I will come to that point, but I am aware that I only have a minute and half left.
Having made those comments, I strongly welcome the Minister’s commitment to seek to start a consultation process on widening the scope of the ban to other species if the House does not support the new clause today. The Opposition have pushed strongly for this right from the beginning, and I welcome the fact that he has listened to us. On the issue Robert Courts raised, I talked about the consultation in Committee, and I must again draw Members’ attention to the fact that I am an associate of the Consultation Institute. I have taken further advice from the institute, and it has reiterated that the consultation could be carried out both swiftly and efficiently as a supplementary consultation without giving rise to any issues of legal challenge. It is happy to support the Government in achieving a very solid consultation. None of us in the House wants to see any legal challenges to the Bill. If the Minister would like me to put him in touch with the institute—if he thinks that would help—I would be more than happy to do so. With that, I ask the House to support new clause 1.
Two hours having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on the programme motion, the debate was interrupted (Programme Order, this day).
The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (
The House divided:
Ayes 256, Noes 305.