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Pre-legislative Scrutiny

Volume 575: debated on Thursday 6 February 2014

The Government are committed, wherever possible, to publishing legislation in draft for pre-legislative scrutiny. We published 17 draft Bills or sets of draft measures in the previous Session, which is more than the previous Government did in any Session.

I thank the Leader of the House. It is clear that there have been some benefits. The recent Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill ended up with a lot of provisions that were recommended on pre-legislative scrutiny, although the process would have been faster if they had been included straight away. Does he agree that the principle should be that, unless there are exceptional reasons, all Bills should go through some sort of pre-legislative scrutiny?

We endeavour to publish legislation in draft, but it is not always possible. My hon. Friend and the House will understand that, for example, at the start of a Parliament, or sometimes for reasons of policy, measures have to be brought in at a pace that does not permit the kind of pre-legislative scrutiny that we would generally seek. Let me point out that only this week we debated the Deregulation Bill on Second Reading, and that was scrutinised in draft form; and in the previous week, the Consumer Rights Bill came to the House, and that had had substantial pre-legislative scrutiny. I commend to the House how we are continuing to engage in that.