Latest Shenanigans in Parliament 3 April 2019

Business in the House was again taken over by Prime Minister Letwin and Opposition Leader Cooper.
This time, rather than talking about indicative votes, they decided on another approach in an attempt to delay Brexit further or to thwart it altogether by fast tracking legislation through Parliament via a private members Bill.

Details of the bill is covered in my article at

European Union (Withdrawal) (No.5) Bill

First it was necessary to modify the Business of the House by introducing an amendable Motion (full details can be found in Hansard at http://bit.ly/2UyqxbW).

Debate on the motion began at 1:55 pm

The Motion asks for the Bill to be considered (fast tracked) through the Second Reading, Committee Stage and Third Reading.

An amendment to the motion was selected for debate and subsequent vote:

Amendment (a) in the name of the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn)

Debate continued until 5:00 pm when a vote was taken on whether to accept the ammendment to the Motion.

Results were

Ayes: 310 Noes: 310 A TIED vote.

In these, rare, circumstances the Speaker has the casting vote and he gave his vote to the NOES and the amendment was defeated.

In accordance with precedent, and on the principle that important decisions should not be taken except by a majority, I cast my vote with the Noes, so the Noes have it.

14 Conservative “Remain rebels” voted in favour of the amendment

Bebb, Guto
Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth
Djanogly, Mr Jonathan
Freeman, George
Greening, rh Justine
Grieve, rh Mr Dominic
Gyimah, Mr Sam
Harrington, Richard
Lee, Dr Phillip
Letwin, rh Sir Oliver
Morgan, rh Nicky
Sandbach, Antoinette
Spelman, rh Dame Caroline
Vaizey, rh Mr Edward

There then followed a vote on the motion itself with the result

Ayes: 312 Noes: 311

14 Conservative “Remain rebels” voted in favour of the motion

Bebb, Guto
Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth
Djanogly, Mr Jonathan
Freeman, George
Greening, rh Justine
Grieve, rh Mr Dominic
Gyimah, Mr Sam
Harrington, Richard
Lee, Dr Phillip
Letwin, rh Sir Oliver
Morgan, rh Nicky
Sandbach, Antoinette
Spelman, rh Dame Caroline
Vaizey, rh Mr Edward

The Motion was thus passed with a majority of 1, and the European Union (Withdrawal) (No.5) Bill was allowed to be fast-tracked through the House of Commons.