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Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 232A:



"(a) regulates the provision of premium rate services; or
(b) falls within sub-paragraph (3A).
(3A) The continued provision falls within this sub-paragraph in so far as it"

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 232A, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 232B, 232C and 232D.

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The amendments deal with a potential problem arising from the possible impact of the European Community Technical Standards and Regulations Directive on provisions made under the Bill. The very wide ambit of the directive may require us to notify the provisions of the new premium rate services code to the European Commission and observe a standstill period of at least three months before the provisions can come into force. The purpose of the standstill period is to allow the Commission and other member states to consider whether the new provisions create any barriers to trade between member states.

The PRS provisions are different from most of the other provisions in Part 2 of the Bill in that they are not mandated by the four European Community communications directives which underlie most of the remainder of that part of the Bill. To avoid a three-month gap in the PRS regime, the amendments to Schedule 18 to the Bill permit Ofcom—or, in practice, Oftel—to issue continuation notices in respect of the provisions in the current licence conditions.

The amendments broaden the current powers in Schedule 18 to issue continuation notices so as to embrace the premium rate services arrangements of current licences. Such continuation notices would then be able to prolong the life of the existing regime for three months or so until the provisions of the new code can be commenced.

The amendments should have absolutely no effect on interested parties, they simply allow the prolongation of the existing regime until such time as the new arrangements can be fully commenced. They remind me of the city fathers of Limerick who determined to build a new gaol. They decided that the new gaol should be built of the stones of the old gaol and that the old gaol should stay in use until the new gaol was ready. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 232B to 232D:


    Page 532, line 29, leave out "they" and insert "OFCOM"


    Page 533, line 28, after "provision" insert "falling within sub-paragraph (3A)"


    Page 534, line 9, after first "apparatus"," insert ""the provision of premium rate services","

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 233 not moved.]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 234 and 235:


    Page 539, line 34, leave out from "to" to "is" in line 35 and insert "his becoming subject to a direction by virtue of which he"


    Page 539, line 38, at end insert—


"( ) In sub-paragraph (5) the reference to a person's becoming subject to a direction by virtue of which he is prohibited from providing the whole or a part of an electronic communications network or electronic communications service—
(a) does not include a reference to his becoming subject to a direction imposing a prohibition for a fixed period of less than eighteen months or to a direction that will have to be revoked if not confirmed; but

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(b) except in the case of a direction imposing a prohibition for such a fixed period, does include a reference to the confirmation of a direction that would otherwise have had to be revoked."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendment No. 236 not moved.]

Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 237:


    Page 556, line 41, at end insert—


"58A References in paragraphs 57 and 58 to Chapter 2 of Part 5 do not include references to subsections (2) to (4) of section 382 (powers to make transitional and consequential amendments etc.)."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 237, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 238. These are two minor technical amendments that are designed to clarify the effect of certain of the transitional provisions relating to newspaper mergers set out in Schedule 18 so that the legal effect of the provisions is in line with the policy intention underlying them, and to ensure consistency in the operation of ancillary provisions in the Enterprise Act 2002. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 238:


    Page 557, line 35, at end insert—


"(9) Section 395 of this Act shall not apply in relation to the power of the Secretary of State to make an order under section 91(6)(a) of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) as applied by virtue of sub-paragraph (7)(b) above but supplementary provisions of Part 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 which relate to the making of an order under section 91(6)(a) of that Act shall apply in relation to the making of an order under that provision as applied by virtue of sub-paragraph (7)(b) above."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 19 [Repeals]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 238ZA to 238A:


    Page 563, line 19, column 2, at end insert—


    "In section 4(3), the words from "and the amount" onwards."

Page 564, line 28, column 2, leave out from "section" to end of line 29 and insert—


"87— (a) in subsection (2)(b), sub-paragraph (ii) and the word "or" immediately preceding it; (b) in subsection (3), the words from "and the amount" onwards."

Page 566, line 4, column 2, leave out ""advertising agency", of"


    Page 566, column 2, leave out lines 12 to 14.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 239 and 240 not moved.]

[Amendment No. 240A had been renumbered as Amendment No. 241C.]

Lord McNally moved Amendment No. 241:


    Page 566, leave out line 32.

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On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 241A to 241C:


    Page 568, line 17, column 2, at end insert—


    "In section 4(3), the words from "and the amount" onwards."

    Page 568, line 40, column 2, at end insert—


    "In section 43— (a) in subsection (2)(b), sub-paragraph (ii) and the word "or" immediately preceding it; (b) in subsection (3), the words from "and the amount" onwards."

    Page 568, line 45, column 2, at end insert—


    "In section 56(1)(a)(i), the words "to which the licence relates"."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 403 [Short title, commencement and extent]:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 242:


    Page 353, line 5, at end insert—


"( ) An order under subsection (2) may include provision making such transitional or transitory provision, in addition to that made by Schedule 18, as the Secretary of State considers appropriate in connection with the bringing into force of any provisions of this Act; and the power to make transitional or transitory provision includes power to make—

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(a) different provision for different cases (including different provision in respect of different areas);
(b) provision subject to such exemptions and exceptions as the Secretary of State thinks fit; and
(c) such incidental, supplemental and consequential provision as he thinks fit."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment would give the Secretary of State power to make transitional and transitory provision when bringing into force provisions of the Bill. We have done our best to make sure that the Bill itself makes all the provision that is needed to ensure that the transition from the existing law to the new regulatory regime is as soon as possible. But I hope that the House will recognise that in a Bill of this size and complexity, there is always a risk that some unforeseen or unforeseeable difficulty will come to light in the course of making the detailed preparations necessary for Ofcom to start its work in earnest.

I trust that noble Lords will agree that in the circumstances it would be prudent to include this modest power to make provisions supplementing that made in Schedule 18. It would be unfortunate for unnecessary problems and legal technicalities to arise because of unforeseen and unforeseeable transitional difficulties. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 243 not moved.]

        House adjourned at twenty-eight minutes before nine o'clock.

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