Clause 1 - The Agency and its Director

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:45 am ar 13 Tachwedd 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 10:45, 13 Tachwedd 2001

I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation. I was interested to hear of the consultation that he says will take place with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on the subject of the appointment. Such a consultation would help to address the anxieties that led me to table amendments Nos. 1 and 6. The question, as always, is what we should put in the Bill and what we should leave out. The Minister says that the consultation will be held, but there is nothing in the Bill to specify that the consultation must take place, and must involve those Ministers. We may have to revisit that issue.

The notion of a consultation gives me some reassurance, but as the Minister knows, if any area in the United Kingdom needs reinforcement against racketeering, it is Northern Ireland. Success in Northern Ireland is likely to be the benchmark that tells us whether the Bill works adequately. We must ensure, as a priority, that the Northern Ireland official is seen to have sufficient status, and that the consultation mechanisms work. Subject to that, and subject to the Minister's promise to think of ways in which to emphasise the Northern Ireland official's role, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.