HL Deb 09 December 1986 vol 482 cc1119-20

6.6 p.m.

The Earl of Caithness

My Lords, I beg to move that the European Assembly Elections (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1986, a draft of which was laid before the House on 19th November, be approved.

Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 19th November be approved. [2nd Report from the Joint Committee.]—(The Earl of Caithness.)

Lord Diamond

My Lords, before these regulations are passed without a word, will the Minister be good enough to explain to people such as myself who do not fully understand what is happening, what kind of voting is proposed for Northern Ireland in the Motion that he is putting before the House?

The Earl of Caithness

My Lords, in view of the knowledge that the noble Lord possesses I am surprised he does not know, because the matter was discussed at some length by his noble friend Lord Harris of Greenwich earlier this afternoon. The regulations that we are now discussing are similar to the ones that we have just discussed and voted on conclusively.

The European Assembly Elections Act 1978 provided for Northern Ireland a form of single constituency, returning three representatives under the single transferable vote system of proportional representation. Therefore the Northern Ireland regulations differ from the Great Britain regulations in respect of the provisions dealing with the procedures for voting and for the count.

On Question, Motion agreed to.