Clause 15 - Transitional, saving and consequential provision

Education and Adoption Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 14th July 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Shadow Minister (Education) 3:15 pm, 14th July 2015

I beg to move amendment 64, in clause 15, page 9, leave out lines 17 and 18.

This amendment removes the power to amend primary legislation without recourse to a new Act of Parliament.

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment 65, in clause 15, page 9, leave out lines 20 and 26.

This amendment is a consequence of the amendment on page 9, line 17 (amendment 64).

Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Shadow Minister (Education)

Amendments 64 and 65 would empower the Secretary of State to make orders by statutory instrument consequential to the provisions of the Bill. Clause 15 specifically allows an order to make changes to previous primary legislation. This does require affirmative resolutions, and other orders are subject to the negative resolution procedure. Implementing the legislation through clause 15 includes a Henry VIII provision to amend other primary legislation, and with these amendments we are probing the Government’s thoughts on that.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Clause 15 gives the Secretary of State the power to “amend, repeal or revoke” any existing legislation—including legislation made in this session—through secondary legislation, where changes are needed as a consequence of any provision of the Bill. Amendments 64 and 65 seek to remove this provision. Such powers of amendment are not unusual. For instance, they exist in the Education Act 2005 and the Education and Inspections Act 2006, both of which were passed by the previous Labour Government. They allow us to make changes to existing legislation that will be consequential to the new Act once it has Royal Assent. This will be necessary if, for instance, definitions in existing statute no longer make sense, or if a new legal provision makes existing law redundant. As I said, the Department has already identified some technical amendments to current legislation that will be needed as a result of the passage of the Bill.

The Committee will see that there is a complex chain of interactions between different pieces of education legislation. We want to ensure that we can identify other similar consequential changes that are necessary. The provisions that the hon. Gentleman seeks to remove enable this approach. Given these explanations, I hope that the hon. Member for Cardiff West will be prepared to withdraw his amendments.

Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Shadow Minister (Education)

It is always worth pausing when there are Henry VIII-type provisions within a Bill. However, having heard the Minister’s explanation of the Government’s intent, it is not my intention to press these amendments to a vote. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 15 ordered to stand part of the Bill.