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Funding Settlement for the health service in England

Part of NHS Funding Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip 3:30 pm, 4th February 2020

Finally, here we are, in the English Parliament after all these years. Isn’t it great? The Mace is down, the signs are up, and the dream of David Cameron has finally been realised. For the first time since 1707, English Members of Parliament will get to vote on English legislation to the active exclusion of the rest of us. I wonder if the Minister could have even dreamed, when he and I were but lowly Back-Bench members of the Procedure Committee back in 2015 and scrutinising the EVEL processes, that this is where we would end up today.

On 19 September 2014 David Cameron promised, in response to the independence referendum in Scotland, that we would have English votes for English laws. Three general elections, two Prime Ministers and countless Leaders of the House later, here it is in all its glory. I wonder, given the responses and speeches that we have heard today, whether anyone on the Government Benches really understands what is going on. We are debating clauses and amendments to a Bill that has been certified as being only relevant to England, but as the amendment themselves demonstrate, and as we have heard in speeches, it will have implications for health spending policy across the whole of the United Kingdom—and very serious issues, too—for mental health, for the construction of hospitals, and for the difference between capital and revenue spending on the NHS.