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Speaker’s Statement

Volume 657: debated on Thursday 28 March 2019

I am pleased to report to the House that the Government’s motion for tomorrow’s debate complies with the test set out on page 397 of the 24th edition of “Erskine May” that motions that are the same, or substantially the same, must not be put to the House more than once in a parliamentary Session. The previous meaningful vote motion encompassed both the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration. This motion covers the former but not the latter. I am glad that the principle of the House determining a motion definitively once and for all in each Session has been accepted and upheld, and that that principle cannot be circumvented by the assertion of a notwithstanding clause or even a paving motion. In short, the motion is new, substantially different, and in conformity with the requirements of my ruling of 18 March, reiterated on 25 and 27 March.