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 will not give way to everyone because there are only 22 and a half minutes to go, and the spokesman for the SNP, Pete Wishart, will want to speak. I must be conscious of the rights of minority parties—another important convention in this House.

Coming to the nub of the issue, taking control of the business away from the Government is a bad precedent because the House is not willing to come to the logical conclusion that today’s proceedings are heading towards. The Government control business as long as, and only if, this House of Commons has confidence in them. My hon. Friends—not the Opposition, who are perfectly reasonable in this regard—should think very carefully about what they are doing, because what they are in fact saying is that they do not have confidence in Her Majesty’s Government. If that is what they think, they should vote accordingly. Our great constitutional convention is that these decisions, if they cannot be decided by this House and by the Government who are legitimately installed, go back to the electorate. The reason my right hon. and hon. Friends are not willing to reach that conclusion is that they are going against the electorate’s will, as expressed in our greatest ever referendum.