Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies (Environmentally Sustainable Investment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:36 am on 11th September 2020.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch 11:36 am, 11th September 2020

Clearly, the hon. Lady disagrees that there is a lack of intellectual rigour. Although we may disagree, it is incumbent upon Members to ensure that this is subject to rigorous scrutiny.

In this extraordinary world in which somebody can have 150 proxy votes in their back pocket, anything could happen if it came to a vote. Perhaps the hon. Lady has a very large number of proxy votes in her back pocket, in which case I congratulate her in advance on her preparedness. Who knows what will happen and whether the Bill will get a Second Reading. It is clear from the debate that, were the Bill to get a Second Reading and go into Committee, it would have to be completely rewritten, taking up hours of valuable and scarce Committee time. As the hon. Lady will know, normally, unless the Government say otherwise, there can be only one private Member’s Bill in Committee at a time, so a Committee that went on for a very long time would deprive other Bills of the opportunity of being subject to scrutiny. That is another reason why a more tightly worded Bill is the solution, rather than struggling on with this one. Alex Cunningham, who is sitting behind the hon. Lady, said that the Bill may not be fit for purpose currently but that it will be after it has come out of Committee. Frankly, Bills need to be fit for purpose before they go into Committee.

I will not say much more now, because I have other business on the Order Paper that I hope we will be able to reach. I congratulate the hon. Member for Cardiff North on having excited such interest in her Bill among Government Members, even if relatively few Opposition Members seem to be that interested.