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 David Lidington David Lidington Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 6:30 pm, 23rd March 2010

I listened with interest to the Minister's comments, and I am grateful for the support of my hon. Friend Mr. Cash and the hon. Members for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr. Davey) and for Foyle (Mark Durkan) on the matter. The Minister certainly persuaded me with regard to amendment 5-I can see that to delete the words "any of" would introduce an unsuitable element of inflexibility. I am less persuaded, however, by his assurances about whether "shall" or "may" is the more appropriate word to use.

I do not doubt the Minister's sincerity when he says that the Government's intention is to press forward as soon as possible, and I accept to some extent his point that the Government are anxious not to offend the susceptibilities of the British overseas territories and want to bring them with the Government, so that they feel they have some ownership of the legislation as it extends to their parts of the world. On the other hand, amendment 4 would not insist that legislation is extended to the British overseas territories in a particular form. As the hon. Member for Foyle pointed out, subsection (3) provides for "any of the provisions" to be extended; it does not insist that all are extended at once, or at all, to each of the territories. It makes express provision for modifications, including additions or omissions. The Government have less cause to be concerned about amendment 4 than they do about amendment 5. The amendment offers us a way to improve the Bill in a modest but worthwhile fashion, and I intend to press it to a vote.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee proceeded to a Division.

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