Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 11th July 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 11:25 am, 11th July 2019

I thank the Leader of the House for announcing the next episode in the not-so-thrilling franchise, “Business for next week”. Thank goodness there are only two weeks left to endure this purgatory. I have to say that the Leader of the House’s holiday bus gets more and more appealing and alluring, and I would even be prepared to endure all his rotten jokes if we could just escape this oblivion for the summer.

Thankfully, the Tories’ pointless leadership contest is at last coming to an end, as Boris Johnson will soon secure his coronation. Last week both candidates were in Perth in my constituency telling me that they were going to put me on the run and take the run out of Runrig. The only thing running in Perthshire are the votes of soft Tory voters and Tory remainers, appalled at the prospect of this buffoon’s Brexit.

Mr Speaker, we are now at least on our way to stopping them proroguing Parliament and suspending democracy to get their no-deal Brexit through. The Government are now obliged to issue a bi-weekly report to Parliament from October, and that should just about be enough to see off these democracy-wreckers. We have Lords amendments scheduled for next Thursday, and I think we are all anticipating the Government to get up to their usual tricks and try and thwart that progress, but my plea to the Leader of the House is: just leave it alone. Let’s do what we can to stop the suspension of democracy and deny them the opportunity to suspend Parliament. Democracy must triumph, and if the Government do try to thwart that progress, we will find other ways to ensure that this Parliament is sovereign and retains its say.

Lastly, we do not have the business for the next two weeks any more, as was usual—a feature that I think should be returned—so we do not know whether in the last week the Prime Minister will be able to test whether he has the confidence of this House. I am just about to introduce a Bill that would mean that it was this House that would confirm the new Prime Minister and test whether he did indeed have the confidence of this House. Surely it should be this Parliament that decides the next Prime Minister, not 100,000 Tory members with all their curious and right-wing views. It is what we do in Scotland, and it should happen here.

Week by week, this House drifts further away from democracy. It is time that this House started to take back control.