European Union (Withdrawal)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:16 pm on 3rd September 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 7:16 pm, 3rd September 2019

I have given way so many times and to many distinguished Members, and it is now time to come on to this extraordinary and unprecedented motion.

Parliament is attempting to set aside Standing Order No. 14 to give precedence to the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill. This motion goes further and seeks to claim an unknown and unquantified number of subsequent days for consideration of Lords amendments and messages. It is a fundamental principle that Government are able to transact their business in this House—a principle that this House has long accepted in Standing Order No. 14. This motion also sets aside, in a new parliamentary Session, the Standing Orders that apply in relation to the presentation of private Members’ Bills. The motion would allow a designated Member—or a few of the Illuminati who are taking the powers to themselves—to give notice of the presentation of this Bill on the first day of a new Session and then provide time for debate on this Bill on the second day of the new Session, interrupting the Queen’s Speech.

There is an established process for the House debating the Queen’s Speech—a process that this Bill would undermine. Although the Outlawries Bill has its First Reading just before the start of the Queen’s Speech debate, this Bill is only read a First time as a formality and not debated. To interrupt the Queen’s Speech to debate a Back-Bench Bill, such as the one proposed in this motion, would be unprecedented. The Government have an obligation to bring forward their business, and the Queen’s Speech and the debate that follows is one of the great set pieces of the parliamentary calendar, where the Government are rightly scrutinised and held to account, and that is being interrupted.