26.01.2018

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The Simple Politics guide to next week in Parliament.
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Hold on tight! It's going to be one heck of a week.


I hope you've had a lovely week. It's all been relatively quiet in politics, especially in Parliament. Next week, though? It's jam-packed full of political full of frolics and fiddle-dee-dees.

The big story is, of course, Brexit. The big story is always Brexit. The EU Withdrawal Bill has 2 (very) full days of debate in the House of Lords. It's the first debate they have had on it, known as the Second Reading. That means that no changes can be made at this stage, but they can have a pretty deep discussion. At the time of writing 180 Lords, Baronesses, Viscounts and Lord Bishops have put their name down to speak. That's 90 per day, Maths fans. 90! If they talk for 10 minutes each, that would be 15 hours of debate a day.

Keep an eye on our social media channels next week. We'll be going through the House of Lords membership, how debates run in there and generally giving you all the bits you need to follow what's going on.

Oh. And you know how I said that no changes can be made. Well. That's true, but Lord Adonis has entered a 'Regret Motion'. It says that he is sad that there will be no second referendum on the deal. There will be a vote and it might just pass. This will not affect the Bill at all. I'm only telling you this because it shows that Remainer members of the Lords (and that's most of them) will be using all the tricks the House of Lords gives them to condemn, amend and disrupt.


Sunday - Corbyn is on Marr. That's all you need to know. Watch it live, catch up on iPlayer, follow it on twitter with us, whatever. It's going to be box office.

Monday - MPs are wrapping up two new laws today. Giving flexible working hours to people in the armed forces and a Bill about self-driving cars. Both are explained below. They should both sail through - expect them to be law before Spring.

There is also a debate on a petition that calls for a ban on the public use of fireworks.

Tuesday-  The Lords start with their Brexit Bill debate. MPs debate a new Bill that paves the way (or lays tracks, if you will) for HS2 phase one - between the West Midlands and Crewe,

Wednesday - All leave is cancelled on Wednesday. It's the busiest day I've previewed in two years of writing this email. So - here's whats going on:
  • Day 2 of the Brexit Bill debate in the Lords
  • PMQs
  • MPs will debate restoration of the Houses of Parliament (either they move out for a bit and do it quicker and cheaper (both things are relative, it'll take a while and be expensive either way), or they stay put and the work goes on around them, costing more and taking longer. There are very strong feelings on both sides.
  • An Opposition Day debate (subject tba)
  • Carrie Gracie (former BBC China Correspondent who resigned over equal pay) gives evidence to the DCMS Committee on BBC pay


Thursday - A crossbench alliance of Harriet Harman, Maria Miller and Hannah Bardell (Labour, Conservative and SNP respectively), are putting forward a motion to allow MPs to take six months parental leave and to nominate someone to cover that leave. Harman says Parliament "needs to set a proper example on leave".

Friday -  Just in case we haven't done enough this week, it's a Private Members Bill day in the Commons on Friday. First up is Tim Loughton's Bill to allow same sex couples to have a civil partnership. After that (if there is time for a second) it's time to debate a code of practice for car parks.
Join us in London!
On Wednesday 28th February, I'll be giving a talk in London: 'Constructive Politics in a Divided World'. It's going to be ace. You should come.
Details / tickets here.
Our pick of the laws being debated in Parliament next week...
European Union (Withdrawal) Bill
This 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. 
More details
Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Bill
 

Currently, regular members of the armed forces are expected to be available for duty all day every day, and have no guarantee that they will not be liable for an extended overseas deployment.

This Bill will give members of the armed forces the option to apply for part-time working, and to ask to restrict the geographical area in which they work.



 

More details
Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill
This Bill aims to make the infrastructure for electric vehicles more accessible and widespread in the UK by increasing the number of charge points, making sure there are electric charge points at every motorway service station and making sure there is up to date information about the location of charge points. The Bill will also make it compulsory motor to have vehicle insurance for automated vehicles (driverless cars), to make sure that compensation claims can be paid quickly and fairly.
More details
So much going on at Simple Politics HQ right now.
Here are a couple of things we're super excited about!
Check it out now!
Click here for more details and to get your tickets now!
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