Wild Animals (Circuses)

Part of Backbench Business — [29th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:38 pm on 23rd June 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 5:38 pm, 23rd June 2011

I am well aware of who wishes to intervene.

I turn now to the European aspects of the legislation. The European legislation would apply whether we use primary or secondary legislation to implement a ban. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, in her statement on 19 May, informed the House of the error in referring to an action currently before the Courts in the European Union, and I repeat our regret over that error. Nevertheless, I can inform the House, as has already been stated, that as I predicted on the same day, a case has been laid by Circus Krone against the Austrian Government in the Austrian constitutional court. We know not the outcome, but the fact that that case has been laid supports the legal advice that we have previously reported to the House, namely that a wholesale ban may well be counter to section 16 of the EU services directive, and that any subsequent legal challenge would have the same consequences that I have described.