[John Bercow in the Chair] — Overseas Territories

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:54 pm on 23rd April 2009.

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Photo of Andrew MacKinlay Andrew MacKinlay Labour, Thurrock 4:54 pm, 23rd April 2009

Let me make two points. First, giving the people of Gibraltar a vote at the European elections was not a typical British compromise; it was resisted and opposed by the man who is now the Secretary of State for Justice, who said it would not be done, but he was taken to court by a voter in Gibraltar who won, and beat the British Government.

Secondly, I have never suggested that there should be a Member of Parliament for the overseas territories. This is about access. I used as a parallel the Congress of the United States; the representatives who go to Congress from Guam, the American Virgin Islands and American Samoa have the title "delegate". They are basically non-voting Members, but they can stand up and shout "Foul!" when appropriate, and they can have the normal dialogue and intercourse with other honourable Members. That is what is necessary—not the ability to vote on Essex or Ludlow or Scotland.