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Environment and Wildlife (Legislative Functions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Parminter Baroness Parminter Liberal Democrat 8:15 pm, 12th February 2019

My Lords, this SI introduces to us a number of important protections which we are presently receiving from the European Union. It is very encouraging that the Government are maintaining parliamentary scrutiny through the majority of SIs. However, I would like just to pick up on the issue of leghold traps.

Can the Minister be a bit clearer, and give a bit more detail, about why we will not be going down the route of parliamentary scrutiny on this issue, which is quite controversial? I appreciate that there may be administrative reasons, but if you look at all the pieces of legislation where it is being suggested that we will be maintaining parliamentary scrutiny, leghold traps are an issue that I think that the public would have a particular interest in. They may know very little about mercury or POPs, important though they are, but quite a few people have a view on leghold traps. They might want to know in a little more detail on why they will not be getting the treatment of parliamentary scrutiny through secondary legislation.

The other point I wish to make on this SI, which seems entirely proportionate, is that it brings to the fore the issue of how we are going to align our policies with our partners in future. I particularly cite the issue of CITES—the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species—where it is critical that we have an alignment of regulation, given the huge issue of wildlife crime, to which I know the Government have made some very welcome commitments. I am sure there is nothing in this SI in terms of changing the regulations about how the Government wish to manage that, but it affords me the opportunity to raise the issue of how the Government are going to maintain a very clear alignment with our colleagues in Europe on particularly important issues around wildlife crime.