Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:33 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Conservative, North East Somerset 2:33 pm, 27th March 2019

I oppose this motion because I think that it is constitutionally ill thought through. Our country does not have a codified constitution, but it works on conventions, and those conventions are precious to those in government and to those not in government, for the tables may be turned at some point and the Labour party may find it has a minority Government and cannot keep the business of the House as it would expect.

Why do the Government need this primacy on the business of the House? As my right hon. Friend Sir Oliver Letwin says, it is absolutely right that the Standing Orders are the property of this House and are not challengeable outside this House, and our governmental system works through the Queen in Parliament. The Queen, in this sense, is represented by the Executive, and there is a separation between the Executive and the legislature that we all know about. That separation requires that the proposition of events comes from the Government and that the amendment, review and redress in relation to those events comes from this House.