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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Adonis Lord Adonis Labour 5:45 pm, 8th January 2019

I did not hear the noble Lord across the Chamber, but it does not affect the point. He wants to vary the level of the bar—that is the issue. I do not object in principle: he has a right as a parliamentarian to put forward proposals for changing the level of the bar. However, I object strongly that the Government should be allowed to make those changes by decree, the power that is given to them by this Bill, but we will return to that on Report.

At the moment, the intentions of the European withdrawal Act are elaborately debated in this House, precisely to meet the objective rightly set out by my noble friend Lord Tunnicliffe: that there should be a transposing of European legislation to British law and any further changes to the law should be sufficient only to prevent, remedy or mitigate deficiencies in retained EU law. That is a limited objective which justifies the power of the Government to do this by Orders in Council. As soon as we get to much wider political objectives—the kind that the noble Lord has just set out and as set out by this amendment—it completely undercuts the justification for this Bill. The justification for this Bill should surely not be for major departures of this kind in the law and the regulatory regime to be made by Orders in Council rather than by the full, open and proper debate which is necessitated by introducing primary legislation.