Amendment 47

Subsidy Control Bill - Report (1st Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 10:15 pm on 22nd March 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Lord Fox:

Moved by Lord Fox

47: Clause 55, page 30, line 40, after “State” insert “or the CMA

Photo of Lord Fox Lord Fox Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

I rise on behalf of the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, to move Amendment 47 and also speak to Amendments 48 to 50. I had never expected to be the noble Lord’s stunt double but I do not regret it at all. As on many issues, the noble Lord and I agree that the role of the CMA requires boosting so that, as he said at Second Reading, it can police the control of the regime. It is a shame that he is not here to speak on his own account as he would do so with much more vigour and verve than I, but we both see these amendments as analogous to the independence that was given to the OBR and the Bank of England. If the Government genuinely want to control subsidies, as the title of the Bill suggests, there should be greater independent enforcement instead of what is a pretty weak SAU.

I have a number of direct questions to channel from the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, before I speak on my own account. It is worth noting that on 7 February, the Minister said that

“the Bill does not, of course, replace our gold-standard mechanisms … for managing public money”.

The noble Lord would like to know: to what mechanisms was the Minister referring? I am looking forward to the answer to that question as much as is the noble Lord himself. As the Minister highlighted at the time, and as is the view of the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, balancing the current budget while having national debt on a declining trend does not deal with the micro issues such as distortions of competition caused by subsidies. That is clearly true. I wonder on my own part why the Minister brought that up. The final point is that the Minister went on to say that

“public authorities … take their statutory obligations seriously … we expect the vast majority of public authorities to comply with these requirements”.—[GC 382.]">Official Report, 7/2/22; col. GC 382.]

The interpretation of that is that public authorities, including the Government, are to police themselves. This is not an enforcement mechanism; it is incredibly weak.

For my own part, I would say that this is strong criticism from a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and hits at the heart of the Bill. To that end, I think that we deserve a serious and studied answer from the Minister, which I am sure we will get. This centres around the self-policing, public reporting mechanism that, essentially, has been adopted. What we have are amateur regulators and citizen detectives. It is clear that this is not the way to police something as important as a subsidy regime.

In addition to the amendments from the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, I am delighted to support Amendment 55 in the name of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd. Throughout this and previous debates, his dedication to the cause of trying to bring some structure to this legislation should be commended by us all. In many ways, this amendment sits somewhere between the positions of the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, and the Government. As we would expect from the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, it also addresses some serious devolution issues. I am really looking forward to hearing him set out how this amendment will solve some of the problems we have encountered throughout our debates.

A lot of those problems are based around the asymmetry that both the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, and my noble friend Lord Purvis raised on a previous set of amendments. There is an asymmetry here: the Secretary of State in London can call in the CMA, whereas the authorities in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast cannot do the same thing. This is at the core of the problem that people have. When we hear, in response to the request by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, what the stymie on getting legislative consent is, I suspect the problem—one of the central issues—will be a version of that. Addressing that would go a long way towards bridging the gap to getting legislative consent, which I hope is the Minister’s objective.

That said, I will speak no longer and look forward to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, explaining his Amendment 55 much better. I beg to move Amendment 47.

Photo of Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Chair, Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee), Chair, Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)

My Lords, I will speak to Amendment 55. I first thank the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope of Craighead, and the noble Lords, Lord Wigley and Lord Fox, for their support. The amendment has two purposes, one of which has been outlined by the noble Lord, Lord Fox, dealing with the position of the CMA. The second is to deal with the position of the devolved Governments and legislatures.

I ought to deal first with the position of the CMA. Although I co-signed amendments with the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, before Committee, the amendments he put down did not include two of them; I am not sure why. I have restored them all, because it seems to me that, on analysis, if the Bill is to be regarded as a serious attempt to uphold the rule of law and not as a piece of window dressing to satisfy our international obligations, we need to look more carefully at the position.

There are three methods of enforcement. The first is to have transparency and force disclosure. We know of the force that has; the effect of sunshine as a disinfectant is well recorded in history.

