Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill (Programme)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:12 pm on 30th April 1998.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough 8:12 pm, 30th April 1998

I have one brief point to make. At first sight, this may seem to be an entirely innocuous motion to vary the programme of a particular Bill. It sets a dangerous precedent—it packages Parliament. In the past, the Opposition's one weapon was time. Again and again, in the great debates of history—on Irish Bills, reform Bills and many others—Oppositions spent days and weeks debating. The Government are tightly packaging Parliament with a nice pink ribbon so that everything is agreed beforehand and debates have a set duration and finish at a set time. That is all very cosy and nothing ever changes. The Government, of course, win every vote and the Opposition cannot even delay proceedings. Hon. Members who are not present and the public should be very concerned.