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The Committee will no doubt have observed in its perusal of the Bill that clause 17(2) refers to
“A statutory instrument containing—
(a) the first regulations under section 1 (the scheme)”.
The Committee will also have observed that the scheme is defined in clause 18 as
“the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme”.
The amendment seeks to deal with an issue that arises as a result. It might be suggested—based on the drafting of clause 17 with the words the scheme in parentheses after the reference to the first regulations under section 1—that the scheme can only ever be the scheme as enacted by the first set of regulations. If those regulations are subsequently amended they are not the scheme for the purposes of the Act. That is an ambiguity that it would be sensible to clarify in advance of someone seeking to do that before the technical committee, the first tier appeal tribunal, the courts or anyone else.
Although I accept the point my hon. and learned Friend makes, the legal team and the parliamentary draftsmen were happy with the wording. The short title is important. On that basis, it stays in the clause as written. I understand the point he makes but do not think it is an issue, nor do my team or the parliamentary draftsmen. On that basis, I ask him to withdraw his amendment.
I am not surprised the Minister and his officials understand the point because I explained it to them yesterday. On the basis that that is plainly the will of the Committee, and if the Bill therefore passes its remaining stages and receives Royal Assent, and that in due course is the interpretation, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.