HL Deb 16 May 2000 vol 613 cc180-1
Baroness Jay of Paddington

My Lords, I beg to move the second Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That Standing Order 72 (Affirmative Instruments) be dispensed with to enable the Motions to approve the draft Flags (Northern Ireland) Order 2000 and the draft Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning Act 1997 (Amnesty Period) (No. 2) Order 2000 to be taken today, notwithstanding that no report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments on the draft orders has been laid before the House.—(Baroness Jay of Paddington.)

Lord Skelmersdale

My Lords, it is not unusual for the Leader of the House to seek to move the Motion temporarily suspending Standing Order 72. However, this is normally done in emergency situations or where matters are evolving very, very quickly. One can well understand why the Government wish to proceed with the draft Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning Act 1997 (Amnesty Period) (No. 2) Order for that very purpose. However, that cannot be so of the flags order. The flags order, temporarily anyway, transfers to the Secretary of State what is a transferred matter: the control of the flying of flags, designs and so forth. I ask the noble Baroness to explain to me why she is asking us to abandon Standing Order 72 for the purpose of that order.

Baroness Jay of Paddington

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for reminding the House that these matters, particularly those relating to Northern Ireland, have been taken in this form and that the House has agreed to this procedure. On the question of the two orders before the House, my understanding is that both are regarded as equally important and that both have to go to meetings of the Privy Council tomorrow. It was therefore thought relevant that this procedure should be adopted and it has been agreed by the usual channels.

On Question, Motion agreed to.