We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Schedule 2 - Scrapie

Part of Animal Health Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:15 pm on 4th December 2001.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Conservative, Leominster 6:15 pm, 4th December 2001

Suppose that we view the amendment in a different light and suggest that the Minister ''may not'' instead of must make regulations about payment. My understanding is that taking something from someone without paying compensation is theft—or, at best, borrowing. The amendment would ensure that under no circumstances could the Minister borrow people's stock without making compensation. That is entirely right and proper. Under the Bill of Rights of 1688, no fines or forfeitures before conviction can be binding. That is the basis of what we all believe in—property, liberty and the right to life. In suggesting that compensation should not be paid, the Government are out of order. What better way of triggering the vigilantism, lawlessness and civil disobedience that some have warned might follow from the draconian nature of the Bill than the withdrawal of compensation? It is a mild form of theft, but theft it is, so the amendment is essential.

People delivering a Liberal Democrat leaflet or passing a farm for some other reason may be put in prison for six months. That would be all right if it were for delivering a Liberal Democrat leaflet, but not for something more serious, such as a visit of a Member of Parliament. That is the nature of the Bill and the reason why we must fight every inch of the way to prevent this draconian measure becoming law.

The amendment is vital. The Minister must make regulations to provide for the payment of

''compensation in respect of loss suffered or costs incurred as a result of the exercise of a power''.

If not, we will be forced back to the Bill of Rights and the basic freedoms that we all enjoy in this country. I urge Government Members to consider the oath of allegiance that they took when they were elected. They must protect people on the basis of common law, which is about taking something and ensuring that it is paid for.