Nuclear Safeguards Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 am on 31st October 2017.

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[James Gray in the Chair]

Photo of James Gray James Gray Conservative, North Wiltshire 9:25 am, 31st October 2017

Before we begin, I have a few little parish notices. First, for all the activities that we indulge in when considering the Bill, both here and in the Committee Room, the orders of procedure are precisely the same as in the main Chamber—for example, no eating and drinking; preferably jackets on, unless it is extremely warm, in which case Members may consider taking them off; ties, of course, are now optional, but I always wear mine; and I tend to be a little on the conservative side and maintain standards.

We will talk through the procedure later. This stage, for those who have not done it before, is rather like a Select Committee. You are bringing witnesses in front of you to inquire of them their expert knowledge about what is in the Bill. It is different from a Select Committee in the sense that you are not quizzing them, holding them to account or giving them a tough time; you are seeking to extract the maximum benefit from their evidence. This is not party political; it is like a consensual Select Committee.

The Bill is very narrowly drafted. It is about a particular subject, not the entire spectrum of what Euratom does or stands for. We will be reasonably strict about trying to keep people within the terms of the Bill, so that they do not ramble widely. We now have a couple of formalities to deal with.

Ordered,

That—

(1) the Committee shall (in addition to its first meeting at 9.25 am on Tuesday 31 October) meet—

(a) at 2.00 pm on Tuesday 31 October;

(b) at 11.30 am and 2.00 pm on Thursday 2 November;

(c) at 9.25 am and 2.00 pm on Tuesday 7 November;

(d) at 9.25 am and 2.00 pm on Tuesday 14 November;

(e) at 11.30 am and 2.00 pm on Thursday 16 November;

(2) the Committee shall hear oral evidence on Tuesday 31 October in accordance with the following Table:

Time

Witness

Until no later than 10.00 am

Office for Nuclear Regulation

Until no later than 11.25 am

Nuclear Industry Association; Prospect Law

Until no later than 2.30 pm

EDF Energy

Until no later than 3.00 pm

Prospect; Unite

Until no later than 3.30 pm

Professor Juan Matthews, Visiting Professor, Dalton Nuclear Institute

(3) proceedings on consideration of the Bill in Committee shall be taken in the following order: Clause 1; the Schedule; Clauses 2 to 5; new Clauses; new Schedules; remaining proceedings on the Bill;

(4) the proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 5.00 pm on Thursday 16 November. —

Ordered,

That, subject to the discretion of the Chair, any written evidence received by the Committee shall be reported to the House for publication.—(Richard Harrington.)

Photo of James Gray James Gray Conservative, North Wiltshire

Copies of written evidence that the Committee receives will be made available in the Committee Room, and all the papers are on the table behind you.

Ordered,

That, at this and any subsequent meeting at which oral evidence is to be heard, the Committee shall sit in private until the witnesses are admitted.—(Richard Harrington.)

Photo of James Gray James Gray Conservative, North Wiltshire

We will now discuss the general line of questioning during this sitting. Let us try to do that reasonably briefly, because we do not have much time. As soon as we have agreed what questions we want to ask, we will have the witnesses and the public in to start the sitting.

The Committee deliberated in private.

On resuming—

Photo of James Gray James Gray Conservative, North Wiltshire

If Members of the Committee have interests to declare, they should please do so now.

Photo of Dan Carden Dan Carden Labour, Liverpool, Walton

I am a member of Unite the union.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison Conservative, Copeland

My husband, father and brother work at Sellafield, as well as many other family members.