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Britain in the World

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:03 pm on 13th January 2020.

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Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means 5:03 pm, 13th January 2020

Order. Before I call the SNP spokesman, may I say to colleagues that I hope we can manage this afternoon’s debate without having a formal time limit? I would particularly like to do that because several maiden speeches are about to be made and it is a much better atmosphere for a maiden speech if the clock is not being watched for every second. We will manage to do it if everybody limits their speeches to around about nine to 10 minutes, which is quite a long time. I hasten to say that if colleagues cannot say it in nine minutes, perhaps they should think about whether to say it at all. It can be done, and if it is, it will show wonderful discipline and show those making their maiden speeches just how the Chamber can work at its best. In mentioning nine minutes, I make no particular criticism of the speeches that have already been given, particularly from the Front Bench, but also from everyone else. [Interruption.] I am digging a hole, so I am going to stop. We have been very disciplined so far; I am sure we will continue to be disciplined.