Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:32 am on 24th November 2011.

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Photo of George Young George Young The Leader of the House of Commons 11:32 am, 24th November 2011

The practice has been abandoned because of paragraph 145 of the Wright Committee report, which specifically mentioned the two pre-European Council debates that formerly took place in Government time. The Wright Committee recommended that that debate and the other set piece debates should be transferred to the Backbench Business Committee along with the time in which those debates took place. That has now happened. My hon. Friend should go to the Backbench Business Committee with his request for a debate on this particular matter. I have to say to him that it is not as though we have not debated Europe in this Chamber: we had a debate on the petition on the referendum; we had a motion to approve the budget on 8 November; we had a motion on Croatia on Tuesday; and we had a general debate on the UK chairmanship of the Council of Europe. It is not the case that these important issues have gone by default in the Chamber.