Amendment 236A

Part of Agriculture Bill - Committee (6th Day) – in the House of Lords at 10:30 pm on 23rd July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Chair, Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee), Chair, Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee) 10:30 pm, 23rd July 2020

My Lords, I wish I had the privilege of following the noble Lord, Lord Bruce, but I will be brief, in view of the lateness of the hour. I support Amendments 255, in the name of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope of Craighead, and 263A, in the name the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay of Llandaff. The noble and learned Lord has clearly analysed the issues that need to be addressed in relation to the interrelationship of the Bill with the internal market proposals. The noble Baroness has eloquently spelled out the consequences of our failing to deal with that properly. Both amendments, therefore, are examples of what needs to be done if we are to respect the devolution schemes or change them to make them work better. Again, I pay tribute to the Minister’s efforts in this respect in relation to agriculture.

We must now concentrate on two matters. One is the way in which the internal market is to operate in relation to agriculture; the second is the structures needed. It is too late to begin on the internal market tonight, but I urge that when we return in September to consider the Bill on Report, we are in a position to look at the interrelationship of the Bill with the provisions to be put forward on the internal market. Also, as the noble Lord, Lord Wigley, spelled out so clearly earlier, we must have something to look at on the structures that are necessary to make this work. If we fail to do so, even at the eleventh hour, the consequences for the union will be dire indeed.