A Commons Brexit debate was suspended during chaotic scenes today as MPs were only handed the government’s White Paper minutes before discussions.
Speaker John Bercow has suspended the sitting of the Commons for five minutes while MPs distribute the Brexit White Paper.
In ‘shambolic’ scenes, MPs heckled Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, demanding to know why the White Paper had not been distributed earlier.
Mr Raab confirmed from the despatch box that the paper was available in the voting office – at which MPs from both sides of the House began running from their seats.
There are 2 explanations for not releasing it – gross incompetence or deliberate deception. https://t.co/c5Npm9HTSU
— Ian Lucas MP (@IanCLucas) July 12, 2018
Chaos. The sitting of the @HouseofCommons is suspended whilst MPs are distributed copies of the @DExEUgov white paper. @theresa_may promised a strong and stable government. They can’t even publish a white paper and get it to MPs on time pic.twitter.com/ZdBwE47EmC
— Labour Whips (@labourwhips) July 12, 2018
Complete and utter shambles in the chamber. The Speaker has had to adjourn the sitting as the Minister was making a statement about a white paper that no-one has seen. This just sums UK their Brexit.
— Pete Wishart (@PeteWishart) July 12, 2018
Unbelievable that Parliament suspended ‘mid-statement’ on Government’s Brexit White Paper due to its shambolic publication.
— Holly Lynch MP (@HollyLynch5) July 12, 2018
Did Dominic Raab just blame the clerks for his failure to get the white paper to MPs in time for his statement?! Bang out of order.
— Anna Turley MP (@annaturley) July 12, 2018
Minutes later Labour and Tory MPs appeared back in the Commons with boxes full of the White Paper.
Labour former minister Ben Bradshaw could be seen throwing copies of the document to MPs on his own bench – at which Mr Bercow decided to suspend sitting.
Mr Bercow has now resumed the sitting of the Commons after an earlier dispute over the distribution of the Brexit White Paper.