Secondly, there is the need for the CMA to investigate. It seems to me that without the CMA having powers of investigation, you do not have a properly independent system of enforcement compliant with the rule of law. It cannot be right to leave enforcement to those giving subsidies. You must have someone independent and objective in making the investigation. That is a requirement of the way in which all investigations are carried out; they have to be independent and impartial. I simply do not understand why the CMA cannot be allowed to conduct investigations that it thinks should be carried out, not merely those that the Secretary of State wants carried out or that are referred to it. Of course it will carry out the investigations referred to it by the Secretary of State independently, but it does not have the necessary power to do it where it thinks it is in the interests of enforcement.

For a similar reason it seems clear that, as was proposed in the amendments in Committee, the CMA ought to have powers of enforcement before a CAT—this is where it differs slightly from the amendments put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Lamont. Again, independent powers of enforcement are essential. The Secretary of State will have some powers, as will those who say they are injured as a result of what has happened. But that is essentially, to take an analogy with the ordinary enforcement system, a system of effectively private prosecution. My experience of private prosecutions has always been that, unless they are funded for extraneous and charitable purposes, such as is done by the RSPCA, or there is money in it by obtaining a conviction for those who are businessmen interested in getting a private prosecution, it is unlikely that there will be private enforcement. There is no doubt that this kind of enforcement action is extremely expensive. Therefore there is a real risk that there will not be much effective enforcement and that such effective enforcement as there is will be directed only at what I would call big money cases. Having a justice system that deals only with big money cases is recognised to be no just system at all.

The noble Lord, Lord Lamont, put it very pithily by creating Juvenal: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” It seems to me that that summarises it in four words. There must be someone independent, both to investigate and to bring a matter before the courts if necessary, who can ensure that the Secretary of State and others uphold the rule of law. That is all I wanted to say about the position of the CMA.

On the second purpose of the management, I can deal with that briefly. It is an important question even at this hour of night, because it raises the issue of equality between our nations. I spoke at length about this when proposing the amendments in respect of seeking the consent of the devolved authorities and giving them certain powers, but this is an egregious example of inequality. Whereas the Secretary of State qua Minister responsible for England and the giving of subsidies in England can refer matters dealt with by, say, the Welsh, Scottish or Northern Ireland Governments to the CAT, there is no equality the other way round. That seems a fundamental flaw in this part of the Bill. It could be remedied by an undertaking by the Secretary of State that, if he was asked by the devolved Governments to make a reference, he would do so, and I very much hope that the Minister will be able to give such an undertaking.

What is important about these issues of equality is that they matter in two respects: first, that there is equality, but also that there is seen to be equality, and the equality between the nations is fundamental to the union. Secondly, there is the purpose of the amendment relating to the devolved authorities—this differs from the amendments in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Lamont. It seeks to make clear that the devolved Governments will always be interested parties for the purposes of appearance before the CAT. Again, this could be clarified. It would be far better if this was done in legislation, but at least it could be taken some way by the Minister making this clear.

I am sorry to have spoken at such length at this hour of night but these are important points of principle. They go to the rule of law and the position of the CMA, but also go to the equality between our nations and the survival of our union.

Photo of Lord Hope of Craighead Lord Hope of Craighead Chair, High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Select Committee (Lords), Chair, High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Select Committee (Lords)

My Lords, I have added my name to this amendment. We should pay tribute to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, for his insight on the importance of enforcement to make the system work. His two points do not need repetition but the first, about the role of the CMA, begs a question. Why should the CMA not have the powers that are being referred to in this amendment? As far as the equality issues are concerned, the question is: why not? One point in the amendment that particularly appeals to me is the reference to interested parties. All the bodies mentioned there—the CMA and the three devolved Governments—are interested parties. It may be that, as the jurisprudence of the system works its way through the process, this will be established; but it is far better to have it made clear at the beginning, so that its position is plainly established, and the enforcement process can be put through in a proper manner. Paying tribute as I do to the noble and learned Lord, I entirely support his amendment.

