24 October 2019 | UK NEWS
The parliamentary vote on the Government’s Queen’s Speech, setting out its legislative agenda for the coming parliamentary session across 26 bills, has been passed in the House of Commons by 310-294 votes. It followed two amendments, one by Labour and another by the SNP, being voted down. A third amendment put by the Liberal Democrats was not selected by the Speaker.
Labour’s amendment said that the Queen’s Speech did not tackle either the “housing crisis” or the “climate emergency”, and stated that it “further pushes public services into crisis”. It was defeated by 293-311 votes. The SNP’s amendment called for continued free movement with Europe, and demanded that the UK Government matched the Scottish Government’s commitment to being carbon-neutral by 2045 (instead of 2050). It was defeated by 46-310 votes.
Had the Queen’s Speech fallen, this would have been the first time since 1924. It is highly unusual for a government to lose a Queen’s Speech vote, as it is essentially a confirmation from Parliament that it does not support the Government’s ability to pass laws. It was expected to be a very close vote in any event, given that the Government has no majority in the Commons at present.
It comes amid announcements today that Boris Johnson is planning to table a vote on Monday for a General Election to be held on 12 December. This would be his third attempt under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act to ask the Commons to authorise an election to be held, and it is in no way clear whether it would pass. We at Wolves imagine it would be unlikely to at this stage.
With that said, the European Council is expected announce its decision as to whether to offer a Brexit extension, and if so for how long, in the coming days. Their decision is highly likely to impact upon the House’s willingness either to hold a General Election, or to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. We will bring you further updates on this matter as things develop.