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PM Statement in HOC following debate on 19 Oct 2019

Following the vote in the House of Commons on Saturday 19 October 2019 which rendered the Meaningful vote Meaningless, the PM made a statement.

Transcript:

Mr Speaker, I am very grateful to you, I am very grateful to the House of Commons staff, everybody who’s put themselves out, everybody who has come to give up their time in this debate today. It’s been a very important debate, an exceptional moment for our country, an exceptional moment for our Parliament. Alas the opportunity to have a meaningful vote has been effectively been passed up because the meaningful vote has been voided of meaning. But I wish the House to know that I’m not daunted or dismayed by this particular result and I think it probably became likely once it was obvious that the amendment from my Right Honourable Friend the Member for West Dorset was going to remain on the order paper. I continue in the very strong belief that the best thing for the UK and for the whole of Europe is for us to leave with this new deal on October 31.

And to anticipate the questions that are coming from the benches opposite, I will not negotiate a delay with the EU, and neither does the law compel me to do so. I will tell our friends and colleagues in the EU exactly what I’ve told everyone in the last 88 days that I’ve served as Prime Minister: that further delay would be bad for this country, bad for the European Union and bad for democracy.

So next week the Government will introduce the legislation needed for us to leave the EU with our new deal on October 31. And I hope that our European Union colleagues and friends will not be attracted as the benches opposite are by delay. I don’t think they’ll be attracted by delay.

And I hope that then Honourable Members faced with a choice of our new deal, our new deal for the UK and the European Union, will change their minds because it was pretty close today. I hope that they will change their minds and support this deal in overwhelming numbers.

Since I became Prime Minister I’ve said we must get on and get Brexit done on October 31 so that this country can move on. Mr Speaker, that policy remains unchanged, no delays, and I will continue to do all I can to get Brexit done on October 31 and I continue to commend this excellent deal, Mr Speaker, to the House.

ref: Hansard

Another waste of time ?

The historic sitting of Parliament on Saturday 19 October 2019 was yet another damp squib with MPs, yet again, failing to reach a conclusion on Brexit.

With the majority of MPs in Parliament still in favour of NO BREXIT they managed to force through yet another delay rather than accepting or rejecting the current “new” Withdrawal Agreement.

Are they hoping that people will eventually get fed up and say “Lets Stay”?

The motion put to MPs for debate was

That, in light of the new deal agreed with the European Union, which enables the United Kingdom to respect the result of the referendum on its membership of the European Union and to leave the European Union on 31 October with a deal, and for the purposes of 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, this House approves the negotiated withdrawal agreement titled Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and the framework for the future relationship titled Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom that the United Kingdom has concluded with the European Union under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, as well as a Declaration by Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the operation of the Democratic consent in Northern Ireland provision of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, copies of these three documents which were laid before this House on Saturday 19 October.

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, selected amendment (a) in the name of the right hon. Member for West Dorset (Sir Oliver Letwin) to this Motion.

The second motion would also be considered during the debate

That this House approves the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union on exit day, without a withdrawal agreement as defined in section 20(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

During the debate, Oliver Letwin proposed his amendment

amendment (a), in motion 1, leave out from “with a deal,” to end and add

“this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.”

Amendment (a) has been tabled in my name and those of many other right hon. and hon. Members, and I do not need to detain the House for long. The purpose of the amendment, as has been said in several interventions and speeches, is to keep in place the insurance policy provided by the Benn Act that prevents us from automatically crashing out if no deal is in place by 31 October.

If passed, the amendment changes the motion being voted on completely and indicates that MPs are withholding approval of the deal (at least for today!)

Following debate a vote on the amendment was taken:

Results were 322 in favour of the amendment with 306 against.

(Statistically, Turnout: 628 votes cast, 51.27% in favour, 48.73% against – perhaps they should have a second vote ?)

Thus, Amendment (a) agreed to.

The Main Question, as amended, was put and agreed to without a further vote as follows:

That, in light of the new deal agreed with the European Union, which enables the United Kingdom to respect the result of the referendum on its membership of the European Union and to leave the European Union on 31 October with a deal, this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.

Thus the day ended with no further progress towards concluding the Brexit question and MPs dodge making a decision again.

