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Points of Order

Volume 703: debated on Tuesday 16 November 2021

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I rise as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on trailer and towing safety in reference to what you just said about the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021. The regulations, which abolish a safety test with no safety assessment—this has already happened—were debated in the Chamber last week and are opposed by many, including the Association of British Insurers and the Road Haulage Association. We talk a lot about the Government bypassing this place, and it seems extraordinary that an action of such magnitude for road safety has happened without legislation and we do not know when it will happen. Can you advise me on when the Secretary of State might come to the House with said legislation, and on the legality of the Government’s position on such tests and how I might pursue the matter further?

I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving me notice of the point of order. As I said in my statement, the regulations in question have been withdrawn. I understand that the Department intends to bring forward revised regulations, which will be considered by the House in the usual way. If she requires more procedural guidance, I recommend that she raises the matter with the Clerks and the Journal Office, who will advise her on the best way forward.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last week Lord Frost made a statement in the other place regarding our relationship with the European Union, negotiations following Brexit and, in particular, the Northern Ireland protocol. He promised my noble Friend Baroness Chapman of Darlington that there would be a subsequent statement in the House of Commons. Today, a written ministerial statement has been placed before the House, which I am sure you agree is not acceptable or appropriate and follows a pattern of behaviour by the Government of excluding elected representatives—not least those from Northern Ireland—from negotiations and updates on the protocol. I would be grateful for your advice on how we can ensure that Ministers are brought to the House to update us on the protocol so that elected representatives can have their say.

First, I will certainly look into the matter. It is normally the case that major Government statements are made in both Houses. What I find appalling is that this is the elected House that represents constituents across the country, and yet somehow it seems fit for their lordships to hear a statement that has been denied to this House. My best suggestion would be to try an urgent question in the morning. I am not promising, but I would certainly look at it.