Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (Programme) (No. 2)

Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 15th May 2006.

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Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office) 3:35 pm, 15th May 2006

I beg to move,

That the Order of 9th February 2006 (Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill Programme)) be varied as follows:

1. Paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Order shall be omitted.

2. Proceedings on consideration and Third Reading shall be concluded in two days.

3. On consideration, proceedings on Government new clauses shall be taken on the first day and shall, so far as not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at the moment of interruption on that day.

4. All other proceedings on consideration shall be taken on the second day and shall, so far as not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion one hour before the moment of interruption on that day.

5. Proceedings on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the moment of interruption on the second day.

This programme motion amends the previous programme motion, which was agreed on 9 February following the Bill's Second Reading. At the request of the Opposition, the Government have extended the time available for Report and Third Reading from one to two days. We are happy to agree to that, given the importance of the Bill and the amendments that have been tabled. As I and my hon. Friend Edward Miliband begin our second week as Ministers, we look forward to a vigorous debate over the next two days.

Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:36 pm, 15th May 2006

I welcome the Parliamentary Secretary to his new responsibilities. He said that he looked forward to a vigorous debate. I suspect that he might have found exactly the right opportunity for one in this Bill.

I do not want to delay the House on the programme motion. We welcome the fact that we have two days, especially as the Government are in full retreat on this matter and have tabled a great number of new clauses and amendments.

In procedural terms, however, let me point out the disadvantage of paragraph 3 of the programme motion, which requires that all Government new clauses shall be considered and dealt with on the first day before the point of interruption. When so many Government new clauses and amendments have been tabled, that distorts debate on the Bill. In future, will business managers consider whether that might be an unnecessary requirement? If we have two days for debate, we should order business in the most appropriate way to ensure a full debate on all the matters before the House.

Question put and agreed to.