Business of the House - Motion to Agree

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:23 pm on 28th July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Trefgarne Lord Trefgarne Chair, SLSC Sub-Committee A 1:23 pm, 28th July 2020

My Lords, I will not delay your Lordships. I regret very much the need for hybrid arrangements both in your Lordships’ House and now, as we are to decide shortly, in Grand Committee. I think that we have all been given to understand that the hybrid arrangements will end when the two-metre requirement goes and I look forward to that very much indeed. In the meantime, would it not be possible to provide more accommodation for your Lordships in, for example, the Royal Gallery, in the Robing Room or perhaps in the galleries around the Chamber?

I want particularly to ask about the voting arrangements during the hybrid proceedings. Is it not possible for noble Lords to cast their vote here in the Chamber, or perhaps in Grand Committee, by, for example, handing their vote to the clerk? I have been told that doing so is possible in special circumstances but not routinely, but I hope that that can be changed. So far as the hybrid voting arrangements are concerned, I am not keen on the idea of allowing anyone situated remotely anywhere in the world to do so. That is surely not a satisfactory position. I express the hope again that your Lordships’ House will return to normal as soon as possible.