Paul Blomfield MP

A strong voice for Sheffield Central

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I led for Labour on our Opposition Day debate on the UK’s post-Brexit customs arrangements with the EU. Two years on from the referendum and five months before the deadline for the Withdrawal Agreement, the Government is still at war with itself over two models: the customs partnership and ‘Maximum Facilitation’. Yet both of these models have already been rejected by the EU and even the Cabinet Secretary has admitted that there had been “serious criticisms made about the technical details of both the models on the table”.

There is a sensible majority across the House of Commons for a solution that protects our economy and for our proposal for a new comprehensive customs union, which is the best option to ensure frictionless trade with the EU; to protect our manufacturing base and to help to prevent a hard border in Ireland. It also enjoys the support of both the CBI and the trade unions. Alongside a customs union with the EU, we want the closest possible relationship with the single market, and to maintain participation in the agencies and partnerships that we’ve built with the EU over 45 years.

You can read my speech here and watch it here.

Making the case for a Customs Union

I led for Labour on our Opposition Day debate on the UK’s post-Brexit customs arrangements with the EU. Two years on from the referendum and five months before the deadline...

As the Government remain at war with themselves over their approach to the Brexit negotiations, I’ll be leading a debate for Labour on the issue in the Commons on Wednesday. Today I’ll be meeting with members of the European Parliamentary Labour Party who are visiting Westminster and, on Friday, I’m speaking at a conference on ‘Delivering Brexit’ at the University of Sheffield.  So, with a few related meetings, Brexit dominates my week.

But first today I’ll be looking to raise the funding of Sheffield schools during Education Questions this afternoon, and on Friday I’m meeting local headteachers from the Sheaf Cooperative Learning Trust. It’s something I’ve already discussed with the Council, heads and parents and the crisis was reported in The Star last week.

This evening I’ll be attending a Britain-Palestine All Party Group event to mark 70 years since the Nakba, in which two thirds of Palestinians were expelled from or fled their homes, and to consider the human rights and humanitarian situation facing Palestinian refugees. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and tomorrow I’ll be going to a meeting with the National Director for Mental Health in NHS England to discuss mental health services in our area.

I’ll be heading back to Sheffield on Thursday where I’ve meetings at Sheffield College and will then be catching up with Sheffield Young Carers in advance of their meeting with the Prime Minister that I’ve arranged for next week. As well as the Brexit conference on Friday, I’ll be meeting with a local knife manufacturing company and talking to the representative body for British manufacturing the EEF.

Brexit negotiations, Sheffield schools, Palestine, mental health and manufacturing – some of my week ahead

As the Government remain at war with themselves over their approach to the Brexit negotiations, I’ll be leading a debate for Labour on the issue in the Commons on Wednesday....

Over the Bank Holiday weekend the Government slipped out an announcement that the G4S contract to run Brook House and Tinsley House immigration removal centres has been renewed for two years – despite the recent scandal of the appalling treatment of detainees.

A Panorama programme less than a year ago exposed consistent mistreatment of detainees in Brook House. Vulnerable detainees were regularly verbally abused, choked and humiliated by G4S guards. I therefore recently asked the Cabinet Office whether G4S was being considered for designation as a ‘high-risk supplier’, but was stonewalled with an answer that it did not publish its supplier ratings.

Yesterday Labour secured an Urgent Question to the Home Office on the news and I pressed Ministers to explain - after appalling, comprehensive and systematic management failures – how G4S could be designated as anything other than high-risk. You can watch the clip here

Challenging renewal of G4S contracts

Over the Bank Holiday weekend the Government slipped out an announcement that the G4S contract to run Brook House and Tinsley House immigration removal centres has been renewed for two...


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