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22 Oct 1999 : Column WA143

Written Answer

Friday, 22nd October 1999.

Life Peerages: Eligibility

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will make it their policy that peerages and a writ of summons may be offered only to citizens of foreign countries which extend the same opportunity to citizens of the United Kingdom.[HL4142]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): No. As I made clear in my reply to the noble Lord's related questions on this subject (HL3960 and HL3961, WA 22, 11 October 1999), the present law allows citizens of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland to be eligible to be members of either House of Parliament. We have no plans to make any changes to the policy enshrined in that law, whatever the reciprocal arrangements in those countries.



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