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Point of Order

Volume 515: debated on Monday 13 September 2010

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I want to raise the question of the written ministerial statement laid at 11.35 am today by the Minister for Europe regarding the proposed Bill requiring any proposed future treaties and amendments to be referred to a referendum. The problem is simply that the statement has not been accompanied by any pre-legislative scrutiny as regards a Bill with which we are going to be provided and it dodges the issue of the transfer of powers under the Lisbon treaty as well as the majority of voting arrangements and co-decision. May I invite you to consider allowing the House to hear an oral statement from the Minister so that we are in a position to ask him questions about this extremely important constitutional proposal?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. He is a seasoned campaigner in the House and first entered Parliament 26 years ago, so he will know very well that the decision on whether a statement should be written or oral is not a matter for the Chair but a matter for the Government. However, the hon. Gentleman’s words will have been heard very clearly by those on the Treasury Bench. In addition, the hon. Gentleman’s new position as Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, on which I congratulate him, will afford him an unrivalled opportunity further to explore these important matters.