Prorogation (Disclosure of Communications)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:57 pm on 9th September 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Labour/Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth 6:57 pm, 9th September 2019

Like many Members’ constituents, many of my constituents in Cardiff have told me over the weekend that they are simply totally confused about what is going on. They are not interested in the procedures and the chicanery; they are interested in their lives, and what difference the proceedings here make to them.

So why does this motion matter and why am I supporting it? Well, the gag that the Government are going to put on Parliament tonight prevents us from having Treasury questions, Northern Ireland questions, Prime Minister’s questions, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport questions and questions to the Attorney General, whose legal advice is so crucial to this situation. It prevents us from having debates on the battle of Arnhem, in which my grandfather served and was taken prisoner of war; the pension age of our police; sanctions; refugees; climate change; EU citizens; the middle east; fracking; Northern Ireland; chemicals; sexual violence; and children.

Proroguing Parliament will prevent the discussion and agreement of the Agriculture Bill, the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, the Trade Bill, the customs Bill, the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill and, crucially, the Domestic Abuse Bill, yet this Government have carried on with this gag. They tell us it is because they want to set out provisions for a new Queen’s Speech and a new programme for government. Who are they fooling? We know the truth. We know why this is being done—the Prime Minister’s own documents have revealed it.

The Prorogation plot was known well before. How was it that I was able to know about it in the early hours of the morning—before it was announced, before you had been told, Mr Speaker, before the Cabinet had been told and before the country had been informed? How was it that journalists were able to know that night and I was able to know, yet No. 10 Downing Street was still denying that this gag was going to go forward? No. 10 was denying it days before, yet as was revealed, the decision was taken on 16 August. That goes to the heart of this motion.

This is about trust in a Government who cannot be trusted, it is about our constituents’ lives and the issues that matter to them, which go well beyond Brexit, and it is about the national security and safety of this country. The Yellowhammer documents should be made public so that we all know the true risk to this country of a no-deal Brexit.