Amendment to the Motion

Part of Business of the House - Motion on Standing Orders – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 4th April 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Noakes Baroness Noakes Conservative 3:15 pm, 4th April 2019

I thank my noble friend for that. I had reached the end of reading through Standing Order 46, which is an important foundational part of our procedures. I remind noble Lords that it has been in existence since 1715. It has served us well for more than 200 years, so we should be very careful about tinkering with it. It is the case, in many instances, that those rules can be modified if noble Lords agree. It is usually done through the usual channels, in a way that achieves consensus. That has not been the case on this occasion. It is nearly always done so that there is a minimum of two days. I have been involved in a number of bits of legislation that have been done on an accelerated basis, but I have never seen one rammed through in one day like this.

I have never seen a Bill not leave the other place until just before midnight but be on the Order Paper here for all stages the following day. The noble Baroness, Lady Hayter, tabled her Motion—in effect, to take over the procedures of the House to do it in one day—only yesterday. Many noble Lords will not even have seen that until they got today’s papers. This is all highly irregular and is working against the ability of this House to scrutinise this legislation properly.