HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 c707W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to include a sunset clause in all new legislation promoted by his Department unless a specific case can be made to exclude a sunset clause. [120855]

Mr. Caplin

Revised Regulatory Impact Assessment guidance, "Better Policy Making: A Guide to Regulatory Impact Assessment", was published on 28 January 2003. It advises policy officials to consider time limiting or sunsetting at an early stage of policy development and gives specific examples of where sunsetting may be appropriate.

Most Ministry of Defence legislation relates to the armed forces, and it would be unusual for sunset clauses to be appropriate. Nevertheless, the periodic Armed Forces Acts, which extend the life of the Army and Air Force Acts 1955 and the Naval Discipline Act 1957, do so for only five years at a time and, thus, may be regarded as having a form of inbuilt sunsetting. However, where new primary or delegated legislation that may have an effect on business is introduced, the MOD will consider whether a sunset clause or other arrangements are appropriate on a case by case basis.