Orders of the Day — Hunting Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:44 pm on 18th November 2004.

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Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 1:44 pm, 18th November 2004

I beg to move, That this House
insists on its disagreement to Lords amendments Nos. 1 to 44 and 46 to 54, disagrees with the Lords in their amendments 10C, 12C, 46C and 52C, but proposes the following amendment in lieu—

Leave out Clause 15 and insert the following new Clause:—

'Commencement

(1) The following provisions of this Act shall come into force on 31st July 2007—

(a) sections 1 to 4,

(b) Part 2 in so far as it relates to sections 1 to 4,

(c) sections 11 to 14 in so far as they relate to sections 1 to 4,

(d) Schedule 1, and

(e) Schedules 2 and 3, except in so far as they change the law in relation to an activity to which section 5 applies.

(2) The following provisions of this Act shall come into force at the end of the period of three months beginning with the date on which it is passed—

(a) section 5,

(b) Part 2 in so far as it relates to section 5,

(c) sections 11 to 13 in so far as they relate to section 5, and

(d) Schedules 2 and 3 in so far as they change the law in relation to an activity to which section 5 applies.'.

Essentially, I am inviting the House to restore the Bill to the form that we have previously agreed, but I shall also be inviting it to consider proposals in respect of commencement. I want to explain what I am trying to do today. As always, the Government want to be helpful and constructive, giving people time to adjust to the reality of legislation on the statute book. I shall then explain the procedure. I want to do those two things very clearly and without taking interventions, so there is absolutely no doubt about what I am saying. Of course, I will then be prepared to take interventions from hon. and right hon. Members.

This House previously agreed to propose a delay in commencement until July 2006. I have tabled a motion proposing July 2007, and my hon. Friend Peter Bradley has proposed 2006. Those are both choices that would enable this House not only to be reasonable but to be seen to be reasonable by going the extra mile, if we like. The House insists on the Bill as it has already agreed it, with only that date being changed. That is what is before us today.

Let me come to the procedure. I suggest to the House that it is clear but complicated, and I am grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for the clarification that you gave before we started the debate. I want to give hon. Members complete certainty about the impact of what we are asking the House to agree to today. I am advised that passing either motion on commencement would not in any way affect the application of the Parliament Act. We would be passing not an amendment to the Bill, but a motion to propose an amendment in lieu. In other words, we would send the Bill to the other place as previously passed by this House in its Parliament Actable form. Alongside it, if passed, would be the motion making the proposal that the other place amend the Bill in order to delay commencement of the ban. From that point on, the only question is whether the Bill becomes law with the agreement of the other place or via application of the Parliament Act, with or without the proposed change in the date of commencement.

If we send a motion proposing an amendment to the Lords and they accept it, it will form part of the Bill as enacted. If there are no other disagreements, the Bill will pass without the Parliament Act. If there are disagreements, the Parliament Act will enact the Bill as first sent to the other place, but with the amendments proposed by this House today. If neither of the amendments is carried, I will move that this House insists on its disagreement with all the Lords amendments and disagrees to their amendments in lieu. Our position is very simple.