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No. 31, page 95, line 23, leave out ‘person’ and insert ‘woman concerned’.

No. 32, page 96, line 16, leave out second ‘a’ and insert ‘the’.

No. 33, page 99, line 21, after ‘of’, insert ‘the formation of’.

No. 34, page 99, line 37, after ‘time’, insert ‘of the formation’.

22 Oct 2008 : Column 408

No. 35, page 107, line 9, after ‘domiciled’, insert ‘immediately’.— [Dawn Primarolo.]

Schedule 8

Repeals and revocations

Amendments made: No. 78, page 114, line 13, column 2, leave out ‘, (6) and (7)’ and insert ‘and (6)’.

No. 79, page 114, line 14, column 2, leave out ‘(7) or’.— [Dawn Primarolo.]

Order for Third Reading read.

6.49 pm

Dawn Primarolo: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

It has been a long journey to Third Reading, but a shared one, involving two years of scrutiny and discussion.

Mr. Cash: Will the Minister give way?

Dawn Primarolo: The process was demanding because we were invited to consider issues that strike at the heart of what it means to be human. We have also looked—

Mr. Cash: Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The Minister has indicated that she is not going to give way.

Dawn Primarolo: We have looked at how to make regulation more inclusive and more reflective of 21st century society and family structures, including by covering the rights of same-sex couples.

Mr. Cash: Will the Minister give way?

Dawn Primarolo: No. I am trying to make some brief comments—

Mr. Cash rose—

Mr. Speaker: Order. The right hon. Lady has indicated on several occasions that she is not giving way, so the hon. Member for Stone (Mr. Cash) should calm himself, sit down and listen to the Minister.

Dawn Primarolo: None of the decisions were taken lightly. Indeed, precisely because of the Bill’s controversial nature, because it involved such profound social and ethical issues, and because it was always going to provoke very different views, we depended more than ever on the guidance and scrutiny of those in this House and outside it.

Mr. Cash: May I try once more; will the Minister give way?

Mr. Speaker: Order. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman should try once more because he is beginning to defy the Chair, and that is not a good idea.

Dawn Primarolo: The Government have listened carefully to views about what should be allowed, what should be prescribed and what controls should exist. I believe that we have arrived at the right balance of controlling but
22 Oct 2008 : Column 409
not constraining scientific research, with protection from a “Brave New World” scenario in which science overrides ethics, and avoidance of the extremes of scientific process being blocked by red tape, stifled by regulation, or frustrated by a regime that fails to keep pace with social change. We have taken great pains to future-proof the Bill as much as possible and to address intricate dilemmas now so that clear legislation and regulation may be in place for the future when medical research is not proven.

The kaleidoscope of science is coming to a rest. Careful consideration has been given to the Bill in this House and another place, and the new consensus has been captured. If science leads the field and challenges our basic beliefs and ethics—

Mr. Cash: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The Minister said that careful consideration had been given to all the ingredients of the Bill. She mentioned the other place, but surely it is obvious that such consideration has not been given in this place.

Mr. Speaker: I have enough difficulty looking after this place without commenting on the other place.

Dawn Primarolo: When science throws our views and ethics into flux, legislation brings regulation and stability. The House has struck a new consensus of allowing science to stretch its wings and develop, but constraining it within what the House considers to be ethically acceptable. The US physician, Richard Cabot, said that science and ethics need to shake hands. The Bill brokers that handshake. It represents a good deal for science and society, and I commend it to the House.

6.54 pm

Mark Simmonds: The Bill is of great significance. It has tried to strike a balance—to allow scientific advancement while being based on an ethical platform. It is a shame in some ways that it has had this unfortunate end. Clearly, there are many dissatisfied Members in the House, and that is primarily due to the programme motion, which has not allowed important amendments and issues to be debated. Conservative Members had a free vote on the Bill, and in my view there should have been far more free votes for Government Members, too. We are talking about significant ethical and moral issues, and Members should be allowed to vote with their conscience.

However, the Minister and the Government have listened to some of the suggestions made, for example on licences for therapy, on consent issues relating to pre-existing cell lines, on regulations on the appeal procedures and on changes to surrogacy laws. There have been constructive debates on the Floor of the House and in Committee. I thank my hon. Friends the Members for South-West Devon (Mr. Streeter), for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), for Rugby and Kenilworth (Jeremy Wright) and for Salisbury (Robert Key) for making constructive contributions as the Bill passed through the House.

It is important to understand that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990—an extremely robust piece of legislation—retains much of its significance and value because it was thoroughly debated in this
22 Oct 2008 : Column 410
House and in the other place. It was originally the Minister’s hope, and it is my hope, that this Bill will be similarly enduring. However, after today’s performance, I have to question whether it will be. I hope that the shape of the ethical and regulatory framework for reproductive science and medicine will hold for many years to come. The Bill is built on a moral and ethical regulatory framework that will allow Britain to remain at the forefront of scientific and medical innovation while, importantly, still protecting the special status of the embryo.

