Animal Health Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 7th October 2002.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 7:30 pm, 7th October 2002

I suspect that "immaterial" is neither a Civil Service nor a ministerial word but a legal one. I can blame the lawyers and possibly reach some consensus in this Chamber. However, it does not mean that "it does not matter" in the sense to which the noble Countess referred but that it is not the determining factor. As I said, if there is a better way in which to express that, I shall consider it. However, as I also said, the amendments before us reverse the meaning rather than clarify it.