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Division No. 1


Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Biffen, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burnham, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Chalfont, L.
Chorley, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donaldson of Lymington, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Fookes, B.
Fowler, L.
Freeman, L.
Geddes, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hanham, B.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Hogg, B.
Holderness, L.
Home, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hylton, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kingsland, L.
Laird, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lindsay, E.
Listowel, E.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Mar, C.
Marlesford, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Montrose, D. [Teller]
Moran, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L. [Teller]
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Renton, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Seccombe, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Warnock, B.
Wilcox, B.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Borrie, L.
Brennan, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grocott, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Jones, L.
Layard, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Northfield, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Peston, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Richardson of Calow, B.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Rooker, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sheppard of Liverpool, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Tenby, V.
Thornton, B.
Turner of Camden, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Warner, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

3 Dec 2001 : Column 617

5.26 p.m.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch moved Amendment No. 126EB:

    Page 66, line 21, at beginning insert Xfollowing its ratification,"

The noble Lord said: I apologise again for tabling another manuscript amendment. Amendment No. 126EB is a probing amendment. Clause 110 of the Bill seeks to import Title VI of the Treaty on European Union—sometimes known as Maastricht—the Protocol on the Schengen acquis and Article 24 of the Treaty on European Union into British law, by regulation, subject to the affirmative procedures.

Clause 110(3) states:

    Xa reference to a provision of the Treaty on European Union includes a reference to that provision as amended by any provision of—

    (a) the Treaty signed at Amsterdam on 2nd October 1997, or

    (b) the Treaty signed at Nice on 26th February 2001".

In other words, the wording on the face of the Bill does not appear to require that the Treaty of Nice should be ratified by all the member states. It appears to be enough that we—

Lord Goodhart: In that case, can the noble Lord, Lord Pearson, explain how the Treaty on European Union could be amended by a treaty that has not yet been ratified? Is not this a wholly pointless amendment?

3 Dec 2001 : Column 618

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: I am grateful to the noble Lord, but I hope not. The words in the Bill state that these provisions can be imported in accordance with the treaty Xsigned" at Nice on 26th February. We all know that the Treaty of Amsterdam has been ratified. I have checked this matter with the legal authorities in the House this morning. They think that this is a matter that should be brought to the attention of the Committee in this way. That is why I am doing so.

There could be a very important distinction. If the Irish people do not change their minds, it is possible that the Nice Treaty will not be ratified. In those circumstances, will we still be bound by the provisions of the treaty because we have signed it?

The answer could have far reaching implications. For instance, Article 24 of the Treaty on European Union, which is imported by the clause, stands to be changed from unanimity to majority voting under Nice, but not under Amsterdam. There are several additions to Article 24 which appear to remove the veto from large areas, both under the common foreign and security policy in Title V and police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters under Title VI. Article 24 affects both areas and may go even wider.

It is worth looking briefly at what are the new provisions brought in by Nice to Article 24. Article 24 is to be found in Title V—the common foreign and security policy—and clearly feeds through into Title VI. It is worth placing on record what Article 24 used to say, and what it says now—the differences can easily be found in Volume 2 of the British Management Data Foundation analysis—so that we know exactly what is proposed by the new Article 24.

Article 24.1 states:

    XWhen it is necessary to conclude an agreement with one or more States . . . in implementation of this Title [Title V] the Council"—

it used to say Xacting unanimously"; those words have now been taken out—

    Xmay authorise the Presidency, assisted by the Commission as appropriate, to open negotiations to that effect. Such agreements shall be concluded by the Council"—

again, it used to say Xacting unanimously", but those words have been taken out—

    Xon a recommendation from the Presidency".

It is true that in Article 24 unanimity is retained when an agreement covers an issue for which unanimity is required for the adoption of Xinternal decisions", whatever they may be. But in paragraph 3 of Article 24 it is perfectly clear that when the agreement,

    Xis envisaged in order to implement a joint action or common position, the Council shall act by a qualified majority in accordance with Article 23(2)".

Again, in paragraph 4:

    XThe provisions of this article shall also apply to matters falling under Title VI".

3 Dec 2001 : Column 619

That is what brings it within the purview of what we are debating. Those words were there previously; but the new part reads as follows:

    XWhen the agreement covers an issue for which a qualified majority is required for the adoption of internal decisions or measures, the Council shall act by a qualified majority"—

that is new—

    Xin accordance with Article 34(3)".

I do not want to trouble the Committee with any more than that. I suspect that we could have a whole day's debate as to where these sorts of changes to the treaties as introduced at Nice could eventually lead us. Indeed, in relation to the next amendment we shall touch briefly on whether they might give rise to tax raising powers for the Community. In the meantime, I should be grateful for the Government's reply as to whether what we have signed at Nice will be binding even if the treaty is not eventually ratified, and what effect the new Article 24 may have on the whole ambit of what we are discussing. I beg to move.

5.30 p.m.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As I understand it, the noble Lord has tabled the amendment in order to prevent the power being used to implement any measures agreed as a result of changes arising from the Treaty of Nice, before that treaty has been ratified.

I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart. The amendment is redundant as the subsection of the clause that relates to Nice will not come into force until the Treaty of Nice has been ratified. That means that it must be ratified by all member states, including Ireland. We have gone over this matter a number of times in relation to the Nice treaty. I have been able to assure the noble Lord that, unless and until all member states ratify that treaty, it will not come into force. So none of the areas where the Nice treaty seeks to move from unanimous voting to qualified majority voting will be enacted until the Nice Bill is ratified. I should point out that we still have to finish our parliamentary processes in terms of consideration of the Nice treaty. We have finished the Committee stage, but we have still to debate the Bill on Report and at Third Reading. I assure the noble Lord that what the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, said—namely, that the amendment is surplus to requirements for the purpose that he seeks—is the right judgment. It is not necessary.

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