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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office (Mr. Jim Murphy): We have had a timely and interesting debate. Among other things, we heard about rabbit holes, the Warren commission, grassy knolls and even nits in the Members' changing room, although I have not yet seen those. We also had contributions from my hon. Friends the Members for Ochil and South Perthshire (Gordon Banks) and for Wakefield (Mary Creagh), and the hon. Members for North-West Norfolk (Mr. Bellingham), for Braintree (Mr. Newmark), for Chipping Barnet (Mrs. Villiers) and for South-West Hertfordshire (Mr. Gauke). I agree with the hon. Member for South-West Hertfordshire more than most, if only because he quoted the Prime Minister. One tip I was given this evening for my first winding-up speech was always to agree with the Prime Minister when he is quoted.

My hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield said that we need to get the balance of regulation right in terms of laudable aim and risk. She talked with great experience from her life before being elected to this place. My hon. Friend the Member for Ochil and South Perthshire brought his business experience to the debate when he stressed the need for us to support small businesses. He asked about providing one source of information in a one-stop shop for small businesses. I am delighted to remind him that the Department of Trade and Industry website has a specific one-pager on compliance for small businesses. I shall give him that address. It is one aspect of what we are undertaking.

Sole traders need one form to set up. Private companies need five. That may be too much, but 20 licences, certificates and registrations were needed to start a business in the 1990s. We have also introduced 400 deregulatory measures, cut small companies' corporation tax and extended research and development tax credit, providing £400 million to businesses.

We also heard an interesting speech from the hon. Member for Braintree, who clearly has strong and detailed opinions on regulatory impact assessments. He will have the opportunity to raise those specific points when we discuss various Bills in the Chamber and in Committee.

The hon. Member for North-West Norfolk, in his usual passionate and unique way, offered generous praise to the former Chairman of the Trade and Industry Committee. I also heard him offer sedentary support to the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr.   Redwood) in his possible leadership challenge. Perhaps new hon. Members do not know that the hon. Gentleman served for six years as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the right hon. and learned Member for Kensington and Chelsea (Sir Malcolm Rifkind), who has his hat in and out of the ring. I look forward to that conversation on his backing for the right hon. Member for Wokingham.
4 Jul 2005 : Column 132

The hon. Member for Chipping Barnet has large footsteps to follow in the shape of Sir Sydney Chapman, who had a strong reputation and was respected by hon. Members on both sides of the Chamber. She and others talked about the need for risk-based assessment as we regulate. They were correct in doing so. We are also committed to reducing the number of regulators who interact with business from 31 to seven, to reducing the number of inspectorates that interact with public services from 11 to four, and to introducing not one but two deregulation Bills. We are determined to make progress in reducing the number of inspections of good councils and schools, strong police forces and other bodies.

We have had an interesting debate. Better regulation is crucial if the UK economy is to meet the challenges of established economies in the US, Japan and elsewhere. It is also crucial if we are to continue to be one of the most successful economies in Europe—if not the most successful—if we are to remain the most stable economy in the G8 and if we are to position our economy strategically so that we can meet the challenges of the coming economic age and the massive global challenge posed by India and China. We will never compete with India and China if we accept the Opposition's rhetoric about low-cost employment. Our competitive edge will depend on our having the best skilled work force, and on basic innovation and world-class research. Better regulation will play an important part in achieving that.

Turning to other contributions, the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) highlighted the Liberal Democrats' priorities, as we heard about support for a national scheme of dog licensing from a party that opposed the national minimum wage.

Jon Trickett (Hemsworth) (Lab): His speech was barking.

Mr. Murphy: Of course it was, and it seemed to be longer than was in fact the case. There was a point at which I hoped that the hon. Gentleman would offer to send me a copy of his speech, and save me listening to the last 10 minutes. He asked about regulatory impact assessments, and I can confirm that, after consultation, a series of amendments have been made to proposed pieces of legislation in the UK and in the European Union, some of which have been withdrawn as a consequence of negative RIAs. He asked whether the use of sunset clauses would become standard. We do not believe that that is necessary. It is necessary in some cases such as legislation on civil contingencies and anti-terrorism laws, but we do not wish to use them as standard, because it would create great uncertainty among business and others about the direction of government. It would also be much more expensive.

The hon. Member for Havant (Mr. Willetts) is rightly considered by himself and others as having two brains, but that assessment is called into question by his publicly stated desire to lead his party. Tonight, he should have used his two brains to help write two speeches for the Tory spokesmen. Without wishing to be unkind, the speech by the right hon. Member for Wokingham was a cut-and-paste assembly of stories from page 17 of various editions of the Daily Mail. [Interruption.] I know I am being generous. In a 30-minute speech, he only woke up in the final 30 seconds. Listening to him, I was reminded of a
4 Jul 2005 : Column 133
man for whom time stands still. It is as if in the mid-1990s he fell asleep at his desk as Secretary of State for Wales, and only woke up today. He attacked inefficiency in the UK economy and talked about the scourge of mass unemployment, but as he stirred from his slumbers, he did not seem to realise that we have moved on from the days in which 3 million people were unemployed and interest rates were set at 15 per cent. for one year and at more than 10 per cent. for four years. He missed the fact that regulation doubled under the Conservatives and that the number of statutory instruments increased to more than 3,000. It is no surprise that he is one of the few former Tory Cabinet Ministers who has failed to dip at least one toe into the pond of the Tory leadership challenge.

Labour Members believe that the UK's competitiveness—its sense of purpose and its ability to compete in the EU and elsewhere—is essential if we are to remain at the cutting edge of the EU and meet the challenges of the world economy. We need strong, positive and determined leadership in the EU; we need to continue record levels of investment in, and reform of, the public services; and we need to maintain a stable and dynamic economy. I urge my hon. Friends to oppose the motion and support the amendment that stands in my name and those of my hon. Friends.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 198, Noes 313.

Division No. 27
[9.59 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, Mr. David
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clark, Greg
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Conway, Derek
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice and Howden)
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Field, Mr. Mark
Forth, rh Mr. Eric
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Mr. Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Mr. Martin
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Huhne, Chris
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Johnson, Mr. Boris
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moore, Mr. Michael
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Paice, Mr. James
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Walter, Mr. Robert
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Michael Fabricant and
Andrew Selous


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cook, rh Mr. Robin
Cooper, Rosie
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Mr. Jimmy
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hosie, Stewart
Howarth, Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Ms Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khabra, Mr. Piara S.
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
MacDougall, Mr. John
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh Mr. John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh Mr. David
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morden, Jessica
Morley, Mr. Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Price, Adam
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Ms Emily
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Williams, Hywel
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Wishart, Pete
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Frank Roy and
Tony Cunningham

Question accordingly negatived.

4 Jul 2005 : Column 136

4 Jul 2005 : Column 137
Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):—

The House divided: Ayes 304, Noes 203.

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