Clause 22 - Commencement, Transitional and savings

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 29th November 2022.

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Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

With this it will be convenient to discuss new clause 3—Impact assessments—

“The Secretary of State must publish an assessment of the impact of the

(a) revocation of any—

(i) EU-derived subordinate legislation, or

(ii) retained direct EU legislation, or

(b) removal under section 3 of any rights, powers, liabilities, obligations, restrictions, remedies or procedures saved by virtue of section 4 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 at least three months before the revocation or (as the case may be) removal takes effect.”

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

I will be mercifully brief. The amendment stands in my name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Glenrothes. The amendment and new clause 3 would oblige the UK Government to provide an impact assessment on what they believe the likely consequences would be of any withdrawal of a piece of legislation before any revocation of the EU law takes place. That impact assessment should be published three months ahead of any scheduled revocation date.

The Government may see that requirement as a tad onerous, but it simply reflects the gravity of what the Government are planning with retained EU law. It would ensure that, rather than having the planned bonfire of legislation, the Government and their Departments of State are forced to consider very carefully and in great detail exactly the consequences of what they are about to do. Is that not what our constituents would expect of this Parliament and its parliamentarians—to consider very carefully the consequences of each piece of action that it takes and what impact it may have on those constituents, their businesses and livelihoods? I urge the Government to accept the amendment and new clause.

Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Minister of State (Minister for Climate)

I ask that the Committee reject the amendment and new clause. When retained EU law is a regulatory provision and is being amended significantly, we would expect Departments to put their measures through the Government systems for regulatory scrutiny, such as the better regulation framework.

Where measures are being revoked, Departments will be expected to undertake proportionate analytical appraisal, and we are exploring appropriate steps that we can take to appraise the resulting impacts. However, given that Departments will undertake proper and proportionate cost-benefit analysis in relation to amendments to retained EU law, we do not consider there to be a need to include a reference to impact assessments in clause 22, relating to commencement, as such procedures and approaches are baked into the way Departments behave. I therefore ask the hon. Gentleman to consider withdrawing the amendment.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

I am disappointed but not in the least surprised by the Minister’s response. In the future, when we pick over the detritus of the Bill and people say, “Why did they do it the way they did it?” the Government will never be able to say that they did not know what would happen and that it was not brought to their attention. They have decided to plough on regardless with this self-imposed cliff-edge deadline. I will not push the amendment to a vote. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

I beg to move amendment 71, in clause 22, page 21, line 39, at end insert—

“(aa) section [Assessment of the impact of repeal of retained EU law];”.

Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

With this it will be convenient to discuss new clause 7—Assessment of the impact of repeal of retained EU law—

“Within three months of the passage of this Act, the Secretary of State must publish an assessment of the impact of the repeal of any retained EU law done under the provisions of this Act.”

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

I will again be brief. The amendment and new clause would oblige the UK Government to publish an impact assessment of the consequences of repealing retained EU law. If they are not prepared to publish an analysis before, it is incumbent on them to publish an impact assessment of the consequences of every piece of retained EU law that is being revoked, and for that impact assessment to be published no later than three months after the date that any revocation has taken place.

This proposal is similar to what we proposed with amendment 66. We understand that it will take a great deal of work for Ministers and officials, but given the seriousness of the consequences of getting this wrong, if this revocation of retained EU law has to happen, it should happen with as little negative impact on businesses and people’s lives. That may mean a little extra work for Ministers, their staff and Whitehall Departments, but we think it is well worth doing.

I hope the Minister will view this amendment—indeed, all our amendments—as being in the spirit of trying to make what we have described as a truly awful piece of legislation just a little better. As we said at the outset, given the rate at which the Government are planning to proceed, mistakes are absolutely inevitable, and people—our constituents and their businesses—will be hurt by those mistakes. If the Government are not prepared to do an impact assessment before they revoke EU law, it is incumbent on them to carry one out after the EU law has been revoked so we can understand the consequences of what has happened and hopefully avoid a future catastrophe.

Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Minister of State (Minister for Climate)

I thank the hon. Gentleman for the constructive spirit in which he tabled the amendment and new clause. None the less, I ask the Committee to reject them. They are similar to the previous group. Given that Departments will undertake proper and proportionate analysis in relation to amendments to retained EU law, and that effort is under way to understand the potential impacts of sunsetting, we do not consider that there is a need to include them in the Bill. I therefore ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw them.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

I thank the Minister for his reply. It is nice to see that the temperature has come down somewhat. If only to reassure the public that what they are doing is working, it is incumbent on the Government to provide these impact assessments. The Bill is happening hurriedly and, dare I say it, with a lack of planning, and when it hits the buffers on 31 December next year, people have a right to know what that means for them. However, I will not press the amendment to a vote. I am certain that we shall return to this issue on Report, but I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

With this it will be convenient to discuss new clause 1—Impact on the UK’s obligations under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement—

“Within three months of the passage of this Act, the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament an assessment of the impact of this Act on the UK’s obligations under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the European Union done at Brussels and London on 30 December 2020

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

When England and Wales voted to leave the European Union, and took Scotland and Northern Ireland out of the EU along with them, the United Kingdom Government signed a withdrawal agreement with Brussels. In return for certain rights and privileges in terms of trade with the EU, the United Kingdom promised not to diverge from the agreed level playing field set out in the trade and co-operation agreement.

I and many others have serious concerns that, if the Bill passes into law as it stands, the United Kingdom is in grave danger of breaching the international agreement it signed—I presume in good faith. On the presumption that the trade and co-operation agreement was signed in good faith, and that the UK Government would not knowingly and deliberately break such an important international treaty, I strongly urge the Government accept amendment 61. It would oblige the Government to publish, within three months of the Bill becoming law, an impact assessment of how the revocation of retained EU law, particularly on workers’ rights and environmental protections, has affected the trade and co-operation agreement.

The Government cannot be deaf to people’s concerns about the Bill, or to the genuinely held fear that, if it is pushed through unamended, and is implemented in the way that the Government have suggested, it will have a detrimental impact on the level playing field agreement with the European Union. If that happens, and if we stumble, accidentally or otherwise, into a situation in which we have broken the level playing field agreement, I fear that the United Kingdom could expect economic sanctions to follow. The last thing that the economy needs right now is another completely avoidable self-inflicted knock.

I urge the Government to accept the amendment. It makes sense. It sends a signal to our friends in the European Union that the United Kingdom is not about to unilaterally diverge from or break its international agreements, that we respect the level playing field, and that we will stick to what we said.

Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Future of Work), Shadow Minister (Business and Industrial Strategy)

I will be brief. This is an issue about which we are also concerned. No one wants to enter into a trade war because a Minister makes a mistake, and amends or forgets to restore regulations. That is what the Bill risks. I remind the Committee what Dean Russell said on Second Reading:

“I am very happy to make a commitment today that the Government will, as a priority, take the necessary action to safeguard the substance of any retained EU law and legal effects required to operate international obligations within domestic law. We will set out where retained EU law is required to maintain international obligations through the dashboard”—[Official Report, 25 October 2022; Vol. 721, c. 189.]

We are back to the dashboard. That is not quite as good as having something in the Bill, which is what the amendment seeks. However, it prompts a question for the Minister: when can we expect the commitments regarding the lovely dashboard to be honoured? We are all regularly hitting “refresh” to see whether the dashboard will be updated with the additional 100-plus or 1,400-plus Bills that have been identified. It is important that our international obligations are maintained. If there is a way of ensuring that Parliament is content, we are happy to support the amendment.

Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Minister of State (Minister for Climate)

I ask the Committee to reject the amendment. None the less, the Government agree about the importance of the UK continuing to meet the obligations set out in the UK-EU trade and co-operation agreement. As a sovereign nation, we have the right to regulate as we see fit and in the best interests of the UK. This right is preserved in the UK-EU trade and co-operation agreement, and the Bill is part of us exercising that right. The level playing field provisions commit the UK and EU not to weaken or reduce overall levels of protection on labour and social standards, climate and the environment in a manner affecting trade or investment between the parties.

