05.01.2018

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The Simple Politics guide to next week in Parliament.
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No escape from Brexit!

Ok, so officially, this week there isn't any Brexit Bill action in Parliament. They've given us a week off. Presumably for good behaviour. That all swings back into town on Tuesday 16th January. 

It's not quite the Brexit free week you may have been hoping for. How could it be? It's the elephant in every room. Whether you see it as a wonderful opportunity to take back control and become a global trading nation, or you see it as a travesty, full of impending doom, it's everywhere. 

This week sees two new laws in front of MPs. Both are almost entirely hollow. They are moulds that will be filled once we have some kind of Brexit outcome and know what the future looks like. It's important these happen, so we are prepared for all eventualities, but it makes debate very difficult.

In fact, the only debate there can be comes from opposition calls to put more guarantees into these bills. To give businesses and others an element of certainty. The government will resist these calls to give itself as much freedom as possible in negotiations.

So there we have it. A very Brexity Brexit-free week. Welcome to 2018
 

Sunday - Planning on easing yourself gently back into politics? Think again. The Prime Minister herself is on with Marr from 9am. Well. The big interview will probably be at around 9.30. Once again, essential viewing.

Monday - First day back, which means there will almost certainly be some statements and urgent questions. Expect Labour to push for something on the NHS. The main business of the day is a bill about tax and tariffs. The detail will be decided by the Brexit deal. Critics would like this legislation to give minimum guarantees to business.

Tuesday-  Tuesday sees another Brexit bill in the Commons. Effectively, these are shells that we need to put in place, so that any Brexit deal can fill in the details. Right now, they are not thrilling pieces of legislation.  Over in the Lords, we've got two new bills today - one would require councils to give the victims of domestic abuse permanent tenancies, the other would make a new offence of shining a laser into the eyes of someone driving.

Wednesday - PMQs! We don't do predictions on here because we are almost always wrong and then we feel silly. But. If Corbyn doesn't use his six questions next week on health, I will be very surprised. This week Hunt and May have apologised for cancelled appointments. The NHS is Corbyn's favourite line of attack.  Expect May to bring up Corbyn's silence over Iran, too. 

After PMQs, the Labour Party have an Opposition Day. The topic of the debate has not yet been announced.

Thursday - A fairly quiet day in Parliament. MPs will debate defence. The Lords will debate housebuilding.

Friday -  Both the Commons and the Lords are closed today.
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Our pick of the laws being debated in Parliament next week...
Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill
This Bill will give the Government the ability to establish a standalone customs regime, and ensure that VAT and excise legislation operates effectively, following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The details of the Bill will depend on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the UK and EU on trade, but the Government says that it will be guided by what delivers the greatest economic advantage to the UK and that ensures the most frictionless trade between the UK and EU.
More details
Trade Bill
This is one of the nine new pieces of legislation that lay the groundwork for Brexit. This Bill will attempt to carve out a future for Britain as an independent trading nation after we leave the EU.

The Bill will create powers so the UK can transition trade agreements that currently exist between the EU and other countries, and which we are party to through our EU membership. It will also set up a new Trade Remedies Authority, to defend UK businesses against unfair trade practices.  
More details
Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill

This Bill is designed to help victims of domestic abuse by granting people who leave abusive relationships secure tenancies in council properties.

The principle of this Bill has cross-party support, but Labour have said they will watch it's progress very carefully.
.
Apologies, this is a new Bill and is not yet on our website.
Over on social media, we've been looking at some of the big issues to come in 2018. Here are a couple...
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