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Summary

  1. The Commons day began with questions to ministers from the Northern Ireland Office at 11.30 GMT.
  2. At noon, the prime minister answered questions from Labour leader Ed Miliband and MPs.
  3. Labour MP Andy Sawford's ten minute rule bill on the renationalisation of the railways was approved at first reading, after a vote
  4. The day's main business was the second reading of the Taxation of Pensions Bill, followed by an adjournment debate on Callum Wark and sentencing of foreign drivers.
  5. The Lords began at 15.00 GMT as Lord Goddard of Stockport was introduced as a new peer.
  6. Following questions, peers debated devolution following the independence referendum in Scotland.

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

Conclusion in the Lords

Lord Wallace winds up the debate on devolution following the Scotland referendum, which brings an end to the day in the House of Lords.

Peers will be back at 11.00 BST on Thursday with a trio of debates on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, giving football fans a greater say in the running of clubs and combating slavery in supply chains.

Government response

Scottish Office Spokesman and the Advocate General for Scotland Lord Wallace of Tankerness is tasked with responding to the mammoth debate for the government.

Just under 50 peers have spoken in the five hour debate so far.

Lord Wallace of Tankerness
BBC

Forsyth criticism

After attacking many people involved in the Scottish independence referendum - "the Prime Minister was weak, Labour were wrong, Alex Salmond was cynical" - the former Scotland Secretary Michael Forsyth accuses the government of "playing into the hands of the separatists" by rushing to offer greater powers to Scotland when it looked like Scotland may have voted to leave the UK.

The remedy to the problems around devolution "cannot be left in the hands of political parties" and cannot be rushed through by a

commission, Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, as he is now known, tells peers.

Calling for a constitutional convention involving people from all parts of the UK and all levels of government to be established Lord Forsyth says Scottish devolution is not "just a matter for Scotland but a matter for the British People as a whole if the UK is to be secured on a sound foundation for the next 300 years."

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean
BBC

Devolution structure

While Westminster continues to be the supreme lawmaker in the UK, governments in

Scotland,
Wales and
Northern Ireland have had varying degrees of power transferred to them.

While a greater amount of power has been devolved to the Scottish Government - which had agreed to new powers to set a Scottish rate of income tax before the independence referendum - all three are responsible for issues including health, education, culture and parts of the economy.

All three are still funded by central government through a system known as the Barnett Formula.

Though they do not have an upper chamber i.e. a House of Lords, all three legislatures largely mirror Westminster with elected members passing legislation on devolved matters, and holding the Ministers to account through committees and debates.

In a similar vein some powers have been devolved to the Mayor of London, though on a smaller scale.

Welsh devolution

Former Leader of Plaid Cymru Lord Elis-Thomas says the discussion around devolving powers to Scotland should be used to widen the debate about devolution of powers to Wales and "sharpen up" the wording of the

Wales Bill - which sets out the latest round of powers to be devolved to the Welsh Assembly.

The bill implements recommendations contained in the

first Silk Commission report on devolution in Wales including new borrowing powers. If passed, several tax and borrowing powers will be devolved to the Welsh Assembly, including stamp duty, land tax and landfill taxes, and a referendum on the devolution on income tax will be established.

Lord Elis-Thomas
BBC

Political gamesmanship

Speaking from the backbenches, and thus in a personal capacity, Labour's shadow communities and local government minister Lord Beecham tells peers that decentralisation of power and resources to local government, not the "political gamesmanship of English votes for English laws", is the answer to the issues raised by the devolution debate.

Giving greater powers to pre-existing local and regional government's would "redress the profound inequality which disfigures our society" and would "restore hope to the community, where too many lives have been stunted by poverty and a sense of being neglected."

Change could only occur if greater funds were transferred with them to bolster unpredictable income from tax, Lord Beecham says.

Despite the serious content of Lord Beecham's speech it began with laughter from around the chamber when he was unable to remember the of new peer Lord Lennie, despite being sat next to him.

Lord Beecham
BBC

Motion details

Peers are debating a motion "to move that this House takes note of devolution following the Scotland referendum". While this give peers the opportunity to state their opinions on devolution to the government, pronouncements today will not change government policy.

