Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:13 am on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:13 am, 25th June 2020

The hon. Gentleman has made the schoolboy error of not knowing what King Canute did. King Canute took his advisers down to the shore to show that he did not have the power to command the tide; he did not go there to show he had the power and was then embarrassed. The hon. Gentleman may be embarrassed that he has used the analogy incorrectly—as I said, it is a schoolboy error.

As we are on the subject of history, I thought that the hon. Gentleman might be a bit more cheerful today, because I happened to notice in The Times yesterday that it was the anniversary of Robert the Bruce’s victory at Bannockburn in 1314. I thought that might have brought a smile to the hon. Gentleman’s face—but this is a very difficult task to achieve, as I see him looking sternly down upon me.

I am surprised that the hon. Gentleman wishes to close down Parliament when it is just opening up the rest of the country, but we are back. We led the way. Things are really working extremely well. Voting is taking place. Next week there is a full programme of legislation. It is a proper Parliament; it is back to work. I am afraid the fact that SNP do not want to come here says more about their politics than it does about the state of the coronavirus.

The hon. Gentleman went on to wanting more money for the Scottish Government. They have already had £3.7 billion from UK taxpayers, and without the strength of the UK economy I hate to think what situation Scotland would be in had it been independent. The separatists’ arguments are crumbling away day by day, and that is absolutely crucial.

As regards industries that have been closed, there has been an unrivalled package of taxpayer support, with 9 million people who are currently furloughed getting support. The Chancellor has said that everybody will be looked after, and that is what has been done.