Standing Orders (Public Business)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:56 pm on 22nd October 2015.

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Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Conservative, Chippenham 2:56 pm, 22nd October 2015

I will not give way. I do not have the time.

No change would mean that we continue to have two tiers of voters in the UK, with some having double sets of representation. Is that democratic or fair? I must acknowledge that with the majority Conservative Government we now have, there is less danger of English matters being voted down by Scottish or Welsh MPs. However, had the election produced a different result, we would face a totally different proposition. Is that right or democratic?

We must remember that resolving the issue of English votes for English laws is overdue. We must not get bogged down in the arguments against these procedural changes. The proposed changes are a just, fair, cost-effective and, above all, democratic way of resolving the issue. The changes seek to restore the voice of the English people. I am a strong believer in localism and in devolving powers, but I am not in favour of cherry-picking certain countries or areas at the expense of others. Voting for these changes will not only show the people of the United Kingdom that we have one voice in one country and that we will not allow the voice of one area to be drowned out, but reaffirm our commitment to a democratic UK, and strengthen and in turn protect the Union by forging a more equal footing on which to move forward.