Marine Bill through next stage of the Commons

A quick update to let you know that the Marine Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday. The second reading debate is unusual as it is not the time for detailed changes to be made to a Bill, but is rather an opportunity to debate the aims, principles and big issues surrounding a piece of legislation. On the basis of this, the results were encouraging.

The debate was very well-attended, with numerous MPs expressing their deep interest in Bill, as well as the notably high interest that had been expressed to them by many of their constituents. The debate also focused largely on the nature conservation aspects of the Bill, which are undoubtedly seen as its core component. A significant number of contributors did however express concern over whether science was really going to play a sufficiently important role in the designation of the marine protected area network. The Bill now proceeds onto the Committee Stage, where the contents of the Bill are discussed and amended in fine detail. The promising tone of the Second Reading would suggest that the nature conservation measures of the Bill will hopefully be further improved upon.