Clause 12 - Regulations and orders

Railways and Transport Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 6th February 2003.

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Amendment proposed: No.23, in

clause 12, page 7, line 12, leave out 'and orders'.—[Mr. Spellar.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 6.

Division number 1 Adults Abused in Childhood — Clause 12 - Regulations and orders

Aye: 8 MPs

No: 6 MPs

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Amendment proposed: No.24, in

clause 12, page 7, line 17, leave out 'and orders'.—[Mr. Spellar.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 6.

Division number 2 Adults Abused in Childhood — Clause 12 - Regulations and orders

Aye: 8 MPs

No: 6 MPs

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Amendment proposed: No.25, in

clause 12, page 7, line 17, at end insert—

'( ) Regulations under section 1(2) shall not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.'.—[Mr. Spellar.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 6.

Division number 3 Adults Abused in Childhood — Clause 12 - Regulations and orders

Aye: 8 MPs

No: 6 MPs

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Amendment proposed: No.26, in

clause 12, page 7, line 18, at beginning insert 'Other'.—[Mr. Spellar.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 6.

Division number 4 Adults Abused in Childhood — Clause 12 - Regulations and orders

Aye: 8 MPs

No: 6 MPs

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Question proposed, That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill.

Miss McIntosh: Now that the typographical errors are behind us, may I elicit from the Minister an undertaking that clause 12(3) means that the affirmative procedure will be used in each case? It is not specified that the regulations made under clause 12 relating to the clauses we have discussed will be brought forward shortly after Royal Assent. Will he confirm that the regulations will be customarily made by statutory instrument, as for the other two accident investigation branches set up under the maritime and aviation provisions?

It is curious to note that under clause 12(1) the regulations

''(b) may make different provision for different cases or circumstances, and

(c) may include transitional, consequential or incidental provision.''

Will the Minister specify what ''transitional'' means? Would such transitional regulations be repealed? Will he also state what ''consequential'' means? Is the making of regulations consequential on the report? His elucidation would help us to understand clause 12. Will he reassure us that it contains no typographical errors?

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Minister of State (Department for Transport)

As we have already made clear in previous debates, the affirmative resolution would be used for regulations under clause 1(2). As hon. Members will recall, that allowed the Secretary of State to amend the definition of ''railway'' or ''railway property''. We have discussed the fact that it is a Henry VIII power allowing secondary legislation to amend primary legislation. Other regulations under this part of the Bill will be made by statutory instrument, as with the maritime and aviation branch regulations.

The regulations will set out detailed working arrangements for the branch in the same way as for the civil aviation and maritime branches. The equivalent regulations are made through the negative resolution procedure. As Lord Cullen recommended that the RAIB should be modelled on the AAIB, we see no reason why the RAIB regulations should not be made in the same manner. We intend to publish regulations soon after Royal Assent.

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Transport)

We are still no nearer to defining the meaning of ''transitional''. If the regulations are modelled on those governing the marine accident investigation branch, which have existed for some considerable time, but not for as long as those that govern the aviation accident investigation branch, why should the Government need to have transitional provisions?

The Minister will know that, in most circumstances, the Opposition have a strong, almost religious, belief that all regulations should be passed under affirmative resolution procedure. However, as the Minister just reminded the Committee, the regulations under the two Acts that set up the marine and aviation equivalents were passed under statutory instrument, which weakens the argument. Will the Minister confirm that ''transitional'' regulations will be used only in the rarest of circumstances in cases where the regulations relating to transport bodies already exist? After all, he admitted that those bodies work extremely well under those regulations. I do not understand why we need transitional regulations.

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I wondered what the religion of the Conservative party was, now that the Church of England has deserted them.

The reason for transitional provisions is to allow a smooth transition to the new system. They will be used only where needed. The consequential provision is to allow regulations to deal with minor matters, where

required, as a result of making the RAIB regulations. The clause is designed for good order and smooth transition.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 12, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.