Northern Ireland Bill — 31 Jul 1998

Order for Third Reading read.

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

We are grateful for the overwhelming support that the House has shown for the Bill, following the substantial backing for the agreement in Northern Ireland itself. Once the Bill is finally approved, the requirement of the triple lock, which successive Governments have agreed should apply to any settlement, will be satisfied.

The Bill is the culmination of a great deal of work in Northern Ireland. We have put a number of Bills before the House this year. The key developments show how much the Northern Ireland political landscape, which is the context in which this Bill will operate, if passed, has changed in the past 12 months.

It is instructive to remember that this time last year the talks participants were still deadlocked on the decommissioning question. They had not addressed their substantive agenda; they began that only in October. Once they did begin, the pace accelerated, culminating in the Good Friday agreement on 10 April. Since then, we have had a referendum, an election, an Assembly, a policing commission, a criminal justice review and a decommissioning body, as well as passing the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act. We have also acted on our commitments on the Irish language.

Now the House is considering and, I hope, will shortly pass this Bill. It is major piece of constitutional legislation, which has been prepared in record time. We have been happy to acknowledge that further changes may be necessary, while still taking some pride in the Bill as it stands. It is, we believe, an essentially sound framework for the agreement institutions to operate within.

I crave the indulgence of the House for a moment as I want to thank the civil servants. The list that I have just given shows how much work has been done by Northern Ireland civil servants over past months. I also pay tribute to the many political party leaders, to the Prime Minister, to the Taoiseach and, above all, to the people of Northern Ireland who have given their support and encouragement to making progress with the Bill.

Of course, we respect the doubts that have been expressed about the agreement within the House and outside it. Those who doubt have often shown courage, too. However, I believe that people are ever more widely coming to the view, whatever their original reservations, that the agreement must be made to work. The Government will continue to do all that they can to ensure that the agreement comes fully into operation, in all its aspects. In doing that, we will listen to all shades of opinion, for the agreement or against it. We will work closely with the new authorities established in Northern Ireland. Those comments apply especially to the Bill, just as they do to other aspects of the agreement. We are anxious that the Bill should reflect the agreement as faithfully as possible and, within its terms, provide the most effective and flexible machinery possible.

31 Jul 1998 : Column 634

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:--

The House divided: Ayes 215, Noes 8.

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All Votes Cast - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party are marked in red. Also shows which MPs were ministers at the time of this vote. You can also see every eligible MP including those who did not vote in this division.

