Clause 26 - Parliamentary scrutiny

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Cabinet Office) and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 4:15 pm, 10th February 2004

The Government accept that 90 minutes is unlikely to be sufficient to debate regulations as important as these will be. It is likely that there would be a call for a major debate on the crisis in a time of emergency, and the Government would respond by providing appropriate time. That said, the Government do not support and will resist the amendment. We are not convinced that it is appropriate to amend Standing Orders. We would have to be sure that it was necessary and appropriate to complicate them with varying procedures for different kinds of regulations.

The Government frequently table Business of the House motions to provide more time than the

Standing Orders stipulate. I assure the Committee that the Government will be ready to discuss the appropriate length of debate through the usual channels when and if needs arise. The key point is that Standing Orders are ultimately a matter for the House authorities, and they can be duly amended if the Government feel it necessary.