Lord Krebs Portrait Lord Krebs (CB)
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I thank the Minister and the Defra officials, who have engaged with me and many other noble Lords very constructively during the passage of this Bill through your Lordships’ House.

I echo the point just made by the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Moulsecoomb: the amendments that have been passed in this House have significantly improved the quality of the Bill. An important point to note is that the amendments had almost universal support from all groups in your Lordships’ House. They were not party-political points; they were points made by those of us who believe passionately in the protection of the environment, now and in the future, to leave a better environment for our children and grandchildren than we have at the moment.

I hope, therefore, as the noble Baroness, Lady Jones, has said, that the Minister will do his very best with his colleagues to ensure that the majority, if not all, of the amendments survive their consideration in the Commons and that we do not have to start the arguments all over again at ping-pong in a couple of weeks’ time.

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Portrait Baroness McIntosh of Pickering (Con)
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My Lords, I congratulate my noble friend the Minister on what was, I think, his first Bill in this House, and my noble friend Lady Bloomfield, as well as the Bill team, who went the extra mile. I particularly pay tribute to my noble friend for the amendments that he brought forward, which is always quite an achievement for a Minister in this place.

I would like to press him a little bit further on reaching a balance, particularly in catchment management and the prevention of combined sewer overflow, an issue to which I am sure we will be returning. We have already seen substantial floods in this country and elsewhere, no doubt due to climate change, and I welcome the provisions of this Bill that will undoubtedly help to reduce that in the future.

I support my noble friend the Duke of Montrose in his comments. I will raise these issues further in the context of the debate on the common frameworks agreement later today.

I want to take the opportunity to congratulate my noble friend the Minister on bringing us to this stage, and to wish the amendments that we have carried a safe passage back to us when the Bill returns to this House from next door.

Lord Marlesford Portrait Lord Marlesford (Con)
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My Lords, if I may, in view of the fact that my noble friend rightly linked this important Bill with the coming COP 26 conference, I warn Her Majesty’s Government not to be tempted to make announcements of targets to help COP 26 on its way which are unachievable for reasons of politics in a democracy or the realities of economic life.