Just before I ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to open the continuation of the debate on behalf of the Government, I feel that it is important that Members are aware of the correct protocol for today and for each of the remaining subsequent days in this overarching debate on the Government’s proposed deal.
It is true that it is a debate essentially revolving around one subject. However, I should remind colleagues that there are wind-up speeches each day from the Opposition and Treasury Benches, and the implication of that should be blindingly obvious to colleagues: if you speak in the debate it is incumbent on you to turn up at whatever hour the debate is concluded to hear the wind-up speeches. Yesterday, I am sorry to say, there were a number of examples of Members who spoke, in some cases at considerable length, in the debate, but who, on account no doubt of being very busy with many commitments and very full diaries, felt that they had to be elsewhere for the wind-up speeches. I know and I think that it may well be widely accepted that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not come for the wind-up of the debate, and, personally, I take no exception to that at all—it would have been marvellous to welcome them, but I quite understand why they could not be here—but in every other case, if you speak in the debate, please then do me the courtesy, or do the House the courtesy, of turning up for the wind-ups. With that little homily duly completed, I invite the Secretary of State for the Home Department to continue the debate.