Clause 126 - Rules, regulations and orders
Land Registration Bill [Lords]
11:00 am

Photo of Mr William Cash

Mr William Cash (Stone, Conservative)

I beg to move amendment No. 78, in page 42, line 32, leave out from 'is' to end of line and insert

'subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament'.

Photo of Mr Eric Illsley

Mr Eric Illsley (Barnsley Central, Labour)

With this we may discuss amendment No. 79, in page 42, line 38, leave out from beginning to 'House' and insert

'may only be made if a draft of the statutory instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each'.

Photo of Mr William Cash

Mr William Cash (Stone, Conservative)

I shall be brief because the amendment is straightforward. With respect to rules regulations and orders, it provides that a statutory instrument that falls within clause 126(3) shall be subject to annulment. With respect to subsection (4), the statutory instruments in question shall be subject to affirmative resolution procedure. It is unnecessary for me to take the Committee through that because we know that it would enhance the status of the statutory instruments and would provide for proper scrutiny of the proposals.

Photo of Mr Michael Wills

Mr Michael Wills (Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department; North Swindon, Labour)

I shall endeavour to be brief, and I shall address the two amendments simultaneously.

Amendment No. 78 seeks to subject the regulations and orders referred to in clause 126(3) to negative resolution procedure. As a result of careful consideration of the recommendations of the Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee, the Bill provides that the secondary legislation and regulations in question are to be laid after being made. My noble Friend Baroness Scotland explained the Government's policy in another place, and it is unnecessary to repeat it at length.

Briefly put, the regulation and orders under clause 99 referred to in subsection (3) relate to the internal administration of the Land Registry. Both in relation to this and to the setting of fees, the Land Registry needs the greatest flexibility to be able to respond to changing circumstances without compromising the high standard of services that it supplies. The level of parliamentary scrutiny proposed is the same for the analogous provisions in relation to the courts, which

have been the subject of recent parliamentary debate. I therefore hope that the hon. Member for Stone will feel able to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment No. 79 seeks to increase the degree of parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation made under the Bill to levels that would disrupt the working of both the Land Registry and Parliament. The Government have carefully considered the recommendations of the Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee, and we have accepted the majority of them. The amendment would require an affirmative resolution procedure for every change in land registration rules, which are, of course, important, but I cannot believe that negative resolution procedure is inadequate or inappropriate in this case. The general scheme of the Bill now follows that applicable to the court and it was subject to recent parliamentary discussion.

I am firmly of the view that following the Government amendments in another place, the balance between administrative efficiency and parliamentary control is adequately drawn. Given those comments, I hope that the hon. Member for Stone will withdraw the amendment.

11:15 am
Photo of Mr William Cash

Mr William Cash (Stone, Conservative)

In the light of what the Minister has said, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 126 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 127 to 129 ordered to stand part of the Bill.