I do not have a great deal to add, Mr. Amess, apart from welcoming you to the Chair and
saying how delighted we are to be serving under your benevolent leadership.
It is a great pleasure for me to lead for the Opposition. The Minister has an enormous reputation in this field and is widely respected, throughout the House and outside, for his knowledge of these matters. Indeed, as I look around the Room, I see that I am surrounded by expertise. I am impressed, not to say beguiled, by it; but I shall attempt, in my humble way, to match it.
It is appropriate that we give the Bill due consideration, but many of its provisions will receive support from across the Committee. I hope that we can deal with it in a thorough and diligent fashion in the time that has been made available. However, Mr. Amess, I know that you and the Minister both appreciate that if some areas need to be explored further, a certain degree of flexibility in timing will be necessary. Nevertheless, I do not think that this side of the Committee will be the cause of any unnecessary duplication or repetition—although that is a dangerous thing to say at the outset of proceedings on any Bill, as I am sure that all members of the Committee will acknowledge. I therefore support the programming motion. I hope that we can move ahead in a spirit of healthy co-operation, scrutinising the Bill as thoroughly as it deserves.