Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

January Newsletter - Westminster

January Newsletter - Westminster

It was back to business with Brexit this month for the last two days of debate on the Bill before it heads to the Lords. Before Christmas I secured a commitment from David Mundell that we would have Government amendments on Clause 11 - the power grab of devolved powers going to Westminster – at Report stage (watch it here). But, in another broken promise, none were forthcoming. 

The Bill passed and is now with the unelected Lords. Read my latest blog here

 

I spoke in favour of the SNP's Amendment 59 to the EU Withdrawal Bill, under which the UK would confirm continued membership of the single market and customs union before ministers could use secondary legislation to implement any withdrawal agreement agreed with the EU under Article 50.

The amendment was defeated by 322 to 99. You can watch it here.

 

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is an international organisation whose stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe and promote European culture. Hannah Bardell and I are the SNP representatives on PACE and we attended for the first time this month.

 

Here's my speech from the Council of Europe's urgent debate on Palestine. Trump's recent actions have made America's role as a mediator untenable. It now falls to Europe to step up to broker a solution for Israel and Palestine.

 

As spokesperson on the Cabinet Office I get a regular question. This time I chose to ask it on automatic voter registration. This is the third Cabinet Office Minister that I have put it too and we are no further forward. Watch it here.

 

I was asked to sum up for the SNP in the Westminster Hall debate on Yorkshire devolution. It's quite different from our desire for complete independence. That said I have a lot of sympathy for parts of England who want more local control over how they are governed. Watch it here.

 

You are likely aware of the collapse of the firm Carillion. There was an urgent statement in the Commons where I sought assurances from the UK Government that they will do all they can to protect jobs. It was, after all, the government who continued to give these contracts out, not the employees. Watch it here.

 

The work of the Scottish Affairs Committee continues - we have a session every week. One of the key sessions in January involved us taking evidence on the closure of RBS branches across the country. Here's a few of the questions I asked. You can watch the full session here.

 

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) gives aid to more than 5 million refugees in the Palestinian territories and neighbouring countries. Trump has just announced that the US plans to withdraw funding.

I used my International Development question to ask about the UK Government position. See my question here.

 

Given the numerous, and pretty serious, incidents in Edinburgh East on Bonfire Night I was pleased to be able to take part in the Westminster Hall debate on an e-petition relating to fireworks. I highlighted a number of the issues and you can watch my contribution here.

 

I signed the memorial book to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2018. A time to honour the victims, pay tribute to the survivors and ensure the appalling events of the Holocaust are always understood by future generations.

 

Debate on Restoration and Renewal of Westminster
January Newsletter - Constituency

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
11 July 2018
Tommy's Blog
Media

We need to talk about democracy. The UK government recently hosted its first ever “National Democracy Week” – with no sense of irony.

We absolutely should be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the equalisation of voting ages for men and women. Nobody would argue with that.

Tommy Sheppard
21 June 2018
Tommy's Blog
Media
Brexit rumbles on. Last week the SNP walked out of parliament in protest at not being allowed to discuss House of Lords amendments that will seriously affect how we are governed. If we can’t have our say inside the chamber we’ll make our arguments outside.Meanwhile the UK government say we’re scaremongering. What power grab say the Tories? They claim that the Scottish government will get more powe...
Tommy Sheppard
15 June 2018
Tommy's Blog
Buckle up folks – here comes a bumper blog as this week saw the return of the EU Withdrawal Bill after its time in the Lords. Or, more accurately, we were back voting on the EU Withdrawal Bill given there was precious little time for any actual debate. Over two days we were supposed to debate and vote on 20 different changes to the Bill that the Lords had put forward.You’ll likely have seen and he...
Tommy Sheppard
19 May 2018
Tommy's Blog
Okay I know that it’s probably not the best time to try to start a discussion about the monarchy. With a popular prince wedding his celebrity sweetheart in a lavish event resplendent in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, it might be best for dissidents like myself to keep our republican heads below the parapet.Then again, with the nation’s attention focused on the royals because of the wedding, t...
Tommy Sheppard
02 May 2018
Tommy's Blog
Media
This is a piece about the SNP’s constitutional review. Exciting, huh? Well, maybe not, but important all the same.I know – at least I hope – no-one joins a political party to debate its internal structure. And set against debates on Indy, Brexit and the World War III this is unlikely to get anyone’s political juices flowing. People are motivated by ideas and feelings, powerful emotions that propel...