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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 6:00 pm on 15th May 2006.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 6:00 pm, 15th May 2006

It is always worth listening carefully to the hon. Gentleman. I agree entirely with his point about legislative supremacy in the context of the European Communities Act 1972, and, as he knows, I agree largely with what he says about the proper application of subsidiarity and excessive regulation. However, he has posed a conundrum to both the Liberal Democrats and his own Front Benchers, who in Committee supported new clause 7, which excluded the European Communities Act from consideration of the procedural device that the Government propose. We agreed that it was not a matter that should undergo the fast-track procedure. Now the hon. Gentleman is inviting us to place it squarely and centrally in the fast-track procedure. As I think he will recognise, that poses a great difficulty both to us and to Mr. Heald.