As a result of the vote, with no agreement being reached regarding approval of the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement, provisions of the “surrender” Act also known as, the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019, come into play that requires the Prime Minister to request an extension (another one) to the current extension due to expire on 31 October 2019 – more delay.

What would happen if the EU were to refuse a further extension ?

The House of Commons will sit on Saturday (19/10/19)

by Politicker 0 Comments

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.

Update 18/1019

Possible Amendments:

  • 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,

Brexit deal: Saturday’s sitting explained

Back to Work (or not) ?

by Politicker 0 Comments

The Queen re-opened parliament today (14 October 2019) following the short prorogation allowed by the Courts. The Queen’s Speech outlines the Government plans for the new session…

… though it is unclear how many any of the new Bills proposed by the Government will actually get through Parliament, based on the fact that a General Election is looming.

There now follows 5 days of debate in Parliament chatting about the contents of the speech.

Transcript:

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons.

My Government’s priority has always been to secure the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on 31 October. My Government intends to work towards a new partnership with the European Union, based on free trade and friendly cooperation [European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill].

My Ministers will work to implement new regimes for fisheries, agriculture and trade, seizing the opportunities that arise from leaving the European Union [Fisheries Bill, Agriculture Bill and Trade Bill]. An immigration bill, ending free movement, will lay the foundation for a fair, modern and global immigration system. My Government remains committed to ensuring that resident European citizens, who have built their lives in, and contributed so much to, the United Kingdom, have the right to remain. The bill will include measures that reinforce this commitment [Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill]. Steps will be taken to provide certainty, stability and new opportunities for the financial services and legal sectors [Financial Services Bill and Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill].

My Government’s new economic plan will be underpinned by a responsible fiscal strategy, investing in economic growth while maintaining the sustainability of the public finances.

Measures will be brought forward to support and strengthen the National Health Service, its workforce and resources, enabling it to deliver the highest quality care. New laws will be taken forward to help implement the National Health Service’s Long Term Plan in England, and to establish an independent body to investigate serious healthcare incidents [Health Service Safety Investigations Bill].

My Government will bring forward proposals to reform adult social care in England to ensure dignity in old age. My Ministers will continue work to reform the Mental Health Act to improve respect for, and care of, those receiving treatment.

My Government is committed to addressing violent crime, and to strengthening public confidence in the criminal justice system. New sentencing laws will see that the most serious offenders spend longer in custody to reflect better the severity of their crimes [Sentencing Bill]. Measures will be introduced to improve the justice system’s response to foreign national offenders [Foreign National Offenders Bill]. My Government will work to improve safety and security in prisons and to strengthen the rehabilitation of offenders. Proposals will be brought forward to ensure that victims receive the support they need and the justice they deserve. Laws will be introduced to ensure that the parole system recognises the pain to victims and their families caused by offenders refusing to disclose information relating to their crimes [Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill].

A new duty will be placed on public sector bodies, ensuring they work together to address serious violence [Serious Violence Bill]. Police officers will be provided with the protections they need to keep the population safe [Police Protections Bill]. They will also be awarded the power to arrest individuals who are wanted by trusted international partners [Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill].

My Government will bring forward measures to protect individuals, families and their homes. Legislation will transform the approach of the justice system and other agencies to victims of domestic abuse [Domestic Abuse Bill], and minimise the impact of divorce, particularly on children [Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill]. My Ministers will continue to develop proposals to improve internet safety, and will bring forward laws to implement new building safety standards.

My Ministers will ensure that all young people have access to an excellent education, unlocking their full potential and preparing them for the world of work. My Government will take steps to make work fairer, introducing measures that will support those working hard [Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill]. To help people plan for the future, measures will be brought forward to provide simpler oversight of pensions savings. To protect people’s savings for later life, new laws will provide greater powers to tackle irresponsible management of private pension schemes [Pension Schemes Bill].

To ensure that the benefits of a prospering economy reach every corner of the United Kingdom, my Ministers will bring forward a National Infrastructure Strategy. This will set out a long-term vision to improve the nation’s digital, transport and energy infrastructure. New legislation will help accelerate the delivery of fast, reliable and secure broadband networks to millions of homes [Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill]. An aviation bill will provide for the effective and efficient management of the United Kingdom’s airspace Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill. Proposals on railway reform will be brought forward.

