On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Can you advise the House of the rules on parliamentary privilege? Certain Conservative Members have used the opportunity of the statement to slander NUS presidents and other members of the NUS, and it is clearly unacceptable.
On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. The answer given by the Secretary of State to a point that I made about access to work grants contradicted one that I had been given by his own Department in a response to a constituent’s inquiry. May I ask that the Secretary of State come back to clarify the position?
Both the Secretary of State and those on the Treasury Bench will have heard the point made, but I do not want an extension of the recent debate.
European Union Bill
Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)
Secretary William Hague, supported by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Danny Alexander, Mr Patrick McLoughlin, Mr Oliver Letwin, Mr David Lidington, Mr Jeremy Browne, Mr Alistair Carmichael, Mr Henry Bellingham and Alistair Burt, presented a Bill to make provision about treaties relating to the European Union and decisions made under them, including provision implementing the Protocol signed at Brussels on 23 June 2010 amending the Protocol (No. 36) on transitional provisions annexed to the Treaty on European Union, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community; and to make provision about the means by which directly applicable or directly effective European Union law has effect in the United Kingdom.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed (Bill 106) with explanatory notes (Bill 106-EN).
On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I raised earlier with the Leader of the House my Committee’s concerns at the extremely short time between the presentation of the European Union Bill and its Second Reading. The Bill deals with matters of enormous constitutional importance and it would be appropriate, within the terms of reference of my Committee, to guarantee that we are given adequate time to consider it. I would be grateful, Mr Deputy Speaker, if you would be kind enough to take that point on board for the purposes of ensuring that, within the Standing Orders, my Committee has appropriate time to deal with the Bill.
I have listened to what you have had to say, Mr Cash, and you have made the point that you wished to make.
We now move on to the main business of the day, but before I call Margaret Hodge to move the motion on her Committee’s report, I should remind the House that the Backbench Business Committee has recommended that this item take no longer than 15 minutes. We will then move on to the main debate on policy for growth.