The Government’s intention is to ensure the necessary legislation is in place to uphold the UK’s international obligations. That is why we pledged on Second Reading to safeguard in domestic law the substance and legal effect of any retained EU law necessary to meet those international obligations. We have an exciting opportunity to embark on ambitious regulatory reform and remove outdated legislation that does not suit the UK. We can build on the high standards we have committed to within the trade and co-operation agreement, and at the same time boost competitiveness and productivity—something I hope the whole Committee will support. I therefore urge the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute to withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

I thank the Minister for that response. Whether on workers’ rights or environmental protection, we have heard so much evidence and correspondence from people outside this Parliament who have genuine fears that this is the starting pistol of a deregulatory race to the bottom. If that were to be the case, I fear that the United Kingdom would be in breach of the level playing field agreement. I do not think the Government have fully considered the implications of this legislation. All my amendment sought to do was force the Government to consider those implications. I would push it to a vote, but I think it is another issue we will return to at a later stage, because it is vital that we are not seen to be tearing up international agreements or flying in the face of them in the way I fear the Bill will do. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

I beg to move amendment 65, in clause 22, page 21, line 42, at end insert—

“(da) section [Disapplication of the UK Internal Market Act 2020];”

Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

With this it will be convenient to discuss new clause 2—Disapplication of the UK Internal Market Act 2020—

“Where Scottish Ministers have used any power granted to them under this Act—

(a) to provide that any EU-derived subordinate legislation or retained direct EU legislation is not subject to revocation at the end of 2023, or

(b) to restate any provision of retained EU law (or, as the case may be, assimilated law), that legislation or provision shall apply notwithstanding any provision of the UK Internal Market Act 2020.”

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

Having been mercifully brief previously, I may take slightly longer now, because I think these measures are fundamental to our concerns about the Bill. Amendment 65 and new clause 2 would ensure that UK Ministers could not use the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 to undermine or deny Scottish Ministers protecting retained EU law. These measures go to the heart of the issue—working between the internal market Act and this Bill.

We have said throughout Committee that even if this were a standalone piece of legislation, it would be sufficiently bad for us to oppose it at every step of the way. But for Scotland—and, I suspect, other devolved Governments—we have taken it in conjunction with the internal market Act. Not only does it present an existential threat to Parliament and the devolution settlement; this Bill is a disaster for crucial parts of the Scottish economy. I do not think it was coincidental or accidental. This is part of a deliberate policy to undermine and weaken devolution and the devolved Parliaments. It is designed to force the constituent parts of the United Kingdom to align their policies with those of the UK Government and to do what this Government tell them to do. The United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 knowingly created confusion and deliberately blurred the hitherto clear lines of demarcation that existed.

The Bill, when in effect, will impose this place’s will on areas that have been wholly devolved since the Scottish Parliament was reconstituted more than two decades ago. In the areas of the environment, health, food standards and animal welfare, the democratically elected Scottish Parliament is the body that sets policy and direction. Since the internal market Act came into effect, we have seen significant encroachment by the UK Government into these wholly devolved areas. Amendment 65 and new clause 2 would ensure that if the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament decided that they wished to remain aligned to EU law, they could do so without the imposition of the internal market Act forcing them to change their position.

The infringement into the powers of our Parliament has, I fear, become a full-scale attack, with blanket, UK-wide—from Truro to Thurso—policies being imposed in areas over which this Government have no legislative consent. It is a crusade to weaken food standards, animal welfare, product labelling, environmental health and so much else by a Government who have no mandate to operate in those fields in Scotland. As I said earlier, this is the starting pistol on the deregulatory race to the bottom. That is why the United Kingdom Internal Market Act and the Bill have been brought in in this way. It goes completely against the spirit of devolution and is in direct contravention of the Sewel convention.

Before Second Reading, I met with the regional board of the National Farmers Union of Scotland in Argyll and Bute on a farm near Oban. The message was stark: farmers feel forgotten and undervalued. They have been battered by Brexit and they now face this Bill, which, they have said, is a potential death sentence for the agriculture sector in Scotland, which requires subsidies to manage the land, keep the lights on in the hills, provide employment and stem rural depopulation, as well as producing high-quality, high-value beef, lamb and dairy.

We know that the Bill will allow the lowering of food standards. We know that it will allow the relaxation of rules around labelling and animal welfare. We know that it will allow mass importation of inferior-quality products. All that will be an unmitigated disaster for Scottish agriculture. Our farmers are also painfully aware that, as it stands, there is very little that their democratically elected Parliament can do about it.

Last Wednesday, between our sittings on Tuesday and Thursday, I met Martin Kennedy, president of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, and his officials. They repeated almost word for word what I was told by my Argyll and Bute farmers. Martin Kennedy’s message to the Committee and this Government is that he and his members have severe reservations and concerns about the potential impacts of this Bill. As we do, he and his farmers accept that the Bill cannot be taken in isolation, but has to be put alongside the United Kingdom Internal Market Act.