A white paper will be published to set out my Government’s ambitions for unleashing regional potential in England, and to enable decisions that affect local people to be made at a local level.

My Government is committed to establishing the United Kingdom as a world-leader in scientific capability and space technology. Increased investment in science will be complemented by the development of a new funding agency, a more open visa system, and an ambitious national space strategy.

My Ministers remain committed to protecting and improving the environment for future generations. For the first time, environmental principles will be enshrined in law. Measures will be introduced to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution and restore habitats so plants and wildlife can thrive. Legislation will also create new legally-binding environmental improvement targets. A new, world-leading independent regulator will be established in statute to scrutinise environmental policy and law, investigate complaints and take enforcement action [Environment Bill].

Proposals will also be brought forward to promote and protect the welfare of animals [Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill], including banning imports from trophy hunting.

The integrity and prosperity of the union that binds the four nations of the United Kingdom is of the utmost importance to my Government. My Ministers will bring forward measures to support citizens across all the nations of the United Kingdom.

My Government remains committed to working with all parties in Northern Ireland to support the return of devolved government and to address the legacy of the past.

My Government will take steps to protect the integrity of democracy and the electoral system in the United Kingdom.

My Government will continue to invest in our gallant Armed Forces. My Ministers will honour the Armed Forces Covenant and the NATO commitment to spend at least two per cent of national income on defence.

As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, my Government will ensure that it continues to play a leading role in global affairs, defending its interests and promoting its values.

My Government will be at the forefront of efforts to solve the most complex international security issues. It will champion global free trade and work alongside international partners to solve the most pressing global challenges. It will prioritise tackling climate change and ensuring that all girls have access to twelve years of quality education.

Members of the House of Commons.

Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons.

Other measures will be laid before you.

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-2019

Further Information

Queen’s Speech 2019: background briefing notes

Queen’s Speech 2019: background briefing notes (pdf)

Queen’s Speech 2019: what it means for you

Parliament is Suspended

by Politicker 0 Comments

Parliament has been prorogued, meaning that Parliament has been suspended, for 5 weeks until the 14 October. The formal process took place during the early hours of Tuesday 10 September 2019 amid visible protests from MPs and the Speaker (who is shortly due to retire from his position).

A number of MPs protesting against the prorogation of Parliamment, holding signs reading “silenced”, attempted to stop the Speaker leaving the House of Commons for the House of Lords and the Speaker said:

Black Rod, I treat you and what you have to say with respect, and I recognise that our presence is desired by our Majesty the Queen’s Commissioners. They are doing what they believe to be right and I recognise my role in this matter.

I’m perfectly happy to play my part, but I do want to make the point that this is not a standard or normal prorogation.

This is not, however, a normal Prorogation. It is not typical. It is not standard. It is one of the longest for decades, and it represents, not just in the minds of many colleagues but for huge numbers of people outside an act of Executive fiat.

What does “executive fiat” mean ?

It can probably be interpreted to mean “the enforcement of a rule by people who have absolute power to do so, regardless of democratic process

The Speaker then led MPs towards the House of Lords for the formal prorogation ceremony. Only MPs from the Government took part in the ceremony leaving Opposition MPs in the House of Commons heckling as MPs left the chamber. Those remaining in the Commons held a “sing-song” in the chamber while the prorogation took place in the House of Lords.

Remember these are your elected representatives.

Opposition benches in the House of Lords were empty as Labour and Liberal Democrat peers boycotted the ceremony apparently in protest at the suspension of Parliament.

The Prorogation of Parliament proceeded to its conclusion with the Lord President winding up:

“My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

By virtue of Her Majesty’s Commission which has now been read, we do, in Her Majesty’s name, and in obedience to Her Majesty’s Commands, prorogue this Parliament to Monday the fourteenth day of this October to be then here holden, and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Monday the fourteenth day of October.”

The Speaker returned to the House of Commons to report back to MPs, but this time Conservative MPs did not return in order to register their protest at the behaviour of other MPs.

Thus ended this first session of the Fifty-Seventh Parliament that was opened on 13 June 2017.

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