Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:47 pm on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution), Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons, Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee 2:47 pm, 3rd April 2019

Absolutely. My hon. Friend makes a very good point. This does present such a precedent, and I hope all parties across the House will make use of it and ensure that Bills are passed on Opposition days. This is a new way of doing things that should be looked on positively. I am really very surprised that the “take back controllers” cannot see the opportunities presented to this House to, in effect, take back control in this Parliament.

Doing this with a Bill for the first time ever is really interesting. I have to say to Yvette Cooper that I think there are deficiencies in the Bill. Earlier, I called it a bit of a dog’s breakfast, but it is the only meal on the menu, so we have to take advantage of the opportunity that has been presented. What it does is ensure that we do not leave next week without a deal. It attempts to ensure that there is at least some sort of way forward in trying to renegotiate with Europe, and it will oblige the Prime Minister to come back and give updates about the progress she is making.

I think Sir Oliver Letwin said, absolutely correctly, that if we do not do this we will have to leave it to the Prime Minister and take it on trust. What we have seen from this Government already is that they contemptuously ignore outcomes in this House repeatedly, and again and again. All of a sudden, however, we are supposed to trust them with the process of doing what they say they are going to do.