Good morning and welcome to another #Brexit thread

I'll be attempting to cover the events that are happening both in the Commons and in the Lords today so this is going to be a long one

So first things first, hello to all my new followers and here's a quick breakdown of what's happening today, and a quick precis of how business in each House is carried out and why really arcane things seem to happen that bear little-to-no relationship to reality

What's expected for today?

In the Lords the Opposition and Crossbench peers have laid a motion that will allow them the time to scrutinise the Bill that's about to be debated in the Commons. They want to debate this Bill on Friday at the latest. More on that later

In the Commons 3 really big events are happening

First is Prime Minister's Questions, which after last night's defeat for Johnson and him kicking 21 MPs out of the Tory parliamentary party will be very lively

Second, the backbenchers, having gained control of the Order paper after last night's motion (more on that later) will be attempting to pass the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill 2019 (as below, will try to find a text version of it)


Third, the House will vote on whether to call a General Election

So that's some of the Business of both Houses today

Now to delve into a bit of what you're going to hear and we'll start with the Commons, and we'll start at the end of the process for the Bill

Passing a Bill in the House requires it going through several stages (1st reading, 2nd reading, Committee, Report, and Third Reading)
This is normally a process of months and, if it passes through all of those things it goes off to the Lords for them to scrutinise and revise through all the same stages as above

After that it gets complicated. If the Bill is unamended it goes off for Royal Assent and becomes an Act

If it is amended then it goes back the Commons who then vote whether to accept the amendments or not

If the Commons accept the Lord's Amendments then the Bill goes off to gain Royal Assent

If they do not then the Commons amendments to the Lords' amendments to the Bill go back to the Lords who then consider whether to accept the Commons amendments to their amendments

That process is called ping pong and could go on forever if both Houses continue to amend the Bill

However, once both Houses accept the Bill with no further amendments the Bill goes off for Royal Assent


Now onto the voting bits

In the Commons, when it comes time for the vote you'll hear the Speaker ask "The Question is [. . .] as [on the Order Paper]. All those of that opinion, say Aye" and all those who support whatever is being put to a vote say Aye, and then...

the Speaker will ask, "Of the contrary, No?" And all those against will say No

If no voice is raised on one of those no further vote is needed and the next bit of business of the House will carry on. That won't happen today.

Instead you'll here the Speaker shout "Division. Clear the Lobby"

Division means that the House is divided on the issue, and so a formal counted vote has to take place. MPs go to one of two lobbies, depending on whether they're voting in favour or against the Question...

and are counted by two tellers for each Lobby

The tellers are just MPs selected to count the MPs, and two against and two for the question as put are selected. Taking two from each side balances out the loss of those votes from the process and doesn't effect the result

After the counting is finished the tellers inform the Speaker of the result of the vote, and then one of the Tellers for whichever vote is higher will read out the result

A similar process takes place in the Lords, except the peers will vote Content or Not Content...

With the Contents lining up next to the Throne to be counted through the Lobby, and the Not Contents lining up at the Bar to be counted through that Lobby

Okay, now to go back a little:

The Order Paper ("The Question is [...] as [on the Order Paper]")

The Order paper lists the Business of the House of Commons for that day, which today will include the Bill being brought forward

Orders are how the business of the House...

is determined and carried out, and they generally rely on pre-existing Orders that are known as Standing Orders

Yesterday's motion by Oliver #Letwin was a motion filed under Standing Order 24 that allows the House to consider emergency motions as long as the Speaker...

agrees to its necessity

Yesterday's successful motion has amended Standing Order 14 for today

In a nutshell Standing Order 14 would normally give the Government's business precedence over other business of the House. Today that's been changed so that the backbench...

Bill will take precedence over Government business

This was necessary as the Government could have flooded today's Order Paper with so much government business that the Bill couldn't have gone through its stages. Now they can't

Next; Amendments and filibustering

In the Commons, amendments to motions and Bills are filed with the Tabling Office. The Speaker will choose amendments that, in the Speaker's eyes, are of merit, are of reference to the motion or Bill, has broad support, isn't a copy or...

does the same as another amendment that's been chosen, or raises a point that the Speaker feels needs to be debated even if the Speaker is of the opinion that the amendment doesn't have a chance in hell of actually succeeding at a vote

This stops a Bill being flooded with so many amendments that it couldn't be debated properly

A time limit is also placed on how long any particular debate on a motion or Bill stage can go on for. Once that time limit is reached and the motion, etc hasn't been withdrawn...

