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On Second Reading, the Minister was at pains to assure the House that the Government fully intended to extend the provisions of the legislation to cover the British overseas territories, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. He gave an indication that the Government wished to move forward on that front sooner rather
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than later, and I hope that he will repeat that assurance now. Given that that is the Government's declared intention, however, I would have thought that they might accept these modest amendments-especially amendment 4-and accept the imposition upon themselves of a duty so to act.

6.30 pm

I would add one further point. Two of the British overseas territories-Ascension island and Diego Garcia-play host to United States military bases. As I understand it, there are different leasing agreements in respect of those two territories. There is quite understandable concern that the British Government intend to extend the provisions of the cluster munitions convention to those territories, along with the others. It would help the Committee if the Minister indicated whether he foresaw any particular obstacles, given the legitimate presence of US forces on those two islands or whether in discussions between the British and the US Government any such problems have been overcome.

Mr. Davey: I rise briefly to say that the amendments are good proposals. I see no reason for having "may" and not "shall", so we need clear assurance from the Minister. To be fair to him, when my hon. Friend the Member for East Dunbartonshire (Jo Swinson) pressed him on this matter on Second Reading, particularly in respect of Diego Garcia, he gave some clear commitments and explained that the stockpiles of cluster munitions there at the moment will be taken away by 2013. That is good. That being the case, however, I cannot see why there is any problem opting for "shall" rather than "may". I hope that the Minister can help us out on that.

Mr. Cash: I participated in a Westminster Hall debate initiated by the hon. Member for Islington, North (Jeremy Corbyn) only a few days ago on the issue of the British overseas territories, particularly the two just mentioned. The Chagos island disputes and the whole question of Diego Garcia were considered, as was the extent to which there were continuing problems of displacement and compensation and whether people could return to their properties. My hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) alluded to aspects of those problems.

There is no doubt, on the basis of what the hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr. Davey) said and other evidence-or, at least, other assertions-that cluster munitions are stockpiled or lying in those territories. The formula adopted in clause 33(3) is not that unusual, but if we leave aside the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which I do think are likely to present problems, we need to look at the acute difficulty arising for the British overseas territories, particularly those mentioned by me, by my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury and by the hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton. It is essential to clarify this matter, because there will otherwise be a serious contradiction.

Because these are British overseas territories, all the debates we have had about the interaction between ourselves and, say, the United States or other allies, arise in a very practical sense in this provision. This is about cluster munitions, the question of nationality, the question of residence and territorial rights and the question of whether cluster munitions are in a certain place. We should leave aside Afghanistan, where there is
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an essential, immediate and practical clear and present danger of these provisions impinging on persons within the jurisdiction of the UK. We are looking for a very specific answer from the Minister. I am sure he has got one, but I hope that it is going to be satisfactory.

Chris Bryant: I will do my best. We want to make sure that all the overseas territories are fully compliant with the convention as swiftly as possible. There are two complicating elements in that. First, each of the overseas territories has its own constitution and its own legal set-up. Consequently, when we introduce the convention in each of those countries, we have to take cognisance of that. That is why, although there is very little difference in practice between "shall" and "may", I would prefer to stick with "may" because "shall" implies that the overseas territories themselves will have no say in the way in which implementation is brought forward. That is the only difference between us on that issue.

Mr. Cash: The Minister will understand why I immediately refer him back to clause 29 and the power to modify Acts. One wonders about the extent to which it is within the framework of the UK Parliament to make adjustments to the constitutions of the British overseas territories, and I do not know what the Minister has in mind. The constitutions or the treaties made with other allies might affect the manner in which the residents of the overseas territories could be unreasonably damaged or inhibited in how to deal with cluster munitions, particularly in the specific territories mentioned. Is the Minister prepared to take power, using clause 29, which provides for the power to modify Acts, in order to achieve those objectives, or is he just going to talk to the local legislature and ask if it might be interested or prepared to make the necessary changes? How is he going to go about it?

Chris Bryant: It varies significantly from one overseas territory to another. Obviously, the Falklands is different from Pitcairn, which is very different from the British Indian ocean territory. The term of conviction on indictment in previous legislation that we wanted to introduce across all the overseas territories to match UK legislation had to be replaced by reference instead to convictions by the supreme court of the territory, because the concept of conviction on indictment is unknown in the British Antarctic or the British Indian ocean territory.

That is why the two amendments proposed by the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington), with whose direction of travel I entirely sympathise, are inappropriate. They rather conflict with the policy that we tried to adopt with the overseas territories, which is to bring them with us rather than simply impose upon them. There is also the element of wanting to ensure that the precise way in which the individual clauses are applied to each of the overseas territories works within the legal context of the respective territories. As I say, they are very different. Over the last few years, we have dealt with each of the overseas territories, bringing in new constitutions that meet a series of other considerations, such as the European convention on human rights or the Human Rights Act 1998 in the UK.

