Clause 82 - Restriction on taking children out

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:00 am ar 11 Rhagfyr 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Robert Walter Robert Walter Ceidwadwyr, North Dorset 11:00, 11 Rhagfyr 2001

As our discussion of the amendment continued, I became more convinced that the subsection was somewhat outdated. The Minister chided me because I seemed to want less emphasis on the Commonwealth and more on the European Union, but all I want is to make good law and to ensure that the provisions are up to date.

As the Minister will recall, the 1976 Act was brought into force when this country had been a member of the European Community for only three years. Now, almost 30 years later, the European Union has grown in size and importance and the citizens of its member states—I will not stray into calling them EU citizens—have rights of free movement enabling them to live wherever they want in the EU. The Minister's justification for the use of the words ''Commonwealth citizen'' could apply equally to other UK obligations.

I hope that the Minister will entertain the points that I have made, especially the one about article 14 of the Hague convention, which I do not think that she answered. Perhaps later, in another place or on Report, she will feel minded to re-examine my argument that the provision is not only contrary to article 14, but an anomaly given our current treaty obligations to other EU member states. I do not want to force the matter to a vote, and I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 82 ordered to stand part of the Bill.