Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

March Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

March Newsletter - Parliamentary Business

I want to start this month's newsletter with a massive congratulations to my colleague Eilidh Whiteford who has worked so hard on her Private Members Bill. History has been made with the first piece of SNP legislation at Westminster as Parliament agreed to ratify the Istanbul Convention. There's still a way to go but this is a big step for those of us who want to see an end to violence against women. 

We began the month with the the Committee Stage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. The SNP group tabled 50 amendments to the legislation to ensure we have the right financial and social protections in place before the UK begins the process of leaving the EU. Despite our efforts the Bill was passed without a single amendment from the SNP (or any other party).

When the substantive vote took place we still did not have the full details from the Prime Minister on what the arrangements would be for workers’ rights, EU nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU, or the impact on the economy. It’ll not surprise you that the SNP group therefore voted against the triggering of Article 50.

Later in the month I’m hosting a public meeting in the constituency titled “Scotland and Brexit: Where Next?” with panelists Nicola McEwan and Simon Pia. It’s on Saturday 11th March at 2.30pm in Edinburgh Central Methodist Church.  Book your tickets here.

I'm proud to support Arthritis Research UK's Work Matters to Me campaign. It calls for the Government to better support people living with long-term conditions such as arthritis, so that they can find and remain in suitable work. Find out more here.

Every 6 weeks, I get to ask the UK Government a question related to the Cabinet Office. This month I focussed on their obsession with ID-ing voters rather than getting them more involved. It’s definitely time to invest in the technology to allow people to cast their ballot easily and securely online. You can watch the question here.

Glad to support the RSPCA's Protect Primates Campaign - working to ban the sale of primates as pets. Currently around 5,000 such animals are kept in unsuitable conditions across the UK. Pleased to hear the Scottish Government are leading the way with plans for a new bill for Scotland.

I was proud to sponsor this month’s back bench debate on Illegal Israeli Settlements in the Occupied West Bank. While it was frustrating that I only had got three minutes to argue for the motion I was delighted that the motion was supported by MPs from all parties and in the end was agreed unanimously. I hope the Government will take note of the strength of feeling and take action to stop Israel's continued development of illegal settlements. You can watch my speech here.

I spent some of the February recess visiting the West Bank with the Council for Arab-British Understanding (www.caabu.org) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (www.map.org.uk). It was incredibly useful to get an up to date understanding of what’s happening on the ground – you can read my blog about the trip on my website.

March Newsletter - Constituency Business
Business rates response was democracy in action
 

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Monday, 19 August 2019

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Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
18 July 2019
Tommys Blog
Media

The wait is nearly over. By next week the Tory party will have a new leader. And then they will foist him on the country at large. With most of the votes cast it seems that the clown prince is unstoppable. Barring a miracle Boris Johnson will be our next Prime Minister.

And then what?

Tommy Sheppard
08 July 2019
Tommys Blog
Media
Democracy means the right to change your mind. Collectively, people can decide to do something, and if it doesn't work, or they don't like it, they can do something else. That much shouldn't be in doubt for the left - or any democrat. There's no argument in principle against having a second referendum - on anything - if that is what people want.Then again, you can't go changing your mind every wee...
Tommy Sheppard
25 April 2019
Tommys Blog
Media
Forty years ago in the sweltering summer of 1979 I got myself arrested at Torness. I was one of hundreds protesting against the construction of the nuclear power station. For my efforts I got to spend a night in the cells at Dunbar nick.As the then Thatcher government was keen to point out - we didn't stop Torness. But as I'm keen to point out it was a tipping point. The time when nuclear energy l...
Tommy Sheppard
29 March 2019
Tommys Blog
Media
For many months the government has wielded a number of sticks to beat MPs into supporting its Withdrawal Agreement. It might be bad, they argue, but the alternative is worse. Remainers have been threatened with no deal. Leavers with no Brexit.The latest big stick is the threat of having to participate in the European parliamentary elections. To avoid this the Government (and the EU’s) new deadline...
Tommy Sheppard
28 March 2019
Tommys Blog
Media
So we’re not leaving the European Union tomorrow after all. As the Brexiters cancel their street parties and put away the bunting the rest of us should think carefully about what to do with the reprieve.This week started with parliament voting to take control of the process from government. A move without precedent. In truth, we were forced into it. What else can you do when faced with a governmen...