This is another crunch week on Brexit with key votes on Tuesday around proposals seeking a closer economic relationship, ruling out a ‘no deal’ departure, altering the Northern Ireland backstop, delaying exit day (‘extending article 50’) if there’s no agreement by 26th February, giving Parliament more control of the process, holding indicative votes to reach a consensus, and more. As a Shadow Brexit Minister I’ll be in the Commons for the debate and in lots of other meetings beforehand.
Today I’ll also be on the front bench for the Second Reading of the Immigration and Social Security Bill, which is part of my Shadow Brexit brief. It’s a very narrowly focused Bill with contingency plans in the event of ‘no deal’, offering no clarity on future immigration rules (see my New Statesman article). In the evening I’ll be going along to an event to mark the Chinese New Year as a member of the All-Party Parliamentary China Group.
Before tomorrow’s debate I’ll be meeting Amnesty International to discuss the campaign for a statutory time limit for immigration detention, an issue I’ve led on since co-chairing a cross-party inquiry on the issue (see more here); I set out my views in the Guardian and recently co-sponsored Tulip Siddiq’s Private Member’s Bill for a 28 day limit. I’ve also been selected to ask a question on Universal Credit at Treasury Question Time, but I’m low down the list and unlikely to be called.
Subject to any fallout from Tuesday evening’s vote, I’ll not be in Westminster on Wednesday, as I’m attending a friend‘s funeral, and I’ll be back in the constituency on Thursday where, after a day catching up with casework, I’m heading to the Millennium Gallery in the evening for the opening of an exhibition of Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings.
On Friday, I’m meeting with the Council to discuss the joint commissioning of health and social care and then heading to South Yorkshire Police HQ to hear about their review of Police Community Support Officers. Then, as ever, I’ll be at Bramall Lane on Saturday to see if we can pick up three points against Derby!