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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 627: debated on Monday 17 July 2017

On Thursday 13 July, the text of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was available through a tweet before the Bill was presented in the House. Points of order were raised about the Bill being available online before it was available to Members. An immediate investigation was carried out.

A flaw in the publishing process within the House of Commons service meant that the Bill text was inadvertently available on a live parliamentary web server before the Bill was presented. A link to the text was circulated on social media just before 11 am. Immediate action has been taken to amend the publishing process to ensure that this cannot happen again. No one outside the House of Commons service bears any responsibility for this mistake.

This was a serious incident and I have been assured that the required changes have been made to strengthen the Bill publishing arrangements. I hope that that assuages the concern of right hon. and hon. Members.