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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:05 pm on 1st April 2019.

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Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin Chair, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee 4:05 pm, 1st April 2019

I do not think that that is a secret. I am surprised that the hon. Gentleman has not looked it up. The problem is that last week’s indicative votes have already discredited Parliament because no single proposal was adopted by a majority. Sustained use of the procedure is already undermining trust, increasing alienation and destroying the credibility of institutions that have historically worked tolerably well. It is apparent that the long-term effects of this constitutional upheaval are not a consideration for those who are forcing it upon us. There is no electoral mandate for such a dramatic constitutional upheaval. In what circumstances would this experiment be repeated in the future, perhaps when a majority Government did not have a majority on a particular issue? It is one thing for a minority of the governing party to help to vote down a Government proposal; it is something else, and quite extraordinary, to combine forces with Her Majesty’s official Opposition to impose an entirely Government different policy that the Government were not elected to implement.