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House of Commons
Session 2002 - 03
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 16th September 2003

The House met at half-past Eleven o'clock.

PRAYERS.

1    London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill [Lords],-Ordered, That the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill [Lords] be now considered.

    Amendments made to the Bill.

    Bill to be read the third time.

2    Mersey Tunnels Bill,-The Order of the day being read for further consideration of the Mersey Tunnels Bill, as amended;

    Ordered, That the Bill be further considered on Tuesday 14th October.

3    First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Mr Nigel Beard reported from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Vienna Document 1999 (Privileges and Immunities) Order 2003.

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.

4    Message from the Lords,-A Message was brought from the Lords, as follows:

    National Lottery (Funding of Endowments) Bill,-The Lords have agreed to the National Lottery (Funding of Endowments) Bill, without Amendment.

5    Transport (Concessionary Fares),-Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to allow pensioners and disabled persons in England to benefit from free travel on buses in current travel concession authority areas and in the vicinity of those areas; and for connected purposes: And that Joyce Quin, Valerie Davey, Mr Jim Cousins, Mr Chris Smith, Lynne Jones, Angela Eagle, Mr Win Griffiths, Mrs Jackie Lawrence, Mr Ian Davidson, Alan Keen, Mr Parmjit Dhanda and Vera Baird do prepare and bring it in.

6    Transport (Concessionary Fares) Bill,-Joyce Quin accordingly presented a Bill to allow pensioners and disabled persons in England to benefit from free travel on buses in current travel concession authority areas and in the vicinity of those areas; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 21st November and to be printed [Bill 159].

7    Opposition Day [17th allotted day],-It being an allotted day at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition in pursuance of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), the House proceeded to consider Opposition business.

    Security of the Electricity Supply and London Underground,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House is greatly concerned about the security of the electricity supply; recognises the crucial importance of reliable supplies to every aspect of domestic and business life, including transport; believes that the Government is neglecting the risk of power cuts this winter and in the longer term; condemns the Government's Energy White Paper for planning to make Britain dependent on gas imports from unreliable sources and for not balancing the need for secure supplies with environmental responsibilities; notes that the consequences of the recent power cut on the London Underground may have been worsened by the inadequacies of the Public Private Partnership negotiated and imposed by the Government; and calls for urgent action to ensure no repetition of the alarming experiences endured by hundreds of thousands of people in London and the South East-(Mr Tim Yeo);

    An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'regrets the problems that have recently occurred on the National Grid and the disruption that was caused particularly to transport services; further notes that the report published by the National Grid last Wednesday shows that the problem was not caused by under-investment on the network, shortage of capacity or its contractual relationship with any of its customers but rather by a local transmission failure; notes that security of supply is one of the key responsibilities of the regulator, that Ofgem is considering the incident in the light of the National Grid's licence obligations and will be reporting at the end of September; and further notes that the Government's engineering inspectorate will also be conducting its own investigation', instead thereof.-(Mr Stephen Timms.)

    And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Robert Syms, Mr Mark Francois: 124.

      Tellers for the Noes, Gillian Merron, Joan Ryan: 332.

    So the Question was negatived.

    And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):-It was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House regrets the problems that have recently occurred on the National Grid and the disruption that was caused particularly to transport services; further notes that the report published by the National Grid last Wednesday shows that the problem was not caused by under-investment on the network, shortage of capacity or its contractual relationship with any of its customers but rather by a local transmission failure; notes that security of supply is one of the key responsibilities of the regulator, that Ofgem is considering the incident in the light of the National Grid's licence obligations and will be reporting at the end of September; and further notes that the Government's engineering inspectorate will also be conducting its own investigation.

    Referendum on the EU Constitution,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House believes that the draft Constitution, presented by the Convention on the Future of Europe to the Inter-Governmental Conference on 20th June at Thessalonica, constitutes a fundamental change to the relationship between the European Union and the Member States and should therefore only be implemented if the British people have freely consented to it in a referendum-(Mr Michael Ancram);

    An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'welcomes the Government's commitment to keeping Parliament fully informed of the progress of the IGC negotiations, including through the publication of a White Paper, and to continued intense Parliamentary scrutiny of the draft Constitutional Treaty; believes the proposals from the Convention on the Future of Europe are a good starting point for discussions between the elected governments of the EU's member states; further believes that, as the proposals do not alter the fundamental constitutional relationship between the EU and its Member States, and the role of national parliaments is strengthened, there is no reason to depart from the precedent set by previous governments, which rejected referendums on previous constitutional treaties; and notes that it will be for Parliament to decide on whether it should become part of UK law', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Straw.)

    And the Question being proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    Mr Patrick McLoughlin rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

    And the Question being put, That the Question be now put:-It was agreed to.

    And the Question being accordingly put;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Mark Francois, Mr Robert Syms: 177.

      Tellers for the Noes, Charlotte Atkins, Derek Twigg: 250.

    So the Question was negatived.

    And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments);

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Derek Twigg, Charlotte Atkins: 241.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Mark Francois, Mr Robert Syms: 165.

