Schedule 6 — Marriage overseas

Part of Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:50 pm on 21st May 2013.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough 6:50 pm, 21st May 2013

It is a great pleasure to follow Caroline Lucas who puts her case, as usual, with great sincerity. I will be voting against Third Reading tonight, partly because I think that the Bill is wrong; marriage is between a man and a woman. My real motive for voting against Third Reading, however, is the lack of parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill. We are yet again dealing with an amazing piece of important legislation that owing to the programme motion is going through without proper scrutiny in the House. Yesterday, whole parts of the Bill could not be amended because consideration of the amendments were not reached. I cannot even talk about those amendments tonight because I would be out of order. So we have again to allow the other place to decide on the amendments to a hugely important constitutional Bill.

It seems extraordinary to me that for the Third Reading debate Back Benchers have been allowed 40 minutes, and you, Mr. Speaker, have had to impose a three-minute limit to allow as many as possible to speak. The idea that we can compare this to the days of Wilberforce, when he would talk for three, four or five hours, is absolutely ridiculous. I would go back to that system, and I suggest that my hon. Friend Mr Chope might agree. We should not have had the closure every evening. Why could we not have talked until 10 or 11 o’clock tonight on Third Reading so that Members could have made their points? I would then have been much happier when the Division came that all the differences had been properly considered. I will end there, because other hon. Members want to speak, but I urge all hon. Members, for the sake of Parliament, to oppose Third Reading.