Previous SectionIndexHome Page

Mrs. Gillan: Nick Bourne went on to say that there are also divisions in the Labour party on this issue, as evidenced by voting on the Welsh Affairs Committee report, so the Minister should not be quite so keen to attack; rather, he should address the divisions in his own party. He asks how many people have asked for a referendum, but how many have been excitedly battering down his door and asking for this convoluted Orders-in-Council process? Where has the demand come from? If he can point to it, I should be delighted to read the references in the Libraries of both Houses. I do not believe that anybody has been demanding this process, except for the Labour Government.

Nick Ainger: As I pointed out earlier, the three main political parties in Wales stood on manifestos that made it clear that they intended to give enhanced powers, in various forms, to the Assembly. If such demands had not come from those parties, why on earth would we have introduced this legislation? It stands to reason that there is demand in Wales for giving the Assembly enhanced powers, but Conservative Members seem not to want to accept that. The manifesto on which we fought the last election, and won, made it very clear that we intended to give the Assembly enhanced powers. However, the structure that we have provided means that Parliament will remain in control of deciding which powers we will give. That constitutes no significant change from the current settlement, so it does not warrant a referendum. I therefore urge colleagues to vote against the amendment.

Mrs. Gillan: It was interesting to note that when the Minister began his response to this group of amendments, the first thing that he said was, "I am so glad that Members have managed to get that off their chest." Perhaps a lad from Sheffield cannot understand how passionately some Conservative Members feel about Wales, but they do. Indeed, that is perhaps the nub of this debate. The Labour party cannot stand the fact that the Conservatives have been listening to the people of Wales, are now representing them across the board—both in the Assembly and in this House—and want to speak up on their behalf.

We have had a good debate on this group of amendments. I do not agree with the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Mr. Llwyd) on this issue; I would have expected him to support me, but I understand his position. I hope that he may support me on some other amendments because we do make common cause in certain instances. I am surprised that he does not support my proposed device, which would give the people of Wales a greater voice.
 
23 Jan 2006 : Column 1229
 

I hope that people will take note of the honest contribution of my right hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer), who is fundamentally against referendums. None the less, he insists on voting to enable the people of Wales to have a voice through a referendum, because they were consulted on this issue in the first place and because the powers being granted reveal an almost Napoleonic tendency, as he described it. Indeed, given the power granted in clause 94(7)(b), the Secretary of State could almost be called Napoleon himself.

My hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth (David T.C. Davies) also made a good speech. He pointed out that the Labour Government do not know where they are going or when they are going to get there. They certainly are not bothering to consult other people or take them with them down that road. My hon. Friend the Member for Clwyd, West (Mr. Jones) also made a passionate and powerful speech, which was about protecting his constituents and the people of Wales in general.

7.45 pm

This is a complex and unique procedure that amounts to giving enhanced powers and making a fundamental change. So far as I can ascertain, the proposals in part 3 have not been scrutinised by Committees of this House in any detail, despite the Secretary of State trying to give us the opposite impression. This is not what the people of Wales voted for last time and, with respect to the Minister, it is not what they voted for at the general election. They did not have the opportunity to scrutinise the detailed proposals contained in this legislation, and they should have that opportunity. If their views were so important in the first instance, why is it right to disregard them now because of political convenience and expediency?

If this provision is supposed to be compensation for a lack of time for scrutiny, it constitutes bad management. We ought not to be legislating for such a convoluted constitutional procedure simply because we cannot get three measures through. We could have got three measures through in the time that has been allocated to discussing this Bill. We could have supported a truncated Bill, which could have gone through this House relatively quickly, had the Minister removed part 3, for example.

The Bill also diminishes the level of scrutiny in this House. We must remember that the people of Wales vote for MPs in this House not just from the Conservative party but from all other parties, including the Labour party. I notice that Labour Members for Wales have chosen not to contribute to this debate—they have chosen not to let us know whether they would like to grant their constituents the opportunity to have a say in this process.

This is not a transparent process. We are about to enact a procedure whereby Assembly Measures cannot be amended in this House. This is a very important and complicated procedure that will be able to pass, in all but name, primary legislative powers to the Assembly without the people of Wales realising what the Government are doing. Such a confidence trick is
 
23 Jan 2006 : Column 1230
 
perhaps to be admired, but I do not admire it. The Government are pulling the wool over the eyes of the people of Wales. Therefore, I have no choice but to invite Members to join me in the Lobby tonight, if they believe that the people of Wales should have a voice. If, however, they believe that the Government know best and that Napoleon should get his way, they will of course vote against the amendment. But if they do, they will rue the day that they tried to silence the people of Wales in such an inappropriate fashion.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 136, Noes 304.

Division No. 136
[7.47 pm


AYES

Afriyie, Adam
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brokenshire, James
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Cash, Mr. William
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Conway, Derek
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Field, Mr. Mark
Forth, rh Mr. Eric
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gray, Mr. James
Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Horam, Mr. John
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Law, Peter
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Loughton, Tim
Main, Anne
McCrea, Dr. William
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Paice, Mr. James
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, Mr. David
Scott, Mr. Lee
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Syms, Mr. Robert
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim

Tellers for the Ayes:

Andrew Selous and
Mr. Crispin Blunt


NOES

Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, Danny
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Janet
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Bell, Sir Stuart
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Mr. Des
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burnham, Andy
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Lorely
Butler, Ms Dawn
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Caton, Mr. Martin
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Fisher, Mark
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Don
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Holmes, Paul
Hood, Mr. Jimmy
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horwood, Martin
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hunter, Mark
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khabra, Mr. Piara S.
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Kramer, Susan
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
MacDougall, Mr. John
Mackinlay, Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh Mr. David
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moore, Mr. Michael
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Olner, Mr. Bill
Öpik, Lembit
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Price, Adam
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, Angus
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Swinson, Jo
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, Keith
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watts, Mr. Dave
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wills, Mr. Michael
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Wishart, Pete
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Ian Cawsey and
Tony Cunningham


Question accordingly negatived.


 
23 Jan 2006 : Column 1233
 

Clause 93


Next Section IndexHome Page