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I say frankly to the noble Lord, Lord McNally, that it was nothing to do with the Leader of the Opposition that these clauses were dropped. The Government saw the amendments on the Order Paper and realised that there was a huge danger that they would not get any of their Bill. Make no mistake: all those amendments were going to be discussed and voted upon. It is no good blaming the noble Lord for that; instead, the Liberal Benches should be congratulating the Government on their wisdom in getting most of the Bill through.
Lord McNally: My Lords, last year we had to dig back for a 300 year-old precedent to try to deal with four Members of this House accused of a very serious offence. These amendments are trying to clean up the procedures of this House. They have been well discussed, and they are parallel to the Commons measures that we have just nodded through. When this Bill goes through, which I hope it will, the message to the country will be that the House of Commons has put its house in order but the House of Lords has not.
Lord Steel of Aikwood: More than that, my Lords, it is not fair to suggest that we are pushing this through in the wash-up. We have had debates on ending the hereditary by-elections three or four times in this House, and that was carried by a huge majority in the other place after a long debate. The issue has been fully debated.
I say to the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, who is not rising from his place in response to my noble friend, that I now feel sorry for David Cameron. Here he is, about to enter an election campaign saying that he has modernised the Conservative Party, and it is seriously going to maintain that in the 21st century people should still join the legislature of this country by heredity, chosen by a few other hereditaries. That is a ludicrous position, yet it is one that the party is determined to maintain and the Government have basically had to give in to blackmail.
Viscount Waverley: My Lords, I believe that the majority of hereditary Peers know exactly what our contribution is to Parliament and to its future. When the appropriate time comes, we will work in that regard.
Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, I take this opportunity to set the record straight. Clauses 54 and 55 are important clauses on expulsion, and we wholly support them. We urged the Government to bring them forward but, quite rightly, they took the view that it was not possible for them to be passed today without a great deal of discussion and that that would imperil the whole of the Bill.
I spoke about the rest of the Bill earlier today and I am not going to repeat the points that I made. However, the charges made by the noble Lord, Lord McNally, are completely empty and actually faintly shocking. After the noble Lord pleaded to be part of the discussions and the Government invited him in, in good faith, I find the sort of language that we have heard tonight disappointing from the leader of a political party in this House. I support the Government.
Lord Selsdon: The caterwauling of the Liberal alley cats has caused me a little bit of concern, and I should like a bit of clarification from the Government on what it means to be elected or accepted and elected or appointed. By my reckoning, about 420 Members of this House have been appointed by Mr Blair or Mr Brown under what you would call parliamentary patronage. I would be grateful if we could have a definition from the Government. An appointed Peer is someone appointed under the Life Peerages Act 1958. An elected hereditary Peer is someone accepted under the House of Lords Act 1999 and then elected. Is that true or is it not true? I beg to move.
Lord Selsdon: My Lords, this is a probing amendment asking once more for a definition. I am getting extremely concerned about the shortage of good words. The Liberal Democrats are for ever going on about non-doms. The Conservative Party goes on about non-doms. I should like to have a definition once and for all of the term "domicile". I declare an interest as a Scot. As a Scot with a lair, which is a grave, and a mausoleum, I am for ever and a day domiciled in Scotland. My family, however, have a habit of dying at sea. When you die at sea, there is a difficulty as to where you were domiciled at the time of your death.
I want to get the Government to describe the term "domicile". At birth in the United Kingdom in general you take the domicile of your father, which is called domicile of birth. At the age of 16, you may change that domicile to domicile of choice. However, if you change your domicile to domicile of choice, you must sever all relationships with your domicile of origin. This makes no problem at all for people who are born in the United Kingdom and take their father's domicile, but for those who may have foreign parents, domicile is an interesting and difficult situation.
The way the Government have worded this part of the Bill is not altogether clear. "Resident" and "ordinary resident" are extremely clear, but when you use the word "domicile" and talk about estate duty for part of the year, you have a considerable problem if you are looking at the application of death taxes or inheritance taxes in many countries around the world, particularly those which do not have a double taxation agreement. I should like the Minister to give an official definition of "domicile". I beg to move.
Lord Tunnicliffe: My Lords, I shall not be the first person in this House to disappoint the noble Lord, Lord Selsdon, and probably not the last. I cannot answer his question in those terms, but I can answer it in terms of the Bill. By omitting "and domiciled" from Clause 59(2), MPs and Peers would be deemed to be only resident and ordinarily resident, not domiciled. If MPs and Peers are not deemed to be domiciled, they would be able to access the remittance scheme and, as such, not pay full UK tax on their worldwide income. It is the consensus of all parties that that should not take place. I ask the noble Lord to withdraw his amendment.
Lord Selsdon: My Lords, if everyone is happy with that very clear definition, I would advise your Lordships that in the international courts from time to time there may be certain disputes. But perhaps that is the official declaration of domicility today. The word "deem" is also difficult, because against "deem" sometimes goes "the great redeemer". However, in view of the enthusiasm that the Government have shown for giving up using "dom" and sticking to "domiciled", I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
"If subsection (4)(a) has applied to M, it does not stop M becoming excepted from section 1 of the House of Lords Act 1999 again by filling a vacancy under section 2 of that Act after the notice is given."
(a) a citizen of England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland;
(b) a citizen of Her Majesty's Crown Dependencies and Her Majesty's Crown Dependencies are-
(i) the Isle of Man,
(ii) the Bailiwick of Jersey,
(iii) the Bailiwick of Guernsey; or
(c) a citizen of Her Majesty's Overseas Territories who holds British citizenship under the British Overseas Territories Act 2002 and Her Majesty's Overseas Territories are-
(iii) British Antarctic Territory,
(iv) British Indian Ocean Territory,
(v) British Virgin Islands,
(vi) Cayman Islands,
(vii) Falkland Islands,
(x) Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands,
(xi) St Helena and her dependencies of Ascension Island and Tristan da Cuhna,
(xii) South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.
(3) For the purposes of this Act a member of the House of Lords who is a citizen of one of Her Majesty's Realms, may be granted British citizenship without surrendering the current citizenship of a country of Her Majesty's Realms which are-
(a) Antigua and Barbuda,
(c) The Bahamas,
(i) New Zealand,
(j) Papua New Guinea,
(k) St Kitts and Nevis,
(l) St Lucia,
(m) St Vincent and Grenadines,
(n) Solomon Islands,
(4) For the purposes of this Act, a member of the House of Lords who was born in any country of the Commonwealth prior to independence of that country may be granted British citizenship without surrending the current citizenship of the country of birth."
Lord Selsdon: I shall take only 30 seconds. The amendment concerns 30 territories around the world to which British citizenship relates. I want to make sure that we do not forget that British citizens are not necessarily residents of the United Kingdom, but they may be residents of many of Her Majesty's territories around the world. All that I should like to be sure of is that these territories are on the record and that everyone understands that, when we are discussing taxation or membership of the House of Lords of British citizens, they are British citizens.
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