Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Bill — 4 Jun 1997
Question proposed , That the clause stand part of the Bill.
Question put and agreed to.
Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
It being half-past Eight o'clock , The Chairman put the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that hour.
Clauses 3 to 6 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Schedules 1 and 2 agreed to.
Bill reported, without amendment.
Order for Third Reading read.
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
The Bill is short and simple and my contribution can be similarly brief. During the debate on the Scottish amendment my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands) took up a point with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland about the provision of local information in Wales. We are discussing with the chief counting officers at county borough level the provision of information and our intention is that it will be released. But, if possible, we want the result to be declared nationally first. We are discussing how both those objectives can be accommodated and we shall announce our conclusions in due course.
The Bill authorises the holding of referendums in Scotland and Wales as the first step in the Government's programme of radical constitutional reform. A mood for constitutional change is abroad in Scotland and Wales and the referendums will give people in each country the opportunity to express their views on the Government's devolution proposals. We promised them that opportunity and we now intend to deliver on that promise.
We do not have to do this. Our election victory gave us a clear mandate for our policy to decentralise power to the people of Scotland and Wales. We could simply have
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proceeded with the necessary legislation, but we want to secure popular support for those policies, as our manifesto promised.
Question put , That the Bill be now read the Third time:--
The House divided: Ayes 339, Noes 148.
MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party are marked in red. Also shows which MPs were ministers at the time of this vote. You can also see every eligible MP including those who did not vote in this division.