Clause 16 - Authority by whom regulations may be made

Professional Qualifications Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 14th March 2022.

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Votes in this debate

  • Division number 212
    A majority of MPs voted voted in favour of arrangements for the recognition of individuals' overseas qualifications and experience enabling them to work in regulated professions in the United Kingdom.

Amendment made: 1, page 12, line 7, at end insert—

“(7) In Schedule 7B to the Government of Wales Act 2006 (general restrictions on legislative competence of Senedd Cymru) in paragraph 11(6)(b) (exceptions to restrictions relating to Ministers of the Crown)—

(a) omit the ‘or’ at the end of paragraph (vi), and

(b) after paragraph (vii) insert ‘; or

(viii) the Professional Qualifications Act 2022’.”—(Paul Scully.)

This amendment means that the Secretary of State’s consent is not needed for Senedd Cymru to be able to remove the powers that the Secretary of State and the Lord Chancellor have under the Bill to make regulations that are within the legislative competence of the Senedd.

Third Reading

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London) 7:21 pm, 14th March 2022

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

This Bill is an important piece of legislation that will change our approach to recognising professional qualifications in a way that works best for UK professions and supports our status as an independent trading nation.

It is disappointing that, despite the UK Government’s best efforts, the devolved Administrations have not felt able to recommend the granting of legislative consent to their respective legislatures. However, the UK Government remain committed to the devolution settlements, and I trust that the amendment made to require the Government to consult the devolved Administrations before they regulate in areas of devolved legislative competence underlines that commitment. The Government will continue to work closely with the devolved Administrations on this and future legislation.

It gives me great pleasure to thank everybody who has supported the Bill’s progress. I recognise the good work of Members from all parts of the House, as well as in the other place, who have engaged closely with the Bill, and the constructive way in which the Opposition have engaged with the Bill. I pay tribute to my private office, my officials and, in particular, the Bill team for their work over the past few months—I thank Matt Leech, Jamie Wasley, Jen Pattison, James Banfield, Monique Sidhu, Haddeka Taj, Jack Palmer, Nick French, Raegan Hiles, Tom Corker, Alpa Palmar, Hannah Marshall, Ben Clifford, Funmi Olasoju, Aneesa Ahmed and Tim Courtney.

I recognise the commendable work of parliamentary counsel, the House authorities, parliamentary staff, Clerks and Doorkeepers. I thank the members of the Public Bill Committee, under the excellent chairmanship of my right hon. Friend Mark Pritchard, for their swift but in no way less thorough scrutiny of the Bill, which I commend to the House.

Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Shadow Minister (Business and Industrial Strategy) 7:23 pm, 14th March 2022

The Bill is much improved following its passage through the Lords and the scrutiny carried out in this House, not least by the addition of new clause 1, which was tabled by the Secretary of State on Report and addressed at least some of the concerns expressed about the devolution settlement.

It is vital that there is a robust regime so that our professionals can operate effectively here and overseas and we can to address shortages in many of the occupations covered by the legislation, including those of nurses and vets, as we have discussed many times throughout the Bill’s passage. I plead with the Government to give the guidance to the regulators, the professional bodies and the professionals, so that the system that the Bill sets up is effective in creating mutual recognition agreements that will make a difference to the professions, with the resultant impact on the economy. The legislation will affect 205 professions and 80 regulators. It is vital that there is certainty as to who is included and that the list of who is covered is up to date, to the benefit of professionals and the economy.

I associate myself with the Minister’s remarks about the role of all those involved in getting the Bill through both Houses. My thanks go to the Clerks and my office for their help in the construction and tabling of amendments and support in respect of my speaking notes. With that, I thank all who have taken part in our debates.

Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Chief Whip 7:25 pm, 14th March 2022

I will be brief. The comments that I made earlier still stand. We have not seen any movement at all to recognise the genuine concerns of the devolved Parliaments of these nations, without which we cannot support the Bill as it stands. Pinky promises and “We might not do this” or “We wouldn’t intend that to happen” simply are not enough. That completely undermines the devolution we have, and on that basis we will oppose the Bill.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

Division number 212 Professional Qualifications Bill — Third Reading

A majority of MPs voted voted in favour of arrangements for the recognition of individuals' overseas qualifications and experience enabling them to work in regulated professions in the United Kingdom.

Aye: 291 MPs

No: 38 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 317 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

The House divided: Ayes 295, Noes 39.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed, with amendments.