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NameConstituencyPartyVote
Mrs Virginia BottomleySouth West SurreyCon (front bench)aye
Patrick CormackSouth StaffordshireCon (front bench)aye
Mr James CranBeverley and HoldernessConaye
Edward GarnierHarboroughConaye
Philip HammondRunnymede and WeybridgeCon (front bench)aye
Mr Nick HawkinsSurrey HeathConaye
Douglas HoggSleaford and North HykehamConaye
Bernard JenkinNorth EssexCon (front bench)aye
Robert KeySalisburyConaye
Sir Nicholas LyellNorth East BedfordshireCon (front bench)aye
Mr David MadelSouth West BedfordshireConaye
Malcolm MossNorth East CambridgeshireConaye
Mrs Gillian ShephardSouth West NorfolkCon (front bench)aye
Caroline SpelmanMeridenCon (front bench)aye
Nigel WatersonEastbourneConaye
Mr Andrew HunterBasingstokeConno
Desmond SwayneNew Forest WestCon (front bench)no
Ian PaisleyNorth AntrimDUP (front bench)no
Peter RobinsonBelfast EastDUPno
Diane AbbottHackney North and Stoke NewingtonLab (minister)aye
Mrs Irene AdamsPaisley NorthLab (minister)aye
Bob AinsworthCoventry North EastLab (minister)aye
Douglas AlexanderPaisley SouthLabaye
Graham AllenNottingham NorthLab (minister)aye
Mr Donald AndersonSwansea EastLab (minister)aye
Janet AndersonRossendale and DarwenLab (minister)aye
Hilary ArmstrongNorth West DurhamLab (minister)aye
Ms Candy AthertonFalmouth and CamborneLabaye
Charlotte AtkinsStaffordshire MoorlandsLabaye
John AustinErith and ThamesmeadLabaye
Kevin BarronRother ValleyLab (minister)aye
Mr Nigel BeardBexleyheath and CrayfordLabaye
Anne BeggAberdeen SouthLab (minister)aye
Mr Andrew BennettDenton and ReddishLabaye
Joe BentonBootleLab (minister)aye
Roger BerryKingswoodLabaye
Clive BettsSheffield, AttercliffeLab (minister)aye
Liz BlackmanErewashLabaye
Hazel BlearsSalfordLabaye
Bob BlizzardWaveneyLabaye
Mr Paul BoatengBrent SouthLab (minister)aye
David BorrowSouth RibbleLabaye
Mr Keith BradleyManchester, WithingtonLab (minister)aye
Nick BrownNewcastle upon Tyne East and WallsendLab (minister)aye
Karen BuckRegent's Park and Kensington NorthLab (minister)aye
Richard BurdenBirmingham, NorthfieldLabaye
Mrs Christine ButlerCastle PointLabaye
Stephen ByersNorth TynesideLab (minister)aye
Mrs Anne CampbellCambridgeLabaye
Ronnie CampbellBlyth ValleyLab (minister)aye
Dennis CanavanFalkirk Westwhilst Labaye
Mr Roger CasaleWimbledonLabaye
Ben ChapmanWirral SouthLabaye
Malcolm ChisholmEdinburgh North and LeithLabaye
Michael ClaphamBarnsley West and PenistoneLabaye
Ms Helen ClarkPeterboroughLabaye
David ClellandTyne BridgeLab (minister)aye
Harry CohenLeyton and WansteadLabaye
Mr Iain ColemanHammersmith and FulhamLabaye
Mr Tony ColmanPutneyLabaye
Frank CookStockton NorthLabaye
Yvette CooperPontefract and CastlefordLab (minister)aye
Mr Robin CorbettBirmingham, ErdingtonLab (minister)aye
Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabaye
Ms Jean CorstonBristol EastLabaye
Jim CousinsNewcastle upon Tyne CentralLabaye
Mr Tom CoxTootingLabaye
Ann CryerKeighleyLabaye
John CryerHornchurchLab (minister)aye
Mr Denzil DaviesLlanelliLabaye
Geraint DaviesCroydon CentralLab (minister)aye
Janet DeanBurtonLabaye
John DenhamSouthampton, ItchenLab (minister)aye
Andrew DismoreHendonLabaye
Jim DobbinHeywood and MiddletonLabaye
Jim DowdLewisham WestLab (minister)aye
David DrewStroudLab (minister)aye
Gwyneth DunwoodyCrewe and NantwichLabaye
Angela EagleWallaseyLab (minister)aye
Maria EagleLiverpool, GarstonLab (minister)aye
Clive EffordElthamLab (minister)aye
Bill EtheringtonSunderland NorthLabaye
Frank FieldBirkenheadLabaye
Jim FitzpatrickPoplar and Canning TownLabaye
Paul FlynnNewport WestLabaye
Mr Derek FosterBishop AucklandLab (minister)aye
Michael Jabez FosterHastings and RyeLabaye
Mike GapesIlford SouthLabaye
Neil GerrardWalthamstowLabaye
Ian GibsonNorwich NorthLabaye
Dr Norman GodmanGreenock and InverclydeLabaye
Mrs Llin GoldingNewcastle-under-LymeLab (minister)aye
Mrs Eileen GordonRomfordLabaye
Ms Jane GriffithsReading EastLabaye
Mr Win GriffithsBridgendLabaye
Mr Bruce GrocottTelfordLabaye
Peter HainNeathLab (minister)aye
Patrick HallBedfordLabaye
Fabian HamiltonLeeds North EastLab (minister)aye
John HeppellNottingham EastLabaye
Keith HillStreathamLab (minister)tellaye
Margaret HodgeBarkingLab (minister)aye
Kate HoeyVauxhallLab (minister)aye
Kelvin HopkinsLuton NorthLabaye
Kim HowellsPontypriddLab (minister)aye
Mr Kevin HughesDoncaster NorthLab (minister)aye
Mr Alan HurstBraintreeLabaye
John HuttonBarrow and FurnessLabaye
Brian IddonBolton South EastLabaye
Eric IllsleyBarnsley CentralLabaye
Adam IngramEast KilbrideLab (minister)aye
Glenda JacksonHampstead and HighgateLab (minister)aye
Mrs Helen JacksonSheffield, HillsboroughLabaye
