Lord Ashton of Hyde (Con)
My Lords, I am going to be brief, because we have a lot of important business to do. On normal occasions, the way to address these issues is for the usual channels to discuss them, and I certainly have not been approached by the usual channels on this. However, I have some sympathy with the noble Lord, as well as some experience, having taken through well over 200 government amendments on a Bill previously. I found that the way to get that through well and with agreement in that case was to have plenty of engagement outside the Chamber. I gather that the noble Lord has already met the Minister this morning, and since then more information has been provided, particularly in the shape of a Keeling schedule.
I am told that a lot of these amendments—the majority—are technical, and I do not mean technical in a way that is trying to avoid the issue. The others are explanatory. But if we have proper engagement before Committee—and, of course, five days of Committee are planned, two of which have extended hours—there will be plenty of opportunity to scrutinise these amendments. I know that the Minister is more than ready to engage further with the noble Lord, so I am certainly of the opinion that he will be ready and able to give the Bill the scrutiny it deserves.