29 January 2014: Lord Faulkner of Worcester: I added my name to Amendments 57BB, 60 and 62 and will speak briefly to those, but I start by congratulating the noble Earl on bringing forward his Amendment 57B and for overseeing a significant change in government policy on the subject of standard packaging. Like many of your Lordships, I was heartened when I heard the then Public Health Minister, Anna Soubry, around a year ago saying that the Government were minded to go down the standard packs route and then bitterly disappointed last summer when the plans were suddenly dropped. Various conspiracy theories were propounded at the time and I will not go into those now, but it looked as if the issue was dead, at least for the foreseeable future.
At that point, it seemed sensible to look at whether there was any possibility of adding a standard packaging amendment to another Bill, which might not immediately present itself as the most appropriate, in order to be able to give the House the opportunity to debate the issue and come to a view on it. With the help of staff in the Public Bill Office—about whom I cannot speak highly enough, as their help was invaluable in framing our original amendment in Committee and the subsequent amendment that we tabled for today—we were able to bring the issue to the Committee and approach the issue in an entirely cross-party and non-party way. The amendment that we put together was signed by the noble Baronesses, Lady Finlay and Lady Tyler, the noble Lord, Lord McColl, and myself.