Prorogation of Parliament — [Joan Ryan in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:53 pm on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Lefroy Jeremy Lefroy Conservative, Stafford 5:53 pm, 9th September 2019

I apologise for not being here at the beginning of the debate; I was giving evidence to the review panel on High Speed 2. That issue is one reason why I am very concerned about the length of this Prorogation. HS2 phase 2a, which is being considered by Parliament and approaching the House of Lords, has a huge impact on my constituents, so it was important to be able to give evidence to the panel. I will come to the other things we will be prevented from doing in the coming weeks by this excessive Prorogation. It is right that we should have a Prorogation—I am fully in favour of a new Queen’s Speech—but it should not last until 14 October.

My plea to the Government is that we should come back at the latest on 7 October, if not on 3 October, once all party conferences have concluded. That is plenty of time. We are in the midst of a crisis in Parliament and in the country. We need to respect the result of the 2016 referendum and leave the European Union but do so with a deal in an orderly way, as set out by the manifesto on which I stood in 2017. The problem with coming back from Prorogation on 14 October is that that leaves little time for Parliament to consider the new deal or revised deal that I firmly hope the Prime Minister will bring back—even perhaps in draft, if it is in advance of the European Council on 17 October. It is our responsibility to look at that. Indeed, as a member of the newly formed grouping of MPs for a deal, I will work with Members of Parliament from across the House to ensure that there is an opportunity to arrive at a deal that achieves a majority in this House.