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Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, the Minister is of course trying to tempt me into writing the next general election manifesto. I promise her that if by then I am in a position to do so, possibly from beyond the grave, I will let her know in advance what is in it.

Today we are discussing an amendment. I have made clear my support for the amendment proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Armstrong. He has made a very helpful and honourable move forward to achieve a compromise. Today I have directed all my remarks towards that honourable way forward and of seeking a way to resolve this matter. In doing so, I am not going to get involved in market gardener bartering across the Chamber. That would be to demean the House, and I value this House too much to do that.

4.30 pm

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, of course I hear what the noble Baroness is saying, but we still do not know whether noble Lords opposite will or will not accept the identity cards scheme as something that will inure to the benefit of the people of this country. We believe that it does and that it is important.

Where are we? We are where we have been for some months. The other place has been asked to think again, with variations on the same theme. On each occasion it has answered. For the sake of the record, I should tell your Lordships what those answers have been. On 18 October 2005, the Neil Gerrard amendment was defeated by a majority of 32. On 23 January 2006, Lords Amendments Nos. 16 and 22 were passed on Report by the Lords, by 186 votes to 142, an opposition majority of 44. On 13 February 2006, the two Lords amendments were then rejected, with a separate Division on each amendment, in the Commons with majorities of 31 and 51, respectively. On 6 March 2006, the Lords insisted on their amendments; the opposition majority was 61 on the Lords consideration of Commons amendments. On 13 March 2006, the Commons reversed the amendments and passed a technical amendment in lieu with a majority of 33. On 15 March 2006, the Lords again insisted, with a reduced majority of 35. On 16 March 2006, the Commons reversed the amendments with an increased majority of 51. On 20 March, the Lords disagreed with the Commons and passed two amendments in lieu, with a slightly increased majority, one vote, of 36. Then, on 21 March, the Commons disagreed with their Lordships by a majority of 43.
28 Mar 2006 : Column 665

I understand the reason why the noble Lord, Lord Armstrong, believes that this is helpful, but how many times are we going to say "No" to the will of the other place? I invite the noble Lord, Lord Armstrong, to think very carefully about whether he wants to press the Motion; about the impact it will have; and about the consequences for this House as regards its relationship with the other place. To be clear, I am not talking about the Parliament Act. I am talking about something I regard to be much more precious.

Lord McNally: My Lords, before the Minister sits down, on earlier occasions she has drawn on the Wakeham report to support her position. In paragraph 3.26, it said that the Lords' powers should be exercised "with restraint" and whenever the "occasion clearly demanded it". In paragraph 4.7, it stated:

The judgment of when we reach that point, unless she is in favour of a unicameral Parliament, is a matter for each Member of the House, not for Ministers of the Crown.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, we have conceded on many points. It is a question of judgment. We have moved and moved and moved and moved again, but I do not think that there is any space left to move to. This is primary legislation. In many of the debates, Members of this House have been almost tempted to treat it as if it was secondary legislation. This is primary legislation, which has been debated and debated and debated again.

We are left with a central issue—should the link that designation provides be maintained or not? The other place says "Yes". It has said "Yes" consistently—not just through this Bill, but through the previous Bill, which went through all its stages in the other place before the election.

The Gerrard amendment dealt with this issue. On every occasion the other House has said that this link must be maintained as the most effective and efficacious way of delivering what is a main, government policy. If I may respectfully say so, it is for this House now, if it honours its position and that of the other place, to give way with grace.

Lord Armstrong of Ilminster: My Lords, I say to my noble neighbour, or rather my noble friend Lord Barnett—I think that I may allow myself to call him my noble friend—that I have not been used by the opposition parties in this matter. The Motion which I put down today was not put down at their behest or at their request; it was put down because it seemed to me that here was a different form of compromise from any of those previously considered, which was worth considering, and worth considering very seriously.

