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House of Commons Hansard
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19 January 2017
Volume 619

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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your guidance regarding the response I got from the Leader of the House earlier. On 23 November, the farming Minister, the hon. Member for Camborne and Redruth (George Eustice), said,

“we will provide an update on the review of CAP allocations before the end of this year.”—[Official Report, 23 November 2016; Vol. 617, c. 884.]

We have had no such announcement from the Government. If these remarks are to mean anything, what powers do Back Benchers have to compel the Minister to give a fair and honest response regarding his promise of an update on the review of the convergence uplift money? These are important matters. We are talking about money that should be in the pockets of crofters and farmers in Scotland, but once again we have not got it. On behalf of my constituents, I say that this is not good enough.

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I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. The short answer is that the recourse available to him—and, I am afraid, the only recourse available to him—is his own quality of persistence. The hon. Gentleman must use the opportunities afforded by the Order Paper, and, indeed, those that he is able to create for himself through the tabling of further questions.

As the hon. Gentleman says, those matters are extremely important. However, I have no reason to believe that, at the time when the Minister said that an update would be provided by the end of the year, he intended anything other than to meet that deadline. It has not been uncommon, under successive Governments of all colours, in this country and around the world, for there to be slippage. Where there is slippage, it is not a matter of order for the Chair; it is a matter for a perspicacious Back-Bench Member to continue to raise. The hon. Gentleman has many qualities, one of which is his perspicacity.