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Lord Glentoran: My Lords, I also support the amendment. It seems to me that the Bill as written is incorrect. The correct nomenclature is as set out in the amendment.

Lord Molyneaux of Killead: My Lords, I, too, support the amendment. We have been told that the phrase "the Government of Ireland" resulted from horse trading during the negotiations on Good Friday, especially the last stages. In those circumstances, I suppose it was inevitable that precision was not really one of the main considerations; indeed, haste was everything. The Irish delegation was probably asked by the American chairman, "What would you like to call yourselves?". In that rather chummy atmosphere, where people had been starved of sleep for quite a long time, it was perhaps quite natural that none of the Governments nor the 14-odd parties--some of them distinctly odd--was greatly bothered by what was going on.

But what happens when it comes to drafting what are strictly speaking legal documents; for example, an extradition application for an alleged drugs baron? Will the self-selected title "Ireland" run the risk of the extradition document being rejected on grounds of its being defective? Some of your Lordships will recall an occasion two or three years ago when a Dublin court rejected a British warrant which had a pinhole in the top left-hand corner and was technically defective. That was a good dodge in that the warrant was never granted. In the light of this lack of clarity and precision I suggest that we should support the amendment.

3.30 p.m.

Lord Skelmersdale: My Lords, I have absolutely no doubt that the Minister's brief is headed "Resist". If I am correct in that assumption, will the noble Lord respond to a point made by the noble Lord, Lord Monson, when he introduced this amendment because that is an important point? If I may say so, the noble Lord, Lord Monson, slightly glossed over the point but it is clear. Paragraph 3(a) of Schedule 2 on page 53 refers specifically to,

If you have one, you must have both. If the noble Lord sticks to his brief and resists the amendment--as I assume he will--he must be prepared on Third Reading to produce an amendment to amend paragraph 3(a) of Schedule 2.

Lord Cooke of Islandreagh: My Lords, I wish to support this amendment for all the reasons that have been stated so clearly. However, there is a further reason. As has already been mentioned, there is no such thing as the government of Ireland. To use an expression

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which does not exist in a UK Bill which is to become an Act is surely rather foolish. I am surprised that the legal draftsmen have not corrected this themselves in the period between the end of June and now. In the first place they should consider the Acts of the Republic of Ireland. They will find that in 1949 an Act in the parliament of the Republic of Ireland clearly referred to the Republic of Ireland. That is the legal name in the Republic.

Further, the Ireland Act of 1949 dealt with the change from the name Eire to that of the Republic. Section 1(3) states,

    "The part of Ireland referred to in subsection (1) of this section is hereafter in this Act referred to, and may in any Act, enactment or instrument passed or made after the passage of this Act be referred to, by the name attributed thereto by the law thereof, that is to say, as the Republic of Ireland".
There is, therefore, no other expression properly to describe that part of Ireland.

Lord Kilbracken: My Lords, I, too, strongly support this amendment. It seems to me to be beyond any doubt that the term "Ireland" embraces all 32 counties of that island. Northern Ireland by its own name suggests that it is a part of Ireland. There is, therefore, no such thing--as the noble Lord said--as the government of Ireland; but one day, if there is a united Ireland, there will be.

Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, it seems to me legally dubious as well as offensive in some respects for the words "the Government of Ireland" to appear in this context in this legislation. I do not wish to add to what has already been said in the debate except to say that as regards page 53 the insertion of the words "the Republic of Ireland" was proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Monson, but was accepted by the Government in the course of the Committee stage. That is why the words "the Republic of Ireland" are used there. As the Government have accepted those words on page 53, there is at least some logic in following the same precedent in the case of the earlier clause.

