Points of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:22 pm on 11th January 2021.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union 6:22 pm, 11th January 2021

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union will cease to exist in five days’ time. On 10 December I wrote to the Leader of the House to ask for more time to allow us to complete our work so that we could scrutinise the trade and co-operation agreement that was eventually reached with the EU on Christmas eve. The Leader of the House replied on 6 January to decline the request. I then wrote to him the following day to ask him to reconsider in the light of the fact that we have asked Lord Frost and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to give evidence to the Select Committee on the agreement, but neither of them is available this week.

This means that the Committee that was set up specifically to examine matters relating to the negotiations on the future relationship with the European Union will now be prevented from taking evidence from the person who negotiated the agreement and from reporting fully to the House on its implications. As this is, to put it mildly, highly unsatisfactory, has the Leader of the House given any indication to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, that he intends to change his mind and move a Standing Order accordingly so that we can take evidence from Lord Frost and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster?