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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury) 6:15 pm, 8th January 2019

My Lords, I can be brief because we have already had at least four debates this afternoon on the exact issues that this amendment and Amendment 11 in my name and that of my noble friend Lord Tunnicliffe deal with. It all revolves around the fact that we are not prepared to give the Government and the Treasury primary powers over issues that would normally require primary legislation just because this Bill has some exceptional qualities to it. It does indeed have exceptional qualities, as has been pointed out on all sides. It is meant to have a lifetime of a bare two years. The vast majority—I will withdraw that remark; I cannot qualify it. Some people who have spoken today have sought to make some improvements to the Bill but I do not have the slightest doubt that they hope that the Bill will never be necessary and that we will not crash out of the European Union without an agreed position.

Two debates ago, the noble Baronesses, Lady Bowles and Lady Kramer, did exactly what we seek to do with this amendment—that is, to identify just where our limits are with regard to the intention in the Bill and to point out that it is misconceived because it attributes to the Treasury powers that we ought not to allow it to have. We thought that we had spotted the area where the debate would flare up most significantly in Henry VIII powers terms, but in fact these issues have already been discussed without the need to mention that moniker too often.

I therefore move this amendment on the basis that the Committee and the Minister know only too well the strength of feeling on all sides that this Bill cannot be a Trojan horse to allow the Treasury and the Government to introduce measures that they would ordinarily introduce through primary legislation but which they are trying, through the enabling quality of this Bill, to introduce through statutory instruments and Treasury adjustments. We have debated this matter long and hard. We all know where we stand and I therefore beg to move, although I do not expect too much in the way of contributions in support.