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European Union (Withdrawal)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:36 pm on 3rd September 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 6:36 pm, 3rd September 2019

I understand the hon. Gentleman’s rationale, and I thank him for explaining his agitation to raise his point at an early stage. However, I must advise him—I must admit I thought he would have known this, because he is a keen partisan of parliamentary opportunities for Back Benchers—that the responsibility of a Member seeking to make such an application is to lodge that application with the Speaker. I can advise the hon. Gentleman that the application was lodged with me and my office yesterday evening, so it was well in time. Moreover, I hope that I carry the House with me in observing that, whatever people think of Sir Oliver Letwin, his courtesy is unsurpassed by any other Member of this House, and it was partly on account of that courtesy and because he wanted his intentions to be entirely intelligible that he was keen that his motion, if judged orderly, should be published as early as possible. It was published some hours ago. So the hon. Member for Wellingborough has had a good try, but I think that his efforts on this occasion on that point have been exhausted. I would suggest that the courteous thing to do now would be to proceed with the ten-minute rule motion, for which Chris Philp has been patiently waiting.