Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:41 pm on 30th December 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 5:41 pm, 30th December 2020

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I quite like one question, too—it makes it easier to answer—but I will do my best to answer both questions. With regard to the recess, I cannot agree to what my hon. Friend says. We have the right number of staff and the right level of expertise. We cannot duplicate such fine figures as the Clerk of the House. That is one person and to have the in-built redundancy of a spare Clerk of the House would be enormously expensive and, I think, very inefficient. We have to recognise that our staff are absolutely fantastic at taking on the extra load when that is necessary, but we must not burden them when it is not necessary.

As regards the Trade Bill, one of the interesting things about the past few months and the way in which we and the Lords have operated is that in our mainly physical presence we have managed to get through business rather quicker than their lordships, so it would be wrong of me to speculate as to when their lordships might have chewed through the Trade Bill.