The hon. Lady and I served on the Procedure Committee together, and she must be aware that this is completely standard whenever the Speaker leaves the Chair to go into Committee. It has been standard for decades, if not for centuries, and there is nothing unusual in it. If anyone thinks that this is in any way a dig at you, Mr Speaker, they simply do not understand the procedures of this House. I note that you are indicating that you are in assent with what I am saying. I am frankly surprised that the hon. Lady, who is a distinguished member of the Procedure Committee, is unaware of that basic procedure.
So it is just a December general election, nothing more and nothing less. There will be six weeks to discuss all the great political questions facing our country before the people are given the chance to give their verdict, but the debate today is not about those great issues; it is simply about setting