Power to Enter into Concordat

Part of Orders of the Day — Government of Wales Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 25th March 1998.

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Photo of Michael Ancram Michael Ancram Shadow Secretary of State, Shadow Secretary of State 8:45 pm, 25th March 1998

There is a saying about a house divided against itself. The Government may have to learn from recent experience.

The new clause has a simple purpose: it is to say that we are still here. So much of the legislation seems to concern moving responsibilities away from this House; the new clause is designed to bring those responsibilities back, especially as they relate to concordats.

I hope that the new clause will be regarded as innocuous enough, and that the Government will accept it. It goes to the very heart of the Government's attempts, ever since 1 May, increasingly to bypass Parliament. I was interested to watch the Secretary of State's impatience as the clock ticked towards the time when the last debate was supposed to end. I remind him that it was he who set the time limits, against the wishes of the Opposition. He should not, therefore, look impatient—