Lord Stoddart of Swindon Portrait Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Ind Lab)
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My Lords, I really had to get to my feet since I was referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Lea of Crondall, to tell him that it was not puzzlement on my part. It was thinking about what he was saying about the Social Chapter, because the Labour Government at the time opted out of it. What I am concerned about—

Lord Monks Portrait Lord Monks (Lab)
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Just to correct that statement, it was John Major’s Government who negotiated an opt-out from the Social Chapter in the context of the Maastricht treaty.

Lord Stoddart of Swindon Portrait Lord Stoddart of Swindon
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As soon as I said that, I knew it was wrong, but in fact Mr Blair continued that way and did not introduce the Social Chapter. What I find strange about the noble Lord, Lord Lea, and others, is that they do not seem to understand that once we are an independent nation we can make the rules that we want, which may be better than the rules that 27 other member states—or 28 with ourselves—make in relation to the rights, privileges and wages of workers in this country.