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Clause 2 — Duty to prevent sunbed use by children

Part of Prayers – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 12th March 2010.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch 12:45 pm, 12th March 2010

I am grateful to the Minister for that clarification. She has confirmed me in my opinion-I cannot speak for my hon. Friend-that the clause is a load of nonsense. Why should somebody whose premises are entered by an authorised officer be required to make his photocopying facilities available to that officer, with the consequence that if he does not do so, he will be guilty of a criminal offence? Even under the anti-terrorism legislation, I do not think there is any requirement that terrorists should make their photocopying equipment available to investigating officers. The provision is manifestly absurd. It smacks of the extension of regulation far beyond what is reasonable or proportionate.

The promoter of the Bill asserted that the costs of policing the Bill would be only £88,000 across the whole country. I share my hon. Friend's incredulity at that, but we will have to see what happens in practice. I repeat what I said earlier-that is only about £200 per constituency per annum. If, as my hon. Friend Mark Simmonds says, we need strong implementation and enforcement, the costs will end up being much higher than suggested. Rather than have an academic argument about that, it is better to say that we do not want to have people made into criminals because they will not let the local authority officer visiting their premises borrow their photocopying machine. I would have thought that that was something that we should leave to their discretion rather than make it a criminal offence not to allow the photocopying machine to be used. Therefore, I beg to ask leave to withdraw amendment 7 and to press amendment 21.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.