Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill [HL] - Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Judge Lord Judge Judge 5:00 pm, 8th January 2019

I apologise for not leaping to my feet before the noble Lord, Lord Tunnicliffe; I was looking at something else—I am very sorry. Perhaps I may be allowed to say just a few words in support of the general idea behind Amendment 6.

We are going to embark on a huge body of secondary legislation. I have spoken in this House on a number of occasions about secondary legislation and I think that my views on its dangers are quite well known to a number of Members. One problem with secondary legislation, if we are honest, is that we have no idea what we are looking at. When secondary legislation comes through, I doubt whether more than 1% of the Members of this House actually look at it; I doubt whether more than 5% of the Members of the other place look at it, and it goes through.

We are here dealing with very complex legislation and doing it as best we can in a hurry, in the demanding situation that we are in. Would it not be helpful for an explanation to be given about any individual piece of secondary legislation, identifying, for example, the legislation in the EU with which it corresponds or to which it is similar? We could then look at it and say, “Yes, that’s fine. No need to argue about it”. Otherwise, we tend to leave it so that we examine it blind. There is something to be said for us knowing what is going on.