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Record Copies of Acts

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:46 pm on 20th April 2016.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office 6:46 pm, 20th April 2016

It falls to this House to debate issues both large and small. Today’s debate has shown that this issue is both large and small: large because the question of how, as a Parliament and as a country, we record the sovereign laws of our land, and whether we should protect the traditions by which we have done this for many centuries, is of great importance; and small because the financial sums involved and the savings offered by the change that we are debating are but a minuscule fraction of the overall cost of government.

I want to be clear that this is, first and foremost, a House matter. Should the House carry the motion today, I hope that we can work with the other place to find a path forward that both Houses find satisfactory. In that spirit of pragmatism, the Government have offered financial support from other savings, without further burdening taxpayers, to ensure that this tradition, which is of great symbolic and practical value, is not irrecoverably broken by a lack of funding on this small scale.

I commend my hon. Friend Mr Gray on his tireless campaigning. I have been buoyed by the support that we have received from across the House and, indeed, the other place. The case was set out powerfully by him, by Mrs Hodgson, and by many Members across the House.