Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:11 pm on 26th 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 2:11 pm, 26th September 2019

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

I think it is perfectly reasonable to refer to Bills by colloquial names. It is a traditional and perfectly reasonable thing to do. Of course, it is a political matter. People will use the names they use. The forms on language in this House are well set out. As you said earlier, Mr Speaker, nothing disorderly happened yesterday. We have to be really careful. Civility and being polite to each other are important, and when Members on either side are vilified or threats to their safety are made, we must oppose it vigorously, but that is of a very different order of magnitude from robust debate in this House. To conflate the two is a fundamental error and risks making the serious nature of what is happening to some Members appear part of the back and forth of politics. It is not—it is really serious. The term “surrender Bill” is a matter of taste, not a matter of any real importance. I am quite happy with the term “surrender Bill”.