New Clause 98 - Offence of pet theft

Part of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:54 pm on 5th July 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence) 9:54 pm, 5th July 2021

It is fair to say that in this Parliament the Government have a strong majority, but they need to use it wisely and responsibly. I commend the Minister and the Lord Chancellor, both of whom have demonstrated this afternoon and evening a willingness to listen on some issues. They have given commitments that there will be resolutions in the other place. Earlier I expressed my disappointment that the Committee process did not get the Bill into the shape I believe it needed to be.

There are still profound concerns, not just for those who are likely to offer opposition, but for those, including myself, who have recognised and expounded on issues with what some of the Bill’s provisions say and with how they have been articulated. Even though the Minister indicated that perhaps there are some misconceptions or misperceptions about what it entails, sadly the House has not had the opportunity to consider the Bill in full. Time has been limited this afternoon and we are the worse for it, but I suspect that the other place will have much longer on the Bill and we may see significant opportunities for change.

I encourage Ministers to consider positively new clauses 44 to 50, which sought to mirror the provisions on human trafficking and sexual exploitation that already apply in Northern Ireland. I do hope that they will give them earnest consideration. We secured their passage in Northern Ireland some four years ago; they are important legislative changes.

On the basis of the four or five aspects of the Bill that apply in Northern Ireland—those on obtaining information from electronic devices, on assisting with samples and recovery of remains, on sexual offences and on some mutual recognition provisions across the United Kingdom —we will support Third Reading, while recognising that we have reservations to which no doubt we will return on another occasion.