New Clause 16

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 20th March 2007.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Opposition Whip (Commons) 5:00 pm, 20th March 2007

I am grateful to the Minister, but what confidence should we have in his judgment and foresight on that measure? Only last night, he told Members in the Chamber of the House of Commons that he was

“sure that the hon. Member for Rochdale (Paul Rowen), who is representing the Liberal Democrats on that Committee, will forensically interrogate our proposals. On that basis, I commend the motion to the House.”—[Official Report, 19 March 2007; Vol. 458, c. 644.]

That was in response to the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath), who in stentorian tones, to the whole of the main Chamber of the House of Commons, said that

“it is not proper for this House, which prides itself on its ability to scrutinise when given the opportunity to do so, to allow to pass without any comment whatsoever a Ways and Means resolution that allows the Government, yet again, to ride roughshod over the House’s ability to scrutinise its business properly.”—[Official Report, 19 March 2007; Vol. 458, c. 643.]

The hon. Gentleman will have heard the interesting intervention from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley, representing the Liberal Democrats here, in which he said that it was reasonable to have flexibility. I wonder whether the Minister would like to reconsider the terms in which he proposed the Ways and Means resolution last night.