Debates between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove

There have been 8 exchanges between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove

1 Wed 1st May 2019 Environment and Climate Change
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3 interactions (294 words)
2 Thu 21st February 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3 interactions (164 words)
3 Thu 10th January 2019 European Union (Withdrawal) Act
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3 interactions (294 words)
4 Wed 21st November 2018 Fisheries Bill
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3 interactions (339 words)
5 Wed 4th July 2018 Sustainable Fisheries
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3 interactions (725 words)
6 Mon 4th June 2018 Ivory Bill
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3 interactions (575 words)
7 Thu 26th October 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3 interactions (182 words)
8 Thu 20th July 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3 interactions (229 words)

Environment and Climate Change

Debate between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove
Wednesday 1st May 2019

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard
1 May 2019, 2:27 p.m.

I repeat my gratitude to the right hon. Gentleman for all the work he did. There are a number of multilateral institutions through which we work, and this Government are committed—I am grateful for the Opposition’s support—to bringing the conference of parties on climate change to London in 2020, to ensure that this country can build on the achievements that my right hon. Friend the Member for Hastings and Rye (Amber Rudd) helped to secure at Paris and so we ensure that Britain can show global leadership on the environment and climate change.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Hansard
1 May 2019, 2:28 p.m.

My right hon. Friend will know that he and I were on different sides in the referendum, but does he agree that it was deeply frustrating, as Environment Ministers, to have to sit in EU co-ordination meetings lowering the standards and ambitions of the United Kingdom Government to reach a single point of agreement? It is not a binary issue. Britain has a very ambitious international commitment, and I found myself constantly having to lower those ambitions to maintain one point of agreement.

Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Parliament Live - Hansard
1 May 2019, 2:28 p.m.

My right hon. Friend knows how important it is to negotiate hard in every international forum, but he also knows, as a former Minister who is committed to the environment and who supported remaining in the European Union, that there are committed environmentalists who are strongly in favour of our membership of the European Union and committed environmentalists who welcome our departure. Nobody could say that my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith) or Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb are, in any way, anything other than sincere campaigners for environmental enhancement, and they both feel—I think this is completely open to debate—that we can achieve those goals as effectively, if not better, outside the European Union.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove
Thursday 21st February 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Parliament Live - Hansard
21 Feb 2019, 9:35 a.m.

We have had extensive discussions with the Local Government Association and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. We want to move towards mandatory food waste collection across all local authorities, and we intend to ensure that resources are available to help them to do just that.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard
21 Feb 2019, 9:36 a.m.

Anaerobic digestion of food waste used to be prohibitively expensive for local authorities, but now there has been a massive drop in the cost so savings are available for local authorities and businesses if they opt for this kind of food waste disposal. What measures can the Government take to promote this as a really good green method of reducing food waste?

Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard
21 Feb 2019, 9:36 a.m.

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. Anaerobic digestion can play an important part in dealing with food waste and making sure that we have a truly circular economy. We want to work both with local authorities and with farmers and land managers to make sure that, where appropriate, anaerobic digestion can be expanded.

European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Debate between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove
Thursday 10th January 2019

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Parliament Live - Hansard
10 Jan 2019, 12:14 p.m.

I absolutely can. One of the opportunities that the citizens of Northern Ireland would have as a result of the deal is unimpeded access not just to the rest of the UK market, which is essential for the maintenance of our Union, but to the rest of the EU. That is why the Ulster Farmers’ Union, Ulster business and so many in Northern Ireland’s civil society have said that, with all its imperfections, the deal protects not only the integrity of the UK, but their livelihoods, jobs and futures.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard
10 Jan 2019, 12:14 p.m.

My right hon. Friend mentioned the Ulster Farmers’ Union. Has he had time today to see the letter written by the presidents of all four farmers unions to every Member setting out quite clearly why no deal would be so damaging to the interests of rural communities?

Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Parliament Live - Hansard
10 Jan 2019, 12:19 p.m.

I have read that letter. It has been sent to every Member, and I would ask every Member to give it close attention. Our farming communities, like our country, were split over whether to leave. A majority of farmers voted to leave, recognising the opportunities that being outside the CAP would present, but I have yet to meet a single farmer who believes that a no-deal Brexit would be the right option for this country when the withdrawal agreement in front of us provides the opportunity for tariff-free and quota-free access for agricultural products to the EU.

I will say a bit more about the specific challenges of a no-deal Brexit. It is an intellectually consistent position, but it is important, even as we apprise it and pay respect to its advocates, that we also recognise the real turbulence that would be caused, at least in the short and medium term, to many of our farmers and food producers.

Fisheries Bill

(2nd reading: House of Commons)
(Money resolution: House of Commons)
(Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons)
Debate between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove
Wednesday 21st November 2018

(1 year, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Bill Main Page
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard
21 Nov 2018, 2:33 p.m.

