Parliament this week has been focused on the first two days of the Committee Stage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill will have a total of eight days debate at Committee Stage with over 186 pages of amendments and new clauses to consider. This is the most important piece of legislation that this House will pass in the Brexit process so it is crucial we get everything right.
The Bill’s objective is to codify all current EU derived law into UK law on the day of exit. It will then be up to the Government of the day to amend, repeal or replace the law should they wish, in the same way they do now to UK law. The first two days of debate have been focused on the two groups of amendments relating to the first four clauses of the Bill and clause six. All of the five clauses voted on were passed by the House unamended.
On Monday David Davies came to the House to report on the current state of negotiations between the UK and the EU since the last meeting in October. While many of the issues have now been resolved there are a few outstanding issues that remain, although the Secretary of State made clear that both the UK and the EU want to move onto the second phase of negotiation as soon as possible. I hope to see the trade talks start as soon as possible.
Before the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill came before the House this week, on Monday the House passed the Budget for Northern Ireland. Everyone in Parliament wants to see the situation in Northern Ireland resolved as soon as possible, however in the interim it is important that they have the funds needed to allow the civil service to function and deliver the public services that are important to Northern Ireland.
Loneliness is something that can be so easily prevented but is often prevalent especially in rural areas such as ours amongst people of all ages. It can be so easy to overlook people and for people to become isolated, especially after the death of a partner or loved one. I was proud therefore to be involved in the debate led by Rachel Reeves MP on the effect of loneliness on local communities.
This week has been UK Parliament week with events going on across the country. I was pleased to be able to join the Girl Guides in Kingskerswell on Thursday evening where I was grilled on a number of topics after we enjoyed a number of guiding activities. It was good to see such a lively interest in politics!
Natural England came to visit me to update me on the many projects they have ongoing in our area, including the work at Dawlish Warren. I think we have all been impressed at how we have managed to combine a better beach with a better natural environmental outcome for the dunes.
It was good to meet with Councillor Leadbetter this week to discuss his new role as Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health Services at Devon County Council. We both agreed that an open relationship between the Council, MPs and Care Homes will help all involved moving forward to deliver better care in the community. I was also glad to hear that Devon County Council is involved in the STP programme to deliver an integrated health and social care system across Devon.
Finally on Sunday I joined the Dawlish community for the annual major’s civic service at St Gregory’s church. Our mayor and councillors work very hard for their community and it’s good to have an opportunity to thank them and celebrate our community spirit.
My next surgery will be at 14:00 in Newton Abbot, on the 23rd November and the 1st December. Please call 01626 368277 to arrange an appointment.