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Identity Cards Bill (Programme) (No. 3)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 18th October 2005.

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Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality), Home Office 3:43 pm, 18th October 2005

I beg to move,

That the Order of 28th June 2005 (Identity Cards Bill (Programme)) be further varied as follows:

For paragraph 4 substitute—

"4. Proceedings on consideration shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at this day's sitting at the time specified in the second column of the following Table.

TABLE
Proceedings Time for conclusion ofproceedings
New clauses and amendments relating to Clause 1 5.45 p.m.
Amendments relating to Clauses 2 to 7 7.15 p.m.
Remaining proceedings on consideration One hour before the moment of interruption."

First, may I say that the motion is intended to assist the House in using our available time this afternoon on Report to the very best possible effect? We have made good progress on the Bill thus far. There have been seven days and 11 sittings in Committee, starting on 5 July and finishing on 21 July. We had a timetable motion in Committee in order to ensure good progress, and as a result of the knives, only clauses 12 and 13 and parts of clause 5 failed to be discussed—some seven groups of amendments in all. We certainly debated far more than seven groups of amendments in Committee.

Although I should point out that there was plenty of time to raise issues, I am told that we spent, in total, some 26 hours and six minutes in all. We were even offered the possibility of a final sitting on the afternoon of 21 July, but in the event it was not needed or required by Opposition parties. We thus had more than sufficient time.

Because of the need to make the best use of available time, we propose to divide today's timetable with knives at 5.45 and 7.15 to ensure that all parts of the Bill are properly scrutinised.

I readily recognise that there are important and serious matters for us to discuss, but we need to parcel up the business in this way to allow for Third Reading at 9 pm as normal. If hon. Members want to debate the Bill, they should accept the motion and let us get on with that debate. The House will surely agree that it would be better for us to spend time this afternoon debating the Bill and the substantial matters before us rather than taking time to debate at length whether or not to timetable the debate. With that in mind, our motion will help order our debate sensibly.