Business of the House

Part of Deaths of Homeless People – in the House of Commons at 11:43 am on 20th December 2018.

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Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:43 am, 20th December 2018

I thank the hon. Lady for her many different points, and for her good wishes to the House. She raised a number of points on statutory instruments, and I have heard her request clearly. She will know that the Government have a good record in responding to reasonable requests from the Opposition for time for debates on the Floor of the House. We will continue to discuss such requests through the usual channels.

The hon. Lady made a point about designated Ministers with responsibility for statutory instruments, but I am not entirely sure that I caught it, so I will have to look it up in Hansard and write to her. To update the House, though, more than 290 Brexit statutory instruments have now been laid for Parliament to scrutinise, and very good progress is being made. We continue to provide as smooth a flow as possible for the sifting Committees in this House and the other place. We are quite clear that we have enough time to get all those urgent Brexit statutory instruments through. I hope that that reassures the House. The hon. Lady asked specifically about the universal credit statutory instrument; I shall take that away and take it up with the Secretary of State on her behalf.

The hon. Lady asked where the NHS 10-year plan is. She will be aware that our long-term plan for the NHS will see funding grow by £394 million more a week in real terms by 2023-24. That is the biggest investment in our NHS ever committed by a Government, and it is great news for the NHS. The NHS itself is writing its long-term plan for how it will use that money to provide a better service for patients, and we look forward to seeing that as soon as it is available.

The hon. Lady asked about the second week back after the Christmas recess. The business of the House will of course be subject to the motion, which will be put to the House on 9 January. There will then be the opportunity for the House to agree the business. She asked whether there will be a new motion; that will of course be subject to what the Prime Minister comes back with. As she has made clear, she is seeking legal reassurances on the issues around the backstop. Whether MPs will speak twice in the debate is a matter for you, Mr Speaker. It is matter for the Chair as to who speaks in debates.

Let me be clear: the hon. Lady suggested that the Prime Minister has not spoken to the Opposition, but she very much has. Throughout this Parliament the Government have been seeking to speak to Opposition Members closely and collaboratively about their concerns about the Brexit preparations. There were more than 280 hours of debate in the Chambers on the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, and it took more than 11 months for that Bill to go through Parliament. The hon. Lady will appreciate that there is a huge amount of consultation, and the Prime Minister is seeking to provide reassurance. If the hon. Lady wants uncertainty to be gone, she and her right hon. and hon. colleagues must take seriously the proposal that the Prime Minister will put before the House and seriously consider voting for it. That is the way to get rid of uncertainty for the country.

Finally, I should point out to the hon. Lady that Penelope Pitstop always wins through in the end. All the rotters and cads around her get defeated and she always wins.