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European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (PROGRAMME)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:48 pm on 22nd October 2019.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee 6:48 pm, 22nd October 2019

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her point of order. I think the fairest thing I can say to her is: it is a factual point, of which the Leader and, I am sure, the Prime Minister will be aware. As a result of the fact that the programme motion was turned down—it is very encouraging that the former Government Chief Whip, Sir Patrick McLoughlin is nodding vigorously—we could not proceed, I must advise the House, with the start of Committee consideration, for which there is currently no authority.

If I may say so, people are entitled to their own views about the attitude of one leader or another, but I certainly am not going to make any charge of churlishness at all. To be fair, the Prime Minister is, in pragmatic fashion, accepting the immediate implications of the result. It is literally a time to pause and consider how to proceed. I make no other point beyond that.