Before I start, can I just mention the sad loss of a friend of all of us, Brian Binley? Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Before we come to the first item of business, could I thank all the staff of the House service and the joint departments who have worked hard to make this recall possible? Like many public servants, many of those staff have worked with hardly a break at a time when one would normally be expected. In my own office, we were working very late Christmas eve, Boxing day and all the way through. There are staff in this House who have not had a break. Please bear that in mind. I hope that any consideration of timings of the House proposed in the new year is considered in the context of the additional burden that has been placed on staff.
Due to the current severe public health situation, every effort has been made to enable today’s proceedings to take place with the bare minimum level of travel to and attendance at Westminster. I will shortly call a Minister to move the motion that will allow a welcome return to virtual participation in debate for today and for the new year. I should inform hon. Members that when a speaking limit is in effect for Back Benchers, a countdown clock will be visible on the screens of hon. Members participating virtually and on the screens in the Chamber. For hon. Members participating physically in the Chamber, the usual clock in the Chamber will operate.
European Union (Future Relationship) Bill
Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)
Michael Gove, supported by the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary Dominic Raab, Secretary Priti Patel, Secretary Alok Sharma, the Attorney General, Penny Mordaunt and Julia Lopez, presented a Bill to implement, and make other provision in connection with, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement; to make further provision in connection with the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the EU and its member States; to make related provision about passenger name record data, customs and privileges and immunities; and for connected purposes.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time today, and to be printed (Bill 236) with explanatory notes (Bill 236-EN).