Scottish farmers are not best noted for their political radicalism—probably because they are so busy battling the elements day and night to produce some of our best dairy and meat products—but this Government should understand that the Scottish agriculture sector is up in arms, maybe as never before, about the Bill and the United Kingdom Internal Market Act, and their disastrous consequences. If the Government will not listen to us here today and choose to ignore the Scottish Government, I implore them: listen to Martin Kennedy and his members about what this Bill will do to them, and their businesses and livelihoods. They are the ones who will bear the brunt of being forced into a UK-wide, one-size-fits-all regulatory framework that forces us to diverge from EU regulations.

When supermarket shelves become full of cheap, inferior cuts of meat, when lorryloads of chlorine-washed chicken cross the border and saturate the market, when animal welfare is a thing of the past, and when labelling rules are so relaxed that consumers do not know what they are consuming, that is a death knell for Scottish agriculture. The people of Scotland should be in no doubt that this Bill, coupled with the United Kingdom Internal Market Act, means one thing and one thing only: this place is coming for our Parliament and our democracy.

Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Future of Work), Shadow Minister (Business and Industrial Strategy)

Unfortunately, the new clause appears to apply only to Ministers in Scotland, not in the other devolved nations, but it does raise some important issues. If we start from the proposition that it is right that in areas of devolved competence, the devolved Administrations should have the ability to re-regulate their own priorities, which, I think, is where the Bill takes us, it does not take much to see where that might cause some difficulties, particularly when the Bill creates no wider duty in relation to the operation of the market access principles underpinning the UK internal market. The Bill creates the risk of new barriers to trade in the UK internal market. I accept that there is a conundrum there.

We want to allow the devolved nations to develop policy as per their own competencies, but there is no process in the Bill for resolution of any regulatory differences between the UK and the devolved Governments and, critically, no process for businesses or consumers to be consulted on the potential for new barriers between England, Scotland and Wales for certain categories of good. We need to understand how the Government intend to address that. Are the processes in the UK Government and devolved Administrations common frameworks post Brexit intended to apply to the Bill? If so, it is not clear from the Bill. Perhaps the Minister can reassure us on that.

We know from evidence from the Welsh Government that they have concerns about the intentions of the UK Government to deregulate in the way that we have heard this morning. A progressive Labour Senedd may want to raise standards, but unfortunately the provisions under clause 15 not to increase the regulatory burden seem to jar with that. I wonder what the Minister has to say about the ability of the devolved nations to raise standards, and the overall thrust of clause 15(6).

Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Chief Secretary) 11:15 am, 29th November 2022

I take the initial point of the hon. Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston that we should perhaps have included the other devolved nations. It is an indication of the weakness of the Bill Committee system that sometimes some of the devolved nations have no representation whatever on a Committee. Of course, the way to address that is for the Government to signal their clear intent by accepting the amendment and undertaking to introduce an equivalent amendment protecting Northern Ireland and Wales at a later stage.

My hon. Friend the Member for Argyll and Bute raised a concern that the Bill will be used to lower standards. The Government always howl in protest and say that it will not be, but last week they insisted on including a clause that would prohibit making regulations under the Bill that placed additional burdens on businesses. They have not introduced a clause that prohibits the use of the Bill to make regulations to lower standards on workers’ rights, animal welfare or anything else. I wonder why that might be.

My hon. Friend also pointed out yet again that the presumptuous way in which the UK Government forced through the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 was based on the assumption that, notwithstanding the devolution settlements, Ministers in the British Government have the right to overrule the elected national Parliaments and Governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although there will be cases where it is better to have similar or sometimes identical standards across these islands, the Government assume that what is decided by those who are elected by and for the people of England should automatically be what is imposed on the people of the other nations of the United Kingdom. That is not how devolution works. That is not how consensus works, which is what the Secretary of State for Scotland kept going on about last Wednesday in reply to our urgent question.

If the Government seriously want to work by consensus across the four nations, they would introduce legislation that required it to be in place before anything was done to change legislation. The Government have been reminded umpteen times over the past few weeks of the devolved competencies of our national Parliament in Scotland, Senedd Cymru and the Assembly in Northern Ireland. I appreciate that there is a different situation in Northern Ireland just now, and that there may be times when it is essential, and in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland, for the UK Parliament to act when the Northern Ireland Assembly is not functioning, but the Bill is not about stepping in in emergency circumstances. The Bill, and the clause that we are looking at, is about the Government having the right to step in wherever it suits them.

