I know that no hon. Member would seek to mislead the House, but it sounds as if the hon. Gentleman wants to mislead the countryside. In our original discussions with organisations that have been involved in this debate for many years, including the Countryside Alliance, those organisations—including the Countryside Alliance—accepted that the issue was cruelty. That is the subject that has dictated the debate about legislation on hunting. Let me also tell the hon. Gentleman, yet again, that people in the countryside are divided on hunting, just as people in urban areas are. This is not about a divide between urban and rural people.
This House voted on Tuesday to insist on the Bill in the form in which we sent it to the Lords in September—that is, what is generally called the banning Bill. The Lords have now insisted on their feeble version of the registration scheme, so it is the Lords who have chosen confrontation, and I regret that. At this stage, I sense no appetite among supporters of a ban in this House for any change in the House's well-established position. It is the will of this House of Commons to have this Bill. I should make clear that it is not this House that is insisting; it will be the House of Lords, if it does not accept what we are saying today, that will have provoked the application of the Parliament Act.
There remains the question of when the Bill is to come into force. As it stands, it will come into force in three months, on
In their amendments the Lords suggested a three-year delay for all hunting, including hare coursing events, until
My proposed amendment in lieu would give the Lords another chance. It takes the same form as our earlier suggested amendment. It would bring the Bill into force on