Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 9 May 2018.

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Photo of David Linden David Linden SNP Whip 9:30, 9 May 2018

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Dorries.

The Scottish National party’s perspective on the Bill, in outline, is that we support it. We should like to amend it in one or two areas and, as the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton has explained, it is impossible for us to do so until the Government provide a money resolution. The Government regularly talk about Parliament taking back control. The Brexiteers in the Government talk about it. An hon. Member has now secured, through the ballot, the ability to introduce the Bill; the House voted fairly unanimously for it to go into Committee; and the Government are leaving it in political purgatory by not dealing with the money resolution.

I want to make it clear that the SNP will not accept a 10% cut in the number of Scotland’s MPs. We want to amend the Bill, but as we know, we can do that only after a money resolution. I do not want to spend endless weeks in a Committee talking shop. Parliament has spoken and it is up to the Government to respect that. If they do not, I think they will find that the consequences will be quite severe.

The situation brings us back to the fundamental point that Westminster is a place of limited democracy, which is exactly what the Government’s behaviour shows. That state of affairs should end immediately. There should be a money resolution, and we should get on with the job.