Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:39 am on 18th July 2019.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip 10:39 am, 18th July 2019

My hon. Friend Pete Wishart—in fact, I think he should be my right hon. Friend—is racing back in breathless anticipation of the Lords amendments. We all know how much he values the Lords and their amendments. I have been left here to respond, but I do not know whether I would qualify for a last-minute spot on the Leader of the House’s caravan holiday. I am not as musically talented as my hon. Friend the Member for Perth and North Perthshire, but I was told at my auntie’s recent birthday party—she turns 70 today, Mr Speaker—that I mix a good Bloody Mary. That might be helpful for Conservative Members next week when they wake up after six weeks of self-indulgence with an almighty hangover and realise the enormity of what they have done in selecting the new Prime Minister. That is why the Leader of the House really must make time for my hon. Friend’s Prime Minister (Nomination) and Cabinet (Appointment) Bill, which would give this House the opportunity to endorse any candidate put forward for nomination as Prime Minister. That is what happens in most civilised democratic institutions these days—starting, of course, with the Scottish Parliament.

Failing that, perhaps the Leader of the House’s caravan could be fitted with a rocket booster so that we can all observe the new Prime Minister’s blunders from the safety of the moon. Perhaps we could also have some time to debate my early-day motion 2599, which I have launched with support from across the House. It commemorates the 50th anniversary of that shared human endeavour.

[That this House recognises that 20 July 2019 marks 50 years since humanity first landed on the moon; remembers that NASA’s legendary Apollo 11 mission was launched by a Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the ambition of landing a crew on the moon and returning them safely to earth; thanks the crew of three American astronauts, Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Buzz Aldrin; recalls that the Lunar module, nicknamed the Eagle, finally touched down on the moon on 20th July 1969; celebrates the legacy of Commander Armstrong who become the first human to ever set foot on the moon as he took one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind on to the lunar surface; further recognises that the moon landing represented the single greatest accomplishment in human history as it pushed the boundaries of what was believed to be possible and united humanity in a sense of collective endeavour and hopes that the spirit of Apollo 11 will inspire future generations to better understand the complexities of the universe.]

If we cannot go to the moon, perhaps we could go to Kew Gardens. At least, Scottish National party Members could go to Kew Gardens, because we are all going to be shut out of the debate on the Kew Gardens (Leases) (No. 3) Bill next week as the English Parliament—the English votes for English laws Legislative Grand Committee—meets for the first time in its full glory to consider that Bill in Committee. We look forward to seeing how many Members from England actually turn up to take part in that process, which was supposed to transform democracy in the United Kingdom.

Perhaps while we are in Kew Gardens, we can have a look under the bushes to see whether we can find out where the 1.5 allocated Opposition days that are still due to the SNP have got to. There are many good reasons not to prorogue Parliament in the autumn, but if it were to be prorogued without our having had those opportunities that we as the third party are entitled to under the terms of the Standing Orders, that—and the use of the EVEL procedures—would serve only to demonstrate the fact that Scotland’s voice is being tuned out, and that the Leader of the House’s caravan is ready to drive off into the Brexit sunset without us.