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It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship for our last sitting, Sir Edward. I appreciate that this may be a technical clause. It brings into effect a schedule that contains many minor and consequential amendments. Will the Minister provide a little detail about those amendments, and whether there is any substantive change to Government policy in the clause?
Nothing would give me greater pleasure.
Clause 18 gives effect to schedule 4, which, as the hon. Gentleman says, provides minor and consequential amendments to existing legislation to take account of the changes to legislation brought in by the Bill. Specifically, the schedule makes amendments to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 concerning the arrangements for the register of members’ names and addresses; minor amendments to accommodate the changes that provide for an opt-in to the political fund, so that where there are references to members not being exempt there is a reference to members contributing; minor changes to the arrangements to ballots, including making clear that spoiled ballot papers are to be included in the count of those voting for the purpose of the 50% threshold; and minor changes to provisions to cross-refer to the additional requirements in the voting paper in clause 4.
The schedule also makes clear, by amendments to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, that the Northern Irish legislation will continue to apply to Northern Irish members of unions in Great Britain. It updates the language, so a decision to opt in under the Northern Irish legislation will be treated as a decision to opt in under the new provisions of the 1992 Act.
The schedule also amends the trade union administration aspects of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, which in turn also amends the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Finally, there are other minor repeals to other employment legislation for provisions no longer needed as a result of the Bill’s provisions.
I thank the Minister for those clarifications. I am sure that, as he suggested, a number of the elements are simply technical, but as several of them relate to facilitating the passage of the rest of the Bill and the gagging Act, which the Minister referred to using its formal name, we do not want to support them.