[Mr. David Amess in the Chair] — Biofuels

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:30 pm on 5th June 2008.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud 3:30 pm, 5th June 2008

Of course, I agree with that. As a dyed-in-the-wool Eurosceptic, everyone would expect me to agree with that. I am glad that everyone has come around to my point of view. My hon. Friend Mr. Mitchell and I will go to our graves happy that we have reconverted our party to the position it should be in as regards our position in Europe. Never mind; we can live in hope.

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend Ms Taylor. I do not know whether she has read my notes—I cannot read them because they are such a scribble—but she has taken away all my key points. I can more or less sit down and shut up. It is not because of our biofuels policy that we are in this mess; it is the fact that we have a completely insane agricultural policy and, more particularly, that we do not have a food policy. If we could get a national food policy, let alone a European or world food policy, we might be able to do something and have some context to make some sensible decisions on bioenergy, biofuels, biomass and the rest of it.

I will put my hand up here. I am one of those who argued for the renewable transport fuels obligation. I know that politicians do not like to take responsibility for anything because it is much better to say, "It wasn't anything to do with me, Guv. I was always against it." Occasionally, however, we have to stand up and be counted. Three years ago when we did our report, and subsequent to that, there was a group of us who said that the problem with the Government was that they did not get the message; they were not moving fast enough in this area. We were saying that bioenergy had to be part of the solution, and that the only way to make it part of the solution was for us to kick-start it. It was only in April that we got the culmination of that with the RTFO coming into place.