HL Deb 24 June 1999 vol 602 c103WA
Lord Patten

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answers by Lord Williams of Mostyn on 25 May (WA 79) and 7 June (WA 123–24), whether they now wish to see an upper age limit for membership of the House of Lords that would make it unique amongst the legislative chambers of the countries of the European Union. [HL2992]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington)

The views of the Government on the essential characteristics of the fully reformed second Chamber are:

  • that it should not interfere with the position of the House of Commons as the pre-eminent chamber of Parliament; and
  • that it should take particular account of other constitutional developments, especially devolution, human rights and developing relations with the European Union.

Beyond that, the Government have deliberately made no proposals for the long-term reform of the House of Lords. To do so would have pre-empted the findings of the Royal Commission, which has been set up to ensure the widest possible consideration of the issues.