Consequential provision

Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 11th March 2019.

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

Photo of Adrian Bailey Adrian Bailey Labour/Co-operative, West Bromwich West

With this it will be convenient to discuss clauses 6 to 8 stand part.

Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome

I turn to the last four clauses of the Bill, which are the usual final provisions that generally are found in one form or another at the end of a Bill.

Clause 5 confers powers on the Secretary of State to make consequential amendments by regulation. Any such regulations may amend, repeal or revoke any enactment, and where they amend primary legislation, they will be subject to the affirmative procedure to ensure parliamentary scrutiny. The Bill makes a number of consequential changes in the rather dense and opaque field of local government finance legislation, so it is possible that not all necessary changes have been identified. As such, it is prudent for the Bill to contain a power to deal with those in secondary legislation. Subsections (3) and (4) provide for the parliamentary procedure to apply to regulations made under the Bill.

Clause 6 simply covers the extent of the Bill—the legal jurisdictions in which the Bill forms part of the law. The Bill extends to England and Wales, subject to subsections (2) and (3). Subsection (2) sets out that an amendment made by schedule 2 has the same extent as the legislation it amends. That ensures that the Government can amend legislation with a wider extent than England and Wales. For example, the provisions of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 amended by paragraphs 5 to 7 of schedule 2, extend to Scotland, although the amendments made are relevant only to rivers authorities in England. Subsection (3) sets out that clauses 5, 6, 7 and 8 extend to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, because of the possibility that regulations under clause 5 may need to amend legislation that extends to Scotland or Northern Ireland as well as to England and Wales, for example tax legislation. Clause 1 and schedules 1 and 2 apply to England only. Clauses 2, 3 and 4 apply to England and Wales, for which the Welsh Government will secure a legislative consent motion from the Welsh Assembly.

Clause 7 sets out the arrangements for commencement of the different provisions in the Bill and how they will be brought into force. Subsection (5) allows the Secretary of State to include transitory or saving provisions in commencement regulations. That does not apply to clauses 2, 3 or 4 insofar as they relate to internal drainage districts that are wholly or mainly in Wales. Subsection (7) gives Welsh Ministers the equivalent power for clauses 2, 3 and 4 insofar as they relate to internal drainage districts that are wholly or mainly in Wales.

Finally, clause 8 provides for the short title of the Bill once it becomes an Act, as I hope it does, on Royal Assent. The short title will be the Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage Act 2019.

Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Labour/Co-operative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

The Opposition have no problem with any of the clauses. It would be good if the officials who beaver away behind the scenes could make the manuscript change to correct “2018” to “2019”. I thank the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome for the way he has conducted himself and listened to cross-party concerns during the Bill’s passage. The Opposition will support these clauses, and the entire Bill, should they be pressed to a vote.

Photo of Adrian Bailey Adrian Bailey Labour/Co-operative, West Bromwich West

May I say that the Public Bill Office has that message?

Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome 4:30 pm, 11th March 2019

I am very grateful to colleagues who gave up their time on such a busy week, and to the shadow Minister and Opposition Members for their support. I am immensely grateful to all those who participated in the Committee, and indeed to all those who did not participate but enjoyed the—

Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome

Yes, the spectacle and the ride.

I thank the Clerks very much for their superb and invaluable guidance, the Whips from all parties, the team from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs—particularly Will Harrington, who has been tremendous—and of course my hon. Friend the Minister, who has been instrumental in getting us this far and fabulously supportive throughout. May I also thank you, Mr Bailey, for your excellent chairmanship? I hope that hon. Members support the final clauses, and I commend the Bill to the Committee.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 5 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 6 to 8 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedules 1 and 2 agreed to.

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

Committee rose.