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The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the derogation will come about as the outcome of a process. He seems to be asking me whether we are getting on with that process, and how much progress we have made. I trust that f I explain what the process is, what we have done so far and what will happen next, he will have been given so much information that he will find it necessary to take a more considered approach.
Let me explain the timing involved in the process leading to European Union and Commission clearance. We must begin by undertaking informal talks with the Commission abut the implementation of the scheme. That will give us a better chance of presenting a proposal that it will agree is, as it were, right first time. As Members have pointed out, similar schemes exist in other countries. It is sensible for the Government to engage in a process that includes talking informally to the European Commission about those schemes, and about the ways in which our scheme may resemble or differ from them.