Standing Orders (Public Business)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:37 pm on 22nd October 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords) 2:37 pm, 22nd October 2015

I do not think that John Redwood should say anything about the number of Members who are present, given that at one point when we last debated EVEL there were only four Conservatives in the entire Chamber.

Both the Leader of the House and Iain Stewart have mentioned polling in relation to EVEL: that is, the polling of Scottish people. According to the result of the most recent polling that I have been able to find—obviously I did not select the polls that were selected by those hon. Members—54% of Scots support the holding of another referendum in the event of EVEL’s implementation. Strangely, the Conservative Members and the BBC selected the same polling when they were discussing the issue.

It has been said that devolution for England is good. It has also been said, from the Government Front Bench, that no one is going to tell the Speaker how to certify. You, Mr Speaker, are going to have to become an expert very, very quickly on quite a number of matters on which you are not currently an expert.

The shadow Leader of the House described this as a fundamental change in the constitution of our islands. As far as I can tell, it is the biggest change that will ever have been made by Standing Orders. It is a massive constitutional change. The Parliament Act 1911 is probably the biggest change that I can find in the Speaker’s role in terms of certification; that change was made by an Act of Parliament, and it was generally agreed that it was massive. However, the Speaker’s certification role in relation to money Bills is much more minor than the certification process that will take place in this context, and much less time-consuming as well.