Business of the House - Motion on Standing Orders

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:07 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Chair, Economic Affairs Committee, Chair, Economic Affairs Committee, Chair, Finance Bill Sub-Committee 3:07 pm, 8th April 2019

My Lords, I do not intend to detain the House. However, having read the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee report, the wisdom of us having an opportunity to consider it is reinforced. It makes some serious recommendations, which no doubt we will be able to deal with later this afternoon.

I very much agree with my noble friend the Leader of the House in her assertion that she hopes that the treatment of the Bill will not act as any kind of precedent. It arrived here as an orphan, it was being supported by the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, it is now being supported by the noble Lord, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, who is acting on his behalf, and the whole thing has been done at a great pace. The very fact that the Opposition are moving a business Motion is undesirable. I hope that in the future, the House will consider whether what we all thought was the position in line with our constitution—that only a Minister should move a business Motion—will be the position going forward. However, I hope that we can now proceed.

I put on record my gratitude for the Chief Whip for the way in which he dealt with business on Thursday, which enabled us to carry out our duties speedily—or relatively speedily, compared to what might have happened.