Photo of Lord Bruce of Bennachie Lord Bruce of Bennachie Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Scotland) 10:30 pm, 22nd March 2022

My Lords, I support the second part of the amendment tabled by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, on the point about equality. There is a poll out today which says that the majority of people in Scotland do not expect the union to survive for the next 10 years. I think and hope that they are wrong, but it is indicative of how serious this issue is and that it is really important that not only the law but the Government’s approach recognises the need to accommodate equality of treatment between the devolved Administrations and the UK Government. The noble and learned Lord’s amendment puts that quite clearly, and the Government should take it seriously.

Photo of Baroness Bryan of Partick Baroness Bryan of Partick Labour

My Lords, I too support Amendment 55. I travelled from Scotland this morning to support it, so I hope that despite the late hour, your Lordships will bear with me.

On the devolved Governments, this is yet another very modest amendment and provides the very minimum recognition that devolved Governments have responsibility for important areas of their economies and should have the right in relation to call-in and enforcement.

I thank the Minister for his letter of 15 March with the update on the Bill’s progress. I do not think that anyone was surprised to read that, despite what he terms the Government’s best efforts, they have not been able to secure the legislative consent Motions. However, I was very sorry to read that the Government have decided to proceed without them. The Minister wanted to emphasise the Government’s determination to continue working collaboratively and transparently with the devolved Administrations, but both the Scottish and Welsh Governments do not believe that there has been a strong attempt to work collaboratively. Instead, they feel that they have been told rather than consulted.

The explanation given in Committee by the noble Baroness, Lady Bloomfield, in her closing comments on the set of amendments dealing with devolution, made it clear that the Government believe that they have every right to override the concerns of devolved Governments on the grounds of the UK Parliament’s status as

“the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom”, believing that it is merely

“a reflection of constitutional reality.”

She also stated that she simply did not believe that

“it is appropriate to require the Secretary of State to seek consent even when the Secretary of State may ultimately proceed without that consent on a reserved matter.”—[GC 115-117.]">Official Report, 31/1/22; cols. GC 115-117.]

This issue is at the heart of the problem that this amendment tries, in some small way, to deal with. As has been mentioned, the Secretary of State is acting for what the Minister describes as the “supreme legislative body” but at the same time is representing the interests of England.

Speakers in Committee described this as lacking justice and being unfair. The Minister did not answer on this issue in Committee, nor was it referred to in his letter. We hope that we will find out in due course whether the review of intergovernmental relations will make a real difference. While the UK Government show so little understanding of and lack of esteem for the devolved Governments, it is hard to imagine that there will be a significant change. I hope the Minister can give some reassurance that the Government will reconsider allowing the role for devolved Governments outlined in Amendment 55 as, if they do not recognise the legitimate concerns of the devolved Governments, I fear it will contribute to the break-up of Britain, as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, and the noble Lord, Lord Bruce, warned.

Photo of Lord Wigley Lord Wigley Plaid Cymru

My Lords, I will detain the House for only a moment as it must take for read my feelings on the devolved questions which we have threshed around so much. I want to put on record how much I and, I hope, the House appreciate the contribution of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, not only to this debate and earlier debates but for his work in Committee. That he is willing at this stage of his distinguished career to put hours of work into an amendment such as this demands that the Government take notice. He has raised serious points in a professional manner. If the Government cannot respond positively to them now, there is still a chance for amendments to come forward at Third Reading to take on board the points that he has made so eloquently.

Photo of Lord McNicol of West Kilbride Lord McNicol of West Kilbride Deputy Chairman of Committees

My Lords, as we move to the final group it seems that Covid has claimed yet another victim in the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, who is unable to move his amendment. It is a shame that we get to this important group so late in the evening. If we had been here earlier, I am sure that the will of the House on Amendment 55 in the name of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, would have been tested. At this late hour, I guess that is not going to happen. It is a shame because this group of amendments tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, and me are important in how the subsidy control scheme and processes will work. I am sure that those amendments would have brought more sense to the Bill, as did the amendments on transparency. I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Fox, for speaking to Amendments 47 and 50 on behalf of the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, and to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, for speaking so ably to his Amendment 55.