then the Speaker puts the question to the vote

In the Lords things are different. Amendments aren't selected and winnowed out. Peers may table as many amendments as they want, and there's no process that weeds out amendments that are essentially the same as each other

Peers are expected to withdraw amendments that seek to frustrate the will of the Commons, or clearly don't have the support of the Lords, or duplicate the efforts of an amendment already heard

But they don't have to

And that makes today's Business in the Lords very interesting

As of last night I believe there were 56 amendments laid to today's motion to change the standing order of the Lords so that government business won't take precedence on Friday

If all amendments were to be...

fully debated that would take the debate on today's motion into the middle of next week, past the point that Parliament would be prorogued which would kill the Bill

However, two things can happen that would stop these filibustering amendments

One - The Lords are expected to respect the stated decision of the Commons

Last nights vote was passed with a good majority, and today's Bill will likely pass the Commons with the same number

Therefore a huge amount of pressure will be placed on many peers to withdraw...

their amendments to respect the expressed will of the Commons

Two - there is a procedure in the Lords that can force debate on an amendment to end early. That requires a vote to take place which takes about 15 minutes, and that takes place after the mover of the...

amendment finishes introducing it which can take as long as the peer wants. It also generates a lot of ill will. The procedure is very rarely used, and the last time it was used a lot (in the Cooper Bill) the Lords became an incredibly hostile place

So that's pretty much a summary of what's going to happen today and a quick explanation of things you may here if you're watching what's happening on BBC Parliament or on one of the streams

And the legal challenge being heard in the Court of Session to Johnson's prorogation of Parliament has failed. Case will be appealed and in the meantime there's still the case in front of the High Court in London

And this is an interesting tidbit

It puts Johnson in an awkward position. It gives him the chance to go to the polls, but at the cost of not leaving the EU on 31 October, in effect going into a GE looking extremely weak and unable to keep his word


It would also shatter an electoral pact between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party

Even with a pact the numbers still aren't there for a Conservative majority to be returned and that means Parliament would still be able to block a No Deal Brexit, so there's no...

gain for the Brexit Party to be seen propping up a Prime Minister that reneged on his promise to force the UK to leave the EU on the 31 October

HoC cameras on and first up is Wales Questions

Today's Order Paper for the Commons…

And the HoL Business for today

PMQs up

And Johnson already not looking good in his replies

This is a government that's already looking shaky the second day in the House after the recess. Certainly it looks powerless

Johnson is really struggling in his responses to Corbyn. His pre-canned responses about a General Election that he now knows can't be held before today's Bill becomes law are coming across as a PM that simply isn't keeping up with events

Corbyn also leading on pointing...

out a sense of a culture of intimidation and bullying that's now openly prevalent in 10 Downing Street

Not a fan of Corbyn but fair play, he's had Johnson on the ropes for a lot of his six questions

Notable that the cameras on BBC Parliament are catching Johnson's reaction and intimidatory gesturing whilst Corbyn's on his feet. Compare that to how May approached this...

which was to talk to the minister next to her and laugh at appropriate points

Right now Johnson's coming across as incredibly reactionary, snapping at bait, not composed, basically everything you'd expect from somebody whose relied too long on an illusion of bumbling...

who's now facing real scrutiny under pressure for the first time

Incidentally the Yellowhammer report still hasn't been published and that's been raised over and over

Everything has a sense of things that were never under Johnson's control spiralling even further away

Ian Blackford getting the SNP questions in

Pre-canned responses from Johnson. Obviously the PM isn't that interested in the Scottish vote and has abandoned the country as a consideration. Johnson really showing he doesn't care about the Unionist part of the Conservative...

Party name

Dominic Grieve, Independent, Beaconsfield now asking a question of the PM

That is a very sharp reminder of just how much of a minority government Johnson's in charge of. At this point it's unlikely he can get anything to pass in his name

Applause in the Commons after a barnstorming question on racism from Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

One that's very pointed and highlighting Johnson's previous comments he's published in articles that can only be read as deeply offensive, racist, and Islamophobic

For those who don't know, applause is not considered appropriate in the chamber, so when it happens and the Speaker doesn't speak against it you know what's just happened is deeply significant


Right, next up

Statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer

Somewhat more measured tone than Johnson in opposing the Bill later but notable that it doesn't have anything to do with his actual statement

Speaker noting that the opening remarks of the Chancellor were out of order given that they had nothing to do with his statement

Not a good start for Javid

Which sums up this shambolic, school-boy bullying government really

Javid getting hauled over the coals *again* by the Speaker

Apparently Javid doesn't understand what giving a statement as a Minister actually entails

General sense of incompetence being repeatedly displayed at the Despatch box on the Government's side

Javid's finally managed to stick to his statement. Notably bland stuff. Not getting much support from his own backbenches but notable heckling and baying from the Opposition benches

Every sense that even the Tory MPs that didn't rebel last night are deeply unhappy with...

