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 Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means 6:22 pm, 11th January 2021

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his point of order. In answer to his specific question, I can confirm, he will be disappointed to know, that Mr Speaker has not had any representations such as he describes from the Leader of the House on that matter. I can understand the right hon. Gentleman’s consternation at the situation as regards the Committee that he chaired. The fact is that the order establishing the Committee on 16 January last year had effect for 12 months, and therefore, in the absence of any further decision of the House, the Committee’s activities will indeed cease this week. I am sure that hon. Members will want to join me in thanking the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues on the Committee for their work as it, clearly sadly in his eyes, draws to an end.

Of course, as the right hon. Gentleman points out, it is important for the effective functioning of Select Committees that Ministers and officials respond constructively to reasonable requests for them to give evidence. I am sure that Ministers will have heard the points made by the right hon. Gentleman and that they will respond appropriately to future requests from any Select Committee examining the implications of the UK’s trade and co-operation agreement with the EU and other aspects of the ongoing relationship between the UK and the EU. But I do appreciate that what I have been able to say is of no comfort whatsoever to the right hon. Gentleman.

I would normally have a short suspension of the House at this point, but having taken points of order, I observe that the personnel in the Chamber have already changed, and therefore we will waste no further time, as we are certainly up against the clock in the next important debate.