Infrastructure Bill [Lords]

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 3:57 pm on 8th December 2014.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Department for Transport) 3:57 pm, 8th December 2014

I have no doubts about the Secretary of State for Transport. I am proud and privileged to serve under him in the Department. However, I should be more than happy to debate the issue of natural rights with the hon. Gentleman on any public platform. Perhaps he will invite me to do so at our mutual convenience.

The Bill does not alter the involvement of local authority planners, nor does it erode in any way the strength of our regulatory regime, the effectiveness of which has been demonstrated for a considerable time. In Scotland, “oil and gas” is a reserved matter, and the consent of the Scottish Parliament for the Bill is not required under the Sewel convention. Deep geothermal and petroleum exploration are not included in the 20 subjects on which the Welsh Assembly is currently entitled to legislate. As such, the proposals for oil and gas will apply across the whole of our island nation.