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Points of Order

Volume 583: debated on Thursday 3 July 2014

The Leader of the House is in his place and I have a sense that the point of order from the hon. Member for Stone (Sir William Cash) is of a pressing topical character, so we will take it now before we come to the Select Committee statements.

I am extremely grateful to you, Mr Speaker. I entirely accept your observations on my attempting to get in during business questions, but I was not here earlier because I was waiting outside the Chamber, as I feared that the Government might introduce a Command Paper, of huge importance to this House and to the United Kingdom, on the issue of justice and home affairs and the opt-outs and opt-ins on 35 measures. That is the reason for my point of order. I fear that I have to say that the Government, knowing that that was the case, did not refer to that paper in the business statement. The difficulty is that by reason of it not being raised before, I was precluded from seeking an urgent question, because I was not entirely aware of the fact that it was going to happen. I simply make the point that I feel very strongly that we should have a debate as soon as possible on the issue. Perhaps the Leader of the House will be good enough to indicate the position through you, Mr Speaker.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I am not sure that that was a point of order, but he has put his concerns on the record. The Leader of the House will say whatever he wants to say, but I just point out that he did reference the general debate on the UK’s justice and home affairs opt-outs, which will take place on Thursday 10 July.

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I need say little more, other than to draw the attention of the House, as my hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Sir William Cash) has done, to the document that was published this morning on the decision pursuant to article 10(5) of protocol 36 to the treaty on the functioning of the European Union, which relates to the justice and home affairs opt-outs. The document may be debated, as you rightly say, Mr Speaker, next Thursday.

It would seem churlish and unkind not to allow the hon. Member for Harlow (Robert Halfon) to make his point of order.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Following the question from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Sir Gerald Kaufman), I fear that the wrong impression has been given to the House. The Israeli Prime Minister and the mayor of Jerusalem condemned the death of the Palestinian in Israel in the last few days. There is absolutely no evidence that that atrocity was carried out by an Israeli.