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Standing Orders (Public Business)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:51 pm on 22nd October 2015.

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Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough 1:51 pm, 22nd October 2015

I cannot. The point about Barnett consequentials that Pete Wishart mentioned is of supreme importance. It is essential that it cannot be argued in Scotland that Scottish MPs were prevented from taking part in all stages of a Bill that ostensibly affected England, when because of the Barnett formula that decision also affected spending in Scotland. The Leader of the House says that that will not happen, but we must have a careful piloting stage. We on the Government Benches love the Union above all else, and we cannot do anything that will add to a sense of grievance in Scotland. There would be a genuine sense of grievance if Scottish MPs were excluded from some stages of a Bill, when that Bill—through non-estimates procedure and debate—affected spending in their own country.

Finally, we must do nothing to politicise the office of Speaker, because this is different to the certification of money Bills. When we pilot this measure, we must ensure that the Speaker is not dragged into politics—that is one of the most important principles to abide by. The Leader of the House understands those points and is listening. We are fulfilling a manifesto commitment, and I wish him well in the parliamentary process.