Clause 147

Part of Equality Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 6:15 pm ar 30 Mehefin 2009.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Solicitor General, Attorney General's Office 6:15, 30 Mehefin 2009

The amendment would have an interesting effect. Regulations can be made under the clause by the Welsh and Scottish Ministers, too. I am sure that the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare did not mean it, but the amendment would require Scottish Ministers as well as Welsh Ministers to lay before the Westminster Parliament any regulations that they intend to make before imposing specific duties on public bodies. My note drafter has described that as not showing sufficient respect for the devolution settlement.

To get to the point, the power under the clause to impose specific duties is subject to affirmative procedure in Parliament under clause 195(4) and (5). Draft regulations will have to be laid before the imposition of specific duties, and they will be debated. The amendment would add nothing to that. Evidence will be tested in debate and we are consulting, as the hon. Gentleman knows, on our proposals for specific duties, some of which I recited this morning. We have published the independent research that we commissioned to inform those proposals and, when we have finished consulting on the plans, backed up by that research, we will consult again on the draft regulations and also consult the EHRC since it will have to implement and police everything that is introduced. The combination of all that consultation, which the hon. Gentleman is welcome to join, with the affirmative procedure in Parliament is probably sufficient, and I invite him to withdraw the amendment, especially as it would have a funny effect on Wales and Scotland.