The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill entered day five of report stage in the Lords on Monday 18 March.
Members of the Lords agreed to an amendment requiring parliamentary approval for changes to royal charters set up after 1 March.
Lord Stevenson of Balmacara (Labour) put forward the amendment from the opposition. It ensures that the agreed royal charter on self-regulation of the press may not be changed by ministers unless Parliament agrees. He said it '... ensures that ministers cannot tamper with the new system... by watering it down... they cannot introduce new measures that would threaten the freedom of the press. There must be comfort in the fact it works both ways.'
Viscount Younger of Leckie (Conservative), set out the government's position of support for the amendment: 'This measure is part of the announcement made by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition today ... It will have the effect that the charter can only be amended only if the terms of the charter are met and both Houses of Parliament agree.'
Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury (Liberal Democrat) said: 'We have achieved consensus on this hugely important matter'.
Third reading is scheduled for Wednesday 20 March.
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill summary
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill includes:
- changes to competition policy and employment law
- measures for reducing regulation
- the Green Investment Bank
- directors’ remuneration
- rules around copyright and planning.
More about the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill
What is report stage?
Report stage gives all members of the Lords further opportunity to examine and make changes, known as amendments, to a bill.
Report stage usually starts 14 days after committee stage. It can be spread over several days (but usually fewer days than at committee stage).
Before report stage starts, all member's amendments are recorded and published. The day before a report stage discussion the amendments are placed in order - a marshalled list.
During report stage detailed line by line examination of the bill continues. Any member of the Lords can take part and votes can take place.
After report stage the bill is reprinted to include all the agreed amendments.
The bill then moves to third reading for the final chance for the Lords to amend the bill.