I welcome the Committee to line-by-line consideration of the Bill; I hope we have a pleasant and uncontroversial time. Perhaps I can lay down a few rules straightaway. I tend to the conservative—with a small c, of course—side on such matters, so I will apply the same rules of dress and conduct as we have in the Chamber. In particular, if anybody’s phone goes off, they will be banished from the room with no further ado, so please ensure that they are turned off.
We have one or two new Members with us, so if the Committee does not mind, I shall give a short seminar on how we will conduct our business. You have the list of amendments in front of you; it will be available in the room in all events. You will see that amendments of a similar nature and subject are grouped together. Any Member who has put their name to the lead amendment in the group may speak to move it. I hope that is reasonably clear. After that, other Members can catch my eye and speak in favour or against an amendment. Any Member may speak to an amendment more than once. For the sake of time, that might not be encouraged, but Members are perfectly entitled to speak more than once if they so wish.
At the end of a debate on a particular group, I will call the Member who moved the amendment to speak again. Before they sit down, they have to tell me whether they wish to withdraw the amendment or press it to a Division. If any other Member wants to press other amendments or new clauses in a group, they should let me know informally—by passing me a note or telling me—and I will make that possible. I shall work on the presumption that the Minister wishes to move all the Government amendments.
For those who are new to Committee work, it is important to remember that the amendments are not voted on in the order in which they appear on the selection list or are debated, but in the order in which they appear in the Bill. An amendment may well be grouped with a later clause, so it will be voted on when we get to that clause during the ordinary process of the Bill.
We will probably not have many stand part debates—the debate that happens on a particular clause—as the preference is to debate the clause with the amendments instead. Occasionally, if we have not had that opportunity, I may suggest that we have a stand part debate, but such debates often take up time. I hope that is all reasonably clear.