All 1 Lord Gardiner of Kimble contributions to the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill 2022-23

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Wed 2nd Nov 2022

Northern Ireland Protocol Bill

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Excerpts
As the noble Lord, Lord Caine, was not able to confirm to me on Monday whether the Government are formally seeking that the EU change its mandate for negotiations, in this Bill we are seeking to remove from the protocol a key part that the Government negotiated. So I hope that the Government can provide crystal clarity on this point, because it is needed for the economy of all parts of the UK. I beg to move.
Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait The Senior Deputy Speaker (Lord Gardiner of Kimble)
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My Lords, I must inform the House that, if Amendment 16 is agreed to, I will not be able to call Amendments 17, 18 or 19 by reason of pre-emption.

Lord Judge Portrait Lord Judge (CB)
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My Lords, I shall be very brief and will say nothing about the breadth of the power being sought by Clause 12. I will read Clause 12(3):

“A Minister of the Crown may, by regulations, make any provision which the Minister considers appropriate”.

We all know what that means: a Minister will be empowered to create any regulations as he or she thinks fit. That is not objective: as he or she, sitting down, thinks fit. It is purely subjective. If we allow this piece of legislation to go through, we are saying to the Minister, “At whatever time it may suit you, take a blank sheet of paper and either write with a pen or type on your laptop whatever you think you want”. That will then be put before the Commons and the Lords, and, as they have not rejected anything for an eternity in real terms, it will become law.

Is that really how we think that power should be given to Ministers anywhere within the UK? It surely is not. There are other ways of making regulations. Good heavens, no Minister needs a lesson from me in how to create regulations; we are bombarded with them all time. But I do ask the House: is this really how we expect to be governed? The Minister can do what the Minister likes. The clause uses a different and longer phrase—“considers appropriate”—but it really means no more than whatever he or she wishes. It is not good enough.