Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill (Programme)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:37 pm on 30th April 1998.

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Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst 7:37 pm, 30th April 1998

I am grateful to the right hon. Lady. Indeed, she is demonstrating the point of the debate. I said something that inadvertently has given the wrong impression, and the right hon. Lady has kindly and courteously corrected me. That is the point of the debate. Already, we understand more than we did a short time ago about the nature of the motion and what lies behind it. We are trying to obtain just that sort of clarification.

I hope that the right hon. Lady agrees that she may be setting an important precedent in the light of what happened today. I know that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, said that we must not discuss that, but it must be at the back of our minds, because an important debate was squeezed out by a combination of parliamentary events. We are now being assured, which I welcome, that there will be a fresh approach to these matters, as exemplified in the programme motion. It will allow the House to deal with PNQs and other genuinely urgent matters secure in the knowledge that injury time is safeguarded for the important debate that will follow. That is what is important about the motion. I hope that when the right hon. Lady replies to this short debate—