Clause 33 — Extent

Part of Bill Presented — Sustainability of Livestock Farming and Food Production (Strategy) – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 23rd March 2010.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Europe) 6:30 pm, 23rd March 2010

It varies significantly from one overseas territory to another. Obviously, the Falklands is different from Pitcairn, which is very different from the British Indian ocean territory. The term of conviction on indictment in previous legislation that we wanted to introduce across all the overseas territories to match UK legislation had to be replaced by reference instead to convictions by the supreme court of the territory, because the concept of conviction on indictment is unknown in the British Antarctic or the British Indian ocean territory.

That is why the two amendments proposed by Mr. Lidington, with whose direction of travel I entirely sympathise, are inappropriate. They rather conflict with the policy that we tried to adopt with the overseas territories, which is to bring them with us rather than simply impose upon them. There is also the element of wanting to ensure that the precise way in which the individual clauses are applied to each of the overseas territories works within the legal context of the respective territories. As I say, they are very different. Over the last few years, we have dealt with each of the overseas territories, bringing in new constitutions that meet a series of other considerations, such as the European convention on human rights or the Human Rights Act 1998 in the UK.

The absolute assurance I can give is that whether or not we end up with "may" or "shall" in amendment 4 and whether or not we accept amendment 5 will make not a single bit of difference to the process we will engage in or the swiftness with which we expect to be able to engage in it.

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