Schedule 2 — Consequential provision

Part of Business without Debate — Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:43 pm on 7th March 2013.

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Photo of Julian Huppert Julian Huppert Liberal Democrat, Cambridge 4:43 pm, 7th March 2013

I agree. That is now firmly on the record.

As a result of the Joint Committee’s work in the Lords, we saw the switch from “must” to “may”, which gave judicial discretion. That was one of the key changes made to the Bill. As a result of our efforts in the Commons, that led to full equality of arms and the reporting and review process, which the Minister agreed to take away and then came up with. It is definitely moving in the right direction, but there is further to go. I have mentioned the clarity on the subject of habeas corpus, but there is still the issue of a renewal process, be it annual renewal or five-yearly renewal, to give the House the chance to say, “Is it doing just what its proponents want it to do, or is it going further, as many of us feared it would?”

There have been several votes on the principle of the Bill, including one in the House of Lords, when my colleagues were joined by a total of two Labour peers and one teller and five others, and lost quite convincingly. It is a shame that amendment 1, tabled by Caroline Lucas, was not taken on Monday, because it would have given the House the chance to have that vote. I pressed the same principle in Committee. I hope that the Lords will now step up and do more on this. Part 1 is a good step forward; part 2 is not. I hope that in the process of ping-pong we will be able to make further progress, because sadly it seems that it will pass through this House.