Secretary of State’s powers to give financial assistance

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 30th October 2018.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:30 pm, 30th October 2018

I think it is probably best if I answer one intervention before I take another.

We are in the middle of a huge decision to leave the European Union. An enormous amount of work is needed under the withdrawal Act to ensure that we have a functioning statute book on year one; we all recognise that, and it will necessarily take priority in the months ahead. However, I reassure the hon. Member for Stroud that all the EU regulations that bind us on this issue will still be in force in UK law when we leave the EU at the end of March. That will be unaffected by whether a Bill that recognises animal sentience has been introduced, because none of the regulations that we are bringing across are contingent on the overarching principle of animal sentience.