Standing Orders (Public Business)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:04 pm on 22nd October 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ian Lucas Ian Lucas Labour, Wrexham 2:04 pm, 22nd October 2015

I thank the Chairman of the Procedure Committee, on which I was privileged to serve, for preparing the report.

I want to make two points. I think the Leader of the House has heard enough from me, and I am grateful to him for his patience in listening to me. First, I intervened on him to ask why MPs from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland would be excluded from the English Grand Committee set up under these proposals, but there would be no exclusion for English MPs from the Welsh Grand Committee, the Scottish Grand Committee and the Northern Ireland Grand Committee. He gave me no answer. The reason for that is that MPs in this House are being treated differently, a point made with superb eloquence by my right hon. Friend Sir Gerald Kaufman.

If the Leader of the House really believes in the Union, and if he really believes in the equality of Members of Parliament in this place—I do passionately, which is why I feel strongly about this, and I hope he will forgive me for my short-temperedness at some stages in this process—then will he please see that he is giving an enormous gift to those who wish to split up the United Kingdom? I believe passionately in devolution. It is right and proper that we decentralise more within England and devolve to Wales and Scotland, but this is not the way to do it. It has been a fractious, bad-tempered and foul debate today, one that I have not enjoyed listening to, and this is just the start of the process. But the process does not address the needs of my constituents.

My second point is that I represent the constituency of Wrexham in north-east Wales, which is on the border. In my constituency—I will give one example, but I could provide the House with more—NHS services are designed to be supplied from hospitals in England, for example in Gobowen, Liverpool, Manchester and Chester. On the boards of those foundation hospitals are people who represent and are elected from the population of north Wales. The proposals will give me a second-class say on the future of those hospitals.