Directions Relating to Breach of Duty or to International Obligations

Part of Orders of the Day — Food Standards Bill – in the House of Commons at 11:30 pm on 8th November 1999.

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Photo of Dr Norman Godman Dr Norman Godman Labour, Greenock and Inverclyde 11:30 pm, 8th November 1999

In relation to Lords amendment No. 16, I have every confidence in the Scottish medical officer of health—just as I have every confidence in the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament—to ensure that the Bill and the regulations are administered fairly and effectively.

However, what would happen if Ministers in the Scottish Parliament expressed concern about the way in which fish farms were inspected by the agency? A few minutes ago, I pointed out to my right hon. Friend the Minister of State how important that industry is to our coastal and island communities. What powers does the Scottish Parliament possess to change or introduce regulations governing such access to fish farms or other Scottish enterprises? We may require some sort of concordat, because Scottish Ministers and Members of the Scottish Parliament may have far greater knowledge of the local conditions surrounding such industries than do Ministers or Members here—with the obvious and estimable exception of Scottish Members of this Parliament.