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Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill (Business of the House)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:37 pm on 12th February 2020.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 12:37 pm, 12th February 2020

I listened carefully to Mr Carmichael, who speaks with years of experience, shall we say, as somebody who had direct responsibility, at least partly, for this issue during his time in coalition. I simply say to him that although I am not accusing him of having an unreasonable approach, we do view the business motion as meeting the test of reasonableness, bearing in mind that these are exceptional circumstances and we would not depart from normal proceedings lightly. We want to make sure that the time we have for debate is maximised, which is important when we bear in mind the issue of Divisions. For those reasons we judge it appropriate on this occasion to depart from normal proceedings.

I know that the right hon. Gentleman will probably not accept the explanation I give him, but at least the very fact that he has moved this manuscript amendment—although I note that we have not heard the same objection from other parts of the House—has made the Government explain their position. These are exceptional circumstances, and for that reason I urge him respectfully to withdraw the amendment.

Question put, That the amendment be made.