Part of Environment Bill - Third Reading – in the House of Lords at 4:06 pm on 13th October 2021.

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Photo of The Duke of Montrose The Duke of Montrose Conservative 4:06 pm, 13th October 2021

I congratulate the Minister on the breadth of this Bill, in spite of many misgivings on the extent of the Henry VIII powers that it contains.

When the House was in Committee on the Bill in June, my noble friend the Minister moved two amendments to Clause 20 to do with the requirement for UK Ministers to adhere to environmental principles. The first of them disapplied a clause of the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021. In speaking to the amendments, he rounded off his speech by saying that

“this is in keeping with the devolution settlement. We will continue to work with the Scottish Government to ensure that our environmental approaches work together.”—[Official Report, 28/07/21; col. 581.]

This action has provoked a flurry of objection north of the border and an added disagreement on the appropriateness of legislative consent Motions. This House has an important role to play in constitutional matters, and I think the Government should tell us whether discussions were held with the Scottish Government in relation to this action and whether there are any lessons to be learned about working together.