Results 1–20 of 2232 for speaker:Mr Patrick Nicholls

Foot and Mouth (3 May 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: The very measured tones in which the right hon. Gentleman has talked about the problem today represent a marked contrast with the reported comments of the Prime Minister, who is said effectively to have remarked that the crisis is over. The case in Wiveliscombe has been referred to, and MAFF has already identified 15 dangerous contacts. Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that, if the...

Road Traffic (24 Apr 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: I shall be brief, not from any uncharacteristic compassion for the sentiments of the House, but simply because I want to enjoy the spectacle of the Minister, who is a popular and intelligent person, having to justify the wholly unjustifiable. I have not always led a blameless life. I have been in the House for 18 years, but before that, I was a humble country lawyer—or at least, I was a...

Orders of the Day — Adjournment (Easter) (10 Apr 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: The unfolding tragedy of the foot and mouth crisis clarifies a number of issues. The first is that it is abundantly clear that Ministers cannot be blamed for the outbreak of foot and mouth. In due course, if the Minister for the Environment is right, there will be a public inquiry into the outbreak. Indeed there should be a public inquiry; after such an event, we have to discover the lessons...

Business of the House (5 Apr 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: The right hon. Lady might have noticed, in answers to questions put down by the hon. Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint) and me, that the previous Conservative Government put £4.8 billion into mining regions, in a mixture of money including redundancy payments and economic regeneration. The right hon. Lady's own Government have poured just short of half a billion pounds into economic...

Points of Order (4 Apr 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You may recall that every day this week I have had to raise as a point of order my complete inability to persuade the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to write to me outlining the circumstances in which a landfill site is being used in my constituency for the burial of carcases. It is difficult to say the same thing in a different way every time,...

Points of Order (3 Apr 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I seek your guidance on a matter that I raised with you on a point of order yesterday—my inability to find out from the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the circumstances in which a landfill site in my constituency was to be used to bury carcases. It is now some five days since I wrote to the Minister asking him to tell me what was going on. I...

Points of Order (2 Apr 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On Friday, I discovered that a landfill site was to be opened in Fosterville in my constituency, which is an uninfected area, and that it was to receive carcases from an infected area. I discovered all that not from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, but from media contacts. I asked the Minister of Agriculture at once to give an explanation of...

Business Statement (2 Apr 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: In view of what members of the lobby are saying, will the right hon. Lady confirm that there will be no provision in the Elections Bill for a further deferment from 7 June? If that is so, how will she deal with the matter? At present, foot and mouth is bad enough to justify the suspension of elections, but if it is the same or even worse on 7 June, it appears that those circumstances will not...

Opposition Day: Foot and Mouth Disease (21 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: I commend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for the way in which he opened the debate. He was correct to say that this is not a party political matter, and he handled it as such. Indeed, how could it be a party political matter? We all agree on the problem, which is foot and mouth, and we all agree on the solution, which is eradication. The right hon. Gentleman's remarks were...

Opposition Day: Foot and Mouth Disease (21 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way because I want to talk to him about that exact point. I quote not a Martian, but a MAFF spokesman who said today: From time to time we do emergency planning exercises. We are not aware if this was one of those cases. Can the right hon. Gentleman understand that it is deeply worrying when MAFF officials say that there may be a planning...

Foot and Mouth (Rural Economy) (20 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: Everyone who has known the Minister over the years will know that he made his statement today with complete sincerity. However, at lunchtime we heard the Leader of the House saying that it is not people who are in quarantine, but only animals. Does that not give rise to the suspicion that the Government do not yet appreciate that they have a national crisis on their hands? I assume that the...

Foot and Mouth (15 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: Will the right hon. Gentleman clear up a point that has been causing concern? He will recall that where a farmer is on a premium scheme and an animal is lost through force majeure, the farmer has to give notice to MAFF, and there is a great deal of attendant paperwork. When a farmer has had his animals slaughtered, would it be possible for MAFF to deem that due notice had been given, instead...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Justice and Police Bill: Weights and Measures (14 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: It is always a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Mr. Cash). His words convince me that the remarks that I am about to make are right. The Minister's opening comments were interesting. It was predictable that he would try to blame the current position on the Conservative party. That is the Labour party's great mantra nowadays. When they change something for which we were...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Justice and Police Bill: Weights and Measures (14 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: Even for the hon. Lady, that is a uniquely silly remark to make. To drift into the Chamber and to ask me to recall whether I voted for a particular statutory instrument in 1989 is, even by her standards, particularly silly. If the hon. Lady had been here for the whole of the debate, let alone the whole of my speech, she would have heard me say that there was something unsatisfactory about...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Justice and Police Bill: Weights and Measures (14 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: I will not labour the point, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but in trying to assess the advisability of going along with that, it was worth making the point that we have a responsibility to understand why we find ourselves in this position. We have the ability tonight to say that the regulations are simply unacceptable. Conservative Members should have sufficient confidence to say that we are not...

Orders of the Day — Criminal Justice and Police Bill: Weights and Measures (14 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: Does it not go even further than that? If it was a question of concern for international trade, and a trader insisted on using a unit of measurement that was not acceptable to potential customers on the continent, he would not be able to trade. People trade in the measurements that their customers want.

Rural Tourism (Foot and Mouth) (14 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: In recent hours, I have been talking to a hotelier in my constituency whose bookings are down by 70 per cent. I have talked also to a rural publican whose bar receipts are down by 90 per cent. When they hear the Secretary of State saying that rural Devon is not a no-go area, there will be stark staring disbelief. Does he realise that the Government are not powerless in the matter? There are...

Points of Order (13 Mar 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will be aware of the devastation that is being caused in the west country by the foot and mouth crisis. It is affecting not only agriculture but other industries, especially tourism, which is suffering from massive cancellations of places and hotels. With that in mind, have you received a request from the Prime Minister or the Secretary of State for the...

Opposition Day: Foot and Mouth (28 Feb 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: I agree with what my hon. Friend has said about the Minister and the wary in which he has conducted himself in this debate, which has been exemplary, but does not the country's ability to face up to the consequences of what has happened depend largely on the success of the economy? For all sorts of reasons, the economy is doing extremely well. Although it would be unreasonable to ask the...

Opposition Day: Foot and Mouth (28 Feb 2001)

Mr Patrick Nicholls: Bearing in mind that my hon. Friend and I both come from the west country, does he agree that it is heart-rending that, even in the absolute misery of their despair, farmers are saying that if there is compensation in due course—we have all been impressed with what the Minister has said recently—it must be for not just themselves, but their communities? The fact that, when they are in the...


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