Crunch time – The House of Commons voted to sit from 9.30 am on Saturday 19 October 2019, and MPs will debate the Government’s new Brexit deal.
The House of Commons does not usually sit on a Saturday, the previous occasions were :
- 2 September 1939: Outbreak of World War II
- 30 July 1949: Summer adjournment debates, last sitting of the summer
- 3 November 1956: Suez crisis
- 3 April 1982: Falkland Islands invasion
Why didn’t they want to do this on Friday 18th ?
MPs approved (with amendment) a Government proposal (called a Business of the House order) on Thursday 17 October to allow this Saturday sitting to happen. The amendment was voted on and agreed by 287 votes in favour with 275 votes against.
In statistical terms, MPs turnout: 86.5%, 51 % of votes cast in favour, 49 % of votes cast against.
Perhaps there should be a 2nd vote !
Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to as follows
That this House shall sit at 9.30am on Saturday 19 October and at that sitting:
(1) the first business shall be any statements to be made by Ministers;
(2) the provisions of Standing Order No. 11 (Friday sittings), with the exception of paragraph (4), shall apply as if that day were a Friday;
(3) paragraph (1) of Standing Order No. 16 (Proceedings under an Act or on European Union documents) shall not apply to any motion on that day; and
(4) if an amendment to any motion has been disposed of (including at or after the moment of interruption), any further amendments selected by the Speaker may be moved, and the questions shall be put forthwith.
The business on Saturday will be:
- Statement by the Prime Minister; other Ministerial Statements (if any)
- (Motion) Section 1(1)(a) of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 and Section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018
- (Motion) Section 1(2)(a) of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019
The first motion seeks Parliaments approval to accept the recent deal agreed between representatives of the UK and the EU.
The second motion, presumably if the 1st motion is rejected, seeks Parliaments approval to leave the EU without an agreed deal.
- Amendment (b) (from Angus MacNeil MP) calls for the revocation of Article 50 instead
- Amendment (c) (from Ian Blackford MP) calls instead for an extension to allow a general election to happen
- Amendment (a) (from Sir Oliver Letwin MP) withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation has passed.
An article from the House of Commons Library,