MIL-OSI UK: Prime Minister announces next steps for EU withdrawal

Source: British House of Commons News

21 January 2019
Following the Government’s defeat in the ‘meaningful vote’ last week, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the Government’s next steps for the Brexit process.

MPs voted in favour of an amendment to the business motion for the ‘meaningful vote’ which called for the Prime Minister to make a statement three sitting days after any ‘meaningful vote’ was lost. As the vote was lost on Wednesday – and last Friday the House did not sit – today is three sitting days on from the defeat.In her statement, the Prime Minister is expected to lay out how the Government intends to proceed now that the Commons voted against the Withdrawal Agreement last week. The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn is expected to respond on behalf of his party.
Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.
Image: PC/Jessica Taylor
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MIL-OSI UK: This week in the Commons: Friday 18 January 2019

Source: British House of Commons News

18 January 2019
A historic week saw the Government defeated in the ‘meaningful vote’, a no confidence motion fall and the future of Brexit continue to divide the House.

EU Withdrawal debates
‘Meaningful vote’ debates and defeat
Parliament continued to debate the ‘meaningful vote’ on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 January following its postponement in December 2018. The vote took place on Tuesday and the Government was defeated, with MPs voting against the deal by 432 to 202, a majority of 230 votes.
No Confidence Motion
Following the Government’s defeat in the ‘meaningful vote’, The Prime Minister indicated that the Government would be willing to schedule time for debate of a no confidence motion on Wednesday 16 January. The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, tabled a motion of no confidence in her Majesty’s Government directly afterwards, and the motion was debated for six hours on Wednesday afternoon.
Voting at 7pm, MPs expressed that they had confidence in HM Government, voting against the motion by 325 to 306.
Legislation
Legislation: Private Members Bills
Two Private Members Bills were brought to the house via Ten Minute Rule Motions. 
Urgent questions and ministerial statements
This week in the Commons there were two ministerial statements and one urgent question.
Statements
Urgent questions
Prime Minister’s Questions
On Wednesday 16 January, Prime Minister Theresa May answered MPs’ questions on the Government’s Brexit deal, public sector funding and the Government’s ‘red lines’ on Brexit.
Watch PMQs from this week:
Backbench Business debates
Westminster Hall debates
Debates on a variety of different subjects also took place in Westminster Hall on Monday 14, Tuesday 15, Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 January. See the Parliamentary calendar to find out what subjects were debated.
Select Committees
News from Parliamentary Select Committees, including the publication of reports and details of inquiries and evidence sessions are also available online.
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MIL-OSI UK: Chair of Welsh Affairs Committee responds to high level of imprisonment in Wales

Source: British House of Commons News

17 January 2019
Chair’s statement
Following the finding of the Wales Governance Centre that Wales has the highest imprisonment rate in Western Europe, Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, David T.C. Davies MP commented:

“The report raises a number of questions about the criminal justice system in Wales. My Committee has been inquiring into the provision of prisons in Wales and this week we demanded answers from Justice Ministers on issues such as overcrowding, prison deaths and a lack of provision for women offenders in Wales.
My Committee will be considering the evidence we have heard and will be making recommendations to the Government on how to address Wales’ particular imprisonment problems in due course.”

Further information
Image: PC

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MIL-OSI UK: Debate: college funding

Source: British House of Commons News

16 January 2019
On Monday 21 January, MPs will debate a petition about college funding.

Timing of debate
The debate will start at 4.30pm and be opened by Daniel Zeichner, a member of the Petitions Committee.

Why is this petition being debated?
The Petitions Committee has the power to schedule debates on e-petitions in the House of Commons Second Chamber, Westminster Hall.
In deciding which petitions should be debated, it takes into account how many people have signed the petition, the topicality of the issue raised, whether the issue has recently been debated in Parliament, and the breadth of interest among MPs.

What will the petition debate achieve?
Debates on petitions in Westminster Hall are general debates about the issues raised by the petition.
MPs can discuss the petition and, if they wish, ask questions about the Government’s position on the issue or press the Government to take action.
A Government Minister takes part in the debate and answers the points raised.
These debates help to raise the profile of a campaign and could influence decision-making in Government and Parliament.
Petition debates in Westminster Hall cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition.
Creating new laws, or changing existing ones, can only be done through the parliamentary legislative process which involves a number of debates, and detailed consideration of the law in draft, in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
This process is normally started by the Government, although there are some ways in which individual MPs or members of the House of Lords who are not in the Government (known as “backbenchers”) can ask Parliament to consider new laws.

