Dawn Primarolo: I was trying not to repeat myself. I said in the debate on clause 290 that rule 702 of the Bar Council rules provides for confidentiality of barristers' papers. That is subject to the demands of the law, and so would not prevent disclosure to the Revenue in an appropriate case for the same reasons that I have explained with regard to solicitors.
Mr. Flight: The Minister has convinced me. The Government will have at least a few months to work with the arrangements to test whether there are any problems. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Clause 298 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clauses 299 to 301 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
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Part 7: commencement and savings
Mr. Flight: I beg to move amendment No. 370, in page 246, line 39, leave out '1st August 2004' and insert '1st October 2004'.
As I understand it, the Government have already accepted the point raised by the amendment. I have not taken in precisely how they will carry it out—whether they will amend clause 302 themselves or whether they will do it in the regulations. I think that the Government have accepted that the timetable was effectively too tight to be realistic, and I look forward to the Minister's confirmation of how the new timetable will be put into effect.
Dawn Primarolo: I do not want to try your patience, Mr. McWilliam. I would be repeating exactly what I said in the debate on clause 290, which will also now have to be announced publicly beyond the Committee so that those who are considering our procedure are suitably notified. We have dealt with the matter and the best thing to do is to ensure that that information is circulated to every member of the Committee. I will not repeat all the dates, which effectively clarify the requirements and dates for disclosure without disengaging on the employment sections—the anti-forestalling arrangements, which are still needed.
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I am confident that we have dealt with the point that the hon. Gentleman raises in amendment No. 370. At this late hour, I do not intend to try the Committee's patience by repeating myself.
Mr. Flight: I completely agree that the Minister has set all that out, but as there are no Government amendments to clause 302, she has not answered my question as to how it will be done.
Dawn Primarolo: Forgive me, Mr. McWilliam—I thought that I had dealt with that point. It will be done through regulations, so when the revised draft regulations are published, the information will be changed in the way in which I have already indicated to the Committee. I think that I have now successfully dealt with the points raised by the hon. Gentleman.
The Chairman: Order. The hon. Lady need not trouble herself; she had said that previously.
Mr. Flight: On the basis of the Minister's comments, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Clause 302 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Further consideration adjourned.—[Jim Fitzpatrick.]
Adjourned accordingly at twenty-six minutes past Six o'clock till Thursday 24 June at half-past Nine o'clock.
The following Members attended the Committee:
McWilliam, Mr. John (Chairman)
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Osborne, Mr. George