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

I am extremely grateful, as always, for that guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have sufficiently made my point about what might happen in the future. It is the events of the very recent past—this afternoon—that put doubts into the minds of hon. Members. A debate on an important matter—I will not discuss its subject now—which was scheduled to last for three and a half hours lost one and a quarter of those hours. Even my arithmetic shows that in one hour and a quarter, with the 10-minutes rule operating, seven or eight more hon. Members would have been able to take part in the debate.

We can conclude from the fact that the Government are willing to give injury time on this issue that they clearly regard it as more important to confer powers on the new Scottish Parliament than to debate Westminster's loss of powers to Brussels, as we wanted to do in the truncated debate this afternoon.