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Lord Cope of Berkeley moved Amendment No. 250:

Page 44, line 38, at end insert--
(" . Regulation of the following--
(a) building societies;
(b) banking;
(c) friendly societies and the other societies to which the Friendly Societies Act 1974 applies.
. Regulation of the following--
(a) investment business, the official listing of securities and offers of unlisted securities;
(b) the transfer of securities;
(c) insider dealing.
. The subject-matter of the Money Laundering Regulations 1993, but in relation to any type of business.
. Regulation of anti-competitive practices and agreements; abuse of dominant position; monopolies and mergers.
. Trade marks, service marks and design, copyright, patent and topography rights.
. Units of measurement and United Kingdom primary standards.").

The noble Lord said: It is rather extraordinary that this is another category which it is proposed to put in Schedule 3, the reserved part of the Bill, as opposed to Schedule 2, the excepted part. It concerns the regulation of building societies, banking and so on and investment businesses.

It is not desirable that there should be a different regime for the regulation of banks and building societies, friendly societies and the transfer of securities in Northern Ireland compared with the rest of the United Kingdom. The same regime should apply. That would

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be the best approach. I cannot see a time when we should wish to have different regulations. In those circumstances, it seems right to put them in the excepted category.

Also within this amendment I have referred to trade marks, service marks and designs, copyright, patent and topography rights. Again, according to the Bill, they are headed for the reserved category. That opens up the possibility that in order to register a trade mark, one would have to register it not only in Great Britain but also separately in Northern Ireland. That is not desirable. I believe that those matters should remain in the excepted category.

Insider dealing is one of the matters which is to be reserved for possible future transfer. Money laundering regulations are also covered by the amendment. Therefore, we are beginning to touch once again on the question of rackets. I have made it clear on numerous occasions over many years that I regard the rackets as extremely serious within the whole position of Northern Ireland. There is a certain political momentum to terrorism. It is obviously the aim of the agreement and everything that goes with it to take out that political momentum and to deal with the political momentum for the violence that has occurred.

However, there is also a certain economic momentum to the violence. There are people within the circle of the paramilitary whose economic benefit it is to keep the violence going. That is a very dangerous feature of the matter which must be taken extremely seriously. I do not suppose that the Assembly and the executive will not take the matter seriously but I believe that the authority of the United Kingdom Government, particularly on issues like money laundering and so on, needs to be brought to bear and to remain the authority in charge of those matters.

Lastly, at the bottom of the amendment, I have attempted to move from Schedule 3 to Schedule 2 units of measurement and United Kingdom primary standards. I am not sure what we are measuring here. Whether we are dealing with pints and litres of a particular liquid or yards, feet and inches, it seems to me highly desirable that units of measurement should remain consistent throughout the United Kingdom and should remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom Government. The idea of the Assembly arguing about what units of measurement should be introduced seems to be a mistake. I should include that in the excepted category. I beg to move.

Lord Molyneaux of Killead: I support what the noble Lord, Lord Cope, said in detail in introducing the amendment. The remarks which I made somewhat prematurely apply equally on this amendment.

Lord Skelmersdale: When the matter of measurement is raised I, too,--possibly like the Chief Whip opposite--think in terms of rods, poles and perches. The idea of a rod, a pole or a perch being of different length in terms of feet and inches in Northern Ireland compared with, say, an allotment in Southsea,

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fills me with horror. How would one know whether or not one's rod was fair in whichever part of the country one lived?

That is not a serious point. But my noble friend is right to say that the subject of rackets is serious. The Minister made the point over and over again that nothing will happen in the Assembly--I am paraphrasing and he will leap to his feet, as he has done before, if I paraphrase wrongly--unless there is a substantial measure of cross-party agreement. Given that, if a future government make the mistake of transferring some functions to the Assembly, it is quite likely that nothing will happen. In some areas, especially on the subject of rackets, that is extremely undesirable and that is why rackets in particular should remain under the United Kingdom Government.

Lord Fitt: The noble Lord, Lord Cope, mentioned the question of measurements. I am not sure whether or not he is aware that there is indeed a difference. Measures in a bar in Ireland are different from the measures we get here. Everyone knows that, though it depends on how many one has been drinking.

Also, I am almost certain that there is something called an "Irish mile", where there is a difference in the number of yards involved. So there are differences, especially in relation to ale, gin, whisky or whatever. It has been accepted in Ireland for many years. In fact, when some of my guests come over here and I buy them a drink--no later than yesterday--they look at it and say, "That is very small compared to home". So the measures are larger in Belfast. I wonder where the permission came from to differentiate in measurements and when it came about. But there is certainly a difference.

Lord Howie of Troon: My noble friend would be well advised to take his guests to Glasgow; they would be quite happy there.

Lord Holme of Cheltenham: All of us defer to the noble Lord's experience on the matters about which he has just spoken.

I find myself being particularly persuaded by the noble Lord, Lord Cope, without being persuaded in general. In general, if our ambition is to have devolved government in Northern Ireland, as it is, we have to make a strong case for moving functions from a category of reserve where they might potentially, at some point in the future if it is sensible, be moved to the Northern Ireland Assembly and putting them in the "excepted" category, which means that we cannot contemplate any future in which they would be something to be dealt with by the Assembly.

In relation to most of these matters, I find it difficult to envisage a future in which they would be dealt with by the Northern Ireland Assembly, and I agree with the noble Lord on that point. However, I do not want to cut off that possibility. I agree strongly in regard to money laundering to the extent that it funds terrorism. I would regard it as a great achievement if we obtained the political will on a cross-community basis in Northern Ireland to cut off those funds as well as talking about it

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in the Westminster Parliament. Therefore, though I see the case he is making, the wholesale transfer does not appeal to me.

Lord Cooke of Islandreagh: I wish to congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Cope, on including trade marks, service marks, copyright, patents, and so forth. There are multi-national companies with worldwide patents which have overlooked, "including the Republic of Ireland". In many important cases the patents have not applied to Northern Ireland and much confusion, difficulty and loss of money has resulted therefrom. It is therefore important that Northern Ireland should be included as part of the United Kingdom.

Lord Dubs: Let me deal first with the comment made by my noble friend Lord Fitt. I have extremely limited experience of the matter, but so far as I have experience, I can confirm that Northern Ireland alcohol measures are much larger than they are in England and certainly larger than they are in the bars in the Palace of Westminster.

I am in the difficulty that throughout the afternoon we have been dealing with different amendments and I am tempted to make the same speech on each occasion. I shall try to make the same speech sound slightly different now for the sake of not being tedious.

Amendment No. 250 would move a number of further matters which are currently reserved into the list of excepted matters in Schedule 2. The amendments address a range of issues including the regulation of financial services and markets, of anti-competitive practices, trade marks and units of measurement. Those matters were all reserved in the 1973 Act and, though legislation in those areas in the main has been taken forward on a UK-wide basis, I do not consider that it would be appropriate to rule out the possibility of at some stage allowing the Assembly to legislate in some aspects of those matters, but with the consent of the Secretary of State and subject to the system of parliamentary control.

As regards financial services and markets, I ask the Committee to note that we anticipate the need to come back to the definitions of those provisions at Report stage. All we are asking is for an element of flexibility. In relation to the specific point on racketeering, that is a matter of criminal law and is already a reserved matter as has been the subject of earlier debate. I therefore ask the noble Lord to withdraw his amendment.

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