Business of the House

Part of Speaker’S Statement – in the House of Commons at 10:31 am on 25th July 2019.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:31 am, 25th July 2019

I am grateful for the hon. Lady’s question. She was herself a very distinguished shadow Leader of the House and she is somebody I have great admiration for in her appreciation for the Commons as an institution. I absolutely assure her that I take that part of my role extraordinarily seriously. I have perhaps a somewhat romantic view of the House of Commons—one I think I share with you, Mr Speaker—in that I believe it is our job to hold the Government to account, not simply to facilitate whatever the Government want to do. However, this House passed into law the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and the article 50 Act, and we only speak our view by legislation. We do not speak our view by mere motion, and mere motion cannot and must not overturn statute law. If that were to happen, we would not have a proper functioning representative democracy; we would have an erratic, changeable and irregular system of government.