Brexit is clearly going to be central this week and, as a Shadow Brexit Minister, it will be dominating my time. As well as Tuesday’s crucial votes on the Prime Minister’s doomed deal, I’ll be in the Chamber this afternoon for the Prime Minister’s statement on her discussions with the EU before heading to Westminster Hall, where I’m leading for our front bench in a debate on a number of public petitions about Brexit. I’ll be making the case against the one with the most signatories which is backing a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.
I’ve also various meetings with colleagues ahead of the vote and over its consequences. At Parliament’s insistence, the Prime Minister will have to return to the House within 3 sitting days after her deal is defeated setting out her plans, so this could be before the end of the week.
The Government will be bringing its latest Immigration Bill for a second reading straight after the Brexit vote. It introduces changes related to Brexit, and I’ll be closely involved in its consideration from Wednesday. It is a minimal bill to facilitate exit from the EU, revoking freedom of movement, not a comprehensive policy as outlined in the White Paper published in December. As I wrote for the New Statesman, this means that, as with our economic relationship, we are heading for a blindfold Brexit on future immigration policy.
Alongside all this, other things are still happening. On Monday I will be chairing a meeting of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform as well as signing a Book of Commitment in advance of Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January), representing a constituent at a debate on fibromyalgia, and joining an initiative for action to stop late payments to small businesses.
Also, on Tuesday I am taking local knife manufacturers to meet with the Home Office Minister responsible for Offensive Weapons Bill to raise their concerns about the way the Government’s proposals might impact their ability to sell online, and to discuss the amendment I moved in the Commons on the issue (see more here).
On Thursday afternoon I will head back up north, but initially to Leeds to speak at a meeting about Brexit. Once back in Sheffield I have various meetings on Friday, including with local councillors, and am then speaking at a Saturday morning meeting – again about Brexit.