My hon. Friend knows what she is talking about, and she is absolutely right. It is the case that the Scottish National party wants us to stay in the European Union, and therefore in the common fisheries policy. It is also the case that the Scottish National party’s MEPs, when given the chance to vote in the European Parliament, voted to stay in the common fisheries policy. However, I do want to acknowledge that there are independent members of the SNP who do not toe the line of their leadership. There are individual voters who have lent the SNP their votes in the past but who do not agree with that view. Also, to be fair, the Scottish Government and the Minister responsible, Fergus Ewing, in helping to ensure that this legislation can work for Scotland, have operated in a constructive manner, as indeed have officials in the devolved Administrations—sadly, we do not have the Executive in Northern Ireland, but the officials there have negotiated in good faith, as have the Labour Administration in Cardiff. I want to underline that the legislation we bring forward will see powers moving to the devolved Administrations. It will be a diffusion of power and a strengthening of devolution.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Hansard
21 Nov 2018, 2:34 p.m.

Many individuals and organisations campaigned very hard to get the firmest rules on sustainability as part of reform of the common fisheries policy. Will my right hon. Friend give them an assurance that any vessel fishing in British waters after we leave the European Union will be required to maintain the highest levels of sustainability for those fish stocks, and to work with the Government to do so?

Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard
21 Nov 2018, 2:34 p.m.

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. The Bill makes it clear that there are principles, to which the Government will be held, that ensure that fishing will be sustainable and that our marine environment will be restored to full health. The Bill also gives the Government powers to ensure that no vessel can fish in our waters unless it adheres to those high environmental standards.

Sustainable Fisheries

Debate between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove
Wednesday 4th July 2018

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Parliament Live - Hansard
4 Jul 2018, 2:01 p.m.

I thank the hon. Lady for her generous welcome of so much of the White Paper. I thank her, too, for reflecting on its optimistic tone, which reflects the sunny disposition that is always there in DEFRA Ministers’ statements.

The hon. Lady asked what we have already achieved. Not only have we already achieved withdrawal from the London fisheries convention, but we have made it clear, as has the European Union, that although we of course will have a transition process, in the December 2020 Council—that is, even before the transition process ends—the UK will be treated as an independent coastal state and will negotiate as a third country. The European Union acknowledges that we will be leaving and negotiating separately at that point, and that is something that the whole House, and certainly the Opposition, can welcome.

The hon. Lady referred to the fact that 70% of the fish that we catch is exported, and of course it is, because, as I mentioned in my statement, it is high-quality fish caught by the brave men and women who go to sea. We will of course ensure through our future economic partnership, which is being negotiated separately, that we continue to have as-frictionless-as-possible access to European markets. Michel Barnier, someone whom I hugely admire, has himself pointed out that he wants to ensure that the free trade agreement that is concluded between the UK and the EU has neither quotas nor tariffs, so we can look forward to a bright future there, as well.

The hon. Lady mentioned national marine parks. That sounds like a great idea, but while Labour has been talking in the abstract about national marine parks, the Government have been getting on with the hard work of designating and protecting new marine protected areas around our coastline. The Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk Coastal (Dr Coffey) has built on the work of my right hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Richard Benyon) to show how a Government who are absolutely committed to instituting appropriate protection for our coastline can make a real difference.

The hon. Lady was quite right to mention the under-10 metre fleet. As I mentioned in my statement and as is made clear in the White Paper, we want to ensure that new fishing opportunities are allocated in a way that supports that fleet, but, again following the steps undertaken by my right hon. Friend the Member for Newbury when he was Fisheries Minister, quota has already been reallocated to support the under-10 metre fleet.

I wish to make one final point, which I suspect I may make a couple of times this afternoon. These opportunities arise as a result of our departure from the common fisheries policy. When an opportunity was given to vote for absence and departure from the common fisheries policy in the European Parliament, Labour Members of the European Parliament voted against it. It is all very well to will the end, but unless someone supports the means, which Labour has not done, they are not a true friend of our fishermen.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard
4 Jul 2018, 2:04 p.m.

My right hon. Friend will know that there is no greater critic of the common fisheries policy than me, but I am sure he would agree that even had we not gone into it, we would probably still have a problem, because man’s technical ability to harvest vast quantities from the sea has been a problem the world over. I very much hope that the White Paper contains a firm commitment to an ecosystems approach to fisheries management and that within that there is the possibility of rebalancing fishing opportunity to try to assist the smaller, more local fishing fleet and give it a fairer cut of the opportunity.

Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Parliament Live - Hansard
4 Jul 2018, 2:04 p.m.

When my right hon. Friend was a DEFRA Minister, he contributed significantly to improvements to the common fisheries policy, and fishing and coastal communities throughout the United Kingdom owe him a particular debt. He is right on both his points: in or out of the CFP, we have to make sure that conservation measures are at the heart of our future policy, and it is also right that we do more, particularly for coastal communities where they use inshore vessels, to ensure that opportunities are reallocated to benefit them and the communities and businesses built around them.

