This week in the Lords (30 October – 2 November) – the preview…

Welcome, once again, to Liberal Democrat Voice’s preview of the week in Parliament or, to be more precise, the (usually) more dignified end of the Palace of Westminster.

It feels a bit like a phony war at the moment, with the Lords to some extent killing time until the EU Withdrawal Bill finishes its passage through the Commons, but there is still plenty to interest the connoisseur.

Diving straight in, Monday sees the first day of the Committee Stage of the Data Protection Bill. Leading for us will be Tim Clement-Jones, accompanied by Brian Paddick, with concerns over data adequacy status in a post-Brexit environment and how best to regulate global tech giants, amongst other things. The big story though is an attempt to write part of the EU charter of fundamental rights into the Bill in relation to protection of personal data, and Labour and Liberal Democrat peers are likely to defeat the Government here unless a deal is cut.

In addition, our new Deputy Leader, Joan Walmsley (and our congratulations go out to her) has an oral question on access to child and adolescent mental health services.

Jenny Randerson leads off a Liberal Democrat short debate on measures to improve the reliability of railway services on Tuesday, and one can expect some knowledgeable criticism from Bill Bradshaw, a former General Manager of British Rail’s Western Region in the early Eighties.

Room 4A could see some quintessentially genteel fireworks from 4 p.m., as David Davis gives evidence to the EU Select Committee on the prospects for a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Kishwer Falkner, Alison Suttie and Robin Teverson are our voices there, and will doubtless have some thoughts of their own…

Wednesday has no particular Liberal Democrat event, with the Second Reading of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which should in theory be relatively uncontroversial, the main item of business in the Chamber.

Michael Gove will be appearing before the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, chaired by Robin Teverson, to talk about the impact of Brexit. Expect the Common Agricultural Policy to come up, and it will be interesting to see if there are any emerging thoughts on how support for farmers might look in the years to come.

There are two Liberal Democrat initiated short debates on Thursday, the first from Roger Roberts on the Government assessment of the condition of refugees and migrants still in Calais and the surrounding area – it’s been a year since the refugee camp there was demolished – and the second from David Chidgey on the Commonwealth Summit due to take place in London next year. He wants to know if there will be a People’s Forum and a Parliamentary Forum.

In addition, Thursday sees a debate on opportunities and challenges for agriculture, fisheries and the rural economy in the UK, which sees the Conservative peer, Henry Plumb, make his valedictory speech before taking retirement from the Lords. Lord Plumb is a former President of the National Farmers Union and subsequently became an MEP. He was the first, and so far only Briton to be President of the European Parliament. It is, indeed, the end of an era…

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6 Comments

  • Tony Greaves 30th Oct '17 - 9:30pm

    No vote today. Seems the key amendment tabled by Labour was botched up in its wording in some way, to return on Report.

  • Thanks for keeping us all up to speed. Also on Tuesday, there could be some fireworks on the Financial Guidance & Claims Bill (Report Stage). Vince Cable has been raising the issue of debt a lot recently and pressure from Lib Dem peers and others across the House contributed to the Government last week bowing to demands for a “Breathing Space” scheme to help families in problem debt. Our Lord Sharkey, along with Labour’s Lord Stevenson and the Conservative Baroness Altmann have laid an amendment to ensure the Government uses the opportunity presented by this Bill to match their words with legislative action. See Vince’s article here:

    https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-and-blogs/our-blog/latest-debt-dance-is-harming-our-future

  • Lorenzo Cherin 30th Oct '17 - 11:29pm

    Sir Vince , yes , very good on debt, but some of us are in financial difficulty because of the banks hideous interest on an overdraft and precisely because they are too careful , to lend even paltry amounts to anyone , however enterprising, if not backed up by not only security but exactly what they the bank insist is acceptable regardless of background , track record or years with them as customer.

    Unsecured debt is a problem. Not getting it even for a business or ambitious project or idea is as big a one.

    Sir Vince there was much to do as Business secretary not done due to the timidity of the Tories , plus the austerity after the excess !

  • Katerina Porter 31st Oct '17 - 2:25pm

    Recently I looked up two past refugee crisis. One was of the 200,000 fleeing west after the Soviet army crushed the Hungarian revolution of 1956. These refugees were warmly welcomed and given a lot of help including language lessons for adults and education for
    the children. These refugees became contributors.
    The second was an very eloquent broadcast by Sir Alec Douglas Home when PM on taking in the Ugandan Asians who were being expelled by Idi Amin. He addressed the nation, saying he appreciated the difficulties this would bring (for instance for Local Authorities, or accepting very different neighbours) but it was our moral duty. These refugees too became contributors.

  • Katerina Porter 31st Oct '17 - 2:28pm

    PS I was thinking of the Thursday debate when I wrote this.

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