Oral Answers to Questions — Engagements

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th March 2001.

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Photo of Tony Blair Tony Blair Prime Minister 12:00 am, 14th March 2001

We are deploying some of those options and we are certainly looking carefully at the points that my hon. Friend has just made. I pay tribute both to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and to the people, particularly in the veterinary service, who up and down this country have done a quite superb job in extremely difficult circumstances.

Our difficulty—I have no doubt that I will have opportunities to explain this again to the House during Question Time—is balancing any relaxation of the rules and making sure that we are not over-reacting to the situation. At the present time, I believe that we have the balance right, but, at both ends of the spectrum, obviously, we keep the matter under constant review. We do not want to place unnecessary restrictions on people; on the other hand, we must do everything that we can to eradicate the disease.