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Karen Gillon (Labour)
On the whole, the debate has been constructive and consensual. Key themes have certainly begun to emerge. The UK marine bill is due within the month, and it is imperative that Scotland does not fall behind in such a crucial area of environmental policy. I welcome the debate that we have had.
Many members have mentioned the AGMACS report. We should not underestimate the importance of the blueprint that that report left us. That blueprint was developed through consensus and its production involved the widest possible range of stakeholders. As Sarah Boyack said, Labour is signed up to the AGMACS recommendations, and we are as enthusiastic as ever to see them delivered as soon as possible.
I hope that the Government views our amendment as constructive, as it simply seeks to inject some sense of urgency into the process and encourage constructive working with the UK Government and other Administrations to deliver a coherent and joined-up system. I am not talking only about the drafting of the legislation; I am also talking about its implementation, which is perhaps the most important dimension of any legislation. The legislation should be more than a series of worthy statements; it should be a workable document that enables the effective management and protection of our marine environment.
I am happy to support the Greens' amendment and, despite Mike Rumbles's best efforts, I will probably also support the Liberal Democrat amendment. It was good to hear Jim Hume make a great case for the Labour amendment. I look forward to his voting for it at decision time. I am reassured to find myself on the opposite side of the argument to Mike Rumbles. I was beginning to wonder whether I am going a bit soft in my old age. It is good to see normal hostilities resume between Mike Rumbles and the Labour Party.
I read the Labour and Liberal Democrat amendments again, very closely, to ascertain the logic of Mike Rumbles's argument against the Labour amendment. He argued that progress has been too slow, but he wants members to vote against an amendment that wants progress to be accelerated.