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Trade Union Bill - Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 25th April 2016.

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Photo of Lord Tyler Lord Tyler Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Constitutional and Political Reform) 3:45 pm, 25th April 2016

My Lords, I want briefly to contribute on this set of amendments to welcome, on behalf of my colleagues, the way in which the Minister has responded to our request last week to ensure that we saw the draft regulations. In particular, he has addressed the issue of the affirmative and negative procedures, and I am delighted to see in Amendment 7 that he has opted for the affirmative procedure.

However, I have a similar concern to that of the noble Baroness, Lady Hayter, on the issue of the cross-reference to the freedom of information legislation. As she and I are well aware, it is, we suppose, currently still under review. We therefore need to know whether the list of those organisations that is included in that legislation is as now or as it might be in the future. Would it not be a sensible compromise—perhaps the Minister could give us this assurance—that the cross-reference should be to those organisations that are included at the time of Royal Assent to this Bill and therefore relevant to this section of this Bill, in terms of facility time and indeed of check-off? It would be rather peculiar if, as it were, the Minister anchored himself into something that was on the move, and we therefore found ourselves in a period of less transparency, less credibility and less definition rather than, as I think was his intention, greater clarity.