The Marine Navigation (No.2) Bill is to be debated in the House of Lords
A Government proposal to give unrestricted power to harbour authorities will be the subject of discussion tomorrow.
The Marine Navigation (No.2) Bill’s second reading will take place in the House of Lords this Friday.
Second reading is the first opportunity for Members of the Lords to
debate the main principles and purpose of the Bill and to flag up
concerns and areas where they think changes are needed.
Through the Bill the Government is proposing to extend harbour
authorities’ power to create criminal offences without making that power
subject to the safeguards, checks or balances which are normally
applied to law-making bodies.
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is lobbying for amendments to be made to the Bill.
In anticipation of tomorrow’s second reading, the RYA has briefed relevant peers on its concerns.
The RYA believes that harbour authority powers should be subject to some form of supervisory checks and safeguards similar to other law-making bodies in the UK.
A recent survey run by the RYA, which attracted 5,000 responses, found that the majority of recreational boaters support this view with more than 70% of respondents expressing the view that such power should be supervised in some form.
Gus Lewis, RYA head of legal and Government affairs, said: ‘We have briefed peers and several of them have confirmed that they will be attending the second reading of the Bill in the House of Lords.
‘We have also met further with Department for Transport officials, the British Ports Association and the Chamber of Shipping in an effort to try to develop and agree a safeguard mechanism, such as a code of conduct.’
After second reading the Bill will go to committee stage – where detailed
line by line examination of the Bill and discussion of amendments takes