Lessons learned

Labour peer Lord Foulkes of Cumnock accuses party leaders of "learning nothing" from the result of the Scottish independence referendum.

"Whitehall doesn't seem to realise how close we came to disaster, we were at the edge of a precipice and we nearly went over" he tells peers.

If parliament doesn't come up with "credible and stable" proposals for greater devolution in Scotland "we'll be back to the precipice sooner rather than later" Lord Foulkes warns.

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock
BBC

Regional devolution

Former Scottish Conservative MP David Maclean, now Lord Blencathra, tells peers the answer to the infamous

West Lothian Question is "English votes for English Laws" in the House of Commons.

Since the formation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 Scottish MPs have been able to vote on English laws but English MPs have not had the right to vote on all Scottish matters, making English MPs "second class citizens" Lord Blencathra argues.

The "inequity" in a "two tier House of Commons" must be tackled first Lord Blencathra says, adding there is no appetite for "piecemeal regional devolution" in England.

Lord Blencathra,
BBC

Smith Commission

Following its first full meeting, the Smith commission agreed a set of principles for the cross-party talks, including a commitment that the outcome of talks would not be "conditional on the conclusion of other political negotiations elsewhere in the UK".

In a debate on devolution in the House of Commons earlier this month, William Hague said the "legitimate expectations" of the English people must be recognised when more powers are given to Scotland.

Labour has said it will boycott a body set up by the Conservatives to examine the role of English MPs in Parliament.

Labour say such fundamental decisions should be delayed until after the 2015 election for consideration as part of a wide-ranging constitutional review

Metropolitan elites

Former Scottish First Minster Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale says that current plans from Labour and Conservative parties for further tax powers are insufficient and calls for a UK wide change in policies and institutions to address the gap between the "metropolitan elites" and the people of the UK.

Though unhappy about the devolution promises made by the three main Westminster party leaders Lord McConnell says the Smith commission on Scottish devolution must be "driven on the principles" of subsidiarity, mutual respect, fiscal responsibility and a commitment to doing nothing to damage the UK's single market.

The closeness of the Scottish independence referendum should make "politicians sit up and take notice" of the message that voters are unhappy and see that "a political elite are just in it for themselves."

Scottish First Minster Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
BBC

Maiden speech

Former Deputy Secretary General of the Labour Party, Lord Lennie, makes his maiden speech in the House of Lords.

Devolution means "government done at a lower cost, with clear benefits to the electorate" but it was up to politicians to make the case for devolution to the public, Lord Lennie said.

Devolution "mustn't be something that politicians do to the voters" but a "change determined with, by and for the people" he warned.

In the House of Lords a Member making a maiden speech have to do so in a debate with a speakers' list - like today . The maiden speech is expected to be short and uncontroversial and would not express views that would provoke an interruption.

Former Deputy Secretary General of the Labour Party, Lord Lennie,
BBC

Smith Commission

The Smith Commission met for the first time last week, for what its chairman, Lord Smith called a "constructive" meeting.

Lord Smith said representatives of Scotland's main political parties had "committed to work together to achieve a positive outcome".

The commission is expected to reach an agreement by 30 November.

Following its first full meeting, the commission said it had agreed a set of principles for the cross-party talks, but added there would be no agreements announced in any policy area until it had considered submissions from the public.

Members of the public and Scotland's civic bodies have until 31 October to submit their views.

Devolved power in England?

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott says he believes the result of the Scottish independence referendum shows there is a need to take a look at solutions for devolution in England - like his

unsuccessful North East Assembly proposals.

In a 2004 referendum, 696,519 (78%) voters rejected plans for a North East Assembly, championed by Mr Prescott. But given the intensity of the debate on Scottish independence Lord Prescott, as he is now known, says that English regions are "entitled to have" similar discussions to see how power could be devolved in England.

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott
BBC

Lord Steel's 'federal' approach

Former Liberal Democrat party leader David Steel, now Lord Steel of Aikwood, says that he is "optimistic" about the work of the

Smith commission on Scottish devolution, chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin, who Lord Steel calls "very able".

But he warns there will be "no quick fixes" if the long term changes that are needed are to be properly worked through.

Coming out in support of a more "federal" approach to the UK, Lord Steel says turning the House of Lords into a senate, elected by the component parts of the UK would help create a "proper United Kingdom Parliament ...[that] really does represent the United Kingdom."

