The debates were among five Westminster Hall debates that gave MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a government minister.
Schedule of Westminster Hall debates: 16 July 2013
9.30-11am: National Parliaments and the EU
Ms Gisela Stuart, Labour MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston, moved a debate on national parliaments and the EU. The Minister for Europe, Mr David Lidington, responded on behalf of the Government.
11-11.30am – Bill of rights for Northern Ireland
Naomi Long, Alliance MP for Belfast East, moved a debate on the Bill of rights for Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mrs Theresa Villiers, responded on behalf of the Government.
2.30-4pm – Shale Gas (Lancashire)
Mark Menzies, Conservative MP for Fylde, moved a debate on community interests in shale gas developments. The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Michael Fallon, responded on behalf of the Government.
4-4.30pm – St Raphael's Hospice
Paul Burstow, Liberal Democrat MP for Sutton and Cheam, moved a debate on the future of St Raphael's hospice and the role of the Holy see. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mark Simmonds responded on behalf of the Government.
4.30-5pm – Women in Wales
Jessica Morden, Labour MP for Newport East. moved a debate on the effect of Government polices on women in Wales.The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb, responded on behalf of the Government.
Westminster Hall debates
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are two one and a half hour debates and three half hour debates. The longer debates are intended for broader subjects where a number of MPs will want to speak. The shorter debates may focus on an issue that an MP may want to raise about their constituency.
Two ballots are held on the Wednesday of the previous week for each type of debate; MPs may enter into both ballots but can only be successful in one.
Each government department responds to the debates every other week according to a rota.
The Chair is taken by a member of the Panel of Chairs, with the same duties and powers conferred on Deputy Speakers.
Watching Westminster Hall debates from the public gallery
UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public galleries.
This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.