MIL-OSI UK: Options facing Government and Parliament following European Council meeting examined

Source: British House of Commons News

18 December 2018
The Committee on Exiting the European Union returns with an evidence session on Wednesday 19 December, part of its over-arching inquiry examining the progress of the UK’s negotiations on EU withdrawal.

Background
Having agreed the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the framework for a future relationship at the European Council on 25 November, the Government must gain parliamentary approval for both documents before ratifying the Agreement, under the terms of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act. This vote was initially expected to take place on 11 December, but was subsequently deferred. In light of this, and the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons following last week’s European Council in Brussels, this session will see the Committee consider the options facing both the Government and Parliament.
Purpose of the session
The Committee is expected to examine the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement and what scope exists for renegotiation, along with the various options for the future relationship contained in the accompanying Political Declaration. In its final evidence session before the Christmas recess, the Committee will also consider the extent to which the Government continues to plan for a no-deal scenario, and the processes for extending and revoking Article 50.
Witnesses
Wednesday 19th December 2018, Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House
From 9.15am
Catherine Barnard, Professor of EU Law, University of Cambridge
Dr Kirsty Hughes, Director of the Scottish Centre on European Relations
Sam Lowe, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform
Henry Newman, Director, Open Europe
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: Government statement announces next year’s council funding

Source: British Parliament News

13 December 2018
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire announces future funding for local authorities in a statement to the House of Commons. Originally scheduled for last week, the announcement was delayed to allow for the ‘Meaningful Vote’ debate.

The local government finance settlement is the annual determination of funding to local government. It needs to be approved by the House of Commons.
Mr Brokenshire announced the week long delay to his statement in a written ministerial statement last week. He said,

“My parliamentary colleagues will wish to engage thoroughly in these debates and will also wish to consider the proposed Local Government Finance Settlement for 2019-20. I have therefore decided to announce the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement after this protected period, by way of an oral statement.
I can confirm that the usual period for making representations on the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement will not be truncated as a result.”

Speaking in the Commons Chamber, the Secretary of State said:

“This provisional settlement confirms that core spending power is forecast to increase from £45.1 billion in 2018/19 to £46.4 billion in 2019/20, a cash increase of 2.8% and a real-terms increase in resources available to local authorities.”

Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.
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MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates case for UK Constitutional Convention

Source: British Parliament News

12 December 2018
Members of the Lords, including the governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and a former First Minister of Scotland, will debate the current constitutional challenges within the United Kingdom and the case for the establishment of a UK-wide Constitutional Convention to address issues of democratic accountability and devolution, particularly in England, in the House of Lords on Thursday 13 December.

This is a general debate. They normally take place on a Thursday in the chamber. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
The debate was proposed by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (Party), co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Reform, Decentralisation and Devolution
Members expected to take part include:
Lord Higgins (Conservative), governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, is expected to make his valedictory speech.
Lord Young of Cookham (Conservative), Lords spokesperson in the Cabinet Office, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

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