Motion A1 (as an amendment to Motion A)

Part of Environment Bill - Commons Reasons and Amendments – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 9th November 2021.

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Photo of Lord Cormack Lord Cormack Conservative 4:30 pm, 9th November 2021

Very briefly, I was very keen that all the amendments in your Lordships’ House, when they went down to the other place a couple of weeks ago, should be accepted, but we are where we are and it is a good illustration of a degree of co-operation between the two Houses. I do wish that the other place would not look on us as competition, or adversaries, but rather as a complementary Chamber very much influenced by those with real knowledge and experience, as has been marvellously illustrated this afternoon by the speeches of the noble Lords, Lord Krebs and Lord Anderson of Ipswich, and the noble Duke, the Duke of Wellington.

Led by our Cross-Benchers, we have achieved a considerable degree of improvement to a Bill that started out as a somewhat flawed flagship. I think now we can take a certain quiet pride. It is not perfect; it would have been better had more of our amendments been accepted and had those before us not been doctored a little, but we must not be churlish. However, I do hope that the other place will come to regard your Lordships’ House as not a competitor or an adversary but a complementary Chamber that can add real value. If one compares the depth of the debate in your Lordships’ House with what happened rather briefly in another place, we can be gently satisfied and quietly proud of what this House has achieved.

It would be churlish to sit down without saying to my noble friend Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park that we appreciate what he has done. However, in future Bills it would be a good idea if Ministers in your Lordships’ House were given a little more latitude to be responsive at the Dispatch Box—a little more authority, because they deserve it, and my noble friend Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park has given a lifetime of service to the causes embraced in the Bill. This is a satisfactory afternoon and it would be spoiled by any Division.