(16) (a) No Motion shall be made, except by a Minister of the Crown, to alter the order in which any proceedings on the Bill are taken, to recommit the Bill or to vary or supplement the provisions of this Order.
(b) No notice shall be required of such a Motion.
(c) Such a Motion may be considered forthwith without any Question being put; and any proceedings interrupted for that purpose shall be suspended accordingly.
(d) The Question on such a Motion shall be put forthwith; and any proceedings suspended under sub-paragraph (c) shall thereupon be resumed.
(17) (a) No dilatory Motion shall be made in relation to proceedings to which this Order applies except by a Minister of the Crown.
(b) The Question on any such Motion shall be put forthwith.
(18) No debate may be held under
(19) Proceedings to which this Order applies shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.
(20) At today’s sitting the Speaker shall not adjourn the House until—
(a) any Message from the Lords on the Bill has been received and any Committee to draw up Reasons which has been appointed at that sitting has reported;
(b) the Speaker has reported the Royal Assent to any Act agreed upon by both Houses.
The motion allows time for this important debate to take place today until 2.30 pm. There is always a balance to be struck when we have to do things urgently with ensuring that the House is able to scrutinise them properly. Going to 2.30 seems to be the right balance. It ensures that the Bill can be passed today, that the statutory instruments can be laid tomorrow and that we can therefore be compliant with our responsibility in terms of our international agreements by the end of the year. That seems to be the right thing to do and the right approach, and I hope that the Scottish National party will not move to a Division on its amendment. Although I understand the reason for the amendment, and I do not think it is unreasonable for SNP Members to put the amendment forward, I hope that they would not want to use the time for a Division, considering that it will eat into the time available for the debate.
Clearly the Opposition are desperately disappointed that there was not enough time to debate this deal properly. This is unacceptable. It puts a great deal of pressure on House staff and everybody else, but I am pleased that the virtual Parliament will enable our colleagues to take part in it.
The Opposition have facilitated this. We facilitated the time because we want to say that this is not our deal, but we will vote for legislation that will enact it to prevent no deal. That is the key point about why we are here today: we want to prevent no deal, which would have a great effect on our economy and our constituents. We support the motion to enable this legislation to come forward because we are up against a deadline of
I beg to move amendment (a), in line 10, paragraph 1, leave out sub-paragraph (c) and insert —
“(c) Proceedings on Second Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion five hours after the beginning of those proceedings; and proceedings in Committee of the whole House, any proceedings on Consideration and proceedings on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion no later than seven hours after the beginning of proceedings on second reading.”
Brexit is diminishing the UK’s role in the world, and this programme motion diminishes the role of Parliament in the UK. Today was supposed to be about taking back control and reclaiming parliamentary sovereignty. Well, this is not the kind of parliamentary sovereignty that is acceptable. The Leader of the House is wrong to say that if we force a Division, it will eat up time, because if he accepted our amendment, it would create more time—it would give five full protected hours for Second Reading and then two hours for Committee. We have lodged amendments, and if we do not get a Committee stage, those amendments will never even see the light of day. That is not the primacy of Parliament. If that is the control that the Brexiteers in the ERG fought for, good luck to them, because it sets a very dangerous precedent. We will divide the House on this amendment.
I am grateful to Valerie Vaz for the support of the Opposition. In all this talk of time, it is worth bearing in mind that we have now been discussing this subject for four, five, six or perhaps nearly 50 years. Having five hours today or just under, until 2.30 pm, is about the right amount, to ensure that the legislation is passed. Once again, we see our friends in the SNP not liking the referendum result and therefore trying to stop it. We have had a referendum—leave won. This is merely the final little bit of icing being put on the Christmas cake that the Prime Minister so efficiently delivered for the nation.
Question put, That the amendment be made.