Peter Bone MP explains the complex changes contained within the Royal Succession Bill. It has its second reading in parliament this week.
The Royal Succession Bill is due to have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on the 22nd January. The Bill is one of the biggest overhauls in our constitution in modern times. The Bill proposes that the line of succession for the Monarch will no longer give preference to men but to the first born of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Bill will also allow Catholics to claim the throne and therefore become Supreme Governor of the Anglican Church of England.
The primary role of Parliament is to scrutinise and debate legislation. Parliament will often spend weeks discussing relatively unimportant issues to make sure that there is no stone unturned.
How can it be that one of the biggest shake ups in our constitutional history is given only 1 day’s debate in the Commons?
Rushing through Bills can often lead to disaster, as the limited time to scrutinise the Bill and discuss repercussions means that unintended consequences are not realised.
This is a clear abuse of power by the front benches of all the major Parties. Unfortunately this Coalition government is one of the worst in pushing through legislation with little scrutiny or debate. Only in extreme circumstances should a Bill be pushed through Parliament with 1 day’s debate, such as urgent action needed to combat terrorism.
Just because the current Royal Succession is hundreds of years old does not mean its reform should be urgent and deliberately pushed through at break neck speed, as suggested by the Deputy Prime Minister.
The issue here is not just the repercussions of the Royal Succession Bill but the attack on Parliamentary Democracy. To push through Bills with little debate or scrutiny is Anti-Democratic. It is against the nature of Parliament and its primary purpose to scrutinise and debate legislation, to ensure the people of Britain are getting the best out of those they elected.