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Arrangement of Business

Volume 818: debated on Wednesday 26 January 2022


My Lords, before we begin proceedings on the Bill, I thought it would be helpful if I outlined the arrangements for today. We will sit until 2 pm in Committee on the Bill. We will then break until 3 pm. At 3 pm, the House will return for Oral Questions. After Oral Questions, we will resume proceedings on the Bill. The House will break again at 6.45 pm for questions on a Statement on Ukraine. After the Statement, we will continue proceedings on the Health and Care Bill.

We have so far spent over 30 hours in Committee on this important Bill across five days. We have three days remaining to complete Committee. I am sure I speak for the whole House when I say that none of us wishes to debate important issues in the early hours of the morning, but without further progress on the Bill we might be left with no choice but to do this. We therefore need to ensure that the Bill receives proper scrutiny effectively, but succinctly.

I know, because I have had very helpful discussions with the Opposition Chief Whips and the Convenor, that the Front Benches will seek to ensure that all their contributions are brief and focused. I urge—indeed, beg—all noble Lords with an interest in this Bill to do the same, to be as concise as they feel able to be in their contributions, to speak briefly to the amendments before the Committee, and not to rehearse arguments that would be more suited to a Second Reading. In this way, we can ensure that all the amendments to this important Bill receive the attention they deserve.