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Infrastructure Bill [Lords]: (Programme) (No. 3)

Volume 592: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2015

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 83A(7)),

That the following provisions shall apply to the Infrastructure Bill [Lords] for the purpose of supplementing the Orders of 8 December 2014 (Infrastructure Bill [Lords] (Programme)) and 26 January 2015 (Infrastructure Bill [Lords] (Programme) (No. 2)):

Consideration of Lords Message

(1) Any Message from the Lords may be considered forthwith without any Question being put.

(2) Proceedings on that Message shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement at today’s sitting.

Subsequent stages

(3) Any further Message from the Lords may be considered forthwith without any Question being put.

(4) The proceedings on any further Message from the Lords shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.—(Damian Hinds.)

Question agreed to.

The hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Caroline Lucas) has her answer: the House has decided that Members shall have one hour to take these proceedings forward.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. When this House sent the Bill to the other place, we sent a strong message through an amendment that we unified around. The Lords have now diluted it and my hon. Friend the Member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West (Tom Greatrex) has tabled an amendment to rectify the situation. Will you use your good offices to ensure that the House has an opportunity to vote on the amendment so that the will of the House, so clearly demonstrated last time, is upheld?

Once again, I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for having given me some notice of the point he wished to raise, which has given me the opportunity to consult Standing Orders Nos. 83F and G, from which I surmise and therefore rule that there is no opportunity for further debate, as the hon. Gentleman wishes, and I must give him the same answer as I have given to the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion. The House has just decided on a programme motion that encompasses all that needs to be considered as far as the Bill is concerned.

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. For clarity, are you saying that if the House provides time for a Division to take place on the Opposition amendments, that can happen?

Yes, indeed, of course it can. I am happy to clarify that for the hon. Gentleman. Once again, it is up to the House. If the House decides that it wishes to use all the time available in debate and discussion, there will be less time for votes. If the House decides not to use the time for debate, there will be time for votes.

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. As the Ministers are both in their place, as well as the Government’s business managers, is it not the case that irrespective of the Standing Orders of the House, if the Government so wish they could cease the debate at the appropriate time so that the Opposition amendments could be voted on?

I am not going to take up any more time on this as I have already answered that point. It is up to the House. If no Member wishes to speak, there will be plenty of time to vote. If many Members wish to speak, there will be less time to vote. I suggest that we proceed, rather than using any more precious time on points of order one way or another.