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New Clause 48 - Exit from the non-household retail market (No. 3)

Water Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 17th December 2013.

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‘(1) A company appointed to be a water undertaker under section 6 of the Water Industry Act 1991, prior to Royal Assent of this Act, may choose to provide to—

(a) the retail market; or

(b) the wholesale market

only.

(2) Any choice by a water company to only provide to one type of market under subsection (1) is subject to the approval of the Secretary of State.’.—(Thomas Docherty.)

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Thomas Docherty Thomas Docherty Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

I will see whether I can set a new record for how short I can keep the debate, despite the disappointment that will cause on the Government Benches. The new clause would make a technical change. New clause 48(2) would make it clear in the Bill, unlike new clause 36, which was a paving amendment, that action could be taken only with the express permission of the Secretary of State. I do not need to say anything else.

Photo of Dan Rogerson Dan Rogerson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I just wanted to pick up on a couple of points that the hon. Gentleman has made on retail exits generally.

Photo of Thomas Docherty Thomas Docherty Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 2:45 pm, 17th December 2013

On a point of order, Mrs Riordan. I heard you say clearly that we are not allowed to repeat the exit argument. I was allowed to refer only to the specific differences between new clause 48 and the previous points that were made. Is that correct?

Photo of Linda Riordan Linda Riordan Labour, Halifax

Absolutely. I am sure the Minister will have heard that.

Photo of Dan Rogerson Dan Rogerson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I suspect we will have the opportunity to explore things a little further if not on Report, then in the other place. I will resist the temptation to move out of order and have you haul me back into order, Mrs Riordan. The Government’s position has been clear throughout, so I urge the hon. Gentleman to withdraw his new clause.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 11.

Division number 24 Decision Time — New Clause 48 - Exit from the non-household retail market (No. 3)

Aye: 8 MPs

No: 11 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly negatived.