Eu: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:00 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee 3:00 pm, 27th March 2019

I shall not respond to that disorderly heckle.

However, if that were to happen—what I have just counselled should not—the vote would not be counted. As with deferred Divisions, Members may not hand in forms on behalf of other Members. Each Member must hand in his or her own form. Members with proxy votes in operation will need to get their nominated proxy to hand in their form. A short note is being made available in the Vote Office confirming these arrangements.

I will announce the results in the Chamber as soon as they are ready, which will certainly not be before the conclusion of proceedings on the statutory instrument relating to exit day. The results of the votes will be published in the same way as deferred Divisions: on the CommonsVotes website and app, and in Hansard, showing how each hon. Member voted on each motion.

Colleagues, last Monday—18 March—I made a statement to the House explaining the standard which would have to be reached for me to allow another so-called meaningful vote under the statutory framework provided in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. I cited page 387 of “Erskine May” and concluded that a proposition which is the same, or substantially the same, may not be brought forward again during the same parliamentary Session. This Monday—25 March—in the course of answering questions following her statement, the Prime Minister accepted this constraint, saying:

“I am very clear about the strictures that Mr Speaker gave when he made his statement last week, and were we to bring forward a further motion to this House, we would of course ensure that it met the requirements he made.”—[Official Report, 25 March 2019;
Vol. 657, c. 32.]

I understand that the Government may be thinking of bringing meaningful vote 3 before the House either tomorrow, or even on Friday, if the House opts to sit that day. Therefore, in order that there should be no misunderstanding, I wish to make it clear that I do expect the Government to meet the test of change. They should not seek to circumvent my ruling by means of tabling either a “notwithstanding” motion or a paving motion. The Table Office has been instructed that no such motions will be accepted.

I very much look forward, colleagues, to today’s debate and votes, which give the House the chance to start the process of positively indicating what it wants. To move the first motion, I call Mr Baron.