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 am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his observation about precedents. As a former Chief Whip, he knows very well how these things happen. It is indeed the case that our constitution has evolved through a series of adjustments, and there will be a precedent in this instance. I hope, incidentally—because I am not actually a revolutionary—that it will not be taken as a precedent for events like this to take place every day of the week. I profoundly hope that our successors in the House will not for many decades face an emergency of the kind that we are currently facing, because this is not a way of proceeding that I think any of us would like our country to face in the future.

As for my right hon. Friend’s point about the motions, I am much more confident than his question suggested that you, Mr Speaker, will select a full range of motions representing a full range of views, and that there will be ample opportunity for people, genuinely and openly, to support the positions that they wish to support and object to the positions to which they object. I think we shall see that when you make your selection, Mr Speaker, because I know that your intention has been—as has mine, and, I think, that of the House as a whole—to use this as a genuine opportunity for people to come together on the basis of looking at a full range of options and having every sensible choice available to them.