I was encouraged by some of the remarks made by the noble Baroness, Lady Scotland, but not by all, and I was encouraged by what the Secretary of State said
28 Mar 2006 : Column 666
last week in another place. The House has to weigh the serious points that the noble Baroness made about the ultimate supremacy of the will of the other place, which I certainly do not call in question, with the question whether there is here a new possibility of compromise that could avoid a confrontation or possible use of the Parliament Act. I know the noble Baroness said that she was not talking about the Parliament Act and I very well understand that. I am sorry that my Motion comes at such a late stage in the process which we have been through, but I think that this compromise is different from others which have been suggested. I think that it could still form the base of an acceptable compromise, perhaps with the insertion of a time limit, and I beg the Government to consider that.

It will be for your Lordships to decide whether the merits, such as they are, of these amendments should prevail against the very serious and moving remarks which the noble Baroness has made about the game of ping-pong that we have been playing and its continued extension. However, I should like to take the opinion of the House on that balance.

4.38 pm

On Question, Whether the said Motion (No. A1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 219; Not-Contents, 191.

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Alliance, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Armstrong of Ilminster, L. [Teller]
Arran, E.
Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Bell, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Bridges, L.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chidgey, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
D'Souza, B.
Dundee, E.
Dykes, L.
Eccles, V.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Ezra, L.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Fearn, L.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fookes, B.
Fowler, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Freeman, L.
Freyberg, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goodlad, L.
Greenway, L.
Hamilton of Epsom, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hogg, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooper, B.
Hooson, L.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Hylton, L.
Inge, L.
James of Holland Park, B.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kalms, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, L.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Laird, L.
Leicester, Bp.
Liverpool, Bp.
Liverpool, E.
Lloyd of Berwick, L.
Lucas, L.
Ludford, B.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
Lyell of Markyate, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Moore of Lower Marsh, L.
Moran, L.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Neill of Bladen, L.
Neuberger, B.
Newby, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noakes, B.
Northbourne, L.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Owen, L.
Palmer, L.
Palumbo, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patten, L.
Patten of Barnes, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L. [Teller]
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Quinton, L.
Rawlings, B.
Razzall, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, L.
Rennard, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Saatchi, L.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shephard of Northwold, B.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Skidelsky, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Steel of Aikwood, L.
Steinberg, L.
Stern, B.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Tanlaw, L.
Taverne, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tyler, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vallance of Tummel, L.
Vinson, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walker of Worcester, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Windlesham, L.
Wolfson, L.
Worcester, Bp.


Acton, L.
Adams of Craigielea, B.
Adonis, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Amos, B. [Lord President.]
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Billingham, B.
Bilston, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blood, B.
Boothroyd, B.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Bragg, L.
Bramall, L.
Broers, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chandos, V.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Condon, L.
Crawley, B.
Cunningham of Felling, L.
David, B.
Davidson of Glen Clova, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dearing, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Foulkes of Cumnock, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Giddens, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Brookwood, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Greengross, B.
Gregson, L.
Griffiths of Burry Port, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hannay of Chiswick, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Newport, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Joffe, L.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Leitch, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McDonagh, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Mitchell, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Moonie, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murphy, B.
Nicol, B.
O'Neill of Clackmannan, L.
Ouseley, L.
Oxford, Bp.
Parekh, L.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prosser, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Quirk, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Ramsbotham, L.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rees of Ludlow, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Robertson of Port Ellen, L.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Simon, V.
Slim, V.
Slynn of Hadley, L.
Smith of Finsbury, L.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Snape, L.
Soley, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Bolton, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Macclesfield, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turnbull, L.
Turner of Ecchinswell, L.
Varley, L.
Wall of New Barnet, B.
Walpole, L.
Walton of Detchant, L.
Warner, L.
Warnock, B.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Wright of Richmond, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and Motion agreed to accordingly.

28 Mar 2006 : Column 669

On Question, Motion A, as amended, agreed to.

Bill returned to the Commons with amendments.

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