Johnson's decision to throw 21 MPs out the Party even though Johnson himself rebelled against his own government, and all to get into office

McDonnell giving his response as Shadow Chancellor. Has mostly stuck to his brief but did mention aides being dragged by their arms from 10 Downing Street in his opening

Now this is interesting

If Labour can stick to this position they'll be able to metaphorically eviscerate the Tory party at a GE

It would make Johnson's promise to take the UK out the EU on 31 Oct impossible to achieve, and is one hell...


of a stick to beat him with during an election

And with Johnson showing he can't command even the support of his own party I can't see the Brexit Party now being willing to get into bed with him. Better for them to field candidates in Tory seats to force the Tories to...

come to them, thereby splitting the Hard Leave/No Deal Brexit vote

*Third* time Javid's been given a rollocking by the Speaker

Dear Goddess this is an embarrassing shambles by Javid

Okay then, we now have a time for kickoff on the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill or the #BennBill

Second Reading vote expected at 5pm


Still looking for a PDF or text version of the Bill but not having a lot of luck

Javid's finally finished his clown act at the Despatch box so Emma Hardy is now up with her 10-minute rule Bill on Compulsory Purchase and Planning

And here we are, the presentation of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill, second reading today

Complaints about the Bill not having been published until now (no wonder I can't find a text copy)

But mostly the usual whinging from William Cash about how unfair it is that Parliament's doing its job, along with the usual canard about a money resolution

The Speaker shot down the money resolution point during the Letwin/Cooper Bill, he'll do it for this

Speaker rules that Queen's Consent not needed for this Bill

And off we go, Benn talking to introduce his Bill

So, the debate is pretty much as it was for the Cooper/Letwin Bill

However, numbers have now significantly changed in the House, as has the mood and that's all down to how badly Johnson/Cummings have handled things over the summer and yesterday

There are now considerably fewer Tory voices speaking against this Bill, and Tories last night but now Independents speaking for it

Still waiting on the text of the Bill from

Gist: Oct 19 Johnson must ask for an #A50 extension in the form of a letter as laid out in the Bill. Johnson must agree to the extension, and if a different date is offered Johnson must also accept it...

after a confirmatory vote in the House

This all gets overridden if Johnson ratifies a deal with the EU before that point, or before the point of any further extension

And we're moving towards action in the Lords

Oral Question Number 4 has ended and the Business of the House section has started

This is followed by "Motion - To move, further to the resolution of the House of 28 January that Her Majesty’s Government should provide sufficient time for this House to ensure the timely passage of legislation necessary to implement any deal or...

proposition that has commanded the support of the majority of the House of Commons"

Baroness Smith is now talking to the attempts to filibuster both today's motion and the Bill itself. Laying down that this isn't going to be tolerated by the opposition and crossbenchers. Talking about previous statements agreed in the Lords about taking action to avoid...

a no deal Brexit

Baroness Smith stating that if the Government in the Lords accepts to make the time available to review the Bill from the Commons then today's motion is unnecessary

Last night over 90 amendments to today's motion, but today a significantly fewer of any significance

Baroness Smith winding up on her motion stating that it respects the rights and workings of the Lords

Government minister responding opposing the motion. Rehash of the same claims as when the Lords made a similar motion seeking to make time for Letwin/Cooper Bill

So, the Lords aren't throwing up any surprises at the moment. The Government die-hardists are fighting tooth-and-nail to avoid making time to pass the Bill through the Lords

Well, after a near 24hrs of looking like they knew what they were doing Labour has reverted to trying to move three directions all at the same time


At this point Labour could end up splitting on the vote given that two conflicting messages are coming out from Corbyn and Starmer

Question is shall the House form itself into a committee etc, etc, re: the motion in the Lords to carve out time to consider the #BennBill

Keir Starmer at the Despatch Box in the Commons at the moment talking for the #BennBill

Likewise Lord Newby is talking for the motion in the Lords seeking to arrange time for the Bill to pass through the Lords

If anybody's listening in either House, could you stagger your votes so I can keep up?


