Valerie responds to Business statement

Following the Government being defeated on the programme motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill by a majority of 14 (Ayes: 308, Noes: 322) on Tuesday 22 October 2019, the Leader of the House made a business statement.

Below is my response in full:

I thank the Leader of the House for making a business statement and not a point of order. He heard Her Majesty’s Opposition and will know that we stand ready to work with the Government. The Opposition Chief Whip is a very reasonable person and will be very happy to discuss a proper way to proceed through the usual channels.

This is important. It was only earlier this week that the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union was not clear on the tariffs going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. As the right hon. Member for Belfast North (Nigel Dodds) has made clear, this is really important for the Union.

I am obviously disappointed, as are right hon. and hon. Members who have prepared for the Queen’s Speech debate. This is no way to conduct business. We have been moved around—jerked around, quite frankly—by the Government in a shambolic way. This has not been done in an orderly fashion. We now have the votes on the Queen’s Speech on Thursday. I would be grateful if the Leader of the House clarified that there will be votes on Wednesday and Thursday.