§ Mr. David Howell
The House debated the Government's proposals on 9 December. Draft amending regulations and a technical note on the effects of the weight increases proposed have been published and interested organisations have been invited to comment by 31 January. There will then be a further full debate on the Government's proposals for dealing with the problems of the environment and heavy lorries before any new regulations are brought into effect.
§ Mr. Howell
In my earlier answer I made the Government's position clear. There will be a further full debate on the Government's proposals. That is the right way to proceed. The House debated the issue fully and came to the conclusion that there should be a period for consultation and debate.
§ Mr. Robert Hughes
Is the Minister confirming that, although the regulations as laid down in statute are subject to annulment, a decision will be taken before regulations are laid and come into effect?
§ Mr. Howell
I am setting out the position exactly as it was set out in the debate on 9 December and in my earlier answer. There will be a further full debate on the draft regulations, and following that decisions will be reached on the regulations that are appropriate. That is the position as I set it out earlier, and I am setting it out again now.