I urge the Government to accept the amendment. I know they will not, because they seem to be under orders not to listen to or accept any amendment, regardless of how sound or sensible it is, if it comes from the wrong side of the Committee. If that is an indication of the way they intend to use the powers that the Bill will give them, we should all be very concerned indeed.

Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Minister of State (Minister for Climate)

I urge the Committee to reject the amendment. The UKIM Act was introduced to protect businesses, jobs and livelihoods following our exit from the EU. The amendment seeks to disapply the provisions of the UKIM Act in cases where Scottish Government Ministers use the powers contained in the Bill to preserve or restate retained EU law. The operation of the UKIM Act is essential in maintaining our integrated market to ensure the free flow of goods, services, and people through the recognition of professional qualifications throughout the UK. The UKIM Act provides certainty for businesses and consumers where divergent approaches to regulation are taken in different parts of the UK, and the provisions of the Bill do not change that.

We recognise and value four nation co-operation—that is one reason that all four Administrations jointly started the common frameworks programme—and we remain committed to working with the devolved Governments in areas of shared policy interest, including REUL. I can see why the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute, from an oppositional point of view, would make out that we will lower our standards, but that is absolutely not our intent. Food standards are a devolved matter—I think that will be reassuring for Martin and his members—and key measures in the Bill apply to the devolved Administration. Accordingly, the devolved Governments will be able to exercise the powers in the Bill to amend retained EU law in their existing devolved competencies. We will work with all the devolved Governments, including the Scottish Government, on retained EU law reforms in line with commitments and common framework agreements that cover food standards.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

If food standards will be absolutely protected and enshrined, as the Minister said, will he give me a cast-iron guarantee that, if the Scottish Government decide they do not want chlorine-washed chicken, they can prevent lorryloads of chlorine-washed chicken from crossing the border? Can he give me a cast-iron guarantee that if the Scottish Government say that they do not want inferior, cheap, hormone-injected beef on Scottish supermarket shelves, they can prevent that from happening? Can he give me a guarantee that, should the Scottish Government decide they will stick to the legislation on animal welfare and passporting, that too will be absolutely protected in this legislation?

Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Minister of State (Minister for Climate)

Of course, chlorine, chlorine dioxide and other chemical washes have not been approved for washing chicken meat, and therefore are not allowed to be used. The hon. Gentleman can paint up any number of other unfounded scare stories and ask for categorical assurance from the Government that they are not planning to kill every firstborn, but I assure the Committee that that is not our intention.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

Let me rephrase the question. Should the UK Government decide that chlorine-washed chicken is acceptable and the Scottish Government decide it is not, could the Minister give me a cast-iron guarantee that the primacy of the Scottish Government’s decision to continue to ban chlorine-washed chicken would be respected under the terms of the Bill?

Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Minister of State (Minister for Climate)

Of course, it may be a question as to whether the Scottish Government decide to approve chlorine-washed chicken. Imagine if the scientific evidence provided in Scotland did that; perhaps the Scottish Government are secretly planning to bring in chlorine-washed chicken, in which case we would have to consider how that would be dealt with. In that instance or any other, the Government will continue to work closely with the devolved Governments to manage intra-UK divergence, including through existing mechanisms such as the common frameworks programme and the UK Internal Market Act.

I will not insult the Committee by suggesting that the Scottish Government will do things that I honestly do not think that they will do; I just wish that the hon. Gentleman would do us the courtesy of doing the same. I urge him to withdraw his amendment.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

I will not withdraw the amendment, and I will seek to divide the Committee. The Minister said that the UK Internal Market Act is there to protect the interests of business; perhaps it is there to protect the interests of business as long as the business is not a Scottish farmer. This will be the death knell for the Scottish agricultural sector. Those in the sector are not the most radical group on the planet, but this Government and legislation have fired them up as I have never seen before. This is not four nation co-operation; this is as far as we can get from four nation co-operation. This is one nation imposition. On that basis, I will seek to divide the Committee.

Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

Order. It is 11.25 am. We will start this afternoon at 2 o’clock with a Division. I know that Members are keen to get to the Chamber, so off you go.

The Chair adjourned the Committee without Question put (Standing Order No. 88).

Adjourned till this day at Two o’clock.