Point of Order

– in the House of Commons at 11:31 am on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Record numbers of people are watching the Parliament channel these days, because they are taking an interest in the proceedings of this House. Could you explain to us, Mr Speaker, the difference between a Bill passing Second Reading in the House of Commons and a Bill passing Parliament? It has come to my attention that the Government are presenting the Second Reading of the withdrawal agreement Bill as having passed Parliament. Some would describe that as fake news.

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

The difference is simple. A Bill can get a Second Reading, but that does not make it law. It simply means that it has approval for its general principles. Approval, in the ultimate sense, means the passage of a Bill on to the statute book, which requires it to go through Committee, Report stage and to secure a Third Reading. That is the difference and I hope that that satisfies the palate of the hon. Gentleman.