So the EU Withdrawal Bill was back in the Commons for Day 3 of the committee stage this week and, as promised, I’m writing to update you on what happened.
Before I talk about the Bill itself, you might be interested in the events of Monday’s Ways and Means debate. Ways and Means is a traditional term for taxes or other charges levied on the public in order to fund Government spending. And while not directly linked to the EU Withdrawal Bill, Brexit transcends everything. In an alternative attempt to get the UK to consider staying in the single market with access to the customs union the Labour MP for Edinburgh South, Ian Murray, had tabled an amendment that was selected for a vote.
I've been trying to get information on this for months. But still no clear answer as to how many civil servants are working on Brexit and how much it will cost.Cabinet Office Questions - 22nd Nov 17Posted by Tommy Sheppard MP on Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Yesterday I called for the UK Government to think again on the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. Watch my full speech here.
EU Withdrawal Bill - 21st Nov 17 Posted by Tommy Sheppard MP on Wednesday, 22 November 2017
I know how difficult it can be to not only keep up with what is happening as Brexit proceeds, but to understand the antiquated political systems that make up the UK parliament. So I will be sharing regular updates as the Bill makes its way through parliament.
As you may be aware, the Bill entered its committee stage this week in the House of Commons. That means MPs debate specific aspects of the Bill and can consider amendments that have been brought forward. While hundreds of amendments were tabled, only a few were selected for a vote.
I led a debate on the House of Lords - an out of date institution that's unrepresentative, undemocratic and in urgent need of reform. You can watch my full speech here.House of Lords Debate - 15th Nov 17 Posted by Tommy Sheppard MP on Thursday, 16 November 2017
Here's the final part of my speech on a second Indyref in Westminster Hall.
Westminster Hall Debate 13th Nov 17 Posted by Tommy Sheppard MP on Tuesday, 14 November 2017
My monthly column in the Edinburgh Evening News was a good chance to go into a bit more detail on the fracking ban in Scotland. I'm delighted we've reached this point - if you feel the same have a read here.
I took part in the debate on devolved powers in Westminster Hall. Tory MP Stephen Kerr appeared to call this debate simply to have a go at the SNP. So I wanted to set the record straight outlining some of the key achievements the Scottish Government have attained with their, limited, albeit devolved powers. And how they've helped Kerr's Stirling constituents. He didn't seem to like it but you can watch it here.
On the back of the Scottish Parliament voting to ban fracking, I asked Theresa May to consider a moratorium in the rest of the UK. She's as out of touch on this as she is on so many other things.
I used my Evening News column this month to talk about fireworks following the extreme antisocial behaviour on bonfire night. I've also written to the Minister asking for the UK Government to toughen up licensing laws. And if they aren't willing to do that, devolve power over fireworks to the Scottish Parliament so they can act. Read the full article here.