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Arrangement of Business

Volume 777: debated on Wednesday 30 November 2016

Announcement of Recess Dates

My Lords, it may be for the convenience of the House if I make a short Statement about recess dates for the next year. As usual, to save Members reaching for their diaries, I should say that dates are listed at the back of this week’s edition of Forthcoming Business and a separate note is available in the Printed Paper Office. In a bid to be helpful to the House, we have gone slightly further ahead this year, in terms of the dates for next year, than we have in recent years. I should therefore particularly stress the usual caveat that the planned recesses are provisional and subject to the usual progress of business.

For Easter, we expect to adjourn at the end of business on Thursday 6 April and return on Monday 24 April. The May Day bank holiday is Monday 1 May, and we will adjourn at the end of business on the previous Thursday, 27 April. For Whitsun, we expect to adjourn at the end of business on Thursday 25 May and return on Tuesday 6 June.

My Lords, I apologise to the Government Chief Whip for not giving him advance notice of this question, and I do not need an immediate reply, but what consultation has there been with the Commons to marry, so far as is possible, the recesses of the two Houses? He will recall that, in the most recent recess, we had what to me, at any rate, seemed a most absurd situation where we sat on the Wednesday when the Commons did not and they came back on the following Monday when we were still in recess. A bigger brain than mine may have worked out that that is the best way of doing things, but it is not immediately apparent, and it is for the convenience of both Houses if, as far as possible, the recess dates of the two Houses marry with one another.

I am grateful to the noble Lord for mentioning that point. He will know that, in fact, the dates have not been announced in the other place up to now, but I anticipate that they will be made available to Members of the House of Commons shortly. I think he will find that they will coincide with our own, because we in this House are the trend-setters, as noble Lords know.