Banking (Special Provisions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 21st February 2008.

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Photo of Lord Mayhew of Twysden Lord Mayhew of Twysden Conservative 4:00 pm, 21st February 2008

Before the Minister does sit down, may I make a request that does not stem from the degree of learning that we have just heard from the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart? The Minister has insisted that the purpose of these powers is limited to some unforeseen although not perhaps unforeseeable emergency during the lifetime of the Bill within the sunset clause. The request that I am about to make comes from the decision that the Law Lords can have regard to what has happened in Parliament when determining the proper purpose of the Bill. In the light of that, is he prepared to give an express undertaking on behalf of the Government that these powers will not be used, save in the circumstances that he has envisaged time and again today and yesterday? He may not be able to give that express undertaking at the moment, but will he secure it at some later stage of the Bill?