Bill passed on vote for devolution

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The Independent Online
The Bill paving the way for devolution referendums in Scotland and Wales cleared the Commons last night just hours after Tony Blair clashed with his predecessor on the issue.

The Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Bill was given a third reading by 339 to 148, a government majority of 191, and now goes to the Lords.

It was the Government's first piece of legislation to complete its Commons stages and was passed after being subject to a controversial "guillotine" to limit debate.

At Question Time earlier, John Major accused Mr Blair of reneging on a promise to publish the devolution Bills before people were asked to vote on the plans in referendums.

But the Prime Minister defended his decision to publish only the White Paper on devolution before the referendums are held in the autumn as "the most sensible way to proceed".

Mr Major claimed there had been a change of policy and charged him with "wriggling and wobbling".

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