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Mr. Heath: It would be helpful, for the record, if the Minister were to set out her expectation that the Electoral Commission will also consult with parties other than the Government of Gibraltar on electoral registration, on donations to parties and on the range of issues that are not explicit in the Bill.

Yvette Cooper: The Electoral Commission has always set out that it will consult widely on all the issues for which it has responsibility, and has always done so. My experience of the Electoral Commission is that it is always keen to consult widely and to ensure that all its work is properly based on a wide and effective consultation.

Mr. Bercow: With reference to subsection (2) of amendment No. 16, and the reference to the status of subordinate legislation, can the hon. Lady tell the House what is the direct application of clause 63 of the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865?

Yvette Cooper: I fear that I am supposed to have brought not only the treaty of Amsterdam but an entire constitutional history of the nation to be able to answer the hon. Gentleman's questions.

28 Apr 2003 : Column 94

The hon. Member for Stone referred to a series of issues about the courts and the role of the different courts as set out in the amendment. As I explained in Committee, the secondary legislation will provide in more detail for the way in which the courts will deal with particular issues that they consider. I am advised that the hon. Gentleman's proposal with regard to the election court is not possible. I am keen, however, to consider the issues and questions that he has raised to determine whether, as we set out the detail in secondary legislation, we can accommodate further concerns that he has not had the chance to raise.

Mr. Bercow: Will the hon. Lady give way?

Yvette Cooper: I will deal with these points first.

The hon. Member for Stone and several other hon. Members raised the issue of allowing secondary legislation to be made in Gibraltar whenever possible. Throughout the Committee stage we maintained that such legislation should be made in Gibraltar wherever possible. However, we are constrained by the fact that in many cases the legislation will need to apply not only to Gibraltar but to the combined region as a whole, so it can be made only by the UK Parliament. The legal position, therefore, means that many legislative changes will need to be made in this place, although we have always said that we will consult the Government of Gibraltar.

Mr. Heath: Will the Minister give way?

Yvette Cooper: I will, but I have other points to answer.

Mr. Heath: We have plenty of time, so the hon. Lady need not be too concerned. Does she not accept that there are many instances in which parallel legislation has to be introduced in both this Parliament and the Scottish Parliament to achieve the same objectives, and that does not prove to be an obstacle to the proper administration of law in this country? There is no particular reason why Gibraltar could not have introduced parallel legislation to bring its electoral arrangements into accord with those in the UK, while maintaining the principle that Gibraltarian law is made in Gibraltar, not in this House.

Yvette Cooper: That may prove to be the case in some legislative areas. We had a detailed discussion about that in Committee, and I do not want to return to that now. It will be possible for Gibraltar to introduce further legislation in certain areas, and we are certainly happy to support that, but in other areas the legal position will mean that as Gibraltar operates as part of the combined region, legislative changes will need to be made in this House. We have made great efforts to accommodate the concerns of the Government of Gibraltar on this issue, but the legal position means that we simply cannot do so entirely.

On amendment No. 17, the hon. Member for Stone asked for clarification about the UK Consolidated Fund and asked who would pay for what. The fund will pay for the Gibraltar returning officer's expenses for conducting the election in Gibraltar. That will represent the bulk of the expenditure at the election. That leaves the Government of Gibraltar to pay for the expenses of

28 Apr 2003 : Column 95

the Gibraltar-European registration officer. Effectively, then, the registration process will be paid for by the Government of Gibraltar, in an arrangement parallel to those for elections to local authorities throughout this country. The Government of Gibraltar have indicated that they are content with that.

Mr. Bercow: Will the Minister give way?

Yvette Cooper: I cannot resist the opportunity to give the hon. Gentleman the chance to entertain us.

Mr. Bercow: I am delighted, because I have always paid homage to the hon. Lady as the intellectual hotshot and rising star in the new Labour firmament. Before she goes rushing helter-skelter on to the gravamen of amendment No. 17, I want her to explain the proper application of clause 63 of the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 in amendment No. 16, the parentage of which is hers, not ours.

Yvette Cooper: I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman would like to give the House the opportunity to debate in great detail the constitutional history of Gibraltar and its relationship with this country, but that is not relevant to the Bill.

The new clause in amendment No. 16 confirms that the Bill does not remove the power of the Gibraltar legislature to make legislation that is not contrary to the provisions made by or under the Bill. Hence the reference to the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865, which provides that any colonial law, which would include law made by Gibraltar, is void to the extent that it is contrary to law made by or under a UK Act of Parliament in relation to that colony, which includes Gibraltar. Accordingly, the amendment does not affect the Lord Chancellor's powers to make provision in exercise of his powers under the Bill. I trust that the hon. Gentleman is suitably enlightened and that if he has any further concerns he will conduct his own research into the Colonial Laws Validity Act. I am sure that he will not only write to me but entertain the House with his views on various historical provisions.

8.15 pm

Finally, the hon. Member for Wokingham—[Interruption.] I keep forgetting that he is the right hon. Member for Wokingham. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the views of the Government of Gibraltar, and I said that I would read to the House the letter that the Chief Secretary wrote to the Lord Chancellor's Department. It said:

I have responded to hon. Members' points, and I hope now that Conservative Members will now feel able to support the amendments, which were welcomed by

28 Apr 2003 : Column 96

Conservative Members of the Lords. Indeed, Baroness Rawlings, who led for the Conservatives on the Bill, said at the conclusion of the debates:

I hope that hon. Members in this House will adopt the same point of view and vote in support of the amendments.

Question put, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 280, Noes 113.

Division No. 172
[8:16 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beith, rh A. J.
Benn, Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burnham, Andy
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, rh Menzies (NE Fife)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Casale, Roger
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Doughty, Sue
Drown, Ms Julia
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Ewing, Annabelle
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Heath, David
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
McWalter, Tony
Mahmood, Khalid
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, rh Peter
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury & Atcham)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Meacher, rh Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mole, Chris
Morris, rh Estelle
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Olner, Bill
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Rendel, David
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh John
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stinchcombe, Paul
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wishart, Pete
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James (Glasgow Baillieston)
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Dan Norris and
Joan Ryan


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, rh James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John (Billericay)
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burnside, David
Burt, Alistair
Cameron, David
Cash, William
Chope, Christopher
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Curry, rh David
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, rh Eric
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Garnier, Edward
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, rh John
Hague, rh William
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, rh Peter
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Maples, John
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Norman, Archie
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Redwood, rh John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Rosindell, Andrew
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Streeter, Gary
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Desmond Swayne and
Hugh Robertson

Question accordingly agreed to.

28 Apr 2003 : Column 99

Lords amendment agreed to.

Clause 12

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