Motion made, and Question put forthwith (
That the following provisions shall apply to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill for the purpose of supplementing the Orders of
Consideration of Lords Amendments
1. Proceedings on consideration of Lords Amendments shall be completed in two days.
2. The proceedings shall be taken in the order shown in the first column of the following Table.
3. The proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the times specified in the second column of the Table.
4. Any further Message from the Lords may be programmed. —(Mr David Davis.)
The House divided:
Ayes 321, Noes 304.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. You will be aware that on today’s Order Paper there is a Liberal Democrat amendment to extend from two to three days the debate on the Lords amendments. I understand the reasons why it has not been possible to vote on that amendment today. However, can you advise me on how in future it will be possible for this House to secure adequate time to debate critical amendments, take back control and avoid situations such as the one we are likely to face today where, by Government design, there will be no time at all to discuss critical Northern Ireland amendments and critical devolution amendments? [Interruption.]
First, I say to the right hon. Gentleman that a lot of these matters will still be able to be debated—whether they will be divided upon is another matter. Secondly, in response to those who were muttering from a sedentary position that he was eating into the time, let me say that simply as a matter of fact that is not correct. He is not eating into the time, for the simple reason that the Clerk has not yet read the Orders of the Day—we have not yet got to the start of the six hours. It is therefore quite wrong for people to say that the right hon. Gentleman is eating into the time—it is factually wrong and that is all there is to it.
Thirdly, I realise that the right hon. Gentleman regrets the course of events, but the passage of the programme motion has set in train a course of events and that is the reality of the matter. The only remedy would be for the House to divide upon fewer questions in the first group, but in relation to that I say simply two things to him and for the benefit of the House. First, on the merits of such a course of action—having fewer votes earlier—there would be different opinions in the House. Secondly, as he knows, such a remedy lies outside my hands.