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Mr. Graham Stuart (Beverley and Holderness) (Con):
Todays East Riding Mail reports that the new East Riding of Yorkshire Primary Care Trust wishes to
close the bedded units in Beverley, Driffield, Hornsea and Withernsea. Does the Minister accept that such financially driven cuts must be stopped, or else the consequences will be dire not only for patients but for local authority budgets?
Mr. Woolas: It is only proper for me to respond by saying that our public services have to balance the books. I do not think that the good people of east Yorkshireof the beautiful market towns and other places that the hon. Gentleman mentionedmisunderstand the point that the Government are making when we say that there has been a real-terms increase in health expenditure in this country of 90 per cent. so far. I disagree with the idea that a trust or hospital that is balancing its books can be fairly described as making cuts; it is not doing that. The hon. Gentleman does his campaign no good by pretending otherwise. The public simply will not believe him when he says on the one hand that there are cuts, and on the other hand criticises the Government in other forums for allegedly overspending on public expenditure.
Secretary Ruth Kelly, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Secretary Prescott, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ms Secretary Hewitt, Secretary Tessa Jowell, Secretary David Miliband, Mr. Secretary Alexander, Yvette Cooper and Jim Fitzpatrick, presented a Bill to make further provision with respect to the Greater London Authority; to amend the Greater London Authority Act 1999; to make further provision with respect to the functional bodies, within the meaning of that Act, and the Museum of London; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed. Explanatory notes to be printed [Bill 11].
Mr. Secretary Hutton, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Secretary Prescott, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Jack Straw, Hilary Armstrong, Mr. Secretary Hain, Secretary Ruth Kelly, Mr. Secretary Alexander, James Purnell and Mr. James Plaskitt, presented a Bill to make provision about pensions and other benefits payable to persons in connection with bereavement or by reference to pensionable age; to make provision about the establishment and functions of the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed. Explanatory notes to be printed [Bill 12].
That the following provisions shall apply to the proceedings on the Investment Exchanges and Clearing Houses Bill
1. Proceedings on Second Reading, in Committee, on consideration and on Third Reading shall be completed at this days sitting and shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the moment of interruption or six hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Motion for this Order, whichever is the later.
Timing of proceedings and Questions to be put
2. When the Bill has been read a second time
(a) it shall, notwithstanding Standing Order No. 63 (Committal of bills not subject to a programme order), stand committed to a Committee of the whole House without any question being put;
(b) the Speaker shall leave the Chair whether or not notice of an Instruction has been given.
3. On the conclusion of proceedings in Committee, the Chairman shall report the Bill to the House without putting any Question; and if the Bill is reported with amendments the House shall proceed to consider the Bill as amended without any Question being put.
4. For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 1, the Speaker or Chairman shall forthwith put the following Questions (but no others)
(a) any Question already proposed from the Chair;
(b) any Question necessary to bring to a decision a Question so proposed;
(c) the Question on any amendment moved or Motion made by a Minister of the Crown;
(d) any other Question necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded.
5. On a Motion so made for a new Clause or a new Schedule, the Speaker or Chairman shall put only the Question that the Clause or Schedule be added to the Bill.
Consideration of Lords Amendments
6. (1) Any Lords Amendments to the Bill shall be considered forthwith without any Question being put.
(2) Proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.
7. (1) This paragraph applies for the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 6.
(2) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question already proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.
(3) If that Question is for the amendment of a Lords Amendment the Speaker shall then put forthwith
(a) a single Question on any further Amendments to the Lords Amendment moved by a Minister of the Crown, and
(b) the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees to the Lords Amendment or (as the case may be) the Lords Amendment as amended.
(4) The Speaker shall then put forthwith
(a) a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown to a Lords Amendment, and
(b) the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House agrees or disagrees to the Lords Amendment or (as the case may be) to the Lords Amendment as amended.
(5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown, That this House disagrees to a Lords Amendment.
(6) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees to all the remaining Lords Amendments.
(7) As soon as the House has agreed or disagreed to a Lords Amendment, or disposed of an Amendment relevant to a Lords Amendment which has been disagreed to, the Speaker shall put forthwith a single Question on any Amendments moved by a Minister of the Crown and relevant to the Lords Amendment.
8. (1) Any further Message from the Lords on the Bill shall be considered forthwith without any Question being put.
(2) Proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.
9. (1) This paragraph applies for the purpose of bringing proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with paragraph 8.
(2) The Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair and not yet decided.
(3) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown which is related to the Question already proposed from the Chair.
(4) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown on or relevant to any of the remaining items in the Lords Message.
(5) The Speaker shall then put forthwith the Question, That this House agrees with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Proposals.
10. (1) The Speaker shall put forthwith the Question on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for the appointment, nomination and quorum of a Committee to draw up Reasons in relation to the Bill and the appointment of its Chairman.
(2) A Committee appointed to draw up Reasons shall report before the conclusion of the sitting at which it is appointed.
(3) Proceedings in the Committee shall, (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion 30 minutes after their commencement.
(4) For the purpose of bringing any proceedings to a conclusion in accordance with sub-paragraph (3) the Chairman shall
(a) first put forthwith any Question which has been proposed from the Chair but not yet decided, and
(b) then put forthwith successively Questions on motions which may be made by a Minister of the Crown for assigning a Reason for disagreeing with the Lords in any of their Amendments.
(5) The proceedings of the Committee shall be reported without any further Question being put.
11. Paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply so far as necessary for the purposes of this Order.
12. The proceedings on any Motion made by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion one hour after commencement and paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 shall apply to those proceedings.
