Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business),
That, at this day's sitting, the Motion on Section 5 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993 in the name of the Prime Minister may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. McNulty.]
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I question whether the Standing Order under which motion No. 3 is to be debated is the appropriate Standing Order.
For the past 10 years, the Standing Order has allowed a fishing debate before the Minister goes to the Fisheries Council. As the forthcoming Fisheries Council is the most important for 10 years, would it not be extraordinary if the House of Commons and hon. Members representing fishing constituencies were not allowed to express their views to the Minister with responsibility for fisheries before he went to the Council, as opposed to afterwards? Is Standing Order No. 119(9) the appropriate Standing Order?
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Would it be helpful for the Chair to enlighten Members, such as the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond), that under the Standing Orders any Member is entitled to attend a European Standing Committee and put his points to the Minister? It was the absence of the hon. Gentleman and others that meant that points were not made on behalf of their constituents.