I have posted before about the interminable discussion on the Marine and Coastal Access Bill – we are now on the fifteenth day of detailed consideration (a day at Second Reading, eleven days in Committee and this is now the third day on Report).

I am promised by the Whips that tonight the discussions will stop by 7.30pm.

Why?  Because everything that could conceivably be said – by everyone who conceivably might want to say it – has been said?  NO.  Because common sense has broken out and the LibDems now recognise that this is a good and sensible Bill bringing useful improvements to the legislation governing the protection of the coast-line? NO.

The real reason?  It is Lord Philip Hunt’s birthday today (he is 60, since you ask).  As the Minister he has had to answer the debates on all the myriad of points that have been raised over the last fifteen days of discussion and, I am told, he has said “Enough is Enough”, and that at half past seven he is taking his family to dinner.  At last, a breath of sanity …..

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