It is often difficult to predict how the parliamentary week will unfold, but to say that of this week is a huge understatement. Our departure from the EU, scheduled for Friday, has been delayed by the Government’s inept handling of the negotiations and the consequent extension of Article 50. But we will be making decisions which will shape the future of Brexit, and therefore of our country for generations to come.
It’s not clear whether we will have a third vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal this week – or even if she will still be Prime Minister by Friday! Today we expect a vote on whether Parliament can take control of the process, to explore other ways forward. If we do, that debate will be on Wednesday. The Statutory Instrument to change the date of exit day must also be tabled by Friday, but we don’t know when. You can read my latest views on the issues we face here.
Because we can’t anticipate what will happen when, I’ve kept this week relatively free as I will be closely involved as a Shadow Brexit Minister and may have to participate in parliamentary business unexpectedly, like I did last week in the Urgent Question on ‘no deal’.
Other meetings planned for the week include catching up with the NHS Confederation about their priorities for the NHS and social care workforce following the recent White Paper on Immigration. Later this week, I will also be meeting with colleagues to discuss amendments on ending indefinite detention to the latest Immigration Bill. I served on the Committee scrutinising the Bill and we are waiting for it to come back to the House for Report Stage and Third Reading.
On Tuesday, I will be meeting Human Geography students from Sheffield Hallam on Tuesday afternoon after they have had a tour of Parliament. Then on Wednesday, I’ll be dropping into celebrations for the 48th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence on Wednesday.
I hope to be back in Sheffield on Thursday evening for my monthly meeting with Labour Party members, but that is far from certain at this stage. On Saturday, I’ll be out knocking on doors and meeting constituents, before heading to Bramall Lane for the next step in our march to the Premiership.