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

My hon. Friend makes a characteristically Wykehamist point: highly intelligent but fundamentally wrong. I must confess that I have sometimes thought my right hon. Friend Sir Oliver Letwin was more a Wykehamist than of my own school, but we will leave that to one side. The expression of confidence in the Government is through their control of business, not on any individual item of business. That is why confidence and control of business come together. This has been taken away in the past, and my right hon. Friend referred to the assertion of parliamentary authority in the civil war—well, we know how that ended. It ended with Pride’s purge and with people being prevented from voting. The Government, the Executive and the legislature are clean different things. That separation of powers is essential, the conventions of our constitution are essential and it is important that we observe them properly, because the sovereignty of Parliament is not the sovereignty of us, however brilliant we may be, or of the Mace; it is the sovereignty of the British people. They have told us what to do, and we must do it.