Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Bill
The Earl of Northesk (Conservative)
My Lords, again, I am extremely grateful to the noble and learned Lord for his reply and for the support of the noble Lord, Lord Newby, and my noble friend Lady Noakes.
I shall offer immediately one small crumb of comfort to the noble and learned Lord the Attorney-General. There is no greater admirer of his advocacy than myself and his skill has been successful in that particular endeavour. I am no draftsman but I can accept the argument he advances that in Amendment No. 9 certain infelicities exist in the drafting, not least the potential for a Henry VIII provision. So, I am quite happy to withdraw that amendment.
Nevertheless, I should advise the noble and learned Lord that my concerns about the issue remain. Justifications remain for having the text of the draft regulations in the Bill. So I merely withdraw the amendment on the basis that I shall have to reflect on how to deal with the flaws perceived by the noble and learned Lord and myself.
On his arguments in respect of the super affirmative provisions, I said in my introduction that I thought it was possible to overplay those.
I fully understand and appreciate the point that the noble and learned Lord makes about delay. However, my noble friend Lady Wilcox on the Front Bench has had recent experience of a specific order, albeit a negative one. It was laid on one day and two days later it came into force. I do not believe that it is beyond the wit of the usual channels, because it happens frequently in the House, to negotiate their way past the 60-day rule within the amendment. After all, the 40-day rule, which exists as a result of the Statutory Instruments Act, is frequently breached. So I do not think that that argument, per se—