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'( ) Firework regulations may not prohibit the supply of fireworks in such a way as to interfere with the celebration of major religious and national festivals.'.

No. 55, in clause 5, page 3, line 44, at end add—


'( ) Nothing in this section shall apply to—
(a) any person whose trade or business is the professional organisation or professional operation of firework displays;

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(b) any person whose trade or business, or part of whose trade or business, is the supply of fireworks or assemblies, for the purposes of supplying them in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations;
(c) any local authority for the purposes of a firework display;
(d) any person for use, in the course of a trade or business of his, for special effects purposes in the theatre, on film or on television;
(e) any local authority, enforcement officer or other body, where that authority or body:
(i) has enforcement powers, conferred by or under enactment, applying to the firework or assembly in question; and
(ii) before it purchases the goods, informs the supplier that the purchase is to be made for the purposes of ascertaining whether any provision made by or under any enactment and relating to the safety of the goods has been contravened in relation to those goods;
(f) any department of the Government of the United Kingdom for the purposes of a firework display put on by that department for use by that department at a national public celebration or a national commemorative event or for use by that department for research or investigations purposes;
(g) any person who:
(i) is in business as a supplier of goods designed and intended for use in conjunction with fireworks or assemblies; and
(ii) intends to use the firework or assembly in question solely for the purposes of testing those goods to ensure that, when used in conjunction with fireworks or assemblies of the same type, they will perform their intended function or comply with any provision made by or under any enactment and relating to the safety of those goods; or
(h) any establishment of the naval, military or air forces of the Crown for the purposes of a firework display or for use at a national public celebration or a national commemorative event.'.

No. 60, in page 4, line 30, leave out clause 7.

No. 61, in clause 7, page 5, line 13, at end add—


'( ) Nothing in this section shall apply to—
(a) any person whose trade or business is the professional organisation or professional operation of firework displays;
(b) any person whose trade or business, or part of whose trade or business, is the supply of fireworks or assemblies, for the purpose of supplying them in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations;
(c) any local authority for the purposes of a firework display;
(d) any person for use, in the course of a trade or business of his, for special effects purposes in the theatre, on film or on television;
(e) any local authority, enforcement officer or other body, where that authority or body:
(i) has enforcement powers, conferred by or under enactment, applying to the firework or assembly in question; and
(ii) before it purchases the goods, informs the supplier that the purchase is to be made for the purposes of ascertaining whether any provision made by or under any enactment and relating to the safety of the goods has been contravened in relation to those goods;
(f) any department of the Government of the United Kingdom for the purposes of a firework display put on by that department for use by that department at a

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national public celebration or a national commemorative event or for use by that department for research or investigations purposes;
(g) any person who:
(i) is in business as a supplier of goods designed and intended for use in conjunction with fireworks or assemblies; and
(ii) intends to use the firework or assembly in question solely for the purposes of testing those goods to ensure that, when used in conjunction with fireworks or assemblies of the same type, they will perform their intended function or comply with any provision made by or under any enactment and relating to the safety of those goods; or
(h) any establishment of the naval, military or air forces of the Crown for the purposes of a firework display or for use at a national public celebration or a national commemorative event.'.

Mr. Chope: Some of the amendments are in the names of my hon. Friends, so I will not speak at length on those, but amendments Nos. 52 and 53 concentrate on the mischief of misuse rather than supply. I think that our constituents are concerned about the misuse of fireworks. There are already controls over supply under existing regulations. As the Minister said earlier, there are controls over safety. The big lacuna in the law and in the regulation-making power at the moment is in relation to the use of fireworks. That is why I seek in amendments Nos. 52 and 53 to cut out all the other guff and concentrate on misuse.

Mr. Tynan: The hon. Gentleman should be aware that the Police Federation has recently suggested that we should change the law in order to ensure that possession of fireworks is an offence, so that it could be dealt with. I ask him to withdraw the amendment. The issue of supplying, purchasing and possessing fireworks is very important and should be left in the Bill.

Mr. Chope: It is interesting that the hon. Gentleman raises the issue of possession. Is someone who has fireworks in his possession going to be arrested by the police and charged with possessing fireworks? Surely the biggest problem is when the fireworks are used. There are already restrictions on the use of fireworks in the street. If we are talking about giving powers to the police to deal with people who are just possessing fireworks, are we not going unnecessarily far?

Mr. Tynan: The hon. Gentleman should accept, and I hope that he will, that minors often have fireworks in their possession and the police are powerless to deal with that situation. Sometimes, the minors are responsible for antisocial behaviour. On that basis and in those circumstances, it is vital that we give them the power to deal, if necessary, with the issue of possession and supply.

Mr. Chope: I understand the hon. Gentleman's point, but I am not sure that the Bill will deal with the situation that he described. As I understand it, one of the big concerns is that it is not possible to introduce a fixed-penalty notice for anyone under the age of 18. The hon. Gentleman refers to young people and there are already restrictions on the supply of fireworks to them. Will the police be given powers to seize the fireworks in their possession?

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The issue is similar to that of children or young people carrying drink in public places. I believe that the European Court of Human Rights has said that the police can seize cans of drink in the possession of young people only if the young people are consuming the drink or have started to do so. Will we be able to enforce a requirement that young people are not allowed to carry fireworks in a public place? Should they be subject to all these regulations if they have fireworks in their possession? That is my concern. I would like us to address the problem of misuse—and not just supply and possession—much more effectively.

Mr. Tynan rose—

Mr. Chope: The hon. Gentleman is itching to intervene again, but I want to make a final point. I hope that he is as alarmed as I am by what is said in the regulatory impact assessment about nothing in the Bill placing an extra burden on the police or causing them any more hassle. He seems to be under the illusion that the Bill will enable the police to be proactive in dealing with the hooliganism and antisocial behaviour associated with the use of fireworks in public places.

Mr. Tynan: I might not be explaining my position properly but, in the real world, individuals under the age of 18 sometimes obtain a supply of fireworks or purchase them from rogue dealers so that they are in possession of fireworks. Is it not a good idea for the police to have the opportunity to deal with that issue? In those circumstances, the hon. Gentleman should realise that it is in the best interests of the individual, as well as the population in general, for the police—I am sure that they would use their powers in a limited fashion—to be able to deal with the problem of minors having possession of fireworks.

Mr. Chope: We are both keen on achieving the same objective, namely reducing to a minimum the misuse of fireworks. I have heard what the hon. Gentleman said, and I shall listen with interest to the Minister's remarks. The hon. Gentleman has been persuaded by some of my arguments and, in the spirit of the debate, I may well yet be persuaded by his.

Mr. Leigh: I wish to speak to amendments Nos. 64 and 67, which are in my name. Amendment No. 64 deals with the supply of fireworks for private use, and we have already made progress on that matter. The Bill's promoter has already said that he does not want it to apply to class 1 and 2 fireworks. Class 4 fireworks are only to be used by explosive factories; they are not sold to the public. Class 3 fireworks have a safety distance of 25 m and they are used in displays. As a result of the assurances by the Bill's promoter that he does not want it to apply to class 1 and 2 fireworks and that he would be happy for an amendment to be tabled in another place, my fears, which I tried to deal with in amendment No. 64, have probably been addressed.


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