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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:00 pm on 28th October 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 10:00 pm, 28th October 2019

I am very grateful to the hon. Lady for her question, and also for her courage in supporting the Second Reading of the withdrawal agreement Bill. The problem is that the Government’s programme in relation to Brexit was stuck. We had a near theological discussion last week about where the Bill was, and matters concerning purgatory, limbo and the variations according to that and how this could be done. [Interruption.] Chris Bryant is wagging his finger at me in a schoolmasterly fashion. No doubt if he seeks to catch your eye, Mr Speaker, he will be successful. We had that discussion, and we came to conclusion that the Bill was not likely to proceed in this House.

Bear in mind that this is not just about what has gone on in the two weeks since the Queen’s Speech; this has to be taken in the context of a House that has consistently said what it is opposed to and has never been willing to say what it is going to accept. As soon as it said it would accept something, it voted down the means of getting it through. This continues the succession of governmental defeats and inability to proceed with their programme. Under those circumstances, it must be right to go back to the voters so that they can select a new Parliament.