Lord Steel of Aikwood,
BBC

Bishop's intervention

The only Bishop down to speak in today's debate, the Bishop of Chester, says that the Union with Scotland needs to be "nurtured on a new basis" following the Scottish independence referendum, and warns England to end its "patronising" view of Scotland.

The Bishop of Chester says that he found the recent 'No' campaign in Scotland "disturbing to the point of embarrassment" conducted largely in negative terms - "worse apart, rather than better together" - before changing tack to "promises and inducements".

The Bishop of Chester
BBC

Commons adjourns

That brings an end to the debate, and the House of Commons adjourns for the day.

MPs will be back at 09.30 GMT on Thursday to discuss, among other things, drug policy in the UK.

Commons debate

Justice Minister Andrew Selous emphasises the government's commitment to ensuring foreign national offenders are removed from the UK "whenever possible".

He tells MPs a review of the sentencing framework for driving offences is currently underway, and focuses on the maximum penalties and gaps in the current offences. It will take into account the views of victims, families of victims, road users and criminal justice professionals.

Mr Selous says he does not want to pre-empt the review's findings but hopes it will lead to recommendations that can be acted on in the next parliament.

He agrees in principle that co-operation between EU member states over driving disqualifications is "desirable", but cautions that such a move would require the ratification of all member states.

English and Welsh devolution

Former Liberal Democrat MP Lord Tyler calls for greater devolution to be made available to Wales - even further than presented in the Wales Bill - and to the areas in England that want it: such as London, Cornwall and Yorkshire.

Lord Tyler tells the House that an "English only" parliament-based solution to the English question does not deal with over-centralisation of England. Instead devolved legislatures within England, predicated on proportional representation, should be the focus, he says.

Former Liberal Democrat MP Lord Tyler
BBC

Independence referendum

Ahead of the 18 September referendum, Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, who had campaigned to keep Scotland in the UK, set out proposals to deliver more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

After voters had rejected independence, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the establishment of a commission, chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin, to look at these proposals and those of the pro-independence SNP and Scottish Green Party.

The three main UK parties backed a timetable to deliver new powers, set out by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as polls in the last days of the referendum campaign suggested the result was too close to call.

Lords debate

Opening the debate for Labour, shadow leader of the house Baroness Royall of Blaisdon tells the house that the intensity of the Scottish referendum debate has convinced of the need for the UK to "urgently consider profound changes" in its constitution.

Government response

Justice Minister Andrew Selous is responding to the debate for the government, and begins by thanking Mr Shelbrooke for putting on the record "so much" about Callum's personality, telling the MP he was "touched" by his stories.

Emotional speech

Alec Shelbrooke calls on the government to consider a lifetime driving ban in the UK for foreign nationals convicted of causing death by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

His voice breaks as he reads out some words from Callum's mother - and calls for stricter minimum sentences for causing death while under the influence of alcohol.

EU-wide co-operation

Alec Shelbrooke says there needs to be mutual recognition of driving disqualifications across EU member states.

Alec Shelbrooke MP
BBC

House of Lords

We are about to move to the House of Lords where Leader of the House Baroness Stowell of Beeston has just kicked off a debate on devolution following the Scotland referendum.

Opening the debate Baroness Stowell praised those involved in the recent Scottish independence referendum, the result of which she said had "settled the issue for a generation".

On 18 September, Scotland voted to stay part of the United Kingdom with a majority of 55%, a "clear decision [that] the Scottish people want to remain part of this great United Kingdom", Baroness Stowell said.

Leader of the House Baroness Stowell of Beeston
BBC

Committee hearing over

Committee chair Sir Bill Cash wraps up the committee hearing with Lord Hill, asking him in an aside whether he thinks he has been given a "poisoned chalice" with the financial services post in the the new Commission given that several financial regulations are being challenged by the UK government.

Sir Bill Cash
BBC

Not commenting directly on the phrase, Lord Hill says he looks forward to meeting with the European Scrutiny Committee in the future. Like the other commissioners, Lord Hill is due to start work on 1 November.

Campaign for drink driving sentencing

Callum's family, and his MP Alec Shelbrooke, are campaigning to increase the maximum sentence for drink driving.

