European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:54 pm on 3rd April 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 5:54 pm, 3rd April 2019

That is true, but I say to the hon. Gentleman that there is no automatic or compelling obstacle to the House treating of the matter now. I judged, in consultation with the hon. Member for Stone, that it might be for the convenience of the House—particularly a relatively full House, at this time—for me to say something about the matter now on the back of what he has said. The alternative was for him to expatiate on this point in the course of any speech that he might make on Second Reading.

Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive, but I am sure that Mr Rees-Mogg would agree that for me then to interrupt the Second Reading debate to respond to the point would be a rather ungainly way in which to proceed. I thought it better to treat of the matter now, before we embark on Second Reading. I have heard his point, and I respect it, but I do not think it is conclusive.