Leaving the Eu: Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:56 pm on 12th June 2019.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Father of the House of Commons 2:56 pm, 12th June 2019

I entirely understand and appreciate my right hon. Friend’s tactics in trying to address procedural and textual points in the motion, rather than addressing the main point, which is rather difficult for the Government. I do not think those procedural and textual points would be raised if, by any sad chance, we were sitting on the Opposition Benches and telling a Government we opposed that the House as a whole wanted a debate and legislation on a particular issue.

Will my right hon. Friend move to the main point? Is he actually prepared to defend a situation where a new Prime Minister wishes to pursue a policy for which he or she knows there is no majority in the House of Commons? Does he believe it should be possible for that Prime Minister to prorogue and send away Parliament until he or she has exercised dictatorial powers to put the policy in place? That, I think, is plainly totally contrary to our constitution, and I do not see how any parliamentarian could possibly defend such a possibility.