Ivory Bill

(2nd reading: House of Commons)
(Money resolution: House of Commons)
Debate between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove
Monday 4th June 2018

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Bill Main Page
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard
4 Jun 2018, 7:22 p.m.

I absolutely will, because it is incumbent on all of us across the globe to take action. The specific request from African nations could not be clearer, so it is incumbent on us in the United Kingdom, countries in the far east—which often constitute the biggest market for ivory—and also countries like the United States, which has a distinguished global leadership role, to take action; it is incumbent on all of us to play our part as well.

I think there is an appreciation across the House of the importance of the elephant as a species. I mentioned earlier that it is a keystone species: if it were not for the elephant we would not have the means by which we maintain balance in the savannahs and grasslands of Africa. That is in the nature of the role the elephant plays, by the way in which it feeds and—without wanting to go into too much detail in the House—the way in which it excretes. It is important that we make sure that the elephant survives, because without it savannah and grassland would not survive, and without it we would not have species like zebra or like antelope, and without them we would not have the magnificent predators—the charismatic megafauna, the lions and others which feed on those creatures. So by removing the elephant we would not just see one of the most iconic, beautiful and awe-inspiring species with which we share this planet disappear; we would also unloose upon Africa a cascade effect of environmental degradation and damage that I think none of us could possibly countenance.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Hansard
4 Jun 2018, 7:22 p.m.

My right hon. Friend is making a very important point about the pyramid of biodiversity that is protected when one protects the megafauna at the top, but does he agree that conservation of the elephant is essentially a human interface that we have to get right, and that organisations such as the Northern Rangelands Trust in Kenya have been extraordinarily successful in making sure that local people see the value of wildlife? We can assist in that through our role as an international mediator, although we are not a range state.

Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard
4 Jun 2018, 7:24 p.m.

My right hon. Friend, who played an immensely distinguished role as a Minister in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in leading on the defence of biodiversity and support for wildlife, is absolutely right. As well as acknowledging the role that elephants play as an iconic species in their own right and as a keystone species in guaranteeing biodiversity, the successful co-existence of elephants alongside man is a sign of an effective and functioning nation in Africa which is on the right path for the future. It has been so encouraging that enlightened leadership across African nations recognises the vital importance of ensuring that man and the elephant can live alongside one another in appropriate harmony.

It is also the case, of course, that there are forces within African nations that can see in the ivory trade an opportunity to make money, to feed organised crime and to support terrorist and other activity, and it is precisely because ivory poaching and the illegal wildlife trade sustain organised crime and subsidise terror that it is in the interests of all of us who not only want to protect nature and biodiversity, but want to see human societies and other states flourish, to take action to stamp out this crime, and that is what this Bill seeks to do.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove
Thursday 26th October 2017

(2 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard
26 Oct 2017, 9:30 a.m.

I completely agree. We lose 20,000 of these magnificent creatures every year. It is simply not good enough for the world to wash its hands and say that this is a responsibility of only developing nations. We have to act together globally to ensure that the threat to this magnificent animal is properly met.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Hansard
26 Oct 2017, 9:30 a.m.

As my right hon. Friend examines the answers to the welcome consultation, will he disregard the scare stories being put about by certain parts of the antiques industry that say that old and much-valued artefacts will be destroyed under his proposals? That is not the intention. The intention is much more important—it is to help an iconic species that is on the verge of the risk of extinction.

Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard
26 Oct 2017, 9:30 a.m.

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. His campaigning has been inspirational, and he is right to call out the one or two isolated voices who have attempted to generate scare stories about our consultation. Significant organisations across the cultural, antiques and art market sector have welcomed the nature of the consultation, and I am grateful for their constructive approach.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Richard Benyon and Michael Gove
Thursday 20th July 2017

(3 years ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard
20 Jul 2017, 10:13 a.m.

As someone who grew up with the scent of smoked fish in their nostrils, because that is what my father produced, I am committed to making sure that we have the best protection. Only last week, I visited H. Foreman & Son, who now enjoy a designation as providers and producers of London cure smoked salmon. As we have just discussed, we will have the opportunity outside the EU to ensure that British food can be more effectively branded as British and best.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Hansard
20 Jul 2017, 10:14 a.m.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the thought that must sit in his head as he plans a new management system for our fisheries is that it has to be on an ecosystems basis? That will allow him to ignore the simple blandishments of so many people who claim that there is a one-size-fits-all approach to fisheries management, which was the big failing of the common fisheries policy.

Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove - Hansard

My right hon. Friend is right. He was a brilliant fisheries Minister, who was responsible within the EU for ensuring that the common fisheries policy, imperfect as it is in so many ways, was reformed to deal with discards and to develop our fish stocks on a more sustainable basis. Outside the EU, as an independent coastal state, we can do even more, but he is right that conservation must be at the heart of our policy.