Lord Dubs: My Lords, Amendment No. 2 is identical to one moved by the noble Lord, Lord Monson, in Committee. I explained on that occasion that the language of Clause 1 formed part of the agreement. On that ground alone I urged that it should be adhered to. I also explained that the use of this term was part of an alignment of practice between ourselves and the Irish Government, the other side of which was a welcome change by them to the use of the term, "Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

Other noble Lords drew attention to the fact that in the past international agreements between ourselves and the Irish Government had been prepared in two versions; one of them using the terminology favoured by the Irish, the other reflecting our own preferences. Now that we have agreement on the consent question, the Irish feel

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able to use our preferred terminology for this state. We are using theirs for the Irish state. The international agreement annexed to the Good Friday agreement is the first instance of this. I suggest that that is welcome.

These usages are also reflected in the text of Clause 1, which appears in the Bill precisely as it was set out in the Good Friday agreement. If we depart from it the consequence is stark and simple. The whole agreement structure is blocked. It is a requirement for the entry into force of the international agreement--that is, article 4, paragraph (a)--that British legislation has been enacted to implement these provisions. Unless we wish to see the agreement blocked, that is what we must do. We want the Irish to implement the constitutional changes they have signed up to without any variation, and we should do the same.

The noble Lord, Lord Monson, said in Committee that he did not believe that what was agreed on Good Friday could have any bearing on an Act of Parliament. I fear that is not so. Unless the Bill reflects the agreement, the requirements for the entry into force of the international agreement that underpins the coming into effect of all the arrangements agreed between the parties are not met.

The noble Lord, Lord Skelmersdale, asked me to reply to the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Monson. However, the noble Lord, Lord Cope, has already done that when he referred to the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Monson, that I accepted, which substituted "Republic of Ireland" for "Ireland" in paragraph 3 of Schedule 2. But that, I suggest, is an entirely different matter. It does not concern the text of the agreement and it does not concern the new understanding on practice in referring to our respective governments that we have reached with the Irish. The text of Clauses 1 and 2 was accepted by the participants in the talks. I do not believe that we should depart from that here. I ask the noble Lord to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, can he tell us why in the same clause a reference is made to,

    "Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom",
rather than the more common formulation of,

    "The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland",
which is the expression used in the agreement? The expression,

    "Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom",
seems to me to be at least a nod in the direction of the sensibilities of the south. That is interesting to say the least. I readily acknowledge that it occurs in the agreement, but it is nevertheless interesting.

Lord Dubs: My Lords, I understand by the Interpretation Act that the "United Kingdom" means the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. That is the traditional expression that we use.

Lord Cooke of Islandreagh: My Lords, before the Minister sits down, why does he not take account of an

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Act of the United Kingdom which requires that this part of Ireland shall be known as the Republic of Ireland in all future enactments or statutes?

Lord Dubs: My Lords, my understanding is that we have now moved into a new era determined by the Good Friday agreement. As I said earlier, our Government and the Government in Dublin agreed on the terminology along with the other parties to the Good Friday agreement. All I am asking is that we stick by what has been agreed because if we believe in the Good Friday agreement I suggest that we do not have any other choice.

Lord Monson: My Lords, I am most grateful to noble Lords in all quarters of the House for their powerful and convincing support. My noble friend Lord Molyneaux surmised that the Americans may have had something to do with the wording. I suspect he is right. There is nothing the Irish-American lobby are working at harder than brainwashing their fellow Americans into believing that the Republic rightly owns the whole island of Ireland and the British are in illegal occupation of the north.

The noble Lord, Lord Cope, said that the wording as it stands is legally dubious and offensive. He is absolutely right. The Minister said that the wording forms part of the Good Friday agreement. There may have been some verbal understanding, but there is nothing in this document which requires an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament to use the phrase "Ireland" rather than the phrase "Republic of Ireland". I am not convinced by the Minister's reply.

There was considerable unease on the Conservative Benches in another place when the Bill was being considered there. Of course, the House of Commons was given practically no time to discuss it. The other place should be given a chance to look at it at greater leisure and therefore I intend to ask the opinion of the House.

3.41 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 2) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 118; Not-Contents, 146.

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