The absolute assurance I can give is that whether or not we end up with "may" or "shall" in amendment 4 and whether or not we accept amendment 5 will make
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not a single bit of difference to the process we will engage in or the swiftness with which we expect to be able to engage in it.

Mark Durkan: The Minister has argued that because some of the terms in the Bill are not consistent with the legal frameworks in some of the overseas territories, the amendments would not be appropriate. Surely, however, clause 33(3) states:

the amendment would say "shall"-

If aspects of the Bill do not rhyme with provisions in some of the overseas territories, it can obviously be taken into account in the legislation that would be made.

Chris Bryant: But, if my hon. Friend will allow me to say so, that is to forget amendment 5, which is to remove the word "any". That is precisely the point. If we remove the word "any" and turn "may" into "shall", we would have to introduce everything as it is. There is no difference of view over the end-point that we want to arrive at, which is that there should be no cluster munitions on British overseas territories or anywhere under UK jurisdiction. We will move as quickly as we possibly can and I want to be able to do so with the assistance of the overseas territories.

Mr. Lidington: Does the Minister have it in mind that 2013 will be the date by which the convention and the Bill will take effect in all these territories?

Chris Bryant: Yes, absolutely. In relation to Diego Garcia in particular, as I said last week, the United States has made it clear that it will remove all its stockpile in the UK by the end of the year, and across the whole of the UK's jurisdictions by 2013. With that, I hope that hon. Members will not feel the need to press the amendments.

Mr. Lidington: I listened with interest to the Minister's comments, and I am grateful for the support of my hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Mr. Cash) and the hon. Members for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr. Davey) and for Foyle (Mark Durkan) on the matter. The Minister certainly persuaded me with regard to amendment 5-I can see that to delete the words "any of" would introduce an unsuitable element of inflexibility. I am less persuaded, however, by his assurances about whether "shall" or "may" is the more appropriate word to use.

I do not doubt the Minister's sincerity when he says that the Government's intention is to press forward as soon as possible, and I accept to some extent his point that the Government are anxious not to offend the susceptibilities of the British overseas territories and want to bring them with the Government, so that they feel they have some ownership of the legislation as it extends to their parts of the world. On the other hand, amendment 4 would not insist that legislation is extended to the British overseas territories in a particular form. As the hon. Member for Foyle pointed out, subsection (3) provides for "any of the provisions" to be extended; it does not insist that all are extended at once, or at all, to each of the territories. It makes express provision for
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modifications, including additions or omissions. The Government have less cause to be concerned about amendment 4 than they do about amendment 5. The amendment offers us a way to improve the Bill in a modest but worthwhile fashion, and I intend to press it to a vote.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee proceeded to a Division.

The First Deputy Chairman: I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the Aye Lobby.

The Committee having divided: Ayes 190, Noes 255.
Division No. 117]
[6.43 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Amess, Mr. David
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Baldry, Tony
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, David T. C. (Monmouth)
Davis, rh David
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Nadine
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Durkan, Mark
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Gale, Mr. Roger
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holmes, Paul
Hosie, Stewart
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Howell, John
Huhne, Chris
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey

Mason, John
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Rennie, Willie
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, rh Mr. Peter
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Chloe
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Thurso, John
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Sir Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Willott, Jenny
Wilshire, Mr. David
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Tellers for the Ayes:

James Duddridge and
Mr. Rob Wilson

Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Bain, Mr. William
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Bradshaw, rh Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann

Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Lynne
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Ann
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, rh Jim
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, rh Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy

Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Salter, Martin
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, rh Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, rh Jacqui
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Spink, Bob
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woodward, rh Mr. Shaun
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Noes:

Mark Tami and
Steve McCabe
Question accordingly negatived.
23 Mar 2010 : Column 183

23 Mar 2010 : Column 184

23 Mar 2010 : Column 185

Clause 33 ordered to stand part of the Bill

Clause 34

Commencement and short title

7 pm

Chris Bryant: I beg to move amendment 6, page 21, line 36, leave out subsection (3).

This is very straightforward. The necessity for clause 34(3), inserted in the House of Lords, refers to the financial privilege that obtains to the House of Commons pursuant to the resolution of 1671:

something to which the Lords have tacitly assented since their 1702 resolution.

In the Lords, the subsection was inserted to maintain the fiction that a Bill originating in the Lords would not require a money resolution in the Commons. Now that the Bill has already been in the Lords and we have maintained that fiction, we no longer need the subsection. The amendment merely removes that subsection so that we can proceed. It will not mean that the Bill would be subject to ping-pong.

Mr. Cash: I am more interested in facts than fictions. I am concerned about clause 34(1), which says:

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