Early parliamentary general election

Part of Early Parliamentary General Election Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:47 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden Paymaster General (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 5:47 pm, 29th October 2019

I will make some progress and then I will consider giving way.

There are principled reasons why we wish to have proper scrutiny of legislation for the Northern Ireland budget. It is essential for teachers, doctors and nurses in Northern Ireland to be paid.

There is a convention that elections are held on Thursday. Once again, the Opposition are trying to move the goalposts. Initially, the argument was that they did not want a general election on 12 December because they were concerned that the Government would somehow seek to ram through the Bill giving effect to the Prime Minister’s deal. Yesterday, at the Dispatch Box, the Prime Minister give an assurance on that. Now, they seek to contrive another reason artificially to create divisions in this House over moving the date by three days.

We have had three years to consider this matter. Will three days really make that much difference? That is in tune with a wider point. The public are getting more and more frustrated at this House endlessly coming up with procedural reasons that prevent us from getting on and doing the thing we want to do, as set out in this Bill—to have a general election to allow us to resolve the issue. We will resist the Opposition amendment to move the date of the general election.