Exiting the European Union (Plant Health)

Part of Delegated Legislation – in the House of Commons at 3:59 pm on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Neil Parish Neil Parish Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee 3:59 pm, 8th October 2019

I welcome the Minister to her new position. She is my neighbour and was a great member of the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. I look forward to great work from her.

I echo what Luke Pollard said: there are trees out there, waiting for us to collect them. I too have collected an oak tree. Let us see if the soil in Tiverton is better than the soil in Plymouth. We will see how fast the trees grow and how much carbon they capture.

As the Minister will know, ash dieback—I am not as good at Latin as the shadow Minister—was introduced to this country after seed was taken to the Netherlands and grown into trees, which were brought back here. We can make Britain a bastion of trees that are not diseased. We should do everything we can to make sure that trees we import are healthy, and to grow many more of our own. There could be a real benefit from this statutory instrument, but let us make sure that we get it right. Again, I welcome the Minister to her new role.