After a mini-recess, during which I visited the West Bank with a group from Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine, Parliament’s back today and Brexit dominates my week. As a Shadow Minister for Exiting the EU, I’ll be in the Commons this afternoon for an update from David Davis on the latest round of negotiations. Then tomorrow I’ll be leading for Labour on the first day of debating the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which has finally reached the Committee Stage in which it gets detailed consideration - with the many amendments that have been tabled.
With the disarray in Government, they have had to repeatedly delay bringing this Bill back to the Commons. We have set out our objections to the Bill and have tabled a number of amendments to repair it – read more here. Alongside this, I’ll be spending two days arguing Labour’s case on the Committee for another piece of Brexit legislation: the Nuclear Safeguards Bill.
But I’ll be taking up other issues too – starting with Universal Credit. This afternoon I’ll be pressing concerns to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the 40% repayment rate for advance payments, just one of the many implementation problems of UC, and on Wednesday I’ll be meeting with the Minister to raise concerns about the impact of its roll out on supported housing.
Also this week, I’ll be at a Lloyd’s Bank Foundation reception celebrating small and medium-sized charities – to catch up with representatives from Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, a great local charity that I fundraised for though my annual International Women’s Day event – and, on Wednesday, I’ll be hosting a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Students.
Back in Sheffield on Friday, I’m meeting with the Head Teacher at King Edwards’ School, the Regional Director of the Jewish Leadership Council, and a ME & Fibromyalgia Group to hear about their members’ experiences and issues. I’ll be visiting Freeman College, for 16-25 year-olds with learning difficulties, where I’ll meet students for a Q&A. Then I’ll join other Sheffield MPs for a briefing on Special Educational Needs funding and finish up at a meeting with the Council to discuss the funding crisis they are facing as a result of further Government cuts. On Saturday, I will attend the AGM of the Shine Health Academy to talk about their work tackling childhood obesity.