(Sort of) debating tuition fees tonight

We are going to be here till the early hours of the morning…

Current business in the Chamber is the Second Reading of the European Union Bill, which will run till 10pm. Looks like there’s a big turn 0ut on the Tory benches from their Eurosceptic contingent, old and new.

I assume there will be one or two votes, taking us up till 10.30pm. And then we have a debatable (as in, we’re allowed to debate it, not as in dubious) Business Motion, as follows:

“That, at the sitting on Thursday 9 December, the Speaker shall put the Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the Motion in the name of Secretary Vince Cable relating to Higher Education Higher Amounts not later than three hours after the start of proceedings on the Motion; such Questions shall include the Questions on any Amendments selected by the Speaker which may then be moved; proceedings may continue after the moment of interruption; and Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply.”

Discussion of this may continue “until any hour”. In other words, tonight we have as long as we want to discuss the fact that we’re only being given three hours to debate tuition fees on Thursday.

It’s been tabled in Sir George Young’s name, as Leader of the House, so I think it might Sir George going head to head with Hilary Benn, as our shadow Leader of the House, rather than the BIS frontbenchers.

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  • matthewsdent  On December 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    The idea of limiting it to three hours is obscene. It symbolises how the coalition have, at every stage of the fee rise, railroaded through any analysis, discussion, or consultation on the matter. They know that if they allow a proper debate on it, it’ll be shown up as the unfair, regressive measure it really is.

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