UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 4:02 pm on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Finance Committee (Commons) 4:02 pm, 14th March 2019

If I am honest, all this just reminds me of the Muppets. It is that moment when Gonzo, I think it was, sings “The Windmills of Your Mind.” As he sings and runs faster and faster, with his legs wheeling like the Isle of Man’s coat of arms, he becomes wilder and wilder and goes out of control. We are

“like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel”.

It is just going on and on and on, and every two weeks we come around on the merry-go-round and we make the same speeches all over again, and we still ride our own hobby horses. Frankly, it is not doing us or the nation any good medically or emotionally.

My amendment is a simple one, and it tries to put a stop to all this gyratory nonsense, as Mr Jones rightly mentioned. My amendment is the embodiment of a very old principle of this House. When James I became King in 1603—do not worry, I am not going to do every year—he summoned Parliament, and that Parliament became so fed up with MPs constantly bringing back issues on which it had already decided that the House expressly decided on 4 April 1604:

“That a question being once made, and carried in the affirmative or negative, cannot be questioned again, but must stand as a judgement of the House.”

That has been our rule.