Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill
Lord Carlisle of Bucklow (Conservative)
My Lords, I rise briefly to support what has been said by those on these Benches about Amendment No. 121, which is the provision that we are really talking about. We are concerned about the use of that new clause in relation to various parts of the Bill. As I understand it, the Government are saying that, having had in this House long and careful deliberations in Committee and on Report, and having had to go back to refer to Committee various new clauses that were brought in at a later stage, they want to introduce a clause that says, "In case we have got those matters wrong, we will have the power to change them without full parliamentary scrutiny". With respect, surely Amendment No. 121 goes further than that. The new clause proposed by the Government is intended to apply to all parts of the Bill, not only to those parts that were brought in late. It states that the Secretary of State may, by statutory instrument, attempt to amend that which this House has passed.
Are we not in the end saying that we are in effect doing away with the purpose of primary legislation? We are saying that it should be possible for the Secretary of State to amend that which has been passed and that which has been a matter of scrutiny merely on an order that is subject—I accept this—to the affirmative resolution of both Houses without any chance of any consideration in Committee or on Report. The new clause, as my noble friend Lord Renton said, goes far wider than any power that we in this House should allow to a government.