I was not called to speak on Friday 5 July in the private members bill debate on holding an EU referendum .
But I did make two interventions and also raised a point of order.
Here is what I said
Point of Order
“ In answer to an earlier intervention, the hon. Member for Stockton South (James Wharton) said that Members of this House who propose amendments to the Bill would be misusing parliamentary procedure; he said that to do so would be a “misuse.” I seek clarification, Mr Speaker: would it not be perfectly in order for any Member of this House to propose many amendments to the Bill if it gets a Second Reading?”
Mr Speaker replied
“The situation the hon. Gentleman describes in his point of order will arise if the Bill gets a Second Reading. I heard what the hon. Member for Stockton South (James Wharton) said and think, if I may say so—and I may—that it is a point of debate. The hon. Gentleman was making a point of debate to which others can respond if they wish.”
Here are my interventions
“ Does my hon. Friend agree that the Government do not need a referendum decision by this House, because they can go ahead and start renegotiating tomorrow if they wished to do so, and come up with proposals? The problem is that the Government do not have a negotiating position and, as the Foreign Secretary made clear to the Foreign Affairs Committee when we asked him about this, they do not intend to do this until after the next general election.”
“The hon. Gentleman says that he wants out. Does he accept that Norway, which has not joined the European Union, has to pay billions of pounds to get access to the European Union’s single market?”
I intend to table amendments to the Bill and ensure it gets the maximum possible scrutiny.
It is unprecedented that a whipped party majority should be used in this way to stop debate and force through private members legislation.