I have tabled two amendments in this group. They both bring us back to earlier debates on the functioning of the challenge process. We continue to be concerned by the prohibition on challenges to individual subsidies made under a scheme. The threshold for successfully challenging a scheme is likely to be substantially higher than that attached to the challenge of an individual subsidy, and the Government’s refusal to move on this area suggests a determination to close the door, or at least to push it back a bit, on the ability legitimately to challenge any subsidies. I apologise for bringing up these issues on the previous group. I was getting a bit ahead of myself there.

We also do not understand why the Government have refused to move on the CAT application deadline. As I said earlier, many organisations will lack the capacity to constantly check the subsidy database to monitor the subsidies received by their competitors. This is a particular challenge for SMEs, which are unlikely to have in-house expertise on these matters but are arguably most susceptible to the impact of any economic distortions caused by a subsidy award.

The Government continue to insist that a six- or eight-week application window to bring a challenge under CAT would be an unacceptable length. From our Benches, we fundamentally disagree. An extended period would give those businesses and organisations possibly affected adversely by a subsidy more time to understand and analyse what was happening. However, with the disclosure deadline for non-tax incentives having been halved from six months to three, doubling the time for submitting a challenge to the CAT would not take us further than what was in the original wording of the Bill.

Having promised businesses, particularly SMEs, time and again that Brexit would mean the slashing of red tape, the Government continue to subject businesses to unacceptable burdens. The new subsidy control system may cut red tape in some respects, but it also imposes unacceptably high barriers in cases where a party feels wronged. We know from discussions between Committee and Report that the Government believe that affected enterprises would have alternative means of legal redress and I look forward to the Minister outlining them in his response to this group of amendments.

However, the fact remains that the entire enforcement side of this new regime does not seem up to scratch. We await the CMA’s initial report and I very much hope I will be proven wrong, but the Government will need to be prepared to revisit some of these matters if it transpires that their chosen approach is failing to ensure fairness, transparency and access to justice.

To finish on this, and to use the words that have come through on this debate, I have a modicum of comfort and delight that we are now completing the Report stage of this Bill.

Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

I thank all those who have contributed to the debate. It has been a good discussion, both tonight and in the previous discussions we have had on the regime as a whole and the subsidy advice unit. I particularly enjoyed the contribution from the spokesman for my noble friend Lord Lamont. This is a trend that should perhaps continue on other subjects on which my noble friend feels strongly.

Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

If the noble Lord is going to write my speeches, he might as well write them for my noble friend Lord Lamont, as well. The answer to the question of my noble friend Lord Lamont, through his spokesman, is the Green Book and Managing Public Money guidelines; I suspect as an ex-Chancellor he knows that very well indeed—probably better than we do.

Government Amendments 52 and 53 to Clause 65 have been tabled to address your Lordships’ concerns regarding the frequency of the CMA’s monitoring reports under Clause 65. Instead of mandating a report within five years of the implementation of the regime, the amendments require an initial report after only three years, subsequently followed up by a further report after another three years. Subsequent reporting will then revert to a five-year cycle.

I hope noble Lords will agree that the publication of these two initial reports will be sufficient to keep Parliament and the public informed of how the new subsidy control regime is functioning, and to assist in setting best practice going forward. As a result of these changes, I have also tabled two consequential amendments to clarify how these new initial reports will interact with other provisions in the Bill. These are Amendments 54 and 63.

While the changes we are proposing will extend the life of the regulation-making powers under Part 4 from six to seven years, we believe this is a sensible extension allowing important observations on the regime from the subsidy advice unit, or indeed others, to be considered by the Government in the early years of the regime. I hope that noble Lords’ concerns have been addressed by these amendments and that they can find their way to supporting them as part of the Bill.

