Duty to consult with devolved administrations

Part of Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:15 pm ar 29 Tachwedd 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Labour), Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care) 2:15, 29 Tachwedd 2018

I beg to move, that the clause be read a Second time.

I hope this is a straightforward and uncontroversial new clause. We have already spoken about the importance of reciprocal healthcare arrangement to citizens in Northern Ireland, and of course there will also be an impact on patients in Wales and Scotland. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have clearly and robustly articulated their support for a continuation of reciprocal healthcare agreements, and why would they not?

The Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee was clear in its recommendation that there should be active participation of the devolved Administrations in setting out the UK’s position in future arrangements, but I am not aware that there have been any discussions. I would be grateful if the Minister could set out what conversations have taken place, because we did not get clarity on that on Second Reading.

The new clause repeats some of the issues that we raised this morning, which you did not have the pleasure of hearing, Mr Streeter. It is about the scope and power of the Bill and the wide range of duties given to the Secretary of State, which will be subject to the negative procedure. We think it is important that, as part of the Bill, when those wide powers are given to the Secretary of State, there must be a clear duty to consult with the devolved Administrations before those regulations are enacted.

The Fisheries Bill and the Agriculture Bill have dealt extensively with the need to involve the devolved Administrations. I think this is the bare minimum that we need. It would represent a consistent and equitable approach across the devolved nations, in terms of our future relationship with the EU.