§ Lord Carter
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend the Leader of the House, I beg to move the Motion standing in her name on the Order Paper.
The Motion is similar to Motions which were moved last July. The purpose of the Motion is to ensure that if there is a positive outcome arising from Senator Mitchell's review of the implementation of the Good Friday agreement, which is due to end on Sunday, the resulting secondary legislation can be laid before the House and taken without delay. If an instrument is laid on or later than Tuesday next week, there will not be time for the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments to report on it.
The second limb of the Motion I am moving—to suspend Standing Order 72—allows a Motion to approve any secondary legislation laid before the House next week to be taken, notwithstanding that the Joint Committee has not had an opportunity to report on it to the House. This power would be used only in relation to a Northern Ireland order resulting from the Mitchell review. The first part of the Motion allows an order laid next week to be debated on the same day that it is laid. The Motion is purely an enabling Motion and will have no effect if no such order is laid. This Motion has the full consent of the usual channels.
Moved, That, in the event that one or more statutory instruments relating to Northern Ireland are laid before the House before the end of the Session, a Motion or Motions to approve them may, notwithstanding the practice of the House, be moved forthwith; and that Standing Order 72 (Affirmative Instruments) be dispensed with to enable the Motion or Motions to be taken, notwithstanding that no report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments on the instruments has been laid before the House.—(Lord Carter.)
§ Lord Molyneaux of Killead
My Lords, in view of the numerous reports that some kind of deal has been reached, can the Government Chief Whip assure the House that any document originating from the Northern Ireland Office will be examined very carefully in order that the House is not humiliated as it was on the earlier date in July to which the noble Lord has referred?
§ Lord Carter
My Lords, the Motion is purely procedural to allow a debate to take place if necessary. We need it to change the Standing Order to enable us to take it on the same day.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.