Clause 1 — Powers of the Secretary of State
Orders of the Day — Fire Services Bill
Mr Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central, Labour)
That is helpful because it means that I do not have to tell people up and down the land that the Conservative party wants to continue industrial difficulties or that it is in the habit of provoking such things and seeking political advantage from them. Of course, I shall still have to tell people that the official position of the Conservative party is to try to ban people in the emergency services from taking industrial action—it is well worth ensuring that that message goes out.
I shall draw my remarks to a conclusion, entertaining though the debate has been for me. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Minister will make a further thing clear: the Bill must reach a conclusion in a finite time, even if it is successful. We can argue about different time periods but, frankly, I do not think that the periods on offer today are helpful or necessary because we will be in a very different situation after 15 months, 18 months or two years. I hope that we will find an answer to the problem in 10 days, not two years. Nevertheless, it is important for the Government to send a clear signal that they will dismantle the legislation. In that light, I hope that my right hon. Friend accepts the necessity of introducing a sunset clause.