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

The right hon. Gentleman conflates irregular and improper. The motion is unquestionably irregular, even though it is not improper—the two are different concepts, as I am sure he fully understands. It is of course for the House to regulate its own proceedings, but a fundamental principle of our constitution is that the Government command the confidence of the House. [Interruption.] Ah! From a sedentary position an hon. Gentleman says that the Government do not. Now, that is the lock that would undo this constitutional conundrum, because the House dare not say that it has no confidence in the Government—it is frightened of that—and therefore it tries to take away confidence on specifics while maintaining confidence in the generality. That is not a proper constitutional position to be in.