Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:19 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Oliver Letwin Oliver Letwin Conservative, West Dorset 1:19 pm, 27th March 2019

I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is reading a tweet that is a Trumpian tweet or an accurate tweet. I have followed the practice of not paying any attention to tweets of any kind at any time, but it may be, as the right hon. Gentleman says, that the Government will decide to whip Government Members against the business of the House motion. That is, of course, a perfectly legitimate thing for the Government to do if they wish to do it. It is slightly sad, given that those of us who have prepared the business of the House motion took great care to negotiate with the Government a suitable way to include the statutory instrument, which is needed to alter exit day, at the end of our proceedings. That is provided for in orderly way in the business of the House motion and I had hoped that that degree of co-operation might induce the Government to look kindly on the motion. But I am as perfectly aware, as he is, that it was not the intention of the Government to promote the indicative votes in the way in which the motion does. Therefore, I understand that they may whip against it.

I hope that not only the right hon. Gentleman but those of my hon. Friends who voted for this process in the first place will again vote in a Division, if there is one, to sustain the business of the House motion and to allow us to continue the process that we inaugurated by voting by a narrow, but nevertheless significant, majority for amendment (a), which stood in my name a couple of days ago. I look forward to being in the same Lobby as the right hon. Gentleman as we do that.