Get involved

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MIL-OSI UK: Government loses ‘meaningful vote’ in the Commons

Source: British House of Commons News

16 January 2019
After five days of debate, beginning on 9 January 2019, the House of Commons voted against the Government’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union in the ‘meaningful vote’. The Government was defeated by a majority of 230, with MPs voting 432 to 202 against their deal.

Day five: Tuesday 15 January 2019
On the final day of the ‘meaningful vote’ debate MPs continued to make speeches in the Commons Chamber.
Concluding for the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn asked that;

“The House to do the right thing tonight: reject this deal because of the harm it would do, and show that we as MPs are speaking up for the people we represent, who recognise that the deal is dangerous for this country, bad for them, their living standards and our collective future.​”

Closing the debate, the Prime Minister urged MPs to back the Government’s deal. She said that her deal,

“It strikes a fair balance between the hopes and desires of all our fellow citizens—those who voted to leave and those who voted to stay in—and if we leave with the deal that I am proposing, I believe that we can lay the foundations on which to build a better Britain.”

The Speaker selected four amendments for debate. 
Amendment a – Official Labour Opposition:
The amendment would have rejected the Prime Minister’s deal on the basis of Labour’s six tests, rejected the prospect of ‘no deal’, and said that the House will “pursue every option” preventing the UK from leaving the EU under either of those circumstances. The amendment was not moved at the end of debate.
Amendment k: SNP/Plaid
This amendment rejected the Government’s deal in line with the votes against it in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly and called for the Government to request an extension of the Article 50 negotiating period. This amendment was not moved.
Amendment b: Sir Edward Leigh
Called for an assurance from the Government that it will terminate the Withdrawal Agreement if the EU refuses to remove the backstop from the treaty at the end of 2021. Following assurances from the Government, this amendment was not moved.
Amendment f: John Baron
This amendment would have given consent to the Government’s deal provided the Withdrawal Agreement is amended so that the UK can terminate the Northern Ireland Protocol unilaterally. The amendment was defeated 600 to 24.

The unamended motion was put to the House, and MPs voted against it, 432 to 202. 
Directly afterwards, in Points of Order, the Prime Minister indicated that the Government would be willing to schedule time on Wednesday 16 January to debate a no-confidence motion if  the Opposition wished to table one. The Leader of the Opposition responded in a further Point of Order, tabling the motion of no-confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.
Day four: Monday 14 January 2019
The fourth day of debate on the ‘meaningful vote’ debate followed a statement by the Prime Minister on leaving the EU, in which she spoke about letter of assurances she had received from EU leaders regarding the Northern Irish backstop.
Day three: Friday 11 January 2019
On the third day of the ‘meaningful vote’ debate, MPs continued to make their cases for and against the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement with a focus on immigration, security and foreign policy.
The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, opened the debate for the Government, with a speech focussing on immigration saying;

“For the first time in a generation, we will be able to build an immigration system that is designed in Britain, is made in Britain and serves only our national interest. The deal protects not only EU citizens living in the UK, but UK nationals living in the EU.”

The UK’s post-Brexit immigration system, along with foreign and security policy, were central to many MPs contributions to the debate.
Speaking for the Opposition, Diane Abbott criticised the security implications of the deal. She said;

“This deal treats the issue of safety and security with a degree of recklessness. As it stands, this deal would potentially abolish the complex and highly effective co-operation that has been established between this country and other members of the EU in the areas of freedom, justice and security.” 

Day two: Thursday 10 January 2019
The debate opened with a statement from Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Supporters of the Government’s deal spoke of possible compromise, with the Government going so far as to indicate that it would consider Labour MP John Mann’s amendment.
Closing the debate, Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:

“I hope that the tenor of today’s debate continues in the days ahead. I say on behalf of my colleagues that hon. Members’ contributions will be listened to seriously, taken into account and acted upon, as I indicated in response to the amendment relevant to today’s discussions, so that, in the weeks ahead, the whole House can move towards a greater sense of compromise and resolution to implement the decision that the people of the United Kingdom took.”

