My Lords, it might be useful to the House if I make a brief statement about today’s business.
As the House will be aware, the House of Commons will hear a Statement from my right honourable friend the Prime Minister beginning at 3.30 pm. Following usual channel discussions this morning, I suggest that it will be for the convenience of those taking part in today’s debate in the House if we adjourn during pleasure to await the opening exchanges on the Prime Minister’s Statement. My noble friend the Leader will then repeat the Statement and, following 20 minutes of Back-Bench questions and answers, we will move immediately to the debate. We will seek to ensure that those who are not signed up to speak are given priority when intervening on the repeated Statement. I beg to move that the House do now adjourn during pleasure and, in moving this Motion, I suggest that we do not reconvene before 4.30 pm.
I said not before 4.30 pm. I hope that that is clear. It means that if the exchanges in the House of Commons go on for longer, we will not reconvene until the initial exchanges are over.
My Lords, that is not at all satisfactory. If the exchanges drag on—the Speaker has a tendency to allow them to go on and on—we will not know exactly when to reconvene and will be hanging around. Will there be an alert about when we are to reconvene, or will we reconvene at 4.30 pm? We need to know precisely when we have to be back.
If it helps the noble Lord, I will make sure that we are here at 4.30 pm.