Clause 6 — Transfer of property, rights and liabilities

Part of Delegated Legislation – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 21st February 2008.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 8:00 pm, 21st February 2008

My hon. Friend makes an important point. There is also, as I understand it, a curious consequence of the way in which the amendment has been drafted. Under the amendment, even after Northern Rock was sent back into the private sector and sold, it would still be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. That is clearly bonkers and shows that it is simply a wrecking amendment designed to prevent it being viable to operate Northern Rock effectively in the public sector in order to be able then to sell it on to the private sector to get the best possible return for the taxpayer.

In the end, this is all about us getting the best return for the taxpayer and getting a proper arrangement that supports the stability of the financial services and banking system. We think that those are important objectives. Opposition Members are simply playing opportunistic games. They are making nonsense claims about Northern Rock, about how the securitisation system works, and about how the legal system works. It is right that we should have a proper debate about this, but it is also right that we should come up with a proper solution to the problems of Northern Rock, which Opposition Members have continually and singularly failed to do.