Mr David JamiesonPlymouth, DevonportLab (minister)tellaye
Brian JenkinsTamworthLabaye
Alan JohnsonKingston upon Hull West and HessleLabaye
Ms Jenny JonesWolverhampton South WestLabaye
Tessa JowellDulwich and West NorwoodLab (minister)aye
Gerald KaufmanManchester, GortonLab (minister)aye
Alan KeenFeltham and HestonLabaye
Ann KeenBrentford and IsleworthLabaye
Fraser KempHoughton and Washington EastLabaye
Jane KennedyLiverpool, WavertreeLab (minister)aye
David KidneyStaffordLabaye
Ms Tess KinghamGloucesterLabaye
Ashok KumarMiddlesbrough South and East ClevelandLabaye
Stephen LadymanSouth ThanetLabaye
David LepperBrighton, PavilionLabaye
Chris LeslieShipleyLab (minister)aye
Ken LivingstoneBrent Eastwhilst Labaye
Tony LloydManchester CentralLab (minister)aye
Andrew LoveEdmontonLab (minister)aye
Mr Paul MarsdenShrewsbury and AtchamLabaye
John McAllionDundee EastLabaye
Thomas McAvoyGlasgow RutherglenLab (minister)aye
Chris McCaffertyCalder ValleyLabaye
Ian McCartneyMakerfieldLab (minister)aye
Siobhain McDonaghMitcham and MordenLabaye
John Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLabaye
Shona McIsaacCleethorpesLabaye
Mr Kevin McNamaraKingston upon Hull NorthLabaye
Tony McNultyHarrow EastLabaye
Mr Tony McWalterHemel HempsteadLabaye
Mr John McWilliamBlaydonLabaye
Michael MeacherOldham West and RoytonLab (minister)aye
Alan MealeMansfieldLab (minister)aye
Mr Bill MichieSheffield, HeeleyLabaye
Austin MitchellGreat GrimsbyLab (minister)aye
Laura MoffattCrawleyLabaye
Margaret MoranLuton SouthLabaye
Elliot MorleyScunthorpeLab (minister)aye
Ms Estelle MorrisBirmingham, YardleyLab (minister)aye
Dr Mo MowlamRedcarLab (minister)aye
Paul MurphyTorfaenLab (minister)aye
Mr Bill O'BrienNormantonLabaye
Mike O'BrienNorth WarwickshireLab (minister)aye
Bill OlnerNuneatonLabaye
Nick PalmerBroxtoweLabaye
Ian PearsonDudley SouthLabaye
Mr Tom PendryStalybridge and HydeLabaye
Ms Linda PerhamIlford NorthLabaye
Mr Peter PikeBurnleyLabaye
Mr Kerry PollardSt AlbansLabaye
Mr Chris PondGraveshamLabaye
Greg PopeHyndburnLab (minister)aye
Steve PoundEaling NorthLab (minister)aye
Bridget PrenticeLewisham EastLabaye
Gordon PrenticePendleLabaye
John PrescottKingston upon Hull EastLab (minister)aye
Dawn PrimaroloBristol SouthLab (minister)aye
Ms Joyce QuinGateshead East and Washington WestLab (minister)aye
Bill RammellHarlowLabaye
Nick RaynsfordGreenwich and WoolwichLab (minister)aye
John ReidHamilton North and BellshillLab (minister)aye
Mr George RobertsonHamilton SouthLab (minister)aye
Mr Jeff RookerBirmingham, Perry BarrLab (minister)aye
Christine RussellCity of ChesterLabaye
Joan RyanEnfield NorthLabaye
Mr Malcolm SavidgeAberdeen NorthLabaye
Mr Phil SawfordKetteringLabaye
Mr Brian SedgemoreHackney South and ShoreditchLabaye
Alan SimpsonNottingham SouthLabaye
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLabaye
Andrew SmithOxford EastLab (minister)aye
Angela SmithBasildonLabaye
Mr Chris SmithIslington South and FinsburyLab (minister)aye
John SmithVale of GlamorganLabaye
Mr Llew SmithBlaenau GwentLabaye
Mr Clive SoleyEaling, Acton and Shepherd's BushLab (minister)aye
John SpellarWarleyLab (minister)aye
Rachel SquireDunfermline WestLabaye
Phyllis StarkeyMilton Keynes South WestLabaye
Ian StewartEcclesLabaye
Gisela StuartBirmingham, EdgbastonLab (minister)aye
Mrs Ann TaylorDewsburyLab (minister)aye
Dari TaylorStockton SouthLabaye
David TaylorNorth West LeicestershireLabaye
Mr Peter Temple-MorrisLeominsterwhilst Labaye
Gareth ThomasHarrow WestLab (minister)aye
Stephen TimmsEast HamLab (minister)aye
Desmond TurnerBrighton, KemptownLabaye
Stephen TwiggEnfield, SouthgateLab (minister)aye
Rudi VisFinchley and Golders GreenLabaye
Claire WardWatfordLabaye
Mr Brian WhiteNorth East Milton KeynesLabaye
Malcolm WicksCroydon NorthLabaye
Michael WillsNorth SwindonLabaye
David WinnickWalsall NorthLab (minister)aye
Rosie WintertonDoncaster CentralLabaye
Ms Audrey WisePrestonLabaye
Mike WoodBatley and SpenLabaye
Derek WyattSittingbourne and SheppeyLabaye
Tom BrakeCarshalton and WallingtonLDem (front bench)aye
Mr John BurnettTorridge and West DevonLDemaye
Edward DaveyKingston and SurbitonLDem (front bench)aye
Lembit ÖpikMontgomeryshireLDemaye
Matthew TaylorTruro and St AustellLDemaye
Dr Jenny TongeRichmond ParkLDem (front bench)aye
Eddie McGradySouth DownSDLPaye
Margaret EwingMoraySNPaye
Alasdair MorganGalloway and Upper NithsdaleSNPaye
Mr Roy BeggsEast AntrimUUPtellno
Jeffrey M. DonaldsonLagan ValleyUUP (front bench)no
Mr Clifford ForsytheSouth AntrimUUPno
Mr William RossEast LondonderryUUPno
Martin SmythBelfast SouthUUPtellno
Mr William ThompsonWest TyroneUUPno

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