Before we begin properly, I have a few preliminary announcements. Members may, if they wish, remove their jackets during the Committee meetings.
Please will all Members ensure that mobile phones, pagers and so on are switched off or switched to silent mode during the Committee meetings?
I remind the Committee that there is a money resolution in connection with the Bill, copies of which are available in the Room.
Today is only the second occasion on which a Public Bill Committee will hear oral evidence on a Bill. So that everyone is clear about the procedures and what will happen this morning, I will briefly explain what is proposed.
As with a normal Committee, the Committee will first be asked to consider the programme motion. We will then proceed to a motion to report written evidence and then a motion to permit the Committee to deliberate in private in advance of the oral evidence sessions. Those two motions should be formalities. Assuming that the second of these motions has been agreed, the Committee will then move into private session. Once the Committee has deliberated, the witnesses and members of the public will be invited back into the Room and the oral evidence session will commence. If the Committee agrees the programme motion, the Committee will hear oral evidence this week before reverting to more the familiar proceedings of clause by clause scrutiny in subsequent sittings.
We come first to the programme motion, debate on which may continue for up to half an hour. I call the Minister.