Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:49 pm on 9th December 2020.

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Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence) 2:49 pm, 9th December 2020

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. My point of order naturally draws on comments that the Minister for the Armed Forces made in his statement to highlight the importance of reservists. Over the past several months, I have been very encouraged by the strength of feeling in the Chair that Parliament has primacy, and that it is important that when announcements are made, we hear them first and have the opportunity to probe and challenge them. In the Select Committee on Defence yesterday, we spent two hours interrogating the Ministry of Defence’s accounts, but no mention was made of the announcement that appeared in The Daily Telegraph today that 2,700 Royal Navy reservists would be stood down for four months, in order to penny-pinch. That decision has been described as “short-sighted”, and it is ill-judged. Could you advise me, Madam Deputy Speaker—I am grateful that the Secretary of State for Defence has remained in the Chamber—how parliamentarians who believe in the reservists and believe that we need to explore the matter further can best get an appropriate opportunity to do so?