In many cases, where something has been devolved we can complain about how it has been operated, but this is not yet devolved, unless the Minister and the Government are...

Scotland Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (19 Jan 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, before I commence, perhaps I could just follow up on a serious note the point made in the last discussion. I think that we are all in favour of the promotion of minority languages, but the danger we have seen is that a genuine love of a language has been seized upon and used as a badge of difference. That is the risk attached to all these things. I tabled this probing amendment...

Scotland Bill: Committee (2nd Day) (19 Jan 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, I was somewhat amused by the views of the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, because road signage is something with which we are all too familiar, unfortunately. We have one little twist in the tale for the noble Lord. We have a system whereby a Minister who happens to hold the relevant portfolio for traffic signs will put the signs up in both languages—indeed, some of them are...

Strathclyde Review — Motion to Take Note (13 Jan 2016)

Lord Empey: My Lords, following the general election and the opening of the new Parliament, it is fair to say that a number of us looked forward to a period in which reform of this House was not on everybody’s lips but instead we had an opportunity to get on with business, scrutinise legislation and do the job which we are sent here to do. Sadly, as the summer progressed, the Sewel scandal had a huge...


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