3rd reading & 3rd reading (Hansard) & 3rd reading (Hansard): House of Lords
Wednesday 2nd December 2020

(3 years, 6 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 View all United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 155-I Marshalled list for Third Reading - (27 Nov 2020)
Baroness Henig Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Baroness Henig) (Lab)
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I call the Minister to make a Statement on legislative consent.

Lord Callanan Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Lord Callanan) (Con)
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My Lords, I am required to inform the House that on 7 October the Scottish Parliament voted not to grant legislative consent because of its assertion that the Bill negatively impacts the devolution settlements. We have remained open to engagement with the Scottish Government on the contents of the Bill, and this offer still very much stands. The Senedd and Northern Ireland Assembly have not yet voted on legislative consent, but we have continued to engage with both Administrations on the Bill’s contents in recent weeks. This engagement has been fruitful, and the Government have listened closely to concerns. It has resulted, for example, in the Government tabling an amendment to ensure that the devolved Administrations have a strong role in appointments to the Office for the Internal Market panel, in light of Welsh Government proposals.

We appreciate the significance of the UK Government legislating without consent for this Bill. Our ambition, of course, remains to secure legislative consent Motions for the Bill. As I have said throughout the passage of the Bill, the UK Government remain open to discussions with all the devolved Administrations.

Clause 12: Modifications in connection with the Northern Ireland Protocol

Amendment 1

Moved by
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Lord Stevenson of Balmacara Portrait Lord Stevenson of Balmacara (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, my original Amendment 21 on Report, also signed by the noble Lords, Lord Anderson and Lord Wigley, and the noble Baroness, Lady Bowles, on which I spoke on 18 November 2020 and moved formally on 23 November 2020, replaced the original Clause 10 with a new clause listing public interest derogations from market access principles. I was pleasantly surprised and grateful that the Government accepted the amendment without a Division. The clerks subsequently advised us that the amendment required some consequential changes to the Bill to remove minor inconsistencies. These changes are set out in the amendments before your Lordships’ House today. Amendment 1 removes two subsections on page 8 and Amendment 3 removes Schedule 1 entirely. I beg to move.

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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The Government regret the changes made to the previous Clause 10 on Report, but I will not reopen that debate here. I appreciate the need for these amendments to tidy up the Bill text so the Government will not oppose them.

Amendment 1 agreed.
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Moved by
Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan
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That the Bill do now pass.

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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I thank noble Lords from across the House for the quality of the debates and the scrutiny provided throughout the passage of this Bill. I am grateful for the constructive engagement from many noble Lords from all parts of the Chamber that we have had both in and out of the Chamber, and hope that we can continue these discussions in the same spirit. I extend my thanks to other members of the ministerial team: my noble friends Lord True, Lady Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist, Lady Scott of Bybrook and Lady Penn, as well as Shreena and the rest of the excellent civil servants on the Bill team.

I have said throughout the debates that this Bill is essential for guaranteeing the economic and political integrity of the United Kingdom. It will ensure much-needed certainty for businesses as we leave the transition period. It will preserve our ability to trade freely across all parts of the United Kingdom. Having listened to all the debates in this House on this Bill, I believe I can say that all noble Lords share this objective. While noble Lords and I may not have always agreed on every single point—to put it mildly—the challenges posed by noble Lords and debates we have had have always been conducted in a constructive and courteous manner—except, obviously, the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, but we accept his contributions.

On a related note, I want to touch briefly on an amendment in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Ritchie of Downpatrick, referred to by the Leader of the House. As I committed to do on Report, I facilitated and joined a meeting on this issue between my honourable friend Robin Walker, Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office, the noble Baronesses, Lady Ritchie, and Lady Suttie, to discuss this in more detail. I thank the noble Baronesses for a good meeting, which assuaged their concerns on this issue.

For the benefit of the House, let me be clear: Article 2 of the Northern Ireland Protocol is vital, and the Government are fully committed to upholding it. I assure noble Lords that the rights for individuals in Northern Ireland captured within the scope of the Article 2 commitment will continue to be protected going forward, and will not be impacted by the workings of this Bill. I have explained this in greater detail in a letter to the noble Baroness, Lady Ritchie. To reassure noble Lords who may have similar concerns, I will place a copy in the Library. I beg to move.

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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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My Lords, let me first thank all those who have contributed to the debate for their remarks. Again, all noble Lords have approached the subject in a timely and constructive manner, in the finest traditions of this House, as has been demonstrated throughout the passage of the Bill. It is now up to the other place to scrutinise the changes that this House has made to the Bill. It would be wrong of me to prejudge what will happen there, but I can say that should the Bill return for further consideration in this House, I look forward to working with all noble Lords in the spirit of constructive—well, sometimes constructive —co-operation that we have all shown so far.

Bill passed and returned to the Commons with amendments.