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10.50 am

Rev. Ian Paisley (North Antrim): We have heard some amazing statements in this debate. The hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Temple-Morris) made the accusation that hon. Members on this side of the House will cause the same sort of violence in Northern Ireland that we have seen over the past decade. That is an outrageous statement for any hon. Member to make about his colleagues opposite, and of course it is completely and totally false. However, some of us would not expect very much more from the hon. Gentleman. He went on to say that we should not chase individual acts of violence, but I suggest that it is violent people who are chasing and killing the innocent. Thus it is outrageous to say that hon. Members should not expose acts of violence.

The hon. Member for Montgomeryshire (Mr. Öpik), the Liberal Democrat spokesman, also made an amazing statement when he said that the legislation will restore normalisation to Northern Ireland. There is nothing normal about this legislation. Even the hon. Member for Greenock and Inverclyde (Dr. Godman) conceded that it is an amazing Bill and he referred to its intended and unintended consequences. I do not know what the latter might be, but that was also an incredible statement.

The hon. Member for Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) said that the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume) should be congratulated. The hon. Member for Foyle told me at least 100 times that the first IRA ceasefire was for real, and then we had the Canary wharf bombing. When I talked to him about the second supposed ceasefire, I asked, "How are we expected to believe you when you told me 100 times that the first ceasefire was for real when it was not?" How can we believe that this ceasefire is for real?

We have seen the IRA continue with violence. Although it is an outlawed organisation under the terms of the legislation that we considered recently, it is immune from any judgment by the Government and its terrorist prisoners will be allowed out of gaol and on to the streets. The hon. Member for Greenock and Inverclyde referred

31 Jul 1998 : Column 650

to the bleak speech made by my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, East (Mr. Robinson). However, it will be a very bleak day when terrorists--some of whom have committed multiple murders--are on the streets of Northern Ireland inside 24 months.

If the people of Northern Ireland are supposed to support the legislation so much, why is there a plea about insensitivity? The right hon. Member for Upper Bann (Mr. Trimble), who advocated this position to the Unionist people, is not here to vote for the legislation. His deputy, the hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon), is not here to vote for the legislation and the two Members of the Ulster Unionist party who support the right hon. Gentleman are not here either. However, all the other Unionists are present in the Chamber and they will vote against the legislation. That is the message that the House must wake up to: it needs a baptism of reality.

I have learned from my experience in the House over many years that hon. Members do not want to be told things that they do not want to hear. However, they need to hear that the people of Northern Ireland are not overwhelmingly behind this Bill or this Assembly. That might be a source of great glee to the Minister, who sits and laughs on the Front Bench. However, there will be little laughter when people are murdered on the streets and the Secretary of State excuses those murders at the Dispatch Box by saying that she has made a balanced judgment and that the murderers may stay on in the Government of Northern Ireland.

No one in Northern Ireland with any sense wants terrorists in the Government and we will have no truck with their governing the people of Northern Ireland.

10.55 am

Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North): In the few minutes remaining before the House divides on the Third Reading, I want to record that this is an extremely historic occasion. Many congratulations are due to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on all that she has done since taking office to introduce the Bill and offer the hope of peace and reconciliation within the six counties of Northern Ireland. She has provided some hope to the young people of that Province.

Labour Members should also pay great tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) who has done much to promote the issue of Ireland in debates within the party, especially when he was an Opposition spokesman for Northern Ireland. He correctly drew attention to the role played by the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume) in securing the Hume-Adams accord, which I think has been the basis of the second ceasefire and, ultimately, the process of reconciliation in this very balanced, but very complicated, legislation. It encompasses economic, human rights and equal opportunities issues and many other elements that offer real hope for the future.

I have the honour to represent a constituency which comprises a large Irish community. Many of those people have come to this country in order to escape the poverty of Ireland, but they have often found poverty and discrimination here as well. They and many others look forward to a time when discrimination is behind us and there is real hope and equal opportunities for all the peoples of Ireland.

31 Jul 1998 : Column 651

It occurs to me that the House has debated the subject of Ireland more than any other in the hundreds of years since the British invasion of that country. There have been many problems throughout that period and some people have claimed that Ireland has no future and have sought to promote sectarian divides. Last week, I was given a copy of the 1799 secret report on Ireland--another example of the long debate on Ireland--which reproduces the entire statement of the Founding Conference of the Society of United Irishmen. It sets out the aim of uniting Catholic and Protestant people in the hope of achieving a united Ireland that is equal and represented throughout the island of Ireland. In that spirit, I hope that the House will agree to the Third Reading of the Bill. We look forward to peace, hope and reconciliation in Ireland in the future.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:--

The House divided: Ayes 215, Noes 8.

Division No. 356
[10.58 am


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Barron, Kevin
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Paul
Borrow, David
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Brake, Tom
Brinton, Mrs Helen
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnett, John
Butler, Mrs Christine
Byers, Stephen
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Canavan, Dennis
Casale, Roger
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clelland, David
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Corston, Ms Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Cran, James
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Efford, Clive
Etherington, Bill
Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Gapes, Mike
Garnier, Edward
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Godman, Dr Norman A
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Hain, Peter
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Heppell, John
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howells, Dr Kim
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Adam
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jenkin, Bernard
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jowell, Ms Tessa
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Key, Robert
Kidney, David
Kingham, Ms Tess
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Livingstone, Ken
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McCartney, Ian (Makerfield)
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McGrady, Eddie
McIsaac, Shona
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Madel, Sir David
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Mitchell, Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Moss, Malcolm
Mowlam, Rt Hon Marjorie
Murphy, Paul (Torfaen)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
Öpik, Lembit
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pendry, Tom
Perham, Ms Linda
Pike, Peter L
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, Rt Hon John
Primarolo, Dawn
Quin, Ms Joyce
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, Nick
Reid, Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robertson, Rt Hon George
(Hamilton S)
Rooker, Jeff
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Ms Joan
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Spellar, John
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vis, Dr Rudi
Ward, Ms Claire
Waterson, Nigel
White, Brian
Wicks, Malcolm
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wise, Audrey
Wood, Mike
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. David Jamieson and
Mr. Keith Hill.


Donaldson, Jeffrey
Forsythe, Clifford
Hunter, Andrew
Paisley, Rev Ian
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Swayne, Desmond
Thompson, William

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Roy Beggs and
Rev. Martin Smyth.

Question accordingly agreed to.

31 Jul 1998 : Column 652

Bill read the Third time, and passed.

It being after Eleven o'clock, Madam Speaker interrupted the proceedings, pursuant to Standing Order No. 11 (Friday sittings).

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