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3 Feb 2003 : Column 51—continued

Mr. Cash: I have had a brief word with the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath), and neither of us has received that letter. That does not bode well for the consultation process, does it?

Yvette Cooper: To be honest, I cannot see that it has any bearing on the consultation process. I informed the hon. Gentleman that there is a letter for him, which may be on the board as we speak, because I thought that it would be courteous to do so. I apologise for the timing, but I thought that it was important to make every effort to ensure that he received it today.

Broadly speaking, the amendments are premature or refer to things that are already taking place. For example, many aspects of the Bill are being discussed with the Government of Gibraltar. I have indicated my sympathy with the point about the reference to the Governor rather than to the House of Assembly, and we are giving that serious consideration in drafting our amendments.

Mr. Ruffley: Will the Parliamentary Secretary give us the time scale for consideration by Ministers? We have not got much time.

Yvette Cooper: As I said at the end of our Committee proceedings, we intend to table amendments in the other place. I also said that we did not want to table amendments about which we had not yet managed to consult the Government of Gibraltar. That would clearly go against the spirit of the amendments that we are discussing.

Hon. Members have raised the Chief Minister's view that the Bill should refer to the Government of Gibraltar rather than to the Governor and the Chief Minister. As I said, we have undertaken to tackle that anxiety if we can.

Amendment No. 41 deals with the Bill's impact on the consolidated fund of Gibraltar, which the Government of Gibraltar raised directly with our officials only last week. It is a complex issue because of the financial arrangements. Further discussions will take place with the Government of Gibraltar about such money matters.

3 Feb 2003 : Column 52

In the light of my remarks, I ask hon. Members to withdraw the motion. I assure hon. Members that we want to consult people in Gibraltar about the detail of the measure.

Mr. Hoyle: I take on board my hon. Friend's comments that there is a great opportunity to incorporate our views in another place. I am trying to be as hopeful as possible. Can I take it from her words that genuine consideration will take place and that the Bill can include those views? That is important. She rightly pointed out that we have listened to hon. Members of all parties but that we must consider timing and the need to consult the people of Gibraltar, which is a priority. I welcome that and I hope that other hon. Members take account of it. I welcome my hon. Friend's assurance, but can she firm it up a little?

Yvette Cooper: I cannot guarantee being able to fulfil all the amendments' intentions, but I shall examine all the issues that the Government of Gibraltar raised. For example, they wrote to us with a long list of points in the past week. They include: matters to do with the Governor; the amount that can be achieved through parallel Gibraltar legislation; specific wording, such as references to the Clerk of the House of Assembly and the Supreme Court of Gibraltar. Some of the points are complicated and require much discussion and consideration. We have already undertaken work to try to implement others.

The Government of Gibraltar suggested that clause 14 did not need to be part of the Bill and that it could be effected through local legislation. We do not accept that because we cannot make the necessary changes to make the elections happen without using United Kingdom legislation. Some changes are therefore possible but others are not.

Tony Cunningham: Will my hon. Friend reaffirm that the priority is ensuring that the people of Gibraltar have the opportunity of voting in the European Parliament elections in 2004?

Yvette Cooper: Indeed. The purpose of the Bill was to fit the 2004 timetable so that the people of Gibraltar could have the vote.

Some of the points that the hon. Member for Stone (Mr. Cash) raised will be considered as part of other amendments. For example, the hon. Gentleman referred to enactment. Other points were slightly more wide ranging. He referred to his letter in The Daily Telegraph, which I read rapidly after his invitation to do so. Much as I would love to agree with him, I fear that he will be disappointed because I have never endorsed his views on the House of Lords. I believe that it needs to be reformed, and there is a series of ways in which we can, and should, make it more accountable, including, for example, reflecting the regions and the use of indirect elections. But I see that you are raising your eyebrows at me, Mr. Deputy Speaker, so I shall not go any further with that important discussion about our need to increase accountability.

I therefore ask the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath) to withdraw the motion, and to leave the consideration of the detailed amendments on these issues to another place.

3 Feb 2003 : Column 53

5.30 pm

Mr. Heath: With the leave of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, may I say that, if the hon. Lady's pager message was "Vote imminent", it was probably accurate? I have listened with great care to what she has said, and I am grateful to her for explaining that she is at least considering these issues. Having said that, however, the argument for the late incorporation of amendments in another place, where we do not have the opportunity to debate them fully, is an argument of expediency. We have had years since the Denise Matthews case in which to make these changes to the franchise for Gibraltar. The matter could have been on the agenda for detailed discussion at any time during those years, but all the time the Government have resisted any such change. Now, however, we are being asked to push through the legislation as a matter of urgency, simply because it suits the Government so to do, and those of us who have been committed to the enfranchisement of the people of Gibraltar have only a limited opportunity to make the points that we believe are important. The people who feel that way are, of course, to be found on either side of the Chamber today; indeed, we have heard valuable contributions from the hon. Members for Chorley (Mr. Hoyle), for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Ruffley), and for Romford (Mr. Rosindell).

The hon. Member for Stone (Mr. Cash) and I seem to have found a happy conjunction on many parts of the Bill, possibly to the astonishment of both our parties. I have looked again at the amendments that stand in his name, most of which I find myself in agreement with. As he pointed out, amendment No. 29, in particular, takes matters a little further than my new clause 2 in dealing with the constitutional differentiation between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar in implementing the orders. He may, therefore, wish to press that amendment to a vote, and, if he does, I may well advise my colleagues to support him.

I decline the opportunity to withdraw the motion, because I believe that the most important thing is to send a clear message to another place and to the Lord Chancellor that the present provisions in the Bill simply will not do, and that we need to make explicit the need to consult the people of Gibraltar properly. I seek the advice of the House on the matter.

Mr. Cash rose—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Michael Lord): I think that we have finished that debate now.

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

The House divided: Ayes 177, Noes 288.

Division No. 71
[5:33 pm


Allan, Richard
Ancram, rh Michael
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Barrett, John
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Burstow, Paul
Burt, Alistair
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Cran, James (Beverley)
Curry, rh David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Ewing, Annabelle
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Forth, rh Eric
Francois, Mark
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Gummer, rh John
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jack, rh Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, rh Oliver
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, rh Peter
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackay, rh Andrew
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Portillo, rh Michael
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, John
Redwood, rh John
Rendel, David
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Trend, Michael
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Weir, Michael
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Wishart, Pete
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Richard Younger-Ross and
Tom Brake


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, John
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Connarty, Michael
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom (Tooting)
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, rh Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hodge, Margaret
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, rh Ian
McFall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Rosemary
McNamara, Kevin
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mandelson, rh Peter
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Perham, Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, rh John
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh John
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James (Glasgow Baillieston)
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Nick Ainger and
Joan Ryan

Question accordingly negatived.

3 Feb 2003 : Column 57

Clause 2

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