I appreciate how long certain people, not least the hon. Lady, have been pushing for this legislation. She must recognise, however, that the Government introduced it in the most unconsultative manner that one could ever imagine. I do not blame her for that, but that is the situation that we have been left with, and she might like to discuss that privately with the Minister after the sitting.
I must say, however, that the Government's last-minute amendments really have saved the clause from totally ruining the leisure pursuits and even the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people in this country. The Minister talked away quite smoothly what amounts to a huge climbdown by the Government, but it is still a climbdown.
That deactivated weapons should be exempted from the scope of the clause is welcome, as is the Government's belated recognition of the interests of galleries, museums, theatres, the film industry, television and historical re-enactment groups. That it should have taken the Government this long to realise their untenable position was simply staggering, however, and the lack of notice given to the Opposition about the Government's amendments was unacceptable.