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Lord Pearson of Rannoch: My Lords, I am most grateful to the Minister for taking this amendment so seriously. However, I have to rely on the version put upon events by my noble friend Lady Blatch who, after all, took the 1990 Bill through this House. I take her point that it may not be the powers which will create a problem; it is the sections which are to be removed by this Bill which will be the problem.

The noble Lord said that my amendment would set up a two-tier and, therefore, incoherent system. However, one has to point out that the present system of BATNEEC is coherent and is entirely understood by industry of all sizes; indeed, the noble Lord has admitted that it is working extremely well. I accept that the Government feel that they have to import this directive which insists on BAT, but I do not think that we should necessarily go along with that. The noble Lord then said that I quoted his words in the wrong order. That is a matter of record. Anyone can look at Hansard and check it, but I certainly did not mean to do so and I do not think that I did.

The noble Lord also said that the wording is imperfect and that, in some ways, it would do more harm than good to small business. If that is the case, I have no doubt that the Government could look at it and get the wording right to reflect what has been said in this debate--and, indeed, the spirit of this debate--before the Bill reaches the other place. For my part, I have tried to read the wording again and was assured by the Clerks who helped me draft the amendment, only minutes before the debate started, that the amendment does in fact achieve what I and other noble Lords who support it want to achieve.

As we are on Third Reading, the Bill will now have to go to the other place. If we were to pass this amendment tonight, those in another place could look at it. The Bill could then come back here and we could have another look at it, with the benefit of the wisdom of the other place and of the noble Lord's expert draftsman. In those circumstances, I feel that I have no alternative but to ask for the opinion of the House.

4.47 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 2) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 105; Not-Contents, 126.

Division No. 1


Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Bathurst, E.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Blyth, L.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brentford, V.
Bridgeman, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Byford, B.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carew, L.
Carnock, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Clifford of Chudleigh, L.
Courtown, E.
Cowdrey of Tonbridge, L.
Cox, B.
Cranborne, V.
Croham, L.
Cuckney, L.
Davidson, V.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Downshire, M.
Dundee, E.
Dundonald, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Fookes, B.
Geddes, L.
Gisborough, L.
Glentoran, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Henley, L. [Teller.]
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Keyes, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Leigh, L.
Long, V.
Lyell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Mancroft, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Monk Bretton, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moyne, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Noel-Buxton, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
Nunburnholme, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L [Teller.]
Pender, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Renwick, L.
Seccombe, B.
Sempill, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Sudeley, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Teviot, L.
Vinson, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wise, L.
Young, B.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alderdice, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Barnett, L.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Calverley, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carter, L. [Teller.]
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Geraint, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Glanusk, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grenfell, L.
Grey, E.
Hamwee, B.
Hanworth, V.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Haskel, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L. [Teller.]
Ilchester, E.
Irvine of Lairg, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Iveagh, E.
Jay of Paddington, B. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennet, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Laming, L.
Longford, E.
Ludford, B.
McNair, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Mishcon, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Russell, E.
Sandberg, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Serota, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Sheppard of Liverpool, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thornton, B.
Thurso, V.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Weatherill, L.
Whitty, L.
Wigoder, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.
Winston, L.
Young of Dartington, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

20 May 1999 : Column 430

4.58 p.m.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch moved Amendment No. 3:

Page 3, line 11, at end insert--
("( ) regulations under this section which affect the subject- matter of sections 1 to 28 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (notwithstanding the repeal of those sections);")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I shall deal briefly with this amendment. I refer to what was said in our debate at Report stage at cols. 1390 to 1392 of the Official Report when the Minister was good enough to give an undertaking which unfortunately does not appear to have been correctly printed. The Minister said,

    "The Bill as it stands provides the Secretary of State with a choice of procedure. I can give an undertaking that any amendments to the regulations which affect matters which were previously included on the face of the Employment Protection Act 1990 will be put to Parliament for consideration under the affirmative procedure".--[Official Report, 13/5/99; cols. 1391-1392.]

I just wanted to make sure that the Minister had the opportunity to correct the official record. I am pretty sure that he meant to say the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and not the Employment Protection Act. In view of the importance of the undertaking, I think it is worth getting that on the record. I beg to move.

5 p.m.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, if that is all the noble Lord is seeking I am very happy to put on the record the

20 May 1999 : Column 431

correct version. As noble Lords will know, I rarely quote the "Employment Protection Act 1990"--even if there were one. Perhaps I can repeat for the record that I intended to refer to the Environmental Protection Act. At Report stage I gave an undertaking that any changes which the Government make to provisions in the regulations and which were previously on the face of the 1990 legislation regarding environmental protection would be made by affirmative procedure. I know that that is what the noble Lord was seeking and also what the CBI was seeking.

The noble Lord seeks to put the issue on the face of the Bill. In practice, that is slightly difficult. In addition, the amendment is rather imprecise because by referring to the "subject-matter" of the 1990 Act it leaves unclear whether minor amendments to the regulations which, under that Act, are currently made by negative procedure would in future have to be made by affirmative procedure. The amendment brings in the affirmative procedure. I do not believe that that is the intention. However, that would be the practical effect of the amendment. At the very least, there could be serious potential dispute as to what "subject-matter" actually meant. I therefore hope that the noble Lord will feel himself able to trust the words in Hansard, as corrected, and leave it at that.

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