Lords amendment: No. 5, in page 10, line 8, at end insert—
("() An agreement by the Secretary of State shall be effective notwithstanding that, in the case of a rail link service operator, it fetters the Secretary of State in relation to a discretion under sections 60 to 65 of, and Schedules 6 and 7 to, the 1993 Act (the railway administration order provisions of the Act).")
The amendments relate to development agreements and undertakings with respect to financial assistance. I merely want to ask the Minister again whether they have any implications for public expenditure.
The amendments relate to delegated powers, and they were tabled in response to the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee's report on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill. The Committee identified problems with clauses 18, 22 to 24 and clause 32(4) and (5).
The Bill originally provided for the various orders under those clauses to be made without being laid, and thus subject to no further parliamentary scrutiny. The Opposition welcome the fact that the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee felt that there should be further parliamentary scrutiny and suggested that the orders should be made subject to the negative resolution procedure. We always welcome further opportunity to scrutinise detailed legislation. My mind goes back to my previous position as shadow spokesman on social security. Statutory instruments relating to primary legislation on social security were often at least 10 times longer than the original Bill. I do not plead for extra work, but it is important for the integrity of the House that it has the opportunity, even if on a negative resolution, to scrutinise those important matters.
I recognise that the Government did not accept that such scrutiny should apply to clause 32(4) and (5). I understand the Government's arguments. I welcome the recommendations that have been made and I support the amendments.
Lords amendment agreed to.
Lords amendments Nos. 7 to 17 agreed to [one with Special Entry].