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European Union (Future Relationship) Bill

Volume 686: debated on Wednesday 30 December 2020

Proceedings resumed (Order, this day).

Considered in Committee.

[Dame Eleanor Laing in the Chair]

On a point of order, Dame Eleanor. We find ourselves in the rather bizarre situation today, when we are being told that Parliament has taken back control, that this charade of a Committee of the whole House will conclude without any Member being able to speak, or indeed to consider the 14 pages of amendments tabled by right hon. and hon. Members. Can I seek your clarity and your guidance? If Parliament is taking back control, why on earth is it that Parliament is being forced to debate this charade of a Bill in five hours and being muted entirely during the Committee of the whole House?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. It is a perfectly reasonable question to ask at this stage in the proceedings, but as Mr Speaker said just before he left the Chair, under the order of the House today we now move to a Committee of the whole House. The House decided this morning in the timetable motion under which we are operating. That is the answer to the hon. Gentleman’s question. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will also have noted that, unusually, we are in a position where the Bill being taken in these unusual circumstances at this time can be only rejected or passed in its entirety, so the opportunity for any change has long passed. The hon. Gentleman cannot possibly argue that these matters have not been discussed and argued at length and in depth for many years. Indeed, the hon. Member for Stone (Sir William Cash) might say for decades.

The Chair put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Order, this day).

Clauses 1 to 40 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedules 1 to 6 agreed to.

The Speaker resumed the Chair.

Bill reported, without amendment.

Mr Speaker, can you clarify the last time that a Committee of the whole House sat for a mammoth four minutes?

Obviously, it is not a point of order.

Third Reading

Queen’s consent signified.

Question put forthwith (Order, this day), That the Bill be now read the Third time.

Bill read the Third time and passed.

The list of Members currently certified as eligible for a proxy vote, and of the Members nominated as their proxy, is published at the end of today’s debates.

In order to allow the safe exit of Members participating in the last bit of business and the safe arrival of those participating in the next, I shall suspend the House for three minutes.

Sitting suspended.