The Opposition remain critical of the proposed deal, and of the Government’s ability to liaise with Members across the House to achieve any sort of compromise. The Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rebecca Long Bailey, closed for the Opposition. She said;

“I share the sentiments of my right hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley on the need to work together across this House to deal with the many issues outlined during these debates and ensure we find a deal that provides a consensus that we can all rally around. Unfortunately, we do not have a Government who have been capable thus far of delivering that.”

Day one: Wednesday 9 January 2019
MPs resumed the ‘meaningful vote’ debate, following the Government’s decision’s to defer the vote on Monday 10 December 2018. The Prime Minister informed the House of this in a statement to the Commons where she acknowledged “If we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be rejected by a significant margin.”
The first item of business related to the ‘meaningful vote’ was a Business of the House Motion, which sets aside eight hours of debate over five days, leading to a ‘meaningful vote’ and amendments at the end of the day on Tuesday 15 January 2019.
Unusually, the Speaker allowed an amendment to this motion to be tabled, which requires that should the Government lose the ‘meaningful vote’ on its deal on 15th, they will be required to make a statement to the Commons on their intended course of action within three sitting days.
The debates will take place on Wednesday 9, Thursday 10, Friday 10, Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 January 2019.
Motion for debate:

SECTION 13(1)(B) OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) ACT 2018: ADJOURNED DEBATE ON QUESTION [6 DECEMBER]
That this House approves for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the negotiated withdrawal agreement laid before the House on Monday 26 November 2018 with the title ‘Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community’ and the framework for the future relationship laid before the House on Monday 26 November 2018 with the title ‘Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom’.

What is the ‘meaningful vote’?
The ‘meaningful vote’ is the House of Common’s decision on the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
Following months of negotiations by the UK Government and European Union, a withdrawal agreement has been agreed in principle. This agreement sets out the arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and from the European Atomic Energy Community.
A future framework outlining the future relationship between the UK and the EU has also been negotiated. 
House of Commons Library analysis
The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.
The Library has published the following papers relating to the ‘meaningful vote’ debates.
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MIL-OSI UK: Commons debates motion of no confidence in HM Government

Source: British House of Commons News

16 January 2019
Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a motion of no confidence in her Government following last night’s ‘meaningful vote’ defeat.

After eight days of debate on the withdrawal agreement with the European Union, MPs rejected the Government’s deal in the ‘meaningful vote’. The Commons voted 432 to 202 – a majority of 230.Following the result, the Prime Minister confirmed that if the official Opposition tabled a confidence motion, the Government would make time to debate the motion today. She went on to say that if the Government won the confidence motion, meetings will be held with members from across the House to determine what would be required to secure the backing of the House, which could then be discussed with the EU.The Prime Minister concluded her statement with the following remarks:

“I have always believed that the best way forward is to leave in an orderly way with a good deal, and I have devoted much of the past two years to negotiating such a deal. As you confirmed, Mr Speaker, the amendment to the business motion tabled last week by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve) is not legally binding, but the Government respect the will of the House. We will therefore make a statement about the way forward and table an amendable motion by Monday.”

The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, responded to the ‘meaningful vote’ result stating that it was the “greatest defeat for a Government in this House since the 1920s.” He also confirmed that he had tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government and was “pleased that that motion will be debated tomorrow so that this House can give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this Government and pass that motion of no confidence in the Government.”
Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.
What is a motion of no confidence?
A motion of no confidence is a vote of confidence in the current Government. The wording for the motion is ‘That this House has no confidence in HM Government’. If the motion is agreed to, the Government has 14 days to form a new government that is able to win a confidence motion in the House of Commons. If it is unable to do so, Parliament is dissolved and an early general election is called. 
House of Commons Library analysis
The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.
The Library published the following information relating to no confidence motions:
Image: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor
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MIL-OSI UK: Committee question Minister of State on China

Source: British House of Commons News

11 January 2019
The Foreign Affairs Committee hold its final evidence session on China and the international rules-based system.

So far this inquiry has covered various topics, including China’s attitude to the international economic order, China’s regional relationships, and the way in which China’s domestic affairs affect its foreign policy. The Committee may ask Mark Field about these and a range of other issues affecting UK policy towards China.
Witnesses
Tuesday 15 January 2019, Committee Room 5, Palace of Westminster
Rt Hon Mark Field MP, Minister of State
Kate White, Director, Asia-Pacific Department
James Kariuki, Multilateral Policy Director, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

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MIL-OSI UK: Committee examines leadership skills in the public sector

Source: British House of Commons News

11 January 2019
In the third session of its inquiry into Strategic Leadership in the Civil Service, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee will question the Chair of the government group tasked with creating a public services leadership academy.

