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Mr. Yeo: I do not know why the Minister is expressing such surprise, because it has always been our position that once emissions trading is fully under way, the principal reason for a climate change levy is removed.
Mr. Morley: The hon. Gentleman is ignoring the fact that the climate change levy is a revenue-neutral tax: it goes back to the sector to improve energy efficiency. It is a green fiscal measure. I support what he said about the scope for extending green fiscal measures, and there is further debate to be had, but such comments are undermined by his point on the climate change levy. It does not make any sense; it is a contradiction.
Let us take the Conservatives' position on wind power, which is an important renewable. It is a myth that wind power is the Government's only policy. We are spending £50 million on marine energy£42 million on tide and wave£60 million on biomass, which does not include the reduction in duty, £31 million on photovoltaics, £171 million on offshore windthere is no spending on the development of onshore wind, because that is well establishedand £12.5 million on community and household schemes. So let us not hear the myth that the Government's one approach is through wind power and that we are not supporting other forms of renewable energy.
The hon. Member for South Suffolk seems to be suggesting that he would give local communities a right of veto over every wind farm development. I make it
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clear that I am not against planning procedures properly taking into account people's representations, but the proposal would mean no onshore wind development in this country. If there is no onshore wind development, there is not the slightest chance of meeting the renewables targets, because all independent analysts predict that 70 per cent. of renewable energy will come from wind power. That is a resource that we in this country should exploit.
Although I welcome the consensus shown by this debate and the thoughtful and considered contributions that were made to it, there is a contradiction at the heart of Conservative policy. If the Conservatives oppose renewable energy, abandon targets and give up any pretence of sharing the commitments that we have made to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they should be honest and admit that they have caved in to industry pressure and given up the green agenda.
That this House endorses the comments of Sir David King that climate change is the most serious threat facing the planet and congratulates him on his work in this area; welcomes the Prime Minister's commitment to make the tackling of climate change a top priority for the United Kingdom's presidencies of the EU and G8 this year; reiterates the UK commitment to a 60 per cent. reduction in carbon emissions by 2050; strongly welcomes the coming into force of the Kyoto agreement on 16th February and the strong role the European Union has played in achieving this; believes that it is vital that, post-Kyoto, the international community works to reach agreement on the action needed to tackle climate change, which should engage the United States but which should also recognise the importance of the energy choices which face many of the major developing countries; calls on the global community to work with them in addressing those choices; rejects the notion that tackling climate change will of necessity damage the economy and indeed suggests that it is failure to do so that will lead to that result; believes that all parties in this House should by their own actions help convince the public of the need to take environmental matters seriously; and therefore condemns Conservative plans severely to weaken the Environment Agency through the massive and debilitating cuts proposed for the Agency by that party, and its damaging plans to abolish the climate change levy.
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): I advise the House that when debating the motion hon. Members should take care to avoid referring to individual cases that may be before the courts. The Chair will be particularly attentive in that respect.
That this House calls on the Government to respond to the House of Lords judgment on Belmarsh with a system of dealing with terror suspects which does not require a derogation from European Convention on Human Rights obligations and which enshrines the principle that decisions on restrictions on individual liberties are taken by the courts and not politicians.
A couple of weeks have passed since the new Home Secretary came to the Chamber and announced his proposals on how to respond to the Law Lords' judgment. There has been a fair amount of media speculation and debate in the press and we Liberal Democrats felt it was important to bring that debate to the Floor of the House. We had the first opportunity to call a proper debate to scrutinise the Government's plans, and we have taken it.
Mr. Oaten: I think that I decided on Thursday morning, when I was struck by the enormous amount of media debate on the subject. I thought that the Chamber was the proper place for that debate, which is why we are discussing the Belmarsh judgment today. I see the Minister nodding.
This is an early opportunity to explore some of the issues, but first let me make two things crystal clear. First, we welcome the fact that the Home Secretary came to the Floor of the House to announce his proposals. For too long, legal judgments and the rulings of the Law Lords were dismissed or ignored by the previous Home Secretary. At least we now have a Home Secretary who is prepared to engage in debate. We do not agree with the proposals, but we welcome the opportunity to participate in debate and find a sensible solution.
Secondly, the Liberal Democrats in no way underestimate the seriousness of the threats facing this country. The fact that we differ from the Government on how to tackle those threats does not mean that we do not recognise that the world has changed since 9/11 and that we now face a different problem of international terrorism. It is worth putting on the record our acknowledgement of the fact that we all owe our intelligence services an enormous debt of respect and gratitude for their achievements in the past three or four years. It is nothing short of remarkable we have been able, with the help of their work, to avoid the type of atrocity that we have witnessed in other parts of the world.
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The question before us is one of balance. We all walk a tightrope: on the one hand, we must ensure that we have in place the proper protections in a changed world; on the other, we must protect the very liberties that the terrorists would take away from us. In our judgment, the Government have got that balance wrong in the past three years, and the measures proposed by the new Home Secretary a couple of weeks ago will make the position worse in many ways.
Let me examine some of the ideas and propose some alternatives in a constructive way, to see whether we can achieve a measure of consensus on the way forward. Before doing so, I wish to make an observation about the level of threat. Although I do not question the general threat facing this country, questions have arisen about the threat posed by the individuals held in Belmarsh. I am mindful of your ruling, Mr. Deputy Speaker, about being careful in our remarks, and as an Opposition Member who does not have access to full information about those individuals, I accept that Ministers might know more than we do, but the release last week of the former detainee known as C raised some concerns.
I understand that intelligence and information can change. I understand that the Special Immigration Appeals Commission reviewed the case on a couple of occasions. None the less, it seems strange that one day an individual is regarded as being so much of a danger to this country that he can be held without charge, but the next day that individual can be released without any conditions. That seems like an extraordinary shift from black to white.
David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden) (Con): My understanding of that case is that there was not a change in the evidence; there was simply a change in the judgment to the effect that the evidence was not good enough.
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