    So the Question was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House welcomes the Government's commitment to keeping Parliament fully informed of the progress of the IGC negotiations, including through the publication of a White Paper, and to continued intense Parliamentary scrutiny of the draft Constitutional Treaty; believes the proposals from the Convention on the Future of Europe are a good starting point for discussions between the elected governments of the EU's member states; further believes that, as the proposals do not alter the fundamental constitutional relationship between the EU and its Member States, and the role of national parliaments is strengthened, there is no reason to depart from the precedent set by previous governments, which rejected referendums on previous constitutional treaties; and notes that it will be for Parliament to decide on whether it should become part of UK law.

8    Implementation and Compliance of the Common Fisheries Policy,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees), That this House takes note of European Union Documents No. 7623/03, Commission Communication towards uniform and effective implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, and No. 10509/03, Commission Communication on compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy: 'Compliance work plan and scoreboard'; takes note of the Government's support for the work plan; and supports the Government's objective of playing a constructive part in detailed discussion of the proposals to improve co-operation between enforcement agencies and of the feasibility study on the proposed Community Fisheries Control Agency-(Mr John Heppell);

    And the Deputy Speaker's decision as to the decision of the Question being challenged, the Division was deferred till to-morrow, pursuant to Orders [28th June 2001 and 29th October 2002].

9    Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from residents of Bicester, Oxfordshire, and the surrounding area for the provision of an extended community hospital in Bicester was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

10    Adjournment,-Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.-(Mr John Heppell.)

    And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till eight minutes to Eight o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 7.52 p.m.

Michael J. Martin
Speaker


Mr Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Eleven o'clock.


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

    1    Electricity,-Electricity (Exemption from the Requirement for a Generation Licence) (England and Wales) Order 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 2380), dated 12th September 2003 [by Act] [Ms Secretary Hewitt].

Other Papers:

    2    British Library,-Statement of appointment of Eileen Mackay CB to the Board of the British Library [by Act] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].

    3    Criminal Injuries Compensation,-Report and Accounts of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for 2001-02, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 450] [Clerk of the House].

    4    Government Resources and Accounts,-Report and Accounts of the Public Guardianship Office for 2002-03, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 738] [David Lammy].

    5    Police (Northern Ireland),-Eighth Report of the Oversight Commissioner [by Act] [Mr Secretary Murphy].

    6    Severn Bridges,-Financial Statements for Severn River Crossing plc for 2002 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Darling].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

    1    Draft Vienna Document 1999 (Privileges and Immunities) Order 2003,-The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr David Chaytor, Mr David Clelland, Mr Siôn Simon and Geraldine Smith from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Graham Allen, Jeff Ennis, Mr Mark Fisher and Mike Gapes.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Constitutional Affairs,-(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Constitutional Affairs Committee [The office of Lord Chancellor and the establishment of a judicial appointments commission and Supreme Court]; to be printed [No. 1105-i];

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Legal Services Commission Annual Report 2002-03]; to be printed [No. 1106-i]; and

    (3) Further Memoranda laid before the Committee [Asylum and Immigration Appeals]; to be printed [No. 772-II]

    [Mr A. J. Beith].

    2    Culture, Media and Sport,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee [London Olympic Bid 2012]; to be printed [No. 1098-i] [Mr Gerald Kaufman].

    3    Draft Civil Contingencies Bill,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on the Draft Civil Contingencies Bill; to be printed [Nos. 1074-iii and -iv] [Dr Lewis Moonie].

    4    Draft Mental Incapacity Bill,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Incapacity Bill; to be printed [No. 1083-ii] [Jim Dowd].

    5    Home Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Home Affairs Committee [Asylum Applications]; to be printed [No. 692-vii] [Mr John Denham].

    6    International Development Committee,-(1) Fifth Special Report from the International Development Committee [Government Response to the Seventh Report from the Committee, on Trade and Development at the WTO: Issues for Cancún]; to be printed [No. 1093];

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories]; to be printed [No. 1107-i]; and

    (3) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories]

    [Tony Baldry].

    7    Joint Committees (Choice of Chairmen),-Mr John Greenway reported from the Committee appointed to join with a Committee of the Lords as the Joint Committee on the Draft Gambling Bill, that he had been chosen Chairman of the Joint Committee.

    8    Northern Ireland Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee [The Introduction of the Aggregates Levy in Northern Ireland: One Year On]; to be printed [No. 1101-i] [Mr Michael Mates].

    9    Statutory Instruments,-Twenty-seventh Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 96-xxvii] [Mr David Tredinnick].

    10    Trade and Industry,-(1) Sixteenth Report from the Trade and Industry Committee [Rewards for Failure], together with Appendices to the Report; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 914];

    (2) Fourth Special Report from the Committee [Government Observations on the Eleventh Report from the Committee, on People, Pensions and Post Offices: The impact of 'Direct Payment' on post offices and their customers]; to be printed [No. 1102];

    (3) Fifth Special Report from the Committee [Government Observations on the Ninth Report from the Committee, on UK Steel 2003]; to be printed [No. 1103]; and

    (4) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Electricity companies' responses to the storms of October 2002]; to be printed [No. 1104-i]

    [Mr Martin O'Neill].

    11    Welsh Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Welsh Affairs Committee [Manufacturing and Trade in Wales]; to be printed [No. 1100-i] [Mr Martyn Jones].

[W.H., No. 88]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

The sitting commenced at half-past Nine o'clock.

    Adjournment,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That the sitting be now adjourned-(Mr John Heppell);

    And the sitting having continued for two and a half hours after Two o'clock, it was adjourned without Question put, till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 4.40 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker



 
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