Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Coronavirus Bill

– in the House of Commons at 7:52 pm on 23rd March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Proceedings resumed (Order, this day).

Considered in Committee (Order, this day).

[Dame Eleanor Laing in the Chair]

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means

I have a few things to explain before we begin Committee stage. For understandable reasons, a large number of manuscript amendments have been tabled by the Government today, and in fact a large number of other manuscript amendments have, unusually, been allowed today as well. Members therefore need to make sure that they are working from the right version of the notice paper and that they have the latest version of the grouping and selection list, although I should explain that there is one group.

Government amendments 79 to 82 on extradition are on a separate supplementary notice paper, and a revised grouping and selection list will be issued shortly. The late appearance of these amendments is due not to Government action but to a mistake on the part of the Public Bill Office, but, lest anybody complain, I will defend the Public Bill Office, because they have done a marvellous job today. I have seen it over the last few days, and the people who work here have worked miracles to get us to this stage in such good order.

The Business of the House motion, which the House agreed before Second Reading, allows the Chair discretion at the end of the time allowed for Committee—in this case, that falls at exactly 10 pm—to call non-Government amendments and new clauses to be moved formally at that stage for separate decision. I have to tell the Committee that my sense of where we are at this stage is that I will call Divisions only when they are really essential. As always, the Chair will listen to the debate and form a judgment on whether to exercise that discretion. I am simply informing the Committee now that today the bar is a high one—no one will be surprised to hear that—and that arguments in favour of going through the Division Lobbies tonight will need to be very persuasive.