Turning to the amendments tabled by my noble friend Lord Lamont, I will not—noble Lords will be pleased to know—repeat at length points that I made in Grand Committee on the rationale behind the approach to enforcement laid out in the Bill, but the subsidy advice unit plays a fundamental role in the regime. By publishing reports on the subsidies and schemes that are most likely to be distortive to competition, investment and trade, it provides in-depth transparency and scrutiny that will support interested parties, including the Secretary of State, in bringing challenges in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

It is important to underline that the vast majority of these reports will concern subsidies and schemes that meet the criteria set out in our definitions for subsidies and schemes of particular interest, which must be referred to the SAU, and subsidies and schemes of interest, which a public authority may choose to refer. These criteria will ensure that proper scrutiny is given to subsidies that are high value, that are in sensitive sectors, or that have certain characteristics that are more likely to lead to disproportionate distortion.

The advantages of setting out these criteria in advance are multiple. First, it allows the Government to consult widely on them, and to accumulate and publish their evidence base. A further advantage of providing these criteria in regulations is to minimise the need to carry out extensive and time-critical monitoring of prospective subsidies, and to analyse their level of risk on a case-by-case basis. The Government have no intention that this will be done on a routine basis by either my department or the SAU. Setting the criteria in advance is more predictable for public authorities and recipients and reduces the incentive for them to fly under the radar to avoid an unwanted pre-award referral. Finally, a fundamental advantage of providing these criteria in regulations is to make it absolutely clear that mandatory referral applies to UK Government subsidies as much as those given by other public authorities.

The Secretary of State’s powers to direct a subsidy to the SAU represent merely a safety net for the very rare event that a prospective subsidy does not meet the specified criteria for mandatory referral, but nonetheless appears concerning, or could benefit from the scrutiny of an SAU report. It is right to have this fallback, not least in view of our international obligations. But the call-in powers are not fundamental to the operation of the regime. The success of our subsidy of interest and of particular interest regulations will be measured by the infrequency with which this power is used.

Specifically on my noble friend’s amendments, as I have explained above, this role for the Secretary of State is of relatively minor importance in the context of the new regime. But this minor role is one that requires the political responsibilities of a Minister, not a regulator. A Minister of the Crown, acting in their capacity as a Minister for the whole of the UK and with responsibility for ensuring that the UK meets its international obligations, can exercise discretion in a way that a statutory body cannot. The CMA could not take on this function without compromising not only the agile character of the new regime but the primacy of the subsidy of interest and of particular interest regulations.

Unlike the Secretary of State, the SAU is a statutory body which can exercise only the functions given to it under legislation. Consequently, it cannot exercise discretion in the same way that the Secretary of State can. To carry out these functions, the SAU would be required to scale up considerably to conduct the level of oversight and monitoring needed to fulfil the duty that this amendment would place on it. Therefore, I hope that my noble friend will be able to withdraw his amendment—through his spokesman.

Amendment 55, tabled by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, would extend the powers in Clauses 55 and 60 to the devolved Administrations and the Competition and Markets Authority. It would have the effect of extending the power to direct public authorities to request a CMA report and to refer a subsidy or subsidy scheme that has been made to the CMA. It would also mean that the DAs and the CMA would be able to automatically apply to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to review a subsidy decision. For the DAs, extending these powers ignores the different roles the DAs and Secretary of State will play within the regime, and indeed the differing roles they play within the constitutional framework of the UK.

I have said this before, but I will repeat that it is the settled will of Parliament that subsidy control is a reserved matter. The UK Government have overall responsibility for the proper functioning of the subsidy control regime across the whole UK. It is also the UK Government who have the responsibility for our compliance with our international obligations in this area, including the TCA.

Furthermore, it is only the Secretary of State who will have, front of mind, issues such as the caseload and resource available to the SAU. Of course, it is important that the considerations of the DAs are taken into account regarding the call-in of subsidies. Noble Lords should be assured that the Secretary of State would take such requests seriously and consider them appropriately on their merits. I can provide the reassurance to both the noble and learned Lords, Lord Thomas and Lord Hope, that work has already begun with the DAs on formalising this process through the continued work on the memorandum of understanding with the DAs to set out in writing that, where such requests are received, they will be considered with due care, attention, and respect by the Secretary of State.

