Civil Partnership Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee am 9:10 am ar 19 Hydref 2004.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State (Industry and the Regions and Deputy Minister for Women), Department of Trade and Industry 9:10, 19 Hydref 2004

I beg to move,

That—

(1) during proceedings on the Civil Partnership Bill [Lords] the Standing Committee shall, in addition to its first meeting on Tuesday 19th October at 9.10 am meet—

(a) on Thursday 21st October at 9.10 am and 2.30 pm;

(b) on Tuesday 26th October at 9.10 am;

(2) the proceedings shall be taken in the following order, namely, Clauses 1 and 2, Schedule 1, Clauses 3 to 36, Schedules 2 to 4, Clauses 37 to 70, Schedule 5, Clause 71, Schedules 6 to 8, Clauses 72 to 80, Schedule 9, Clause 81, Schedule 10, Clauses 82 to 84, Schedule 11, Clauses 85 to 122, Schedule 12, Clauses 123 to 134, Schedule 13, Clauses 135 to 141, Schedule 14, Clauses 142 to 189, Schedule 15, Clause 190, Schedules 16 to 18, Clauses 191 to 199, Schedule 19, Clause 200, Schedule 20, Clauses 201 to 205, Schedule 21, Clauses 206 to 239, Schedule 22, Clause 240, Schedule 23, Clauses 241 to 244, Schedule 24, Clauses 245 and 246, Schedule 25, Clause 247, Schedule 26, Clauses 248 to 251, Schedules 27 to 29, Clauses 252 to 254, new Clauses, new Schedules, remaining proceedings on the Bill;

(3) the proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 11.25 am on Tuesday 26th October.

To begin, I welcome Committee members and you, Mr. Cook, to this Committee. I look forward to what I hope will be constructive discussion and debate during the next few days as we scrutinise what is by any stretch of the imagination an important, landmark piece of legislation. I am sure that there will be an extremely constructive debate and I look forward to working with all Committee members.

It is important that we continue the high quality of debate that began in the House on Second Reading, and that the legislation receives the proper scrutiny it deserves. We should also ensure that sufficient progress is made so that the legislation can be enacted during this Session. Although it is a big Bill, the principle of it is relatively simple. I am sure that we shall have a lengthy debate on clause 1, but once that clause, which introduces the concept and general principles of civil partnership, is accepted, we should find the policy to be reasonably straightforward.

It is important that we consider the issues in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but it is worth pointing out that parts 3 and 4, which relate to those countries, replicate part 2, which makes provision for civil partnerships in England and Wales, while still recognising the legislative history of Scotland and Northern Ireland.