Business of the House (Private Members’ Bills) DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
John BercowMP Main Page: John Bercow (Speaker - Buckingham)
Department Debates - View all John Bercow's debates with the Leader of the House
(2 years, 7 months ago)Commons Chamber
I beg to move,
That Private Members’ Bills shall have precedence over Government business on 20 October, 3 November, 1 December 2017, 19 January, 2 and 23 February, 16 March, 27 April, 11 May, 15 June, 6 July, 26 October and 23 November 2018.
The purpose of this motion is to provide 13 days for private Members’ business, in line with what is required under Standing Order No. 14. Given that we have already announced that this will be an extended Session, we will of course expect to provide additional days in due course. In the extended parliamentary Session of 2010-12, the Government provided extra days for private Members’ Bills, and these were approved at a later date. The motion we are dealing with today covers days for private Members’ Bills between now and 23 November 2018. We will therefore bring forward a motion to provide additional days for private Members’ Bills in due course, which will allow us to take into account the progress of business and any new recess dates that are announced in future.
This House must balance the needs of Members to proceed with private Members’ business with Members’ other priorities. Members value time spent in their constituencies on Fridays, and scheduling additional sitting Fridays for private Members’ Bills in 2019, with no regard to what pressures might exist at that time, could cause avoidable inconvenience. This motion is a proportionate way to deal with this being a longer Session, and I encourage the House to support it.
I beg to move amendment (a), after ‘That’, insert
‘, subject to the House agreeing before Thursday 13 September 2017 to a Motion providing for an additional 13 sitting Fridays for Private Members’ Bills together with the necessary adjustments to Standing Order No.14,’
I thank the Leader of the House for moving her motion. I should like to speak to the amendment in the name of the Leader of the Opposition. I will not go over some of the arguments that I have made previously, but clearly, to our constituents private Members’ Bills are a very important part of parliamentary business. Given what has been said previously, we do not have any confidence that the Government are actually going to provide us with the extra dates that the Leader of the House mentioned. That is why we tabled our amendment to provide for an extra 13 sitting Fridays.