Leaving the Eu: Economic Impact of Proposed Deal

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:44 pm on 20th February 2019.

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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 12:44 pm, 20th February 2019

Order. Before I ask the Minister to apply, I very generously did not interrupt the flow of the right hon. Gentleman’s eloquence—or, indeed, for that matter the eloquence of his flow. However, by way of a public information notice, may I say to the House—this is not directed particularly at the right hon. Gentleman, as I have seen this burgeoning phenomenon in recent times—that an urgent question is supposed to be that, not an urgent oration? With whatever rhetorical force and insistence it is delivered, it is supposed to be a question and I have noticed over recent times an increasing tendency on the part of Members who have secured such an opportunity, through the courtesy of the Chair, to launch into a lengthy preamble, sometimes constituting the entirety of their remarks.

For future reference, because in future I will have to cut people off if they abuse the parameters, however inadvertently, it is supposed to be a question; a sentence of preamble is one thing, but thereafter a Member should put a series of inquiries to the Minister on the Treasury Bench. We will leave it there for now. The right hon. Gentleman has made his point, but I know that he will not misbehave again.