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House of Lords Hansard
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22 January 2001
Volume 621

3.13 p.m.

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My Lords, as there are three amendments on the Order Paper, it may be for the convenience of the House if I explain the procedure which we shall follow with regard to this afternoon's stem cell regulations. My noble friend Lord Hunt of Kings Heath will open the debate and move the Motion to approve the regulations. The noble Lord, Lord Alton of Liverpool, will speak next and move his amendment. The whole debate will then take place on the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Alton, as that will be the Question before the House.

At the end of the debate, the noble Lord, Lord Alton, will wind up and, if he wishes to press his amendment, a vote will then take place. If the noble Lord wins, the other two amendments will fall and there will be no further Divisions. The original Motion will be agreed to as amended.

If the noble Lord, Lord Alton, does not win, the House will proceed to consider the amendment in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch. At that moment, it will be open to her to move the amendment or not move it, as she wishes. If it is moved, we shall move immediately without debate to another vote. If the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, wins, there will no further votes.

However, if she loses, we shall then proceed to the third amendment. Again, it is open to the noble Lord, Lord Walton of Detchant, to decide whether or not to move his amendment. If he moves it, there will be a third and final vote. I hope that that helps to make matters clear.

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My Lords, it may be for the convenience of the House and it may even be helpful to the noble Lord the Chief Whip to know that I shall not move my amendment today.

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My Lords, that is extremely helpful. When we reach that point in the debate, the amendment will be called and the noble Baroness will state that she will not move it. On the assumption that the noble Lord, Lord Alton, loses his amendment, we shall then move to the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Walton.

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My Lords, we are grateful to the noble Lord the Chief Whip for having explained the procedure for this afternoon. However, does he agree that that demonstrates that secondary legislation is no substitute for primary legislation? Does he agree that this matter should have been brought forward by the Government, having been given proper consideration, before being presented to both Houses rather than obliging this House to deal with this secondary legislation?

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My Lords, I am sure that the Minister will explain exactly why the House is following this procedure and why this subject has been in the public domain for, I believe, three years.