HC Deb 11 June 1996 vol 279 c121

Mr. William Cash accordingly presented a Bill to provide for the holding of a referendum on the need for changes to the treaty on European Union affecting the United Kingdom's continuing membership of the Union and its participation in European monetary union and a single currency; to provide for the action to be taken consequent on the results of the referendum; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Friday 12 July and to be printed. [Bill 147.]

Mr. Robert G. Hughes (Harrow, West)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. As I understand it, it is an important tradition of the House, which you have upheld on many occasions, that if a Member opposes a motion or a Bill, he or she is obliged to vote against it. My understanding is that the solitary Member who voted against the Referendum Bill was not the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) who opposed it. There were several shouts of "No". Surely—if they had any courtesy—the hon. Members involved should apologise to the House.

Madam Speaker

No, that is not quite correct. An hon. Member who opposes a Bill need only raise his voice in opposition and does not have to go through the No Lobby. It is a matter of raising one's voice.

Mr. Robert Banks (Harrogate)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker

I hope that it is not another bogus point of order.

Mr. Banks

No, Madam Speaker. Although I have the same name as the hon. Member for Newham, North-West, who opposed the Bill, I was the one who voted against it.

Madam Speaker

How very enlightening. I would like more points of order like that. Are there any more? No, so we shall move on.