Last week I was in Brussels for meetings in my role as a Shadow Minister and it looks like Brexit will dominate this week too – if not in the way we expected. The Customs and Trade Bills, which prepare for Brexit, should have returned to the Commons by now, but the Government are so afraid of defeat that they’ve postponed them indefinitely. Instead we have a two day general debate on Brexit, without votes, in which I’ll be speaking for Labour’s front bench, as well as Brexit Oral Questions on Thursday morning.
Before all of that, I’ll start today by seeing the work of research scientists, engineers and mathematicians at STEM for Britain’s annual presentation in Westminster and I’ll be meeting with constituents whose work is on display. On Tuesday I’ll be in the Chamber for the Chancellor’s Spring Statement and Labour motions which are seeking to overturn Tory plans for welfare cuts - including the removal of free school meals affecting up to 7,000 Sheffield children which I’ve opposed.
On Wednesday morning I’ll be catching up with the NUS, who provide the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Students which I chair. Then in the evening I’ll be hosting an Office for Fair Access event celebrating progress in fair access to higher education in England. Also this week I’m meeting with the Royal College of Nursing.
Unusually for a Friday I’ll be in Parliament to vote on the Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill, Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill and any other Private Members’ Bills that we have time to consider. I’ll then be heading back to Sheffield where on Saturday I’ll be out knocking on doors and meeting constituents in Broomhill and Sharrow Vale, before watching the Blades take on Nottingham Forest.