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My Lords, as the Bill nears the end of its parliamentary journey, I want to take a moment to consider how far it has come since being introduced to this House last November. The Bill strikes a fair balance between the unions, whose work we all value, and their responsibility to society, especially to other working people—as patients, parents and passengers.
Noble Lords spoke eloquently about the case to change key aspects of the Bill, including on political funds, check-off and the Certification Officer. I am grateful for your Lordships’ active engagement and tireless commitment to finding an acceptable way forward on these matters. I want in particular to thank, on the opposition Front Benches, the noble Lords, Lord Mendelsohn and Lord Collins, and the noble Baronesses, Lady Smith, Lady Wheeler and Lady Hayter, and the noble Lord, Lord Stoneham, and the noble Baroness, Lady Burt of Solihull, for a very constructive approach. I have also valued the input from the Back-Benchers opposite and their advisers, and am pleased that the Government listened and responded and that the Bill is much better as a result.
I am also enormously grateful to many noble Lords across the Chamber for their passionate and intelligent contribution, especially to the noble Lord, Lord Burns—who sadly is not in his place—and the Select Committee on Trade Union Political Funds and Political Party Funding for the additional scrutiny and common sense that their work brought to this Bill.