Well, well, well. Last week I suggested it might be a quiet week and, low and behold, it kinda was. Sure, water cannon has been used on protestors at the G20. And Grenfell residents are still really suffering. And there has been lots of discussion about the pay cap. But. Apart from that, it's been quiet.
And what happens when things are quiet? I'll tell you what. People begin to think about the bigger picture. Have you noticed the debate about the foreign aid budget getting louder and louder? It's been there for a while, but a quiet week gives it a bit more focus. Thursday morning was dominated by Tony Blair and the war on Iraq (a year after Chilcot). So all the media ran bits about foreign intervention and its morality. There were questions on animal welfare at PMQs this week.
It's another quiet week this week (usual caveats apply of course), so expect the big questions to get more of an airing.
Monday - It's Pride in London this weekend, so maybe that's why Parliament has scheduled a very quiet Monday. Give you some recovery time. We've got a law in the Commons to encourage more people to invest in getting fast internet to you. At some point in the future. We'll reduce tax on it. It's all about externalities, economics fans. The Lords have a few questions and debates and things. It's all pretty chilled.
Tuesday - While MPs get on with bits and bobs and finish off the ATOL law (it's a little dull, but details are here), the Lords are talking about the armed forces. Yes, there is a law to get some flexible hours into the Army and Navy and Air Force. Details are below.
Wednesday - As ever, things hot up on a Wednesday. We've got PMQs. Second last before September. This week was a right old ding dong. I'm not expecting next week's to be any different. And the Lords are debating the Space Industry Bill. That's pretty cool, right? I mean. Space!
The main course on Wednesday, though, is the debate in the Commons. It's on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. I said at the top of this email that we're talking big questions this week. You don't get much bigger than some of the bits highlighted by this story. Housing. Immigration. Inequality. Yeah, like I say. Big questions. It'll be well worth keeping an eye on the debate or our twitter feed on this one.
Thursday - You want to know what a quiet day in the Commons looks like? Well, the main event of the day on Thursday is a debate to commemorate the Battle of Passchendaele. Yep. For real. It's 100 years ago right now. Don't worry though, fans of big questions. The Lords are debating deregulation, the pay cap, local government funding and more.
Friday is up to you. Parliament isn't sitting so you can start to wrestle with your own big questions. Cats or dogs, which is better? Does apple pie taste better with custard or ice cream? Why is there never anything you want to watch on the TV when you finally have the time to sit down and chill for an hour?
Our pick of the laws being debated in Parliament next week...
Space Industry Bill
This Bill is the Government’s attempt to stimulate the commercial space industry in the UK. It sets out the legal framework for the safety, licensing and liabilities of space activities including satellite launches and sub-orbital commercial space flights.
This could mean that British businesses are less reliant on launching from other countries and increase UK revenues from an increasing global space industry.
Telecommunications Infrastructure (Relief from Non-Domestic Rates) Bill
This Bill aims to progress full-fibre broadband in the UK by offering business rates relief for operators who install new fibre on their networks. The Government hopes that this Bill will incentivise operators to invest in the broadband network, by not charging them business rates for installing ultrafast fibra networks (as opposed to upgrades on old copper networks). This is part of the Government’s Digital Strategy that was announced last year.