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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:39 pm on 21st October 2019.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Independent, Nottingham East 7:39 pm, 21st October 2019

It is sometimes said from the Government Benches—perhaps not necessarily by the Leader of the House—that with a billion here and a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to quite a lot of money. The issue of an impact assessment has already been raised. My hon. Friend Luciana Berger and I have already tried to see whether there is a chance of having some level of analysis, which of course was disparaged by the Leader of the House. He said that in his entire career he has never seen a piece of analysis that he agreed with—I really think he treats the whole profession of researchers and analysts with great disdain.

It really is not on for the Government to expect hon. Members, under the terms of this motion, to have a fair and decent opportunity to frame amendments for consideration in Committee tomorrow. I appeal not just to the Leader of the House to reconsider, but to the Chair—to you, Madam Deputy Speaker—to protect the interests of Back Benchers on the practicalities of how we are supposed to frame amendments tonight and then seek the advice of the Table Office, the Clerks and others, because this is a totally unacceptable state of affairs.