Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill (Programme)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:02 pm on 30th April 1998.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East 8:02 pm, 30th April 1998

Yes; furthermore, I am emboldened by that intervention from my right hon. Friend, who has been in the House so much longer than I have, to say what crossed my mind during the intervention by the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr. Stunell). I was not aware that, if something has been agreed without dispute by a Committee of the whole House from which an hon. Member such as me was absent, I am therefore forbidden to raise the issue during a debate on a serious issue which can have knock-on effects on the procedures of the House. I am concerned that, as the maxim says, hard cases make bad law. In this case, soft precedents make useful precedents for the Government to put leverage on the Opposition to accept procedures that we consider unacceptable. It is rather strange that the Government should have given way on an issue that suits them when, as we have seen previously—