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Clause 94 - Making of order

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 6th December 2001.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Shadow Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change) 9:30 am, 6th December 2001

The hon. Member for Beaconsfield has accused me of making uncalled-for remarks. I merely observe that if I were less generous, I might express pleasure and relief that he had decided to be brief today—but of course, Liberals are far too nice to make such a cheap point; I leave that to the likes of the hon. Member for Glasgow, Pollok.

The Scottish Parliament was perfectly aware of the procedure that would be followed in the House when it made the decision to pass a Sewel motion. It knew that the Bill would be scrutinised. Indeed, I expect that the Scottish Parliament would want the Bill to be scrutinised in Committee and would want a full discussion of amendments. It would want the Committee to make necessary amendments, as it would have done if it had dealt with the matter itself.

My understanding is that a Sewel motion is not for ever—perhaps the Minister will confirm that later. The motion merely relates to this one Bill. If the end result is fundamentally at variance with the will of the Scottish Parliament, it could always pass further legislation to amend what we produce.

I have a mandate from a Scottish constituency, and so do some Labour Members—and we are entitled to express views about the Bill in this place. There is a degree of opportunism in the Conservatives' position both here today and as it is reported to us from the Scottish Parliament. If the hon. Member for Beaconsfield still has the Official Report of the Scottish Parliament debate on the Sewel motion on 24 October in front of him, he may be able to tell us whether Lord James Douglas-Hamilton or Phil Gallie thought that the issue was of such fundamental importance that they raised it in the debate.