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Banking (Special Provisions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:30 pm on 21st February 2008.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) 12:30 pm, 21st February 2008

I have just explained the problems with hybridity in terms of the timescale in which we would have to operate. The Bill is not hybrid because, at present, the conditions under Clause 2 apply only to Northern Rock. They are emergency circumstances; they apply to Northern Rock. The reason why we require the provision for 12 months is that we cannot foresee the future. It is not a question of the Government knowing something that the rest of us do not know, as the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, suggested—as if the Government would ever be in a position to know more than the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth. It is not a question of us knowing something that he does not; it is the Government being prudent in these difficult times. What could be more absurd—and just think of the criticism that would emerge from various parts of the House—than if an emergency occurred and there were difficulties with another institution, and the Government came trailing back to the House again to say, "We now need specific legislation with regard to this institution and we are asking the House to go through the whole matter"? It is surely better that we are prudent.