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Mr. Jim Murphy: With the leave of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I shall respond to the debate and in doing so, it is quite proper to mention that we have had thoughtful contributions from a very large number of hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Alison Seabeck), the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Heath), my right hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, West (Mr.
9 Feb 2006 : Column 1102
Williams), my hon. Friend the Member for Cannock Chase (Dr. Wright), the hon. Members for Christchurch (Mr. Chope), for North-East Hertfordshire (Mr. Heald) and for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond), the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood), and the hon. Members for Cambridge (David Howarth), for Harwich (Mr. Carswell) and, of course, for Huntingdon (Mr. Djanogly).

In an interesting debate, we have heard about a captain from 1954, about a major, about Tarzan and repeatedly about Henry VIII, and we have heard from a Vulcan. I obviously apologise to the right hon. Member for Wokingham for referring to him as a Front Bencher, but I am surprised that the new Tory leader could not find a place in his Front-Bench team of 84 for him to serve. Understandably, we heard apologies on behalf of my hon. Friend the Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Andrew Miller), the Chairman of the Select Committee on Regulatory Reform, who has had to attend the funeral of Mr. Fred Venables—a local community activist and citizen. Of course, the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome, who speaks for the Liberals, had to catch a train.

The hon. Member for Huntingdon said that business needs some good news. Of course, he is right. Of course, we cannot be complacent, but business has already had a lot of good news. The UK is the No. 1 destination for inward investment in the EU. Employment in the UK is 2.1 million higher than in 1997. The UK's gross domestic product has grown for more than 50 successive quarters. We have the lowest corporation tax, and small businesses are zero rated. Of course, that is a far cry from the 10 per cent. interest rate for four years and the 15 per cent. interest rate for a year, 3 million unemployed and 1,000 businesses going bust every year.

Mr. Heald: Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Murphy: I hope that the hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I do not. I gave way for more than 20 minutes earlier, and I think that the House has almost heard enough from me this afternoon.

We have an ambitious agenda, because we cannot be complacent. We must continue to seek ways to boost UK competitiveness and free business and public services from unnecessary bureaucracy, and the simplification plans, the administrative burden reduction project and the Bill will go a long way towards doing so.

There are important protections in the Bill. I mentioned the six preconditions—more than in the 2001 Act—which are entirely right, because, as my hon. Friend the Member for Cannock Chase pointed out, there should be additional, more meaningful protection if we want to take more powers. The scrutiny process will be more exacting and there will be statutory consultation. A Minister will recommend the procedure, but it will be for the Committees of the House and another place to recommend alternative procedures or to exercise their right of veto.

Mr. Redwood: If the Bill passes into law, what big successes arising from it will the Government be able to point to in two years' time?
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Mr. Murphy: We would expect delivery of the administrative burdens project. We have contacted and interviewed more than 200,000 businesses and voluntary organisations to determine how we can reduce their administrative burden. We would expect to have bolstered UK competitiveness and to have implemented simplification plans from all 21 Departments. That is how the Bill should be judged in the long term, if it receives a fair wind in this and the other place and is delivered to the statute book.

An additional protection when laying a draft order is that the Minister must submit an explanatory memorandum and the Regulatory Reform Committee and the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee in the other place will make a case-by-case analysis of every proposed order.

I give the House clear undertakings, which I shall repeat in Committee, that the orders will not be used to implement highly controversial reforms. They will not be forced through in the face of opposition from the Committees, and the views of the Committees on what is appropriate for delivery by order will be final. Under the super-affirmative procedure, which, as I have said, Parliament has a right to require, the Committees will be able to recommend amendments to orders and the Minister will be able to lay a revised draft order reflecting those recommendations.

Rob Marris: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for those undertakings but I am mindful of the fact that at some distant point in the future there may be a change of Government. Will he incorporate in the Bill provisions on the veto and the role of Select Committees?

Mr. Murphy: We anticipate discussion of that issue in the Standing Committee, on which my hon. Friend may be inclined to serve.

Business, the public and the voluntary sector rightly say loudly that we shall be judged by our actions in this place. Tonight, we shall be judged on our support for the Second Reading of a Bill that meets the more ambitious better regulation agenda, extends more power to Parliament to scrutinise and veto Government proposals and will enhance UK competitiveness and further support British business.

I commend the Bill to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.


Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 83A(6) (Programme motions),

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The House divided: Ayes 233, Noes 100.

Division No. 157
[5.28 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
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
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Benn, rh Hilary
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
Browne, rh Mr. Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
David, Mr. Wayne
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Dowd, Jim
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khabra, Mr. Piara S.
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mann, John
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McIsaac, Shona
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh Mr. David
Miliband, Edward
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morley, Mr. Elliot
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, James
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, rh Jacqui
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Touhig, Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wills, Mr. Michael
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Alan Campbell and
Gillian Merron


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Barker, Gregory
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Bottomley, Peter
Brake, Tom
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Duddridge, James
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evennett, Mr. David
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Foster, Mr. Don
Francois, Mr. Mark
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Horam, Mr. John
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jones, Mr. David
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lamb, Norman
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Osborne, Mr. George
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rosindell, Andrew
Russell, Bob
Spicer, Sir Michael
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Walter, Mr. Robert
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Winterton, Ann

Tellers for the Noes:

Angela Watkinson and
Andrew Selous

Question accordingly agreed to.

9 Feb 2006 : Column 1106

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