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Article 50 Extension

Part of Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (Eligibility) – in the House of Commons at 4:59 pm on 20th March 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 4:59 pm, 20th March 2019

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order, of which I did not have advance notice, about which I do not complain; I am simply signalling that my response to what he has put to me is spontaneous. It would certainly be my expectation, if this debate runs its full length, that the House will be sitting at the time of the announced prime ministerial statement. It would certainly be open to the Prime Minister to come to the House to make the statement here. It is a matter for her to judge whether she wishes to do so. My sense is that that would be well received by the hon. Gentleman and quite possibly, in the light of what has been said, by other people. It is not for the Chair to seek to compel or instruct any Minister, including most certainly the Prime Minister, but I have noted what the hon. Gentleman has said. In so far as he is asking, “Can it happen?” the answer is: yes, it can.

I would like to suggest an advisory and voluntary time limit on Back-Bench speeches of six minutes or thereabouts, but I am not at this stage, particularly as I have not given notice, imposing a formal limit. Let us see how we go. It would be helpful, in the name of maximising participation, if people did not speak for too long, but I will leave it to the wise judgment of Alison McGovern.