Results 181–200 of 2218 for speaker:Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: My right hon. Friend is right in both parts of what he says: I am a raving Europhile, and all this would be irrelevant if we left the European Union. Whether or not that would be a good thing, it would be taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The far easier way to deal with this issue would be to pass my amendment, which takes the relevant words out of the Bill. I almost feel the need to...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: Indeed so. A little later I will come on to the fact that by passing this phrase into law, we would be delegating our duties as legislators to the courts of this land. I have fewer concerns about that than most people would—I had better, given that I am married to a judge and a lawyer myself—but nevertheless, as legislators, we need to be clear what we are legislating about.

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: That is a fear that I had not actually considered, and I shall need to do so at some length during the short Adjournment between today’s sittings. I ought to tell my hon. Friend that I have a suspicion that this country’s Department of Health—this is trailing my coat a bit—believes that it already delivers services of general economic interest. In view of his intervention about...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: I think that my right hon. Friend is right, but he might be trying to catch a horse that has bolted. The concept of “services of general economic interest” is widely used in the context of European law, but—this will shock him—if discussion in the Slug and Lettuce in my constituency rages around the question of the treatment of someone’s varicose veins, do people come away saying,...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: I am delighted to hear that. I do not know whether my hon. Friend’s constituents in The Crown discuss varicose veins in terms of services of general economic interest, but if he has heard such a discussion, I would very much like to know the punchline, because that has not been heard recently in North East Hampshire. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford said, to the layman, the...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: My hon. Friend is right that there might be such phrases, but we are moving into the context of known unknowns and unknown unknowns. If there are things that need to be amended that I have not recognised, the problem is that I have not recognised them, so I cannot really respond to his intervention with any degree of sense. It might well be that none of this is making a great deal of sense.

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: It does worry me; the whole Bill worries me. All I can suggest to my hon. Friend—this would take him a bit of time, I am afraid—is that he feeds the entire contents of the Bill, phrase by phrase, into some search engine or other. He might find that that throws up concepts, ideas, problems and issues, as well as suggestions for amendments that might improve the Bill. Although there is...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: Indeed so. A little later I will come on to the fact that by passing this phrase into law, we would be delegating our duties as legislators to the courts of this land. I have fewer concerns about that than most people would—I had better, given that I am married to a judge and a lawyer myself—but nevertheless, as legislators, we need to be clear what we are legislating about.

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: That is a fear that I had not actually considered, and I shall need to do so at some length during the short Adjournment between today’s sittings. I ought to tell my hon. Friend that I have a suspicion that this country’s Department of Health—this is trailing my coat a bit—believes that it already delivers services of general economic interest. In view of his intervention about...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: I think that my right hon. Friend is right, but he might be trying to catch a horse that has bolted. The concept of “services of general economic interest” is widely used in the context of European law, but—this will shock him—if discussion in the Slug and Lettuce in my constituency rages around the question of the treatment of someone’s varicose veins, do people come away saying,...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: I am delighted to hear that. I do not know whether my hon. Friend’s constituents in The Crown discuss varicose veins in terms of services of general economic interest, but if he has heard such a discussion, I would very much like to know the punchline, because that has not been heard recently in North East Hampshire. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford said, to the layman, the...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: My hon. Friend is right that there might be such phrases, but we are moving into the context of known unknowns and unknown unknowns. If there are things that need to be amended that I have not recognised, the problem is that I have not recognised them, so I cannot really respond to his intervention with any degree of sense. It might well be that none of this is making a great deal of sense.

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: It does worry me; the whole Bill worries me. All I can suggest to my hon. Friend—this would take him a bit of time, I am afraid—is that he feeds the entire contents of the Bill, phrase by phrase, into some search engine or other. He might find that that throws up concepts, ideas, problems and issues, as well as suggestions for amendments that might improve the Bill. Although there is...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: My right hon. Friend has been reading my speech as well—I must keep my speeches under better lock and key. When my hon. Friend the Minister responds to the debate, I hope that he can enlighten the Committee to an extent that I have not been able to do so, but I need to go into what that phrase means with the assistance of a European Commission document that I have with me. It goes into a...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: My hon. Friend is very far from a fool, but he is treading on ground where angels fear to tread. I will come on to that issue during my few short remarks. When he intervened, I wondered whether he would suggest that we table an amendment to change the phrase “services of general economic interest” to include capitals. I suspect that that would be deemed out of order. Still, we have not...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: Indeed. I wish that my right hon. and hon. Friends would stop reading my speeches—it is plain that they have had access, through some awful hack or other, to what I was about to say—because I was about to make exactly that point. It is a shame that we have not been able to use capitals—apparently they cannot be used in legislation—but I was pleased, during our discussion of the...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: All I can say to my hon. Friend—if one is allowed to say this—is chapeau. [ Interruption. ] In that case, I congratulate my hon. Friend. He is absolutely right. In some of the articles, services of general economic interest, or SGEIs as they are affectionately known, are compared with the concept of universal service obligations, or USOs as they are affectionately known. The comparison...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: My hon. Friend puts his finger on an issue of extreme complication. I am ashamed to say this, but I am afraid that I will have to leave my hon. Friend the Minister to clear that up. I have been wrestling with this very question for about two weeks. I think it may be something that is of great importance, or it may not, but let us see as we go through this discussion; it may become a bit clearer.

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: It might contain that implication. Clearly, it does not in European law. A retired person coming to the Bill—they will, of course, read it with fascination and enthusiasm to see what the hon. Member for Eltham is proposing for them—might think that this is not entirely what they expect of their health service. We are coming back to the issue that my right hon. Friend the Member for...

Public Bill Committee: National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill: Clause 1 (24 Feb 2015)

James Arbuthnot: My right hon. Friend has been reading my speech as well—I must keep my speeches under better lock and key. When my hon. Friend the Minister responds to the debate, I hope that he can enlighten the Committee to an extent that I have not been able to do so, but I need to go into what that phrase means with the assistance of a European Commission document that I have with me. It goes into a...


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