National Security Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee am ar 12 Gorffennaf 2022.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

[James Gray in the Chair]

Photo of James Gray James Gray Ceidwadwyr, North Wiltshire 9:25, 12 Gorffennaf 2022

I welcome the Committee to the line-by-line consideration of the Bill. Let us first have a few moments of parish notices. Many people here are old hands at this business, but some are not. Members will therefore forgive me if I talk them through the way in which the Committee ought to consider the Bill, from the beginning—forgive me if I am telling you things that you already know.

The Bill before you is the Bill as agreed, without Division, on Second Reading. The purpose of the Committee is to consider the Bill in detail and seek to improve it. That is done by any member of the Committee tabling amendments. Most often, amendments are tabled by Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition, although anybody can do so. On this occasion, there is also a large number—perhaps larger than usual—of Government amendments. We talk through the amendments.

Amendments are grouped on the selection list before you and are linked together by subject. If there are amendments across the field on a similar subject, they are debated together in one group. Amendments are then voted on not at that time, but when we get to the relevant part of the Bill; amendments are debated together, but often we will vote on them two or three days later, as we come to them. That removes the confusion on that part. The Member who tabled the lead amendment in a group starts the debate. Others may then catch my eye. Members may speak as often as they like on each amendment, although we might seek to avoid overdoing it.

Behaviour, as it were, is identical here as to that in the main Chamber. Things such as eating and drinking are not allowed, and—to begin with, at least—gentlemen are wearing their coats. I am a very old-fashioned traditionalist and tend to start that way. However, if somebody at some stage wanted to make a point of order, I might be persuaded to change that particular rule—for the first time in my 25 years as a Chairman, mark you, but these are extreme conditions. I am sure that the Doorkeeper will kindly ensure that everyone has plenty of water, as we need to be aware of the heat today.