Requirement to amend definition of ivory

Part of Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) (No. 2) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:15 pm on 4th July 2018.

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Photo of Simon Hoare Simon Hoare Conservative, North Dorset 3:15 pm, 4th July 2018

My hon. Friend has pointed to my effective oratorical default, which is that I never, ever write a speech. I scribble notes on bits of paper and then get terribly confused—sometimes it is a shame and sometimes it is a blessing. In concluding my remarks on new clause 1, I was going to say—again, this militates against the need for it—precisely the point that my hon. Friend made from the Dispatch Box. He and our right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have made incredibly clear their enthusiasm and appetite for expeditiously moving forward to include species such as the narwhal and others, which we are keen to see included.

My hon. Friend Mrs Trevelyan and I have an affection for the narwhal, which might even be described as an obsession. I think it is probably best to keep that to ourselves—we do not need to go into the whys and wherefores of it. However, not only have Ministers and the Secretary of State indicated the appetite to make full use of clause 35(4), but were there ever to be a change of Government—pray God that this is at such an interval that my hon. Friend and I will probably have hung up our boots—I rather get the impression that a Labour Government would also be as keen to exercise the scope of clause 35(4), so trying to put this in the Bill in a new clause is irrelevant.

In conclusion, I recognise the enthusiasm and determination that the DEFRA team have shown on this Bill. I also put on record my thanks for what I think is the unsung work of my right hon. Friend Mr Paterson and my right hon. Friend Andrea Leadsom—the current Leader of the House, if I have got her constituency wrong—who did so much work when she was the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. I also thank the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my hon. Friend Dr Coffey, because only due to circumstances beyond her control was she not able to bring to the point of delivery that which she had been involved in from the moment of conception. She should take enormous pride in the Bill, because it is something that is important for the House to do. Although there was some disagreement about pace and tempo during the Bill Committee and on Second Reading, the unanimity of view does credit to this place. Too often, it is seen through the rather narrow microcosm of Prime Minister’s questions, but when this place gets it, when it understands the need to do something, there is, I suggest, no finer example of the practice of politics. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to play a part, albeit a very small one, in bringing the Bill to this stage.