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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 651: debated on Monday 17 December 2018

I indicated to the House earlier in response to the application under Standing Order No. 24 that I would advise the House before the end of the sitting if at all possible of the start time and intended duration of the debate under that Standing Order secured by the parliamentary leader of the Scottish National party. The reason why I gave what might be described as a contingent ruling or judgment was that I was awaiting advice from another quarter in respect of a separate but important matter. That advice has not to date been forthcoming, and therefore I have to make a judgment on the basis of what is known to me now. I am sorry if this sounds rather abstruse, but I think it will be clear at any rate to those who have sought tomorrow’s or Wednesday’s debate. In the absence of clarification on the other matter that was being considered for possible attention of the House, I propose that the debate under Standing Order No. 24 shall take place tomorrow at the start of public business, and that it shall last for up to three hours. If subsequent to now there is any intelligence suggesting that that arrangement could usefully be revisited, of course the party that has secured the debate will be advised of that and given the opportunity to consider an alternative time if it so wished, and we would try to proceed by consensus. But as things stand I propose that that debate in the name of the Scottish National party should take place as the first item of public business tomorrow for up to three hours. I hope that that is helpful to colleagues.