Debate focuses on foreign drivers

Callum Wark, a 19-year-old from Swillington, near Leeds, was killed in a crash on 1 March 2014 on the A162 between Fairburn and the junction with the A63.

Bulgarian national Stoyan Andonov Stoyanov, 56, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and driving while under the influence of alcohol. He was sentenced to seven years and eight months, and banned from driving in the UK for 10 years.

Adjournment debate

Alec Shelbrooke, the Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell, is on his feet, and begins a debate on the death of his constituent, Callum Wark, and the sentencing of foreign drivers.

Petition

It's almost time for the adjournment debate but not before the presentation of a petition on NHS health services in Guisborough, Skelton, Brotton, Park End and Hemlington, by Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop.

Agreement on all sides

There's unanimous support in the House of Commons to progress the Taxation of Pensions Bill to its next stage.

The legislation will now be sent to a committee, where a process of more detailed scrutiny will be undertaken by MPs.

Summing up

Exchequer Secretary Priti Patel is summing up the second reading debate on the Taxation of Pensions Bill. She says the reforms being introduced by the government will create a "more flexible and fairer" system for all.

‏@RebeccaKeating

Rebecca Keating

BBC News

BBC's Rebecca Keating tweets: Lord Hill is giving the European Scrutiny Committee a masterclass in how to answer questions, without revealing an opinion on anything

Point of order

Michael Fabricant, the Tory MP for Lichfield, interrupts the debate to raise a point of order to claim he has been banned from an official engagement in the Speaker's Office by Speaker John Bercow. The two men have clashed in the past.

Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing is in the chair; and responds by saying she has no knowledge of the matter but adds that it is not a matter for the chair.

Michael Fabricant
BBC

Unfinished business?

Lord Hill will inherit much of the work overseen for the last five years by Frenchman Michel Barnier, the outgoing Internal Market and Services Commissioner.

Michel Barnier
BBC

As a result, he'll be overseeing a whole raft of EU legislation that was put through following the financial crisis. The Brussels-based think tank Bruegel have

counted 56 different pieces of EU financial legislation since 2007, of which only 37 have been finalised.

Financial jurisdiction

Conservative MP Henry Smith asks Lord Hill how he envisages ensuring financial stability in the EU, given his background as a UK commissioner.

Lord Hill's nationality was a recurrent theme of Lord Hill's pre-confirmation hearing in front of MEPs, with many left-leaning members in particular expressing worries about Lord Hill's background and a perceived closeness to the City of London.

As Jacob Rees-Mogg mentions, an EU plan to cap bankers' bonuses is

currently being challenged in the EU Court of Justice by the UK government.

The cap limits bankers' bonuses to a year's basic salary, or double their salary if shareholders agree.

However, responsibility over this policy has been handed to Věra Jourová, the former Czech minister who is set to become the justice commissioner.

Closing speeches

It's looking like it will be an early finish for the Commons today - they are on to the closing speeches in the Taxation of Pensions Bill debate already.

Commons debate

Speaking from the Liberal Democrat benches, Ian Swales voices his support for the bill, but impresses on the House the importance of proper pensions guidance, as he highlights the difficulty people have in understanding the pensions system.

Under the government's plans, savers are to receive free independent guidance when given unfettered access to their pension pots from next year, paid for by a levy on regulated financial firms.

Mr Swales, Redcar MP, has concerns the "liberalisation" of the pensions system will leave more people dependent on state assistance later in life - and says that he is not sure whether this has been properly calculated by the Treasury.

Lib Dem MP for Redcar Ian Swales
BBC

New structure

Sir Bill Cash asks Lord Hill how he sees his working relationship with the other commissioners, given the changes that incoming President Juncker has made to the structure of the new Commission.

Lord Hill's work will be overseen by the Finnish Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen - and ultimately by former Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans, who has been give the new role of First Vice-President.

Lord Hill says he himself is not precisely sure how the new structure will work, given that it has "not been tried before".

Lord Hill
BBC

Parliamentary decisions

Asked by committee chair Sir Bill Cash about what sort of relationship national parliaments should have with the EU, Lord Hill says it would be "tricky area from a practical point of view" for Westminster to overrule certain decisions made by the European Parliament.