13. Standing Order No. 82 (Business Committee) shall not apply in relation to any proceedings to which this Order applies.
14. No Motion shall be made, except by a Minister of the Crown, to alter the order in which any proceedings on the Bill are taken or to re-commit the Bill; and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.
15. No dilatory Motion shall be made in relation to proceedings to which this Order applies except by a Minister of the Crown; and the Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.
16. (1) This paragraph applies if
(a) a Motion for the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) has been stood over to seven oclock, four oclock or three oclock (as the case may be), but
(b) proceedings to which this Order applies have begun before then.
(2) Proceedings on that Motion shall stand postponed until the conclusion of those proceedings.
17. (1) This paragraph applies if a day on which the Bill has been set down to be taken as an Order of the Day is one to which a Motion for the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 24 stands over from an earlier day.
(2) The bringing to a conclusion of any proceedings on the Bill which, in accordance with this Order, are to be brought to a conclusion on that day shall be postponed for a period equal to the duration of the proceedings on that Motion.
18. If the House is adjourned, or the sitting is suspended, before the conclusion of any proceedings to which this Order applies, no notice shall be required of a Motion made at the next sitting by a Minister of the Crown for varying or supplementing the provisions of this Order.
19. Proceedings to which this Order applies shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.
20. (1) Any private business which has been set down for consideration at seven oclock, four oclock or three oclock (as the case may be) on a day on which the Bill has been set down to be taken as an Order of the Day shall, instead of being considered as provided by Standing Orders, be considered at the conclusion of the proceedings on the Bill on that day.
(2) Paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business) shall apply to the private business for a period of three hours from the conclusion of the proceedings on the Bill, or, if those proceedings are concluded before the moment of interruption for a period equal to the time elapsing between seven oclock, four oclock or three oclock (as the case may be) and the conclusion of those proceedings. [Ed Balls]
I start by expressing my gratitude for the close co-operation that we have enjoyed in preparing todays Billfrom the shadow Minister, the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban), from the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable), from their spokesperson colleagues in the other place, and from other interested stakeholders across the City of London, particularly the recognised exchanges themselves, with whom we have been able to discuss the Bill in recent weeks. I hope that we can demonstrate today to the outside world thatperhaps unusually for this placewe have been able to reach a consensus in the national interest on the way forward on this important issue: both inside this House with Opposition Members, and outside it among practitioners in the City. I am also grateful for Members co-operation in allowing us to move the Bill quickly through its Commons stages and detailed scrutiny this afternoon, in what are unusual circumstances.
As Opposition and other Members will know, the Bill fulfils the commitment that I gave in a written statement to the House on 13 September to enhance the power of the Financial Services Authority to veto changes to the rules of UK-recognised investment exchanges and clearing houses where they are deemed disproportionate.
Mr. John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Why do we need a guillotine? This is about the first piece of Labour legislation that some of us actually want. It is sensible and there is agreement in all parts of the Housewhy can we not have an open debate, given that we want to get it through as much as the Minister does?
Ed Balls: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his intervention; hopefully, he will make a more substantive contribution in due course. I expect that there will be plenty of time in this debate for various points to be made by Members in all parts of the House. I very much look forward to the right hon. Gentlemans contribution; I hope that it will be as revealing and interesting as yesterdays was.
My statement of 13 September was prompted by concerns about the potential implications of a possible takeover bid for the London stock exchange. At that time, a bid by NASDAQ, the US stock market, for the LSE was still only a possibility. As Members will know, NASDAQ has now announced an offer for the LSE, so with a bid on the table it is important that we move swiftly. Our aim, with the co-operation of both Houses, is for the Bill to gain Royal Assent as soon as possible, consistent with proper parliamentary scrutiny. With support from all parts of the House, it should be possible to achieve that before the NASDAQ bid reaches its important point.
Before I turn to the Bills detail, I want to set out the wider context. London today is widely seen as one of only two truly global financial centres in the world. It is the location for 70 per cent. of the global secondary bond market, for more than 40 per cent. of global derivatives, and for more than 40 per cent. of cross-border equities trading. London today has more foreign banks than any other financial centre, and it is the location for the headquarters of six of the worlds 10 largest international law firms. Based on its global reach and its reputation for free, fair and open global markets, London has in recent years been attracting business and listings from around the world. We are determined to keep it that way.
I believe that international businesses have located in the City because of four great strengths: our commitment to the rule of law and the highest professional standards; the skills and flexibility of the work force and our ability to attract talent from around the world; our long-standing tradition of openness and internationalisma global approach to competition and ownership that has allowed the City to innovate and to respond to new challenges; and the FSAs highly respected principles-based and risk-based approach to regulation, which has been put in place over the past decade. I know that the whole House will join me today in paying tribute to the many men and women from across our country and abroad who work hard in the City and in our other UK financial services to build the Citys reputation and to contribute to its strengths.
However, we are not complacent. Back in May, when I first became the Minister responsible for such matters, concerns were expressed to me about the effects of a possible takeover of the London stock exchange by a company based outside the UK, and the threat that that might pose to Londons attractiveness as a place for international listing and wider business. Some Members will know that the UK has for some years been open to overseas investment in UK exchanges. The London international financial futures and options exchange, ICE Futures and virt-x are all owned by overseas companies. Such overseas interest in UK exchanges in part reflects our principles-based approach to regulation, which has been flexible enough to accommodate the desire of exchanges to innovate in recent years, but rigorous enough to ensure the probity and integrity of our markets.
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