As regards the ability of the DAs to challenge subsidies in the CAT, the noble Lord should be reassured that there is no disadvantage to the DAs. As I have said, this is a reserved policy area, so the Secretary of State has a unique set of responsibilities in this regime—to ensure its good operation for the benefit of every part of the UK. Therefore, the Secretary of State has default standing to ask the CAT to review a subsidy so that he or she can protect those two interests. The DAs do not share the same responsibilities and it follows that it is neither necessary nor appropriate that they should have the same standing.

Crucially, though, that does not mean that the DAs cannot ask the CAT to review a subsidy decision. Anyone whose interests may be affected by the giving of a subsidy can do so, including one given by the Secretary of State in England to address—I hope—the noble and learned Lord’s concerns. As I have previously said, that includes the DAs where the interests of people in the areas from which they exercise their responsibilities may be affected by a subsidy. I am not sure what reason there is for the DAs to have standing where those interests may not be affected by a subsidy. For all the reasons I have stated, I hope that the noble Lord can withdraw his amendment.

I will address the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord McNicol, to extend the initial limitation period for challenging a subsidy in the CAT from one month to two. The limitation period is set as it is to strike a balance between the need to give an opportunity to challenge subsidies and creating prolonged uncertainty for public authorities and beneficiaries that will act as a brake on legitimate subsidies. However, as I have just outlined, the CMA will be undertaking a review of the regime and publishing a report—now after three years—which will be presented to Parliament. As set out in Clause 65, this report will include a review of the effectiveness of the operation of the Act, as part of which the CMA will be able to consider the effects of the limitation period on the successful operation of the regime.

I turn to Amendment 56 tabled by the noble Lord, Lord McNicol, supported by the noble Lord, Lord Fox, on the question of whether subsidies given under the scheme should be subject to challenge in the CAT. We debated that extensively in Committee, and the House will be pleased to know that, given the lateness of the hour, I will not repeat the arguments I made then. But this does not mean there is absolute protection for a subsidy purportedly given under the scheme. An interested party can argue that a subsidy does not in fact meet the terms of the scheme and can challenge it as a stand-alone subsidy. I therefore hope that the noble Lord will be able to withdraw his amendment. I would like to move my amendments and hope others will not press theirs.

Photo of Lord Fox Lord Fox Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 10:45 pm, 22nd March 2022

My Lords, I thank the Minister for his answers, although many of them are disappointing. On Amendment 56, it would be helpful if the Minister could write on how that challenge would work. I am looking particularly at where a scheme has been approved and a number of businesses granted subsidy under that scheme. What happens if I want to challenge not the scheme but the validity of that particular business getting that particular subsidy? It is not clear to me, under the rules, how that works, so could the Minister write a letter to me and the noble Lord, Lord McNicol, clarifying that?

On Amendment 55, repeating the mantra that it is a reserved issue is almost exactly the opposite of what we were calling for: having some sensitivity in the nature of the Bill. It is a reserved issue but it trespasses into areas that are devolved and, as my noble friend Lord Purvis illustrated, agriculture is one such area—there are others. The absence of sensitivity is the disappointing thing.

The noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, the noble Baroness, Lady Bryan, the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, my noble friend Lord Bruce and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, all made valid points about reaching across that barrier, but there seemed to be no such reaching from the Minister. I hope he will have time to reflect on this and can come back at Third Reading with something a little more conciliatory than “This is a reserved issue” because that is really not good enough.

The criterion on which I was allowed to act as the spokesperson of the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, was that under no circumstances should I press Amendment 47 so, as a man of honour, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 47 withdrawn.

Amendments 48 and 49 not moved.

Clause 58: Call-in direction following voluntary referral

Amendment 50 not moved.

Clause 65: Monitoring and reporting on subsidy control

Amendment 51 not moved.