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 hope I can reassure the hon. Gentleman. The reason the Government wish to have a general election is to ensure that we have a sustainable majority to pass the Bill that implements the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement. Therefore, the impetus on us is to get that done as quickly as possible. I do not think that he will find delays from those of us on the Government Benches.

I wish briefly to touch on amendment 14 that stands in my name. The Scottish National party has raised a concern that the amendment seeks to address. Its concern was to ensure that the registration deadline in Scotland for a 12 December election was the same as for the rest of the country. The Government support the intention of the SNP amendment in relation to this election to ensure that we have an across-UK approach to the registration deadline. This will allow a comprehensive UK-wide communication campaign by the Electoral Commission to advertise a deadline and to ensure that those who want to register are able to do so in a timely manner. The Government’s amendment would achieve the consistency in registration deadlines that Ian Blackford and his party desired without any longer term, unintended consequences.