Previous SectionIndexHome Page


Mr. McLeish: With great respect to my hon. Friend, I share neither his pessimism nor his cynicism about what may happen when the Parliament is established. These are working agreements, and there is nothing sensational about that. We want to ensure that, in creating a new institution of government in Scotland, we have a sensible working relationship between the UK Government and the Scottish Executive. Nothing could be more reasonable than the achievement of that, and our efforts must clearly be directed towards it.

Mr. Wallace: The Minister has indicated that the concordats would not be legally binding. How would he answer the earlier point made by the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) about whether they would be judicially reviewable--not in a case taken by the Parliament, but perhaps in a case taken by an individual who felt prejudiced by, for example, a concordat on inward investment?

Mr. McLeish: The hon. and learned Gentleman asks a good question. The concordats are not intended to be legally binding contracts, or to substitute for matters properly covered by the Bill. However, it is likely that they will be justiciable to an extent. For example, if the Scottish Executive did not follow the consultation procedure set out in a concordat, it could be judicially challenged on the ground that the concordat had created a legitimate expectation that the procedure would be followed.

Mr. Swinney: I have listened carefully to the Minister's explanation, which has led me to conclude that there is no point in the concordats. The quotation that I gave earlier cast some uncertainty over the Scottish Parliament's access to Europe, and raised the determination of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to have greater access. Those substantial issues are covered in the Bill. The concordats will, I suspect, provide a further interpretation, which gives a totally different flavour to the Minister's comments.

Mr. McLeish: It simply does not. We are talking not about different interpretations but about working agreements in relation to Europe and MAFF. There should be no sinister undertones suggesting that what is in the Bill and what has been discussed in the House will be undermined, distorted or interpreted differently. The concordats are simply working agreements, and, on that basis, it is sensible to operate them in the areas that we have identified.

12 May 1998 : Column 195

The new clause would introduce a formal parliamentary procedure in relation to concordats that such non-statutory agreements do not merit. Concordats will be agreements covering joint working between the Scottish Executive and the United Kingdom Government. They will not be treaties between the two Administrations, nor will they be a means of constraining the discretion of the United Kingdom or the Scottish Parliament. I hope that, in the light of this constructive but brief debate, the right hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram) will see fit to withdraw the motion.

6 pm

Mr. Ancram: I am disappointed by that reply, which does not come to the nub of the matter. I did not table new clause 12 because I thought that it was the ideal way to deal with the matter: on finance and European representation, I sought, as did Liberal Democrat Members, to table amendments to the Bill to secure assurances and guarantees on those two important matters. The Minister told us then that, however important those matters were, everything would be all right because they would be dealt with by concordat: he did not say that we were talking about simple working arrangements sorting out sensible relationships between Departments. On enormously important issues, such as whether Scotland will have a proper voice in Europe on agriculture or fishing, we were told, "Don't worry, it's all going to be in concordats." Now we are told that the concordats are non-justiciable--

Mr. McLeish indicated dissent.

Mr. Ancram: Well, they are not legally enforceable. They will not come before this House or the Scottish Parliament, whose endorsement would give them weight. The Scottish public are being firmly and openly sold a pup. I tabled new clause 12 in good faith, having listened to the arguments that were advanced against my earlier amendments. I advanced it on a restricted basis--not to cover all concordats, as the Minister suggested at the end of his remarks--narrowing it to those two crucial areas. The Minister always claims to be a listening Minister and I should have thought that he would listen to the arguments advanced not only by me but by Members from other Opposition parties and accept new clause 12. His response is totally unsatisfactory and I ask my hon. Friends to support the new clause in the Lobby.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:--

The House divided: Ayes 166, Noes 278.

Division No. 271
[6.1 pm


AYES


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Arbuthnot, James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Baldry, Tony
Beggs, Roy
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Body, Sir Richard
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Julian
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Burns, Simon
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, John
Cable, Dr Vincent
Cash, William
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clark, Rt Hon Alan (Kensington)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
(Rushcliffe)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Cran, James
Cunningham, Ms Roseanna
(Perth)
Curry, Rt Hon David
Dafis, Cynog
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Day, Stephen
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, Iain
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Faber, David
Fallon, Michael
Fearn, Ronnie
Flight, Howard
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Fox, Dr Liam
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Roger
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gibb, Nick
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Gorrie, Donald
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hague, Rt Hon William
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson Smith,
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, Charles (Ross Skye)
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Livsey, Richard
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
May, Mrs Theresa
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Moss, Malcolm
Nicholls, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Prior, David
Randall, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
St Aubyn, Nick
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swinney, John
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Wallace, James
Wardle, Charles
Waterson, Nigel
Wells, Bowen
Welsh, Andrew
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Willis, Phil
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Woodward, Shaun
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:


Sir David Madel and
Mr. Oliver Heald.


NOES


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Ms Hilary
Ashton, Joe
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Paul
Borrow, David
Bradshaw, Ben
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Mrs Christine
Byers, Stephen
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Canavan, Dennis
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Ms Jean
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunliffe, Lawrence
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Galbraith, Sam
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Grogan, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Jimmy
Hoon, Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kingham, Ms Tess
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Laxton, Bob
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Livingstone, Ken
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
Mackinlay, Andrew
McLeish, Henry
McNamara, Kevin
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Michael, Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Alan
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
Organ, Mrs Diana
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pendry, Tom
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Quin, Ms Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Radice, Giles
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Reid, Dr John (Hamilton N)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooker, Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Ms Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Ms Joan
Salter, Martin
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
(Dewsbury)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vaz, Keith
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:


Ms Bridget Prentice and
Mr. Kevin Hughes.

Question accordingly negatived.

12 May 1998 : Column 198

New clause 17

Cross-border reserved bodies


'.--(1) For the purposes of this Act the bodies as defined in subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall be cross-border reserved bodies.

12 May 1998 : Column 199


(2) Cross-border reserved bodies shall be public bodies, including regulatory bodies, whose responsibilities include reserved matters but whose remit covers Scotland.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such bodies shall include--
(a) the BBC,
(b) the Independent Television Commission,
(c) the Radiocommunications Agency,
(d) the Post Office,
(e) the Commission for Racial Equality,
(f) the Equal Opportunities Commission,
(g) Governmental Departments, Ministers of the Crown, non-departmental public bodies and Departmental Agencies.
(4) The Parliament shall have the power to summon witnesses and require the production of documents from cross-border reserved bodies.'.--[Ms Roseanna Cunningham.]
Brought up, and read the First time.

Ms Roseanna Cunningham (Perth): I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.


Next Section

IndexHome Page