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New Clause 19 debate now begins May 15, 2006

Posted by Julian Todd in Politics.

The introduction is complete. The Conservative opposition guy (Oliver Heald) is now able to make his set piece speech. He has thanked, among others, the blog sites for getting this far.

You can read this speech when it's typed onto the Hansard. Some good bits, some bad bits of party politicking about labour party regulation.

He does say that this bill was almost entirely constitutional in nature, rather than a proper deregulation Bill

See the comments for continued notes. 


1. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

I’m going to get irritated by the party politicking of the Conservatives attacking the Labour Government for regulating everything, and pointing out the hypocracy of then arguing for this deregulation Bill.

He does at least propose that we could just have a deregulation bill at the end of each year, where all this stuff could pass through in primary legislation, without the need of this Bill at all.

He says that the New Clause 19 (replacement of clause 1) is a big step in the right direction, and saves parliament. He also supports Howarth’s improvments in the drafting, like inserting the word “reasonably” into the phrase “when the minister [reasonably] considers” something.

2. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

Sorry, I have got side-tracked. Very soporific, some of these speeches. They go down like warm tea. They are professional speakers.

David Heath is now speaking and pointing out how the Standing Committee was stonewalled all the way through, and the only reason we have had any concessions is that the the chief whip in the Lords told the government that there was no way this Bill wasn’t going to get through the Lords in its present form.

3. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

Heath is now speaking for the amendment of inserting “reasonable” into the Bill, to make the matters objective rather than subjective.

Pointless Redwood intervention, asking whether the LibDems would ever be in favour of deregulating anything.

He says if it’s good enough to use the test of “reasonableness” when it comes to the public making a complaint elsewhere in the Bill, it’s good enough to test the minister’s opinion with this stipulation.

4. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

Heath makes some jibes about how the original minister Jim Murphy was promoted to another department, since he couldn’t understand the Bill completely.

There are important matters of extra-territorial juristiction — why does the Bill allow the government to strike down regulation in places like Scotland, or dependent terroritories, which Ministers have no business interfering in.

5. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

Mark Fisher(?) is disputing that there was any opposition to this Bill till after the Second reading debate, and is being referred to that Hansard debate by John Redwood. He says that it was Howarth’s letter to the the Times that signalled the first warning that this Bill was a constitutional outrage. You can check the Second reading debate here:


6. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

Mark Fisher is demanding that this Bill must in no way touch primary legislation.

Ken Clarke says he agrees with the intent of the Bill of deregulation. It is a miracle that the government has turned this into opposition with the Bill that they had drafted. It bypassed Parliamentary procedure at all places. The new Clause still does not reassure him that it can’t be misused to overcome the power of Parliament.

Subsection (3) leaves open for certain taxation to be abolished, and for criminal measures to be struck off, he says. So many exemptions to VAT are brought through on questionable justification. Huge numbers of reglulations unpopular with certain groups could be repealed after lobbying by applying this Bill.

7. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

Clarke also says this law could be used to legalized euthanasia. He says that the reply that the government would not use these powers to do that is not an adequate answer.

8. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

Clarke’s speech is pretty good, and worth listening to. He hits all the points, and says that the government should not consider Parliament as a nuisance, and that saying an order can be vetoed by a select committee is not good enough, because those committees always have a government majority. He makes a great defence of Parliament, and deplores the amount of nibbling at the edges that have occurred over the years.

9. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

Clarke: “This place has turned into a Legislative Sausage machine”

10. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

Some of the Convervatives are turning the debate onto a discussion of the way that EU legislation is brought in through the House, under the European Communities Act 1972. The argument has always been about the supremacy of EU law over the UK Parliament, or the other way round. This is NC17, found in


I don’t fully understand this, though it is something of great importance and legal subtlety. With 18 signatures on this New Clause amendment, some people think it is very important.

11. Watching Them, Watching Us - May 15, 2006

Bill Cash is one of the leading anti-European Union Conservative MPs, but he also tends to be one of the few MPs who does debate constitutional freedoms and protections. He did even brandish a copy of George Orwell’s !1984″ at Charles Clarke during one of the Terrorism Bll debates.

I doubt if his amendment will be accepted, either by the Government or the rest of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats etc.

12. goatchurch - May 15, 2006

So it is he… At least he sounds like he knows what he is talking about. Moving on to next section. Once we get the transcripts on-line it’ll begin to make sense:


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