Minor and consequential amendments

Criminal Finances Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 22nd November 2016.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following:

That schedule 5 be the Fifth schedule to the Bill.

Clauses 46 to 51 stand part.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

The remaining clauses in part 4 are relatively technical and straightforward. I am tempted to sit down after saying that. They are also similar to other pieces of legislation, so I will not delay us much longer, beyond highlighting a few points.

Clause 46 allows the Secretary of State to make by regulation such provision as they consider necessary in consequence of this Bill. Clause 47 sets out the procedural requirement for making regulations in respect of the devolved Administrations, while clause 49 covers the Bill’s territorial extent. Most of the Bill extends to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. As I stated on Second Reading, we expect the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to seek legislative consent motions from their legislatures; I welcome that, and support them in doing so. I am grateful for our constructive and ongoing engagement with the devolved Administrations.

As this brings us to the end of the Committee, I pay tribute to the Chair and co-Chair for their expeditious and authoritative chairing of our proceedings, and to the many members of the House authorities that have facilitated our consideration of the Bill. They include the Clerks of the Public Bill Office, the Doorkeepers, Hansard and many others.

I am grateful for the constructive approach taken by the Opposition Front Benchers and the Scottish National party in trying to make the best of the Bill. It is not over yet; I understand that there is a long way still to go. I am grateful for the amendments that were tabled, including those from the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central. I thank the hon. Members for Dumfries and Galloway, and for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, for pointing out the issues to do with Scottish limited partnerships and other concerns; I shall meet them for discussions.

The fact that the Committee stage is to finish early is a testament to the significantly cross-party approach, it says here. We shall, I hope, return to the Floor of the House with the Committee’s strong endorsement of the Bill as well drafted legislation that will make a difference in the fight against organised crime.

Since I took on my present job, I have had to deal with a range of matters, including terrorists and serious organised crime. The bit that scares me the most is the serious and organised crime—the wealth of those individuals, and the impunity with which they operate. I cannot say how helpful the Bill will be, at least in taking away their profit and returning it to the countries or people they have stolen from or, failing that, to the forces of law and order. When I go to sleep at night, it is serious and organised crime that scares me more than anything else in my brief. I hope that we have gone a long way towards at least deterring those engaged in it, and sending a strong message to people who think that such behaviour is permissible.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 45 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 5