Scheduling of Parliamentary Business

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 7:38 pm on 17th July 2017.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Labour, Rhondda 7:38 pm, 17th July 2017

Of course, there are lots and lots of things that we should debate. I would like a debate in Government or Opposition time—I do not mind—with a votable motion on the WASPI campaign. I know exactly how I am going to vote, and I hope that I will able to persuade the hon. Lady to join us in the Lobby. We can have as many warm-words debates as we want, but if there is no vote at the end, our constituents will feel fundamentally let down. I say to Conservative Members that they would be better off having that debate sooner rather than later; otherwise, they will have an awful lot of upset people.

If the Government had a programme, I would be happy for us to debate that programme, but there is no legislation. The Leader of the House referred to the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing Bill, but that is not a Bill—it is barely a clause in a Bill. As my hon. Friend Angela Smith said earlier, we had to debate it on the Floor of the House because the Government have not set up the Committee of Selection so that we can have a proper Committee to debate the thing.

I do not doubt that the Government have the power to do these things, but I no longer think they have the authority to do them. Every day they abuse that power, they diminish their own authority; and every day they stretch the gap between their power and their authority, they abandon government by consent and lapse into ideas of dictatorship. That is why the Government are wrong.