Animal Health Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 7th October 2002.

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Photo of Lord Prior Lord Prior Conservative 6:15 pm, 7th October 2002

I have come to the debate rather late, for which I apologise. I want only to twist one or two tails.

I can just imagine the scene around the table when this amendment was being discussed with Ministers. I can hear the civil servants saying, "Minister, this is very dangerous stuff. This will lead us into all sorts of difficulties and a lot of unnecessary work". Sir Humphrey would say, "Minister, I think that we had better turn it down".

Actually it is a sensible course to pursue. If there were proper discipline, as the noble Countess said, we would overcome a lot of our problems. Not only that—we would create a lot more confidence than there is at present. I beg the Minister to think again, not take the advice of his civil servants. They are far too conservative and far too keen on these occasions—I have great admiration for civil servants on many occasions—to say, "This is going to create a tremendous amount of work and would be an absolute minefield. Minister, please turn it down". I hope that the noble Lord will not listen to them.