Clause 25

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 14th June 2007.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships) 2:00 pm, 14th June 2007

I thank the Minister. What is emerging from this debate is that, in its response to the Welsh Affairs Committee, the Government will clarify exactly when these different routes are appropriate, and it may depend on the legislation itself. Alternatively, it may depend on the legislative history of the subject area, in the way that the hon. Gentleman has just described. I would even imagine that it may depend on the complexity of the material and therefore the need for detailed pre-legislative scrutiny. There is beginning to  emerge, certainly on this side of the Chamber, an understanding of precisely where the Government’s thinking is leading. It is an iterative business, and I guess that as the Government respond to the welfare state, within the dialogue that takes place between them, that will all become clearer.

For the record, the fourth and fifth questions—so that Hansard can get an absolutely accurate picture of every word that I issued—were about whether the matter had been referred to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee and whether it had been invited to comment. The hon. Gentleman told us in response that it had been “notified”, but that it had been up to the Committee to decide what to do, rather than him. Finally, the answer to my fifth question—whether the Committee had commented—is clearly no, given the comments that were made on Second Reading and elsewhere.

This has been helpful. We are learning. Perhaps if there had been a greater exchange of information in all kinds of ways, the comments that were made on Second Reading, which stimulated the detailed discussions that we have today, would not have been made. However, in a way, perhaps it is good that we have had those discussions, because they have allowed us full discussions of this process, in the way that the hon. Gentleman has dealt with the matters. We will not want to divide the Committee.