After initial optimism following an apparent climbdown on the ‘Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill’. The ‘Save Parliament‘ group have been discussing our response to the amended bill.
The response has been published today
After pushing the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill through the Committee Stage without changes in March, the government conceded that this was a very important bill. They made significant changes, and allowed two days for debate. This was still not enough time to air all the objections.
After our initial optimism, we have gone over it carefully, and decided that it’s not much better than before. For example, the Bill still allows the government to rewrite any law, provided they can claim that at least one of the things they are doing will ‘remove a burden’. It would still be possible for jury service or Habeus Corpus to be removed by order. Many of our complaints still haven’t been dealt with.
The report goes into some detail as to what the next stages are likely to be. As part of this the report encourages us to examine how our own MP did.
There is no way this Bill will get through the House of Lords in its present state, since it appears that members of the upper chamber tend to read what’s before them, and take as much time as they like. The Lords will make changes to this Bill. This Bill will return to the Commons. The MPs will be asked to revert these changes by voting.
The changes are likely to be similar to what had been proposed and rejected during this two day debate of the Bill. Your MP may have voted for or against those changes. We have a list of the votes that were made by MPs on the Bill so far, and the direction they would have voted had they wished to save Parliamentary scrutiny.
To see how your MP voted, you can go to the report stage page of the Save Parliament website and enter your postcode. My MP, Michael Gove, got near 100%, so he’ll get a ‘pat on the back” letter.
The interesting ones to consider are Division 232, where your MP could have voted against the requirement that ministers act “reasonably”; Division 234, where your MP could have voted against the requirement that ministers had to implement law commission reports “without changes”, so they couldn’t cherry-pick them; Division 238, mentioned above; and Division 240, where your MP could have voted against giving the committee overseeing an order complete freedom to reject it.
Of course, being a Tory I’d expect him to oppose the government, the real interest comes if you’re in a Labour held seat. I’d be interested to hear of any replies received from Labour MPs (especially Labour MPs that vote as SaveParliament would wish!)
A forum has been created on the save parliament site for discussion (you could also comment directly on murky.org)