Background
In 2017, the Government committed to the establishment of a Centre for Public Service Leadership and created a taskforce to consider how the it might function.
The Public Services Leadership Taskforce, chaired by former civil servant Sir Gerry Grimstone, recommended in its final report that the Centre should focus on training for chief executive roles, with a commitment to maintaining a diverse intake and collaboration with other public service leadership programmes.
However, it is not clear how the Centre will collaborate with the existing Civil Service Leadership Academy.
Purpose of the session
The Committee’s inquiry into strategic leadership is examining how the Civil Service can better invest in building its future capacity and talent.
The Committee will question Sir Gerry Grimstone on the findings of the Public Services Leadership Taskforce.
Topics are likely to include the qualities that characterise effective leaders in the civil service, the role of the Centre for Public Service Leadership, how it will spend the £21 million that was allocated to it in the most recent Budget, and how the Centre will complement the work of the Civil Service Leadership Academy.  
Witness
Tuesday 15 January 2019, Committee Room 19, Palace of Westminster
Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chair, Public Services Leadership Taskforce
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

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MIL-OSI UK: ‘Meaningful vote’ on Brexit resumes in the Commons

Source: British House of Commons News

09 January 2019
The House of Commons will resume the debate on the EU Withdrawal Agreement on Wednesday 9 January 2019.  There will be a total of 5 days of debate, ending with a ‘meaningful vote’ on Tuesday 15 January 2019. 

Day one: Wednesday 9 January 2019
MPs will resume the ‘meaningful vote’ debate today, following the Government’s decision’s to defer the vote on Monday 10 December 2018. The Prime Minister informed the House of this in a statement to the Commons where she acknowledged “If we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be rejected by a significant margin.”
The first thing to be debated today will be on a Business of the House Motion which sets aside eight hours of debate on five days, leading to a ‘meaningful vote’ and amendments at the end of the day on Tuesday 15 January 2019. The debates are scheduled for Wednesday 9, Thursday 10, Friday 10, Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 January 2019. Today’s debate is expected to commence at around 1pm following a Ten Minute Rule Motion on the armed forces.
Motion for debate:

SECTION 13(1)(B) OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) ACT 2018: ADJOURNED DEBATE ON QUESTION [6 DECEMBER]Up to eight hours after the start of proceedings on the Business of the House (Section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) (No.2) motion, if the Business of the House motion is agreed to.
The Prime Minister
That this House approves for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the negotiated withdrawal agreement laid before the House on Monday 26 November 2018 with the title ‘Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community’ and the framework for the future relationship laid before the House on Monday 26 November 2018 with the title ‘Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom’.

What is the ‘meaningful vote’?
The ‘meaningful vote’ is the House of Common’s decision on the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
Following months of negotiations by the UK Government and European Union, a withdrawal agreement has been agreed in principle. This agreement sets out the arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and from the European Atomic Energy Community.
A future framework outlining the future relationship between the UK and the EU has also been negotiated. 
House of Commons Library analysis
The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.
The Library has published the following papers relating to the ‘meaningful vote’ debates.
Image: iStock
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MIL-OSI UK: Ministers questioned on inequalities faced by Gypsy Roma and Traveller communities

Source: British House of Commons News

08 January 2019
The Women and Equalities Committee questions ministers from three Government Departments about the inequalities experienced by Gypsy Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities. This is the final evidence session of the inquiry.

Purpose of the session
Areas likely to be covered include:
Who holds responsibility for various aspects of Gypsy Roma and Traveller welfare
Whether the ministerial working group commitments in 2012 are still relevant in ministerial thinking
Whether there is any joined-up strategising across departments to try to tackle inequalities, especially in light of the Race Disparity Audit
Whether changes in policy in various areas have been have been having any significant impact on the lives of Gypsy Roma and Traveller people
How data collection can be improved and what ministers plan to do to implement necessary changes.
Witnesses
Wednesday 9 January, Room 6, Palace of Westminster.
At 09.50am:
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department of Health)
Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Education)
Further information

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