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Before we begin, I have a few preliminary announcements. Members may, if they wish, remove their jackets during Committee sittings. Tea and coffee are not allowed. Please ensure that all electronic devices are switched off or to silent mode.
As a general rule, my fellow Chair and I do not intend to call starred amendments that have not been tabled with adequate notice. The required notice period in Public Bill Committees is three working days. Therefore, amendments should be tabled by the rise of the House on a Monday for consideration on a Thursday and by the rise of the House on a Thursday for consideration on the following Tuesday.
Before we begin our line-by-line consideration of the Bill, some brief explanation may be useful to those who are relatively new to Public Bill Committees. The selection list for today’s sitting is available in the room and shows how the amendments selected have been grouped for debate. Amendments grouped together are generally on the same or a similar issue. The Member with their name on the lead amendment in a group is called first. Other Members are then free to catch my eye to speak on any or all amendments in the group. A Member may speak more than once in a single debate.
At the end of a debate on a group, I will call the Member with the lead amendment again. Before they sit down, they need to indicate whether they wish to withdraw the amendment or press it to a vote. Similarly, if another Member wishes to press a grouped amendment or new clause to a vote, they should let me know. I will assume that the Government wish the Committee to reach a decision on their amendment.
Decisions on amendments do not take place in the order in which they are debated but in the order in which they appear on the amendment paper. I have discretion to decide on separate stand part debates on clauses and schedules, taking account of the extent of debate on amendments.
This morning, the Committee will automatically adjourn at 11.25 am. This afternoon, it is in the hands of the Whips, but around 5 pm is conventional. However, there may be a consensus on making brisk progress with the Bill, given the nature of the matter with which it is concerned.
I hope that this is helpful. Before beginning the line-by-line consideration, we need to dispose of the programme motion and the motion to report written evidence. Ordered,
(1) the Committee shall (in addition to its first meeting at 8.55 am on Tuesday 10 December) meet—
(a) at 2.00 pm on Tuesday 10 December;
(b) at 11.30 am and 2.00 pm on Thursday 12 December;
(c) at 8.55 am and 2.00 pm on Tuesday 17 December;
(3) the proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 5.00 pm on Tuesday 17 December—(Mike Penning.)