Motion to Approve
My Lords, does the Minister agree that it is highly desirable that impact assessments are published prior to instruments of this nature being put before the House? Will he give an undertaking that in relation to further statutory instruments that process will be followed?
My Lords, I should like to make one point before my noble friend replies. I had great difficulty in attending the debate on these statutory instruments last week. For two weeks running, through an unfortunate circumstance of timetabling, these statutory instruments were discussed when an EU item was being debated on the Floor of this House, and I hope that that can be avoided as far as possible. I support the point that has just been made. It is placing us in a very difficult position to take these statutory instruments on trust when we could wait to discuss and pass them once we have the impact assessment before us.
I hear what the noble Lords and my noble friend have said. The Government will of course use their best endeavours to ensure that the impact assessments are always in place. We are not entirely in control of the process—there are other relevant bodies—but we will always try to make sure that all the information is there for the relevant committees, which do outstanding work in processing these SIs. I certainly undertake to take back noble Lords’ comments.