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Devolution

Volume 542: debated on Thursday 22 March 2012

5. Whether he plans to submit evidence to the commission on the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons. (101332)

I welcome the announcement by the Minister for political and constitutional reform, my hon. Friend the Member for Forest of Dean (Mr Harper), of the terms of membership for the commission, and I will be following its work closely. Although I have no plans to submit evidence to the commission myself, it will no doubt wish to take account of the authoritative works and voices on this issue, and I hope that my hon. Friend will be among them.

When in opposition, the Leader of the House produced a distinguished pamphlet on the topic that the McKay commission will be studying. Does he propose to send that work to the commission? Also, does the commission intend to take written evidence, and to meet in public to take oral evidence?

The commission will be meeting in public and it has asked for evidence. My hon. Friend is too kind about the work of the democracy taskforce to which I contributed when I was on the Back Benches, but I am sure this exchange will have drawn the commission’s attention to the existence of that important work.

Is not the easiest and most elegant solution to the West Lothian question for Scotland to become a normal, independent, self-governing nation?

“Bring it on” is what we on the Government Benches would say. That particular issue is beyond the remit of the commission, but I hope the hon. Gentleman will do what he can to bring forward the date when we can resolve it once and for all.