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Old 14th Dec 2018, 17:06
  #1402 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 9,999
PN, at best the timetable is perilous. Any single filibuster or amendment which has to be debated and it becomes impossible. And any alternate to TM’s bill becomes totally impossible once you consider the time for drafting, let alone serious debate and anything like a referendum. Even if, somehow, an extension of 3 months could be requested an agreed, the timetable becomes almost impossible.

Oh, and throw in the possibility of an election and a parliamentary prorogation of at least 6 weeks....

After which it it would mean reapplying for membership......

So when will the deal return to the Commons?

21 January is the deadline in law when if no deal has yet been reached, the government must within 5 days of that date, make a statement – that’s 26 January. And there needs to be a vote within 5 sitting days – that’s 27 January. There’s some debate as to whether legally this is still triggered now there is a deal, but politically 21 January has taken root as an expectation on government.

Supposing the deal passes, you then introduce the WAB [Withdrawal Agreement Bill] straight away. And supposing you use EU Withdrawal Act as a template for how much time for scrutiny – then you need 13 days in the Commons and close to 20 in the Lords and 4 in ping-pong. 37 days.

Not including Fridays by my count from 21 January, and if you still allow for a February recess, there are only 36 sitting days. So scrutiny time is now going to be squeezed even if you take every stage back to back.

And doing all of that – as people speculate and I fear – with votes that are not your own party’s means you will be very vulnerable to amendments and additional ‘asks’. If any of those borrowed MPs say ‘Oh we’d like you to do X’, then you had better do it or lose support.

And while all of this happens there is no time for any other legislation. Which means that the time next week and the first two weeks back really do need to be used. The Finance Bill and the Healthcare (Int arrangements) Bill in particular need time. Or will votes be avoided?”......

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