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I am afraid this classically illustrates the problem that we now have: these extraordinary utterances —pronouncements—from No. 10 Downing Street that bear absolutely no relationship with the operation and conventions of our constitution. It is impossible to know whether they are froth, whether they are Mr Cummings’s thoughts, or whether in fact they represent some settled policy view of Government, in which case this country is facing, frankly, a revolutionary situation in which this House has to exercise the utmost vigilance to ensure that our rights and privileges are not simply trampled upon.
I am very mindful of the fact that in this current crisis we are a divided country and a divided House, which pains me very much. I would like to work, even with those with whom I disagree such as some of my right hon. Friends on the Front Bench, to try to get this matter resolved in a way that is compatible with healing some of the divisions in our country, but that simply is not going to happen if the atmosphere of confrontation keeps being ratcheted up, slowly undermining the institutions that are the only props of legitimacy—that is the truth, for all of us—and in which everybody is happy to go into greenhouses and chuck bricks all over the place but expect the structure to provide some shelter afterwards.