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New Clause 19 — Power to remove or reduce burdens

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 15th May 2006.

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Photo of Mark Fisher Mark Fisher Labour, Stoke-on-Trent Central 5:15 pm, 15th May 2006

I certainly do not want to fall out with my hon. Friend. However, the attention of the House was not focused on the acute dangers of the Bill. If the Bill had gone through in the form in which it was considered on Second Reading, it could, as the hon. Member for Cambridge said, have taken away all the powers of Parliament, but the outrage that the House should have felt about that was not expressed. Hon. Members might say, with a certain amount of casuistry, "Oh, but I spotted it and gave warnings," but those warnings were muffled. In its original form, the Bill was a parliamentary disgrace, so it is good that the Minister has recognised that and is rowing us back from that disastrous position. Sadly, his predecessor did not fully appreciate how serious the situation was.