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Mr. Maginnis: Does my hon. Friend realise that if the Deputy First Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon), took his seat in the Dail and became a Minister there, he would have to give up his position in the Assembly? Since the position of Deputy First Minister is inextricably linked with that of First Minister, the enforced resignation of the former would terminate the office of the latter. I wonder whether the Under-Secretary has considered the consequences of that.

Mr. Ross: I do not know whether the Under-Secretary has considered that, but I have. It is one of the reasons for my objections to many elements of the Belfast agreement. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Mudie) shouts from a sedentary position. If he wants to make a speech or intervene, I am more than happy to give way to him. If a comment is not worth making in a speech, it is not worth making from behind.

Mr. Bercow: Or even out of his behind.

Mr. Ross: I shall use my discretion and stick closely to what I intended to say.

I have almost reached the end of my remarks. [Interruption.] I could go on, but I know that hon. Members are anxious to examine the next group of amendments. When I have finished speaking on this group, I shall have 15 minutes in which to collect my thoughts and then I shall be on my feet again to explain the problems that the next group tries to redress.

Mr. MacKay: First, we shall discuss clause stand part.

Mr. Ross: The right hon. Gentleman is right; we shall spend a few minutes discussing clause stand part. That will take us until dawn at least. [Interruption.] It has been a long and cheerful night, and we are now reaching the giggly stage. That used to happen at about 3 am or 4 am, but it has happened a little later today.

25 Jan 2000 : Column 351

I have expressed my views on the amendment and failed to get clear answers from the Under-Secretary about the reason for his refusal to accept the amendment or to undertake to table an amendment on Report or in another place to protect the Commonwealth, which, so far as I could gather from his initial remarks, was the only reason for his view--

Mr. George Howarth indicated dissent.

Mr. Ross: The Under-Secretary shakes his head and thus suggests that there were other reasons. He must reply to the debate and explain the other elements that caused him anxiety. I shall press the amendment to a Division, but I am happy to allow the Under-Secretary to intervene. Does he wish to do that?

Mr. Howarth indicated dissent.

Mr. Ross: Sadly, the Minister does not have an answer. He is not prepared to make an effort to improve the Bill. In the light of that, I have no choice but to press the amendment to a Division.

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 25, Noes 224.

Division No. 43
[5.34 am


Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Bercow, John
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cran, James
Day, Stephen
Donaldson, Jeffrey
Fabricant, Michael
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Hayes, John
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maginnis, Ken
Oaten, Mark
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Sayeed, Jonathan
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Thompson, William
Tredinnick, David
Walter, Robert

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. John Randall and
Mr. Roy Beggs.


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Barnes, Harry
Battle, John
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Mrs Christine
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Hesford, Stephen
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Mrs Fiona (Newark)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McIsaac, Shona
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Merron, Gillian
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon Ms Estelle
(B'ham Yardley)
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Radice, Rt Hon Giles
Rammell, Bill
Rooker, Rt Hon Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mrs. Anne McGuire and
Mr. Don Touhig.

Question accordingly negatived.

25 Jan 2000 : Column 353

The Chairman, being of the opinion that the principle of the clause and any matters arising thereon had been adequately discussed in the course of debate on the amendments proposed thereto, forthwith put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 68, That the clause stand part of the Bill:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 221, Noes 24.

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