Lord Newby referencing that no goodwill is coming from the Government Lords benches to allow the Bill to get through the Lords as there would be a government-inspired filibuster on it

Goes on to say that given the importance of the Bill and the threat of the filibuster then this motion is necessary, after describing how other options wouldn't work given how the initial reaction to attempting to make time for the Cooper/Letwin Bill

Keir Starmer highlighting how the Yellowhammer documents still haven't been published, but is of importance to this debate and Bill

Speaker asking people to hurry things up in the Commons given how many people wish to talk in the debate at this stage

Lord Newby talking in the Lords about whilst the motion sets a tight timetable it's also a necessary timetable

Three minute time limit now imposed on backbench speeches in the debate in the Commons

Lord Newby finishing off his speech by stating that the country needs this Bill (the one going through the Commons right now) and this motion

Lord True speaking against the motion, complaining about the guillotine required to get the Bill through into law

Lord True describing Opposition, Crossbenchers, and Tory Peers opposing a No Deal Brexit as "minions" of some shadowy dangerous conspiracy

The atmosphere in the Lords is starting to get bad

Nicholas Soames (Independent as of last night) now speaking in favour of the Bill in the Commons

Right, things in the Lords have moved towards the nuclear option discussed way back in thread

Debate to be curtailed on the question on the amendment to the motion subject to a confirmatory vote

Contents have it, but being pushed to a full vote. Result in 15 minutes

Basically this is the option that is used to try and stop government peers chewing up available time with amendments they try to debate for ever

It's also a measure that seriously p*sses off members of the Lords and produces a lot of ill will

Last time (Cooper/Letwin) this happened 6 times (maybe 9? I think 6) before the Government caved and created the time to debate the Bill passed by the Commons

But that was under May, I can't see it happening under Johnson and I think he'll happily see his own grouping...

in the Lords disintegrate under some very heavy-handed instructions

The vote in the Commons on the second stage should be coming up in about half and hour so the debate should be winding down, maybe 4-6 more speeches before wind-up

Darn, okay hashtag #BrexitVote on this ever increasing thread

And welcome to everybody who's come into this thread at the 110th post

I'm currently covering the activity around the #BrexitVote in both the Commons and the Lords

Currently the Bill in the House is going through all it's stages today and seeks to stop the government crashing the UK out of the EU with no deal, and the motion in the Lords seeks to carve out the time necessary to pass the Commons Bill through all its stages in the Lords

After the Commons actions, Johnson will be laying a motion seeking to dissolve Parliament under the terms of the Fixed Terms Parliament Act (FTPA), one that he was certain to lose until things went a bit wobbly with Labour today

It still seems likely he will lose today, but by how much and if Labour abstain are two really big things to look out for


The text of the Bill being debated in the Commons

Just waiting on the result of the vote in the Lords to end the debate on an amendment

#Contents: 310
#NotContents: 168
#Margin: +142

Vote now taking place on the amendment itself in the Lords

About 15 minutes to the result

In the Commons 2 more speakers expected before the Minister, which means that the first vote won't be far off there

Interesting Edward Leigh talking about the purges that just took place in the Tory Parliamentary Party. Is pointing out the hypocrisy of this being done...

by a Tory Government most of whose members constantly voted against May's Government on Brexit

(And if people are wondering how I'm doing this — I don't know. I'm currently talking to my GF on the phone while I'm covering all of this. HALP!!! I'm going in all different directions covering this)

And the Minister for Exiting the EU is now rounding up for the Government in the Commons so not long for the vote, should just be Benn left I think

OMG, almost had a conversation with my GF's dog

Yeah, I might be stretching my concentration a little with three different conversations going on

Currently surviving on carrot cake and water. Not nutritious but I'm staying hydrated, by god!

One for all the goat fans

paging @RationalWiki

@RationalWiki Waiting on the result of the vote on the amendment in the Lords, and waiting for the vote on the second reading of the Bill in the Commons

@RationalWiki Commons, the question be put that the Bill be read a second time

Division, Clear the Lobby

Result in 15 minutes

@RationalWiki #Lords/#HoL #vote result on Amendment

#Contents: 163
#NotContents: 316
#Margin: -153

Amendment falls

@RationalWiki *edit note 127/n

Which now makes this


P.S. There's commentators back on BBC Parliament on the vote in the Commons. Once again you know that this is officially Very Seriousness Business
@RationalWiki Okay, this thread is getting unwieldy so I'll start a new one and crosslink over both

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