Amendment 2

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill - Committee – in the House of Lords at 10:30 am on 6th September 2019.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Chair, Economic Affairs Committee, Chair, Finance Bill Sub-Committee 10:30 am, 6th September 2019

I do not want to take us back into the territory that we were in earlier this week, so the noble Lord will forgive me if I do not respond on the abuse of this House, given that the Bill itself has arisen from an abuse of the procedures in the other place.

I am genuinely concerned that we should pass a Bill whose implications people do not realise. I have had no contact with the noble Baroness, Lady Deech, and until I read the Bill and her amendment this morning, I had not realised that there was a real problem here. I was simply making the point that private Members’ legislation, without the benefit of the drafting and the backup of the government machine, is often defective. One of the things this House does is to point that out and to make those Bills sensible and possible to be carried forward.

I understand—and here perhaps I am agreeing with the noble Lord in his intervention—that where the Government have a particular interest in the Bill, it would be perfectly appropriate for Ministers to respond, but it is certainly not right to ask Ministers to comment on the drafting and nature of a Bill over which they have no responsibility.