A compromise has been reached between the Government and two Conservative MPs to ensure that the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill passed its third reading in Parliament.
Conservative MPs Philip Davies and Christopher Chope had threatened to derail fellow Conservative MP Richard Ottaway’s Private Member’s Bill by voting against it, with only one MP required to vote against Private Member’s Bills to end its passage through Parliament.
However, a compromise was reached under which the Bill will be reviewed in three years time, with a sunset clause for five years. This gives time to evaluate the Bill in action and revise it if necessary.
The new Bill will now go to the House of Lords and now stands a very good chance of becoming law.
An industry group featuring Alchemy Metals, ATOC, British Metals Recycling Association, BT, Calor Gas, Electrical Safety Council, Energy Networks Association, E-On, Network Rail, Rail Freight Group, SITA UK and UK Power Networks praised the fact that the Bill passed through its third reading.
A spokesman said: “We are delighted that the Bill has passed its third reading and would like to thank Richard Ottaway MP and all the supporters of the Bill. We would like to acknowledge and welcome the compromise reached with Philip Davies MP over his concerns. We hope we can demonstrate that the Bill works in the coming year.”
British Metals Recycling Association director general Ian Hetherington added: “Today’s news has been very much welcomed by the metals recycling industry. BMRA has long argued that a ban on cash alone will not have the desired effect on metal theft without a robust regulatory framework to back it up. We have worked tirelessly with Government and other organisations across UK industry to bring about the necessary reforms.
“It is vital that the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill is implemented quickly by Government to close off the loopholes created by the amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act which brought about the cash ban. This will reduce disruption to legitimate businesses while removing outlets for stolen metal.”