EU Referendum: Electoral Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:32 pm on 26th March 2018.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission 5:32 pm, 26th March 2018

The right hon. Gentleman asks leave to propose a debate on a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely the EU referendum and alleged breaches of electoral law. I have listened carefully to his application and I am satisfied that the matter raised is proper to be discussed under Standing Order No. 24. I should emphasise, as I am not sure people always appreciate this and it is important to know the facts, that if this debate took place—that is dependent on numbers and so on—it would be a debate on what is a called a “general motion” or a general debate. Therefore, it would take place on the basis that, “The House has considered the matter”; it is nothing more or less than that. It is not a question of which side of the argument colleagues happen to be on; it is simply a question of the Chair judging whether, if there is sufficient support in the House under the Standing Order, it should proceed as a debate. I am satisfied that it is proper to be aired. Has the right hon. Gentleman the leave of the House?

Application agreed to.