6.56 pm

Norman Lamb (North Norfolk) (LD): It is unfortunate that the Bill has ended its time in the House in this way. The way in which the Government manipulated the programme motion is outrageous; it denied people on both sides of the debate the opportunity to raise issues of real and profound concern. At the beginning of Report, the Minister argued that it was important not to deal with abortion because we needed time for all the other issues in the Bill. Of course, we have not had time to deal with all the other issues because debate has been so greatly constrained by the Government.

Despite all that, this is a very important Bill. We Liberal Democrats have had free votes throughout its stages, and will have a free vote on Third Reading, but speaking personally, I welcome the Bill as it stands. I support the way in which it has moved through the House, and its shape now as it moves to the other place. This country has led the way in shaping the ethical framework within which science operates. The Conservative party started the process in 1990, when it was in government. The Bill brings the legislation up to date on the advances of scientific endeavour, and that is the right way to proceed.

As I say, the Liberal Democrats will have a free vote; however, my party’s policy is to be pro-science and pro-research, but in favour of an ethical framework for science, subject to proper limits and safeguards. I shall certainly support the Bill on Third Reading.

6.58 pm

Andrew Selous (South-West Bedfordshire) (Con): I want to know what, in years to come, Members of the House are supposed to say to children who look at us and say, “Why have you denied me the opportunity to have a relationship with my natural father or mother?” That should be the birthright of every child in this country. It is a deeply sad moment when the House denies that possibility to children who may wish to have that opportunity in years to come. I am deeply saddened that we have not had a proper debate, and that there has not been a chance for every Member to go through one or other Division Lobby, on the issue.

6.59 pm

Mr. Barron: I should briefly like to support the Bill on Third Reading. It is another breakthrough piece of legislation, following on from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. All of us should think that one day, future generations will thank us legislators for having made good legislation, backed with regulations that will ensure that many diseases from which people suffer will, in years to come, be a thing of the past.

22 Oct 2008 : Column 411
6.59 pm

Mr. Cash: Professor Jones of St. Mary’s university college sums it up by saying that there is no doubt that if one overarching principle of contemporary medical ethics still trumps all others, it is personal autonomy. We have been denied the opportunity to debate the question of consent in the context of licensing, and it is deeply regrettable—

It being Seven o’clock, Mr. Speaker, put the Question pursuant to Order [this day].

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 355, Noes 129.
Division No. 288]
[7 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Afriyie, Adam
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baldry, Tony
Balls, rh Ed
Barlow, Ms Celia
Baron, Mr. John
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benn, rh Hilary
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brake, Tom
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Mr. Gordon
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Burt, Lorely
Butler, Ms Dawn
Butterfill, Sir John
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Cameron, rh Mr. David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
Clelland, Mr. David
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Creagh, Mary
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curry, rh Mr. David
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
Davey, Mr. Edward
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dowd, Jim
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Fabricant, Michael

Featherstone, Lynne
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, rh Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Don
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
Garnier, Mr. Edward
George, Andrew
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Greening, Justine
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Holmes, Paul
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horwood, Martin
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Key, Robert
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, Jim
Kramer, Susan
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, Mr. David
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leech, Mr. John
Lepper, David
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Maples, Mr. John
Marris, Rob
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul

Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penrose, John
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Price, Adam
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, rh James
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Rennie, Willie
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, rh Joan
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Shapps, Grant
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simmonds, Mark
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
Smith, John
Smith, Sir Robert
Snelgrove, Anne
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Spink, Bob
Stanley, rh Sir John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Swinson, Jo
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Matthew
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Thurso, John
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Twigg, Derek
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Ussher, Kitty
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mr. Roger
Willott, Jenny
Wills, Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wishart, Pete
Wood, Mike
Woodward, rh Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Young, rh Sir George
Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Frank Roy and
Claire Ward

Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Benton, Mr. Joe
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Brokenshire, James
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burt, Alistair
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Cash, Mr. William
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Cummings, John
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David
Dobbin, Jim

Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Donaldson, rh Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Drew, Mr. David
Duddridge, James
Durkan, Mark
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Flello, Mr. Robert
Fox, Dr. Liam
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Gray, Mr. James
Green, Damian
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Horam, Mr. John
Hosie, Stewart
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Loughton, Tim
Mackinlay, Andrew
Maclean, rh David
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Mason, John
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McGrady, Mr. Eddie
McKenna, Rosemary
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Milton, Anne
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Owen, Albert
Paisley, rh Rev. Ian
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Penning, Mike
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reid, Mr. Alan
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Russell, Bob
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simpson, Alan
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, David
Teather, Sarah
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Walter, Mr. Robert
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wright, Jeremy
Tellers for the Noes:

John Howell and
Mr. David Amess
Question accordingly agreed to.
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