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New Clause 5 — Smoke-free premises: exemptions

Part of Orders of the Day — Health Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 14th February 2006.

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Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) 6:30 pm, 14th February 2006

Conservative Members were shouting, "Boring"; I suppose that it is boring to try to save lives—[Hon. Members: "Oh!"] I thought that we were in a new Cameron era that was not about yah-boo politics, but there we go.

We have heard a wide range of arguments about the merits of the various options that the Government have proposed in the new clause and the amendments. I hope that the second reading of new clause 5 will be a formality. We shall then turn to the amendments to the new clause. As it stands, the new clause allows exemptions for membership clubs but not for licensed premises. Members who believe that private members' clubs should also be smoke-free should vote to accept the amendments tabled in my name. Those who want them to be exempted should vote against.

Once the amendments to the new clause have been dealt with, we shall vote on the new clause itself, either as drafted or as amended. Regardless of any amendments that may be passed, the main point of the new clause is to prevent any exemption for licensed premises so if Members believe that all pubs, bars, nightclubs and so on should be smoke-free, they should vote for new clause 5. However, if they support clause 3, they should vote against it. Amendments Nos. 18, 19, 20 and 21 are consequential to new clause 5.

The debate has represented a huge range of views on both sides of the House and has reflected the views held by the public.