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Mr. Simon Hughes: Will the Minister deal with the specific question that the hon. Member for Buckingham and I asked? What provision protects against misuse, harassment and obsessive interest by the regulatory authority? Such behaviour could be covered by the random check, the routine check and the reasonable check but be oppressive none the less.
Mr. Clarke: I assure the hon. Gentleman that the guidance will include dealing with such an effect. However, I do not believe that the state of affairs that he described is likely to arise. The need to state the purpose of the inspection, for which the Bill provides, makes it difficult to make the repeated inspections that he fears.
Amendment No. 9 would require laying before Parliament the guidance, which the SIA will draw up under clause 20, on the exercise of its power of entry. The Bill already requires a significant amount of further parliamentary input to get the authority and its regimes up and running. Several clauses allow the Secretary of State to introduce statutory instruments that activate or specify in greater detail the operations of the SIA.
The content of the statutory instruments will be central in establishing the authority's detailed operating framework, and it is right that they should be brought before Parliament. I am therefore not persuaded that we need to ask Parliament to approve the detail that the amendment would require.
The Bill's main purpose is to establish the SIA and vest in it appropriate discretion to regulate the industry, backed up by specific parliamentary sanctions for its most important aspects. I believe that the authority's approach will be sound and that to require the laying of draft guidance and, perhaps more important, revised guidance--we shall conduct regular revision--before Parliament would detract from the ability to be flexible in evolving circumstances.
Mr. Hughes: The debate has been important, and the Minister has given welcome assurances on the first issue that we mentioned. However, the Bill could be described as an outline measure, and we do not know the details. We cannot judge whether the guidance will be adequate until we see it later.
I sense that interest in the debate has risen to an unexpected height. The Bill has taken on a new and greater importance. For once, I shall give the Minister the benefit of the doubt. On one occasion only, and with no promise of a repeat, I beg to ask leave to withdraw an extremely good amendment.
The President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mrs. Margaret Beckett): Following the Prime Minister's announcement earlier today, and following discussions through the usual channels, the business for tomorrow will now be as follows: a procedural motion relating to the business of the House, followed by the remaining stages of the Finance Bill and the remaining stages of the Rating (Former Agricultural Premises and Rural Shops) Bill. At 10 o'clock, the House will be asked to approve all outstanding estimates, and we will take proceedings on the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill. The House may also be asked to consider any Lords Messages that may be received. I hope that the business for later in the week will be announced tomorrow, following further discussions.
Mrs. Angela Browning (Tiverton and Honiton): I thank the Leader of the House for making her business statement available to me earlier. Following the Prime Minister's valedictory address earlier today, will the right hon. Lady confirm that what is in the second statement tomorrow will be the subject of tomorrow's procedural motion, because it is not clear at the moment whether the procedural motion tomorrow will deal only with tomorrow's business or with the business for the remainder of the week? If that motion will deal with business for the remainder of the week, it is important that the Government should allow sufficient time for it to be debated by the House. Will the right hon. Lady confirm that that will be the case?
Will the Leader of the House also confirm that all the scheduled oral questions for the remainder of the week will take place, including those tabled for Thursday, and will she also tell the House whether the business in Westminster Hall will continue as announced for the rest of the week? Is she able to make a statement tonight about a possible date for Prorogation, as that is obviously a matter of interest on both sides of the House? Also, does she anticipate there being a gap between Prorogation and the Dissolution of Parliament?
Mrs. Beckett: First, on the assumption that the hon. Lady was asking me about a further business statement tomorrow, and about a time for the motion to be debated, was she referring to the business motion?
Mrs. Browning: I am sorry that I did not make that clear. I asked whether the motion that the right hon. Lady has announced today--the procedural motion relating to the business of the House--would include tomorrow's business and any subsequent business.
Mrs. Beckett: My anticipation is that it will certainly include tomorrow's business. It is not yet certain whether it will include business for later in the week, because there will--as I have said--be a further business statement. [Interruption.] I suggest that Conservative Members bear in mind the fact that these are matters for negotiation. [Hon. Members: "No."] Yes, they are.
Mr. Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton): Given that my right hon. Friend has said that she will make a further statement tomorrow about business for the remainder of the week, which includes Thursday, and given that Thursday is at present scheduled to be an Opposition day, will she do her best to persuade the Opposition to maintain it as an Opposition day so that the House can have the opportunity to hear from the Conservative party how it intends to keep many thousands of people segregated on aeroplanes until the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) has inspected their credentials?
Mr. Paul Tyler (North Cornwall): May I encourage the Leader of the House to make tomorrow's statement and the procedural motion as comprehensive as possible and to cover the whole period up to the Dissolution if possible? Otherwise it will be extremely difficult for the House to deal with unfinished business in an orderly manner. There is some very important unfinished legislative business, on accountability in the health service, for example, which I hope will be given proper accountability in the last few days of this Parliament. Some Executive business also remains, and it is extremely difficult for us to maintain our scrutiny of such Government action when the House is not sitting.
I draw the right hon. Lady's attention to the aftermath of the foot and mouth crisis, which is still with us, and to the effect of the crisis on the tourist industry, which is causing huge problems at the moment. I note that the Select Committee report on the funds available to the regional development agencies and the tourist boards is totally critical of the amount of funding available. Indeed, the report states, "We find this astonishing." We still require important statements from the Government before the Dissolution of Parliament, and I hope that we shall get a comprehensive programme tomorrow, rather than having to wait until the end of the week.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The right hon. Lady's statement covered the business for tomorrow. Another statement will follow. Questions now should only be about the statement that the right hon. Lady has made tonight.
Mrs. Beckett: I am grateful to you, Mr. Speaker. Of course I understand the House's anxiety to be fully informed. Certainly, it would be the Government's wish to put as much information before the House as we can, and we will do so.