Constitutional Law

Part of Parental Rights (Rapists) and Family Courts – in the House of Commons at 2:16 pm on 10th April 2019.

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Photo of Paul Sweeney Paul Sweeney Shadow Minister (Scotland) 2:16 pm, 10th April 2019

I do not plan to detain the House for long, as the order before us is purely technical in nature. It is necessary to amend previous legislation with regards to the Scottish section of the renewable energy zone and to correct amendments that were previously made to the Electricity Act 1989 by the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (Consequential Modifications) Order 2015.

As part of the 2015 order, there was an oversight in its definition of “relevant waters”. It did not include the Scottish section of the renewable energy zone. The order before us today corrects that oversight and will ensure that the same appeals mechanism applies where there is a challenge against a decision of Scottish Ministers on application for a marine licence in relation to an energy-generating station or site development that would be situated in Scottish internal waters, territorial sea or the Scottish section of the REZ.

We all know the benefits that renewable energy can bring to our society and ultimately our planet, which is why I am delighted that the Labour party is committed to a green industrial revolution and fully committed to our target of net zero emissions by 2050. In Scotland, we are all too familiar with what happens when infra- structure projects of a crucial nature, such as renewable energy, are delayed due to court challenges. In fact, the man who now sits in the Oval Office of the White House and is known as the President of the United States is among the more prominent individuals who have challenged offshore renewable infrastructure projects because they happen to dislike the physical or visual impact of them on their golf courses. The order should prevent court challenges of this kind being dragged out and accelerate the procedure by which appeals are determined by fast-tracking legal challenges to minimise the impact of delays on such infrastructure projects.

The Labour party will not oppose the order as, like I said, it is a necessary but simple technical amendment and correction to the 2015 order.