The law will now come into force on Friday although it is unclear whether prosecutions and arrests will follow. The attorney general has ruled out a "blanket policy of non-enforcement", which the Countryside Alliance wanted to be put in place until all its legal avenues were exhausted.
In a statement, his office said: "The attorney general will, however consider with the director of public prosecutions and police what approach to take in relation to such prosecutions, and will be holding a meeting in the near future for that purpose."
I find it amazing that the government's senior lawyer can suggest, even obliquely, that a newly introduced law will not be enforced to the letter. What is the point of putting a law in place in the first place if the first thing you do when it's on the statute book is to hint loudly that a blind eye will be turned to its flouting. The effect is to reduce English Law to being a branch of the public relations industry, and for a barrister like Mr Blair to bring that state of affairs about would be a sorry epitaph.