Weekly Parliamentary Preview
The Right Ethos’ Guide to the week ahead in Parliament – Week commencing: Sunday 25th March 2018
End of term fever
It’s another quiet week in Parliament. This week, there were no votes held at all. Next week there may not be one either – unless the Labour Party manage to force one on Wednesday.
I wrote at length last week about why there isn’t much going on and how Parliament can adapt to the news cycle. I won’t go through all that again. Only to say that we continue to see that very much in evidence today. The big votes that are coming up will all be scheduled for late April / May.
The highlight of the week looks to be Theresa May’s time in front of the Liaison Committee on Tuesday. Details of that below.
It seems to be a quieter week, so we may see the Sunday morning politics shows in more reflective, analytical mode. They’ll be no less interesting for that.
MPs have a general debate on Russia. I wouldn’t have thought that anything new will come out of it, but you never know. You’ll be amazed to hear that the Lords are on the Committee stage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. It’s Day 10.
If you were one of the 165,934 people who signed a petition calling for GCSE English LIterature students to be able to take the book into the exam (rather than memorising quotes), keep an eye on Westminster Hall (the second debating chamber) at 4.30, when the topic will be debated.
The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill finishes it’s path through the Commons today. It had been scheduled for Monday last week, but there were so many Urgent Questions and Statements that day it got bumped back to today. Details below.
The Lords are looking at the Nuclear Safeguards Bill. This is interesting because last week, the government was defeated on this as Lords voted to stay in Euratom until we can make an alternative body.
The big news of the day in Parliament, however, will be in the committee rooms. At 4.30 today there is a rare meeting of the Liason Committee. Last time out, someone described this as like the Avengers of committees. That’s because it is when all the heads of all the different Commons select committees get together and quiz the Prime Minister on her record. Essential viewing.
PMQs! This is the final chance for either side to record their social media videos before the break. I’d expect some Greatest Hits from Jeremy Corbyn – NHS, police cuts and homelessness.
Following that, we’ve got a Labour Opposition Day. It’s split into two today, first up: ‘cuts of local government funding’ and then ‘Cuts to police and anti-terrorism funding’.
And the Lords? They’re on Day 11 of the Brexit Bill.
Another quiet day in the build-up to recess. Just one main Backbench Business Committee Debate on autism. While the Lords debate a number of things, including the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Our pick of the laws being debated in Parliament next week…
European Union (Withdrawal) Bill
It repeals the original Act that took Britain into the EU in 1972, and transfers the laws that came from the EU into British laws. It doesn’t tackle each policy area individually, there will be separate laws for things like immigration, but it sets up the legal framework to make Brexit possible. Expect a lot of debate about this, the devolved assemblies in Scotland and Wales aren’t happy about it, and the Bill will transfer power to Ministers after Brexit to amend laws without a vote Parliament.
Nuclear Safeguards Bill
When the UK leaves the EU it will also leave Euratom – the European Atomic Energy Community.
This Bill aims to replace the Euratom nuclear safeguards with domestic ones to make sure that the UK’s nuclear energy material is still safe and not being diverted into the arms trade and that the UK nuclear industry will still be able to trade with European countries after Brexit.
Financial Guidance and Claims Bill
The Bill will combine three financial advice bodies into one, ensuring that people across the UK are able to seek the help and advice they need to manage their finances.
It will also transfer the regulation of claims management companies to the Financial Conduct Authority, who will clamp down on nuisance calling and fraudulent claims and will have the ability to cap the fees charged by claims companies.
This update was produced for The Right Ethos by Simple Politics.
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