MPs to meet on Saturday to discuss new Brexit deal

17 October 2019

The House of Commons usually sits from Monday to Friday. However, on Saturday 19 October the House will be sitting to discuss the new Brexit deal.

Why is the House of Commons sitting on a Saturday?

The House is sitting to debate the Government’s new Brexit deal. Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, agreed a deal with the European Union.

To comply with the Benn Act (officially known as the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019) the House of Commons needs to agree to this deal or vote for a no deal before Saturday 19 October 2019, or ask for an extension to Article 50.

What time will the House sit on Saturday?

The House will sit at 9.30am. It is not known at what time the debate will end as it has no time limit. 

How did MPs decide to sit on Saturday?

MPs debated the motion on 17 October. It passed without division.

What happens if MPs pass or reject the motion?

For details of what might happen in either scenario, see the Commons Library explainer.

Has this happened before?

It’s rare for The House of Commons to sit on a Saturday, but it’s happened four times before:

  • 2 September 1939: Outbreak of World War II
  • 30 July 1949: Summer adjournment debates, last sitting of the summer
  • 3 November 1956: Suez crisis
  • 3 April 1982: Falkland Islands invasion

If you want to know more, the House of Commons Enquiry Service will be extending their hours and opening the telephone enquiry line on Saturday 19 October from 10am – 4pm. Email hcenquiries@parliament.uk or call 020 7219 4272.

Image: Parliamentary Copyright

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