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New Clause 8 — Parliamentary requirements

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 2nd June 2008.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud 8:15 pm, 2nd June 2008

That is an excellent point that is very helpful to my argument. If it is good enough for Wales, it is good enough for England and for our planning policies.

This is not just about joined-up government, with different bits of legislation that need to interact, but joined-up action. If we seriously expect the general public to treat climate change as the overwhelming issue of our time, not writing it into national policy statements across the board seems to be a strange way to go about things. At best, it is a lost opportunity. The Minister put his arguments in such a mellifluous way that some of us could be tempted by them. There was charm and certainly a degree of cleverness in the way in which he induced support that may not have initially been there in relation to other aspects of the Bill.

My problem, which I suspect is shared by those who signed up to new clause 1 and amendment No. 1, is that matters change and people move on. It could be implied that something lies behind the words, in the underlying spirit of the legislation, but when it is taken up in the light of day, people forget about such things. They say, "Well, it wasn't quite like that. If you read the Minister's response to the debate, you find that he didn't necessarily say that climate change should be the overwhelming issue that underwrites all of the national policy statements."

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