My Lords, with the leave of the House, it may be helpful if I make a brief business statement to explain how it is envisaged that this House might consider the data retention and investigatory powers Bill.
The House of Commons is due to take all stages of the Bill next
Members will be able to table amendments to the Bill at any time from next Wednesday and the Legislation Office has kindly agreed to offer drafting advice to Members who require it as soon as the text of the Bill has been published by the House of Commons. A revised edition of forthcoming business, setting out these arrangements as well as the knock-on effect on other business, will be published imminently—indeed, I expect almost as soon as I resume my seat. There will be a speakers list for Second Reading, again, opened more or less as I sit down today.
There are some knock-on effects; it may be convenient if I refer to one in particular, because I see the noble Lord, Lord Mitchell, in his place. Next Thursday we had anticipated a Labour debate day. There are two debates set down for that day, the first to be led by the noble Lord, Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan, and the second by the noble Lord, Lord Mitchell. It has been agreed in usual channels that those two debates will be delayed. Another date will be found that is convenient for those debates to take place. We will negotiate on that matter. The procedure at the moment is that those speakers lists have been frozen as we are now in the process of changing next Thursday’s business. Those who have already signed up to speak will be informed. Indeed, there are currently only five speakers signed up for the first and four for the second, so I hope that does not inconvenience too many people.
The approach I have set out today, outlined by the Minister, has the support of the usual channels. I hope the whole House will support that next week.