Business of the House: Debate this Day

– in the House of Lords at 11:36 am on 19th March 2002.

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Photo of Lord Williams of Mostyn Lord Williams of Mostyn President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords 11:36 am, 19th March 2002

My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

I am advised by the House authorities that this Motion is necessary to ensure that none of the three Motions standing in the name of my noble friend Lord Whitty is subject to pre-emption. Today's procedures and this business Motion have been agreed by the usual channels. Without this business Motion, we should find ourselves in difficulty; namely, that if either of the first two of the Motions standing in the name of my noble friend were agreed to, the remaining Motion or Motions would fail.

Your Lordships, quite reasonably on all sides, want to have a guarantee of three votes. If the House agrees to this business Motion, I can give that guarantee. No matter what happens in any of the votes, there will be no question of pre-emption and three votes would be assured.

Assuming that your Lordships agree to this business Motion, the procedure is intended to be as follows. My noble friend Lord Whitty will move the first Motion standing in his name. The whole debate will take place on that Motion. When we reach the end of the speakers' list, some time later today, my noble friend will wind up the debate and the first vote will then occur. After the first vote, my noble friend Lord Whitty will formally move the second Motion. We shall vote on that Motion straightaway, without any further debate. When the second vote is complete, my noble friend will move his third Motion. We shall vote again without further debate. That third vote will conclude our proceedings.

As your Lordships have seen, there are 45 names on the speakers' list. There is no time limit, but perhaps, if Front-Bench speakers voluntarily limited themselves to 15 minutes and all Back-Bench speakers voluntarily restricted themselves to, say, eight minutes, we could conclude our proceedings at a reasonable time this evening.

Moved, That, notwithstanding the practice of the House that matters already decided may not be brought forward again during the same Session, the House may if it thinks fit consider and vote on all the Motions standing in the name of the Lord Whitty this day.—(Lord Williams of Mostyn.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.