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1.41 pm

Mr. Denis MacShane (Rotherham) (Lab): I congratulate the hon. Member for Forest of Dean (Mr. Harper) on making a very moderate speech. I am grateful to him for remembering the modest contribution that I once made many years ago in serving Her Majesty on matters European. However, as so often with the Better Off Out group of the Conservative party, his speech and his Bill hide behind them concepts and problems that need to be unpicked.

I would have no objection if on the front of every Bill that came before this House there were some symbol or statement of its origin. The vast majority of legislation that has emanated from the EU has done so since the Single European Act was passed in 1986. That has had a huge impact on the legislation of 26 other countries. A great number of different groups in those countries think that the Single European Act, with its rather steam-rollering approach to enforcing free trade, is the child of the noble Baroness Thatcher, so perhaps on the front of every Bill across Europe that is connected with that Act we should have a nice picture of Margaret Thatcher to remind Europeans of where some of the best European legislation comes from.

The hon. Gentleman made heavy weather of trying to establish what percentage of our laws come from the European Union. If we think honestly about what takes up our time in the House, what worries our constituents and what fills the front pages of our newspapers, we find that very little is connected with the EU. Having already voted to outlaw wife-beating, I hope that later today we will outlaw child-beating. I do not know whether those on the Treasury Bench are of that mind.

Other issues ahead of us in the next few weeks include stem cell research, time limits on abortion, who might decide on the next police chief of London, identity cards, the length of detention for those suspected of serious terrorist crimes, university admissions and fees, our taxation policy, and what we heard about a moment ago from my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the
8 Oct 2008 : Column 298
Exchequer, with the Bill that will follow. Those are all made-in-Britain laws. That is true in France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Ireland, Finland and all members of the European Union. Of course, that which is connected to the Single European Act has to do with Europe.

In a debate earlier this year, I said that according to the Library—if I have time, I will read out some of its detailed statistics—only 10 per cent. of the laws that impact on us in the United Kingdom, adopted by this House principally through statutory instruments, emanate from the European Union. Then, to my horror, the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague), the shadow Foreign Secretary, leapt to his feet and quoted another right hon. Gentleman who had said that 50 per cent. or more of regulations came from the European Union. That right hon. Gentleman was the Prime Minister. Naturally, as a devoted admirer and fan of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister over decades, I was very concerned thus to be put in my place. I wrote to the Prime Minister to see whether the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks had accurately quoted him. I have a letter here, very kindly addressed, “Dear Denis”, and dated 30 April this year, in which he says

In a debate in this House on 3 June, the right hon. Member for Hitchin and Harpenden (Mr. Lilley) said that about 80 per cent. of all legislation emanated from the European Union, quoting a German Government source. The BBC and others have been trying to find this German Government source—is it Goethe, Schiller, or Mrs. Merkel?—and find that they cannot. It really is not good enough to come to the House and quote anonymous Germans, whoever they may be, in defence of the preposterous position that 80 per cent. of all our laws come from the European Union.

Nevertheless, the right hon. Gentleman was in very good company. Only two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of switching on the “Today” programme before 7 o’clock to find Mr. John Humphrys interviewing my favourite Euro-comic turn, Mr. Nigel Farage of the UK Independence party. Nigel—I hope that he does not mind my being familiar, but we get on quite well—said that 75 per cent. of all laws in the UK were now decided by the European Union: 5 per cent. less than the right hon. Gentleman’s figure. I do not know what had happened in the intervening two or three months. As Mr. Humphrys is usually so swift and vigorous in picking up anything that is a palpable untruth, I wrote to the BBC to ask whether that figure was going to be corrected or whether Mr. Humphrys could be politely asked, next time he hears this nonsense, from whatever source, to slap it down.

Before the European Parliament elections it is important that we establish certain accepted truths about the European Union. It is time to nail here in this House, and publicly, the lie that the EU is responsible for 80 per cent. of our laws, according to the right hon. Member for Hitchin and Harpenden, or for 75 per cent., according to Mr. Nigel Farage. I have here a letter from Mr. Malcolm Balen, a senior editorial adviser at BBC News. It is very friendly, but whenever someone from the BBC writes to one of us on these issues they go into a special room, cover themselves in grease, and then go for a swim in oil, so what he says is, to put it mildly, quite hard to
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grasp. He turns to Mr. Mark Mardell, the BBC’s excellent Europe editor, saying that Mr. Mardell

We are not dealing with jelly, but with laws made in this country that affect all our citizens. On that point, I completely agree with the hon. Member for Forest of Dean, but we have to avoid a circular argument. That Conservative party front organisation against Europe, Open Europe, issued a document recently stating that the smoking ban and the provisions we have for cigarette packs originated in Europe. In fact, Britain was one of the earliest countries—going back to when there was a Conservative Government—to bring in the “smoking damages your health” warnings. They made the case for it in Europe, Europe made it a European-wide law, which I support, and it then came back into our law. We are seeing law made in Britain transposed through Europe back into our own legislation. We end up in a Kafkaesque world, where ideas start in Britain, and during a period of many years they go to Europe and are agreed there. They then come back into our law and are blamed on the European Union.

This Bill does not contribute one whit to reform or educating the public. It is part of the continuing drive by the Conservative party, as we saw expressed at its conference last week, to cut all links with the ruling centre-right parties in Europe, and—if we were to experience the misfortune of their forming a Government—to take us steadily to the exit door of the European Union. I oppose this Bill.

Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in b ills and nomination of s elect c ommittees at commencement of public business):—

The House proceeded to a Division.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the No Lobby.

The House having divided: Ayes 169, Noes 202.
Division No. 271]
[1.51 pm


Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Austin, John
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Bercow, John
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Brake, Tom
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clark, Greg
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey

Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, Philip
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Drew, Mr. David
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Alan
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Christopher
Galloway, Mr. George
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holmes, Paul
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horam, Mr. John
Hosie, Stewart
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Hunter, Mark
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Main, Anne
Mason, John
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McDonnell, John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Mundell, David
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Paice, Mr. James
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Pritchard, Mark
Randall, Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Selous, Andrew
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, David
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Taylor, David
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Mark
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Jeremy
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

John Howell and
Mr. Peter Lilley


Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Anderson, Mr. David
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Balls, rh Ed
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burnham, rh Andy
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Tony
David, Mr. Wayne
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Heppell, Mr. John
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Khan, Mr. Sadiq

Kidney, Mr. David
Knight, Jim
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Levitt, Tom
Lloyd, Tony
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Lucas, Ian
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McGrady, Mr. Eddie
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miller, Andrew
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morgan, Julie
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
Olner, Mr. Bill
Owen, Albert
Pearson, Ian
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Purnell, rh James
Rammell, Bill
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Roy, Mr. Frank
Russell, Christine
Ryan, rh Joan
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, rh Jacqui
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Iain
Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Adrian Bailey and
John Mann
Question accordingly negatived.
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Orders of the Day

Children and Young Persons Bill [Lords]

[Relevant documents: T he Fifteenth Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Legislative Scrutiny, HC 440, and the Twenty-third Report from the Committee, Legislative Scrutiny: Government Replies, HC 755.]

As amended in the Public Bill Committee, considered.

New Clause 19

Support for accommodated children

‘After paragraph 8 of Schedule 2 to the 1989 Act insert—

8A (1) Every local authority shall make provision for such services as they consider appropriate to be available with respect to accommodated children.

(2) “Accommodated children” are those children in respect of whose accommodation the local authority have been notified under section 85 or 86.

(3) The services shall be provided with a view to promoting contact between each accommodated child and that child’s family.

(4) The services may, in particular, include—

(a) advice, guidance and counselling;

(b) services necessary to enable the child to visit, or to be visited by, members of the family;

(c) assistance to enable the child and members of the family to have a holiday together.

(5) Nothing in this paragraph affects the duty imposed by paragraph 10.”’.— [Sarah McCarthy-Fry.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

2.9 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Sarah McCarthy-Fry): I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: New clause 6— Looked after status—

‘(1) The 1989 Act is amended as follows.

(2) In section 85(4)(duty of local authority when notified of child accommodated by health authority or local education authority) at end insert “; and

(c) consider whether, in the exercise of their functions under paragraph (b), the child’s welfare is best safeguarded and promoted by being a looked after child.”’.

New clause 24— Responsibility for children in care who enter custody—

‘In section 20 of the 1989 Act after subsection (11), insert—

“(12) Where a child was accommodated by the local authority under this section immediately before being detained, the child shall continue to be deemed a “looked after child” for the purposes of section 23(1)(b) and section 24 of this Act save for the provision of accommodation.”

(13) In this section “detained” means detained in a remand centre, a young offenders institution or a secure training centre, or any other institution pursuant to an order of a court.”

In section 22 of the 1989 Act after subsection (1)(b), insert—

“(c) deemed to be looked after in accordance with section 20(12).”’.

8 Oct 2008 : Column 304

New clause 26— Support for family and friends carers—

‘After section 17B of the 1989 Act insert—

“17C Support for family and friends carers

(1) This section applies to a person (“P”) who provides full-time care and accommodation for a child (“C”) for more than 56 days but who is not—

(a) a parent of the child, or

(b) a local authority foster parent.

(2) A local authority shall assess P’s need for financial and other support under Part III of this Act to care for C in any of the following circumstances—

(a) where the child comes to live with P as a result of a plan made following an enquiry under section 47 (local authority’s duty to investigate) or a Family Group Conference;

(b) where the child comes to live with P following an investigation under section 37 (powers of court in certain family proceedings);

(c) where P has secured a residence order or special guardianship order in order to avoid the child being looked after, and there is professional evidence of impairment of the parents’ ability to care for the child;

(d) where P has obtained a residence order or special guardianship order arising out of care proceedings;

(e) where P is providing accommodation for the child and then secures a residence order or special guardianship order.

(3) The local authority shall provide such support as is required to meet the needs identified by the assessment referred to in this section.”’.

New clause 28— Collection of statistics—

‘(1) The Secretary of State shall collect and publish annually statistics on the accommodation arrangements for young people who were in the care of a local authority on 1st January of the year three years earlier than the year in which the statistics are published and were over 16 years old.

(2) The statistics published under subsection (1) shall indicate in respect of the young persons the number who were with foster carers at the age of—

(a) 19, and

(b) 20.’.

Government amendments Nos. 8 and 9.

Amendment No. 13, in clause 9, page 7, line 41, at end insert—

‘(e) C does not have more than three placements within a 12 month period or more than two placements within the last year of compulsory schooling.

(8A) If the requirement in subsection (8)(e) is not complied with, the local authority must provide C with a written explanation.’.

Amendment No. 14, in clause 10, page 9, line 14, at end insert—

‘(c) a strategy with their Housing and Planning department for maximising the availability of foster care placements.’.

Amendment No. 18, in clause 11, page 9, line 28, at end insert—

‘(2A) A local authority must offer the services of an independent reviewing officer to any relevant child for whom it is the responsible local authority.’.

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