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 Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Shadow Secretary of State for International Development 9:10, 19 Hydref 2004

I echo the Minister's welcome to you, Mr. Cook, your fellow Chairman Mr. Gale, and all Committee members.

We do not like programming motions in my party. We habitually vote against them, as we did immediately after Second Reading, but we have discussed the sittings motion. There was the possibility that, in extremis, we might be able to go a little bit longer on Thursday, but if we are serious in the business we are to conduct during the next four sittings, we hope that that will not be necessary, as long as we have given the Bill the scrutiny it deserves.

As the Committee well knows, in my party this Bill is a matter of conscience. My colleagues enjoy a free vote on any matter before us, although it is clear from the Second Reading debate that the vast majority of Conservative Members support the Bill and would like to see it put into law in its original form. Some do not, and their views and opinions should be respected. Although in principle we say that we do not like programming motions, we should without further ado try to make better law for the country by getting on with the scrutiny of the legislation.