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This Act shall not come into effect until Her Majesty's Government has laid before Parliament a report showing the implications for the Western European Union and the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation, for the future functioning of these organisations, and for the United Kingdom's role therein, of—
(a) Article 1, paragraph 2 of the Treaty of Nice, revising Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union, and
(b) Article 1, paragraph 5 of the Treaty of Nice, revising Article 25 of the Treaty on European Union."

The noble Lord said: I beg to move this amendment, on which I wish to test the opinion of the Committee.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 40) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 73; Not-Contents, 136.

Division No. 2


Alton of Liverpool, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Bell, L.
Biffen, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Buscombe, B.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craig of Radley, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fookes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kilclooney, L.
Kimball, L.
Kirkham, L.
Liverpool, E.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mancroft, L.
Mar, C.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Moynihan, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Rawlings, B.
Renton, L.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wilcox, B.
Willoughby de Broke, L.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barker, B.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brennan, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grenfell, L.
Grocott, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hylton, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jones, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Maddock, B.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Michie of Gallanach, B.
Mitchell, L.
Newby, L.
Northfield, L.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Razzall, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rooker, L.
Roper, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tope, L.
Turnberg, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Warner, L.
Warnock, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Williamson of Horton, L.
Winston, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

26 Nov 2001 : Column 90

8.25 p.m.

[Amendment No. 41 not moved.]

Lord Howell of Guildford moved Amendment No. 42:

    After Clause 3, insert the following new clause—

Within three months of the ratification by Her Majesty's Government of the Treaty of Nice amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, the Government shall lay before both Houses of Parliament a White Paper on the economic, political and constitutional developments arising therefrom."

The noble Lord said: The intention of the new clause is not very different from those expressed earlier by some of my noble friends when urging that there was a case for a referendum. The basic proposition is the same in this case. The Nice Treaty is an unknown treaty. It will have constitutional effects and I do not believe that anyone can deny that. Some people may say that they are small and some may say that they are large. It will carry the principle of qualified majority voting: that is, voting by the Council of Ministers by a majority on matters which will then go straight into the laws of our land or travel through secondary legislation into our regulations. Furthermore, the present Government are contemplating downgrading the system by which secondary legislation passes through the two Houses of Parliament.

All those issues make it ever more imperative that there should be the widest possible knowledge and understanding about what is happening and what are the effects of the treaty. During the debate we heard read out the list of areas in which qualified majority voting has been extended. They cover matters which are close to the everyday lives of the citizens of the whole of Europe, certainly those of the United Kingdom. They cover the structural funds; the implementation of agreed foreign policy; trade in services and intellectual property rights; the rules relating to visas, asylum, refugees and illegal immigration; external border checks; conditions for freedom of movement of third country nationals; financial assistance to aid members in financial difficulties; trade policy; working conditions and

26 Nov 2001 : Column 91

social exclusion; support for industry; economic co-operation with third countries; procedures for allowing other states to join; and so forth. That is not the whole list.

To say that they are minor matters is to say that provided we keep them as quiet as possible, they will be seen as minor matters. However, when they are examined in the light of day they are not minor at all. The Nice Treaty, as with preceding treaties, shifts the nature of power and decisions and changes the pattern by which people's lives are governed. It is right that even if the Government will not accept the case for a referendum—I concede that previous governments did not do so—both Houses of Parliament should be kept fully and properly informed on the economic, political and constitutional developments arising from the treaties.

Broader questions are raised—we have touched on them in Committee—about how the treaties come to be made. Mr Tony Benn in the other place used to argue with great eloquence that perhaps the Royal Prerogative for treaty making is not always the correct way to proceed. I have sympathy with that argument, as I believe do other Members of the Committee. We are lucky in this case that we have to have a Bill passing through the two Houses to put into our law the consequences of the treaty to which the Government have agreed. However, perhaps in future we should re-examine and revisit that whole issue.

In the mean time, the case for a full explanation, for clarity of explanation and for continuous and effective dialogue about what is being done in the name of the people should be put before the people, before their elected assembly in the other place and before Members in this House where we have a duty to scrutinise, improve and amend. That is what we are trying to do and that is why I beg to move the amendment.

8.30 p.m.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: This amendment would require a report on the implications of the Treaty of Nice within three months of ratification. Her Majesty's Government do not believe that this amendment is necessary. Parliament has been kept fully informed of the negotiations on, and the effect of, the Treaty of Nice. Her Majesty's Government provided a White Paper to Parliament at the start of the negotiations which set out their position and explained all the issues. We held several debates during those negotiations. The Prime Minister, my right honourable friend the former Foreign Secretary and other Ministers reported regularly to both Houses and reported back again at the end of the negotiations.

We have had several debates since then, including the present one, in all of which the totality of the relevant economic, political and constitutional issues have been addressed. I am bound to say to the Committee that in so doing we have argued the same point over and over again in different fora. Of course we shall continue to keep Parliament informed of developments in the European Union as they occur, but we do not believe that anyone in this Chamber can

26 Nov 2001 : Column 92

point to instances where we have failed to do so. We have also produced a leaflet on the implications of the treaty.

In addition, Parliament will have the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the future of Europe, which we have debated fully in this Chamber several times, in the lead-up to the next IGC. We welcome the debate but do not believe that there is a genuine need for a further report. Therefore, I ask the Committee to reject the amendment.

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