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Mr. Gregory Campbell: I wish to respond briefly, as I am anxious about the passage of time. A number of substantive points were made by hon. Members who spoke in favour of these amendments, but of course, the right hon. Member for Upper Bann (Mr. Trimble) was not one of them, which would not surprise most of us. He suggested on a couple of occasions that the entire concept would fall—I think that that was the phrase he used—if these amendments were agreed to. When we align that with some of the statements and references that we have just heard the Minister make, it would appear that the substance behind the IMC seems to have been agreed in advance, that any amendment is likely to be futile and that whatever deal has been arrived at is one of sum and substance.

The right hon. Member for Upper Bann suggests that if we tinker with the proposals at all, they will fall. I do not know whether that is because the entire Bill has been discussed between himself and the hon. Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Adams), who also happens to sit on the IRA army council, and agreed with him, and we will have to see whether that is coloured by the public protestations by Sinn Fein about opposition and non-co-operation with the IMC.

The other issue that leaves us somewhat lacking in information is the Minister's response to the timing. Under new clause 3, we attempted to try to tie down the issues so that the matter would be responded to and dealt with at a brief juncture. He now tells us that there will be a report by the IMC at six-monthly intervals. Given the precedents established by the decommissioning body in Northern Ireland—

Mr. Spellar: May I clarify the matter for the hon. Gentleman? I apologise if I had not made the position clear. The international agreement, as I said, puts the commission on a fixed time scale to report at six-monthly intervals. The two Governments may also jointly ask it to make other reports.

Mr. Campbell: I thank the Minister for that. The two Governments indeed may do so. We will wait and see whether there are any reports that do not amount to a string of beans in between the six-monthly intervals. The issue on which I wanted to elaborate slightly, however, was that the precedents are not good in that we have what amounts to an international decommissioning commission in Northern Ireland, which has been in operation for a significant period. It has not exactly been overburdened with work—that is being polite and very kind. In fact, it has cost millions of pounds but it has done virtually nothing. It reports very infrequently. Will the mighty international commission that we are being asked to endorse, without any amendments, it appears, be any more definitive? Will it take any more substantive action, or will it be a case yet again of an attempt to fudge an issue and sweep it under the carpet in an endeavour to try to get the show back on the road and to get devolution restored in the hope that eventually people will be worn down and accept the inevitable, as some people would try to present it?

17 Sept 2003 : Column 997

To assist the Minister, I will repeat what I and some of my colleagues said: because of amendment No. 1 being similar in substance to amendment No. 64, we will not pursue amendment No. 64 to a Division. On that basis, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed: No. 1, in clause 1, page 1, line 11, at end insert—

'(1A) But, notwithstanding the provisions of that agreement, the Monitoring Commission shall consist of two members only, who shall be appointed by Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, and of whom one shall be from Northern Ireland.'.—[David Burnside.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 7, Noes 321.

Division No. 318
[9:43 pm


Burnside, David
Dodds, Nigel
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Hunter, Andrew
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Gregory Campbell and
Rev. Martin Smyth


Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Amess, David
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Austin, John
Bacon, Richard
Bailey, Adrian
Barnes, Harry
Baron, John (Billericay)
Bayley, Hugh
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Beith, rh A. J.
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Blackman, Liz
Borrow, David
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brazier, Julian
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Browne, Desmond
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnett, John
Burnham, Andy
Butterfill, John
Byers, rh Stephen
Cameron, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Carmichael, Alistair
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chope, Christopher
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dismore, Andrew
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Brian H.
Dorrell, rh Stephen
Doughty, Sue
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Etherington, Bill
Ewing, Annabelle
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flook, Adrian
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Forth, rh Eric
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Garnier, Edward
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Paul
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Grieve, Dominic
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hammond, Philip
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Heald, Oliver
Healey, John
Heath, David
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hendry, Charles
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jack, rh Michael
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jenkin, Bernard
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Letwin, rh Oliver
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Llwyd, Elfyn
Love, Andrew
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McIsaac, Shona
Mackay, rh Andrew
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, rh Peter
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Mercer, Patrick
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moffatt, Laura
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, rh Paul (Torfaen)
Norman, Archie
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Paice, James
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Pickles, Eric
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Rosindell, Andrew
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salmond, Alex
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Soley, Clive
Spellar, rh John
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Squire, Rachel
Stanley, rh Sir John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Tredinnick, David
Trickett, Jon
Trimble, rh David
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Wishart, Pete
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James (Glasgow Baillieston)
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Fraser Kemp and
Gillian Merron

Question accordingly negatived.

17 Sept 2003 : Column 999

Motion made, and Question put, That the clause stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 330, Noes 7.

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