Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:44 pm on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham 3:44 pm, 3rd April 2019

I think my hon. Friend misheard me. I made no such allegation about her or my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset. I was paying them all due civility in saying that they may win, but nobody can claim that there is a big consensus in this House or a large potential majority on either side, so we need more time than is being offered in this business motion. Lightning legislation is bad legislation.

As we have already heard, this potential legislation poses fundamental questions about the nature of government, how government is conducted and the powers of Government, which go to the heart of our very processes, and seeks to overturn conventions and Standing Orders that have been in place and accepted by Governments of both persuasions for a long time. That should happen only after due consideration. I am not one to think that there should be no constitutional change or experiment. I have often been against my own Government and have understood the need to use the available procedures to get them to change their mind. However, we should not enter into a radical transformation on the basis of just a few hours’ debate, which is what we are being offered in this business motion.