Agriculture Bill — Clause 42 — Devolved Administrations — Provison of Information Relating to Agricultural Subsidies — 13 May 2020 at 18:32
The majority of MPs voted to allow United Kingdom ministers to require devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to provide them with information in connection with agricultural subsidies.
MPs were considering the Agriculture Bill.
The motion rejected in this vote was:
- That amendment 39 be made.
The proposed amendment rejected in this vote was:
- page 38, line 28, leave out subsections (4) and (5).
Had it not been rejected the amendment would have impacted Clause 42 of the Bill which provides ministers the power to set regulations for securing compliance with the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Agriculture, and specifically on the classification of domestic support (subsidies). The subsections which would have been removed begin:
- (4) The regulations may make provision requiring a devolved authority to provide information to the Secretary of State.
- (5 The provision which may be made under subsection (4) includes—
The Explanatory notes to the Agriculture Bill state:
- Subsections 42(4) and 42(5) give the Secretary of State the powers to set out in regulations provisions for collecting information for the purposes of compliance with [Agreement on Agriculture] obligations including domestic support notifications and responding to challenges from other [World Trade Organisation] members
Speaking during the debate prior to the vote the MP who had proposed the amendment, Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith, Scottish National Party) stated:
- The amendment I would like to put forward for a vote today is a bit technical. It is explained in some detail and at length in Holyrood’s Sewel memo, or legislative consent memorandum to give it the fancy title, if anyone needs the background, but it concerns the reporting to the WTO. My amendment 39 addresses the concerns in the Sewel memo and would remove the scheme that renders the devolved Administrations subject to the whims of the Secretary of State. It is surely a central principle of devolution that the devolved Administrations should be free to operate in devolved policy areas without interference from the UK Government. As the Bill currently stands, the power to determine how farming support is treated for the purposes of WTO reporting, and therefore the ceilings in each classification of support, are reserved to the UK Government rather than the devolved Administrations, which will still be tasked with providing the support to farmers. I must stress that this is a new reservation; it is a centralisation of function that does not currently exist, so I urge Members to support amendment 39 to remove that from the Bill.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Agriculture Bill, Parliament.uk website]
-  Clause 42 of the Agriculture Bill, as at the time of the vote, Parliament.uk website]
-  World Trade Organisation, Agreement on Agriculture, WTO.org website
-  Explanatory notes to the Agriculture Bill, Parliament.uk website
-  Deidre Brock MP (Edinburgh North and Leith, Scottish National Party), House of Commons Official Record, 13 May 2020
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
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