May I apologise to the Committee and to you, Mrs. Anderson, for not being here earlier? I was not here because Mr. Speaker granted me an Adjournment debate in Westminster Hall, which ended at only 11 o’clock. I know that this side of the Committee was in the very capable and experienced hands of my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne.
I want to make a small point about clause 88, which will shadow some of the discussion that we will have about the amendment tabled to clause 89. I notice that there is provision in clause 88(3) for regulations to extend the implementation period, but not to open up the possibility of shortening it. I wonder whether the regulations could be worded to allow for the implementation period to be varied, rather than just extended. Will the Minister comment on that?
I will consider whether the regulations should be able to do that. I confess that I have not done so until now, but we are still looking at the drafting of the regulations. When we come to deal with them, I will consider whether it would be appropriate to do that.