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Clause 2 — Protocol about the Law Commission's work

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:15 pm on 16th October 2009.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch 1:15 pm, 16th October 2009

We have almost got dialogue of the deaf-except that I am speaking and nobody seems to want to engage with me. The hon. Lady who is promoting the Bill suggests that she does not want to debate the amendments, and she has given no reasons for what she sees as flaws in my argument on tightening up the protocol. The Minister sits there silent, not explaining why the Government find fault with these amendments. I suppose that, if the Bill gets on the statute book, it will be left to some of us to table similar amendments to the Constitutional Renewal Bill, to try to tighten things up if necessary. [ Interruption. ] The Minister is speaking-I do not know whether she wishes to intervene, because I could not hear her sedentary intervention. I am quite prepared to give way to her so that I can hear it; but again, neither you nor I, Mr. Deputy Speaker, can force the Minister to speak if she chooses to remain silent, irrespective of how much that might be regarded as being in breach of the conventions of this House.

The Minister was saying informally that at one stage she was minded to offer me a concession. I am still waiting for a concession to be offered across the Floor of the House, and I hope that in due course it may be and it will not be left until after the House has risen. If it was, my wife might get a bit worried, but leaving that to one side, I think it a pity that none of these amendments, which would give some teeth to the protocol, have found favour with the Government, so I hope the House will reverse the decision that it took during the last Division and support me in proposing them.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

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