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Motion to Adjourn

Arrangement of Business - Announcement – in the House of Lords at 3:07 pm on 25th March 2019.

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Moved by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

That the House do now adjourn.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords), Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

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.

Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour

My Lords, I just want to be sure that the House will adjourn until 4.30 pm, because the Government Chief Whip did not quite say that. The Lord Speaker did but, if it is not to be exactly 4.30 pm, we will need some alert.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords), Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

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.

Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour

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.