Clause 26 - Parliamentary scrutiny

Part of Civil Contingencies Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 10th February 2004.

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Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 4:15 pm, 10th February 2004

I beg to move amendment No. 33, in

clause 26, page 17, line 39, at end insert—

'(3A) Paragraph (1) of House of Commons Standing Order No. 16 (Proceedings under an Act or on European Union Documents) shall not apply to proceedings in the House of Commons under this section.'.

The amendment was tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Mr. Shepherd) and arises out of his observations on Second Reading. He pointed out that measures of the type we are discussing should not be dealt with in the 90 minutes of debate that are traditionally allowed. He said:

''we have good reason to remember just what the affirmative resolution procedure entitles us to—90 minutes of debate on what is listed''.

He went on to make a moving speech in which he said that he felt that liberty was worth more than that, and that it was necessary to have more 90 minutes for such a debate. He referred to some remarks of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) and said:

''If I were a pretty nifty Government, I would get my amendment in first and Mr. Speaker would select it. In any event, how can amended regulations be subject to proper debate on the nature of the amendments if we have only 90 minutes?—[Official Report, 19 January 2004; Vol. 416, c. 1147.]

My hon. Friend then made some comments, which were generally thought quite amusing, about Whips presenting the regulations. He said that it beggars belief that they can introduce emergency regulations, but that we have only 90 minutes in which to discuss them. Amendment No. 33 is all about not applying Standing Order 16 to such proceedings.