Author

Huw Merriman MP

Parliament is not delivering; it is time to be bold

Yet another fortnight of turmoil in Parliament. This has seen the Prime Minister promising her own MPs this week that she will step down once her deal, the Withdrawal Agreement, is ratified by Parliament. This price, it would appear, will be enough to persuade some Conservative MPs to vote for the deal. How appalling that elected representatives will cast possibly the most important vote they may ever have not on the content of legislation but on a change of driver.

Opinion
In the House with Huw Merriman SUS-151007-132058001

“I am truly sorry that Parliament cannot follow through on its promises.”

Since my last column, I was pulled out of the ballot twice in successive Prime Minister’s Questions. I had hoped that I could write about my separate calls to empower long-leaseholders and freeholders, so they can break free from unscrupulous service management fees and, this week, for more school funding. I hope to return to these themes another time but I suspect readers will be more preoccupied by what on earth Parliament is doing to enact the promises made following the referendum result to leave the EU and in the Conservative and Labour 2017 General Election manifestos.

Opinion
In the House with Huw Merriman SUS-151007-132058001

Focus on law-making to help victims and tackle crime.

This week we had another tranche of votes on Brexit. None of them have any legislative effect but they do give an indication on Parliament’s direction of travel. With the Prime Minister’s EU deal having recently been voted down, it was notable this week to see a majority of MPs vote favour of the deal, provided the contentious provisions relating to Northern Ireland were removed or amended by the EU. The Prime Minister will now go to the EU with a view to winning such a compromise. It is hoped that the EU, noting that Parliament will actually agree to such a modified deal, will give ground in order for us to leave on agreed terms. To win this concession, we need to keep our best negotiation card. For the EU, as for the UK, the risk of No Deal is considerable and it is this which could cause the EU to give ground. It was therefore disappointing for me to see a majority of MPs vote to take No Deal off the table. With the Prime Minister in the midst of seeking to gain further concessions, this feels the wrong time to be burning our best hand. We now wait until the middle of February to see what the Prime Minister can bring back.

Opinion
In the House with Huw Merriman SUS-151007-132058001

Parliamentary panto shouldn’t make us forget the caring side of Christmas

In the hustle and bustle of Christmas, it’s easy to get swept along with the flow of preparations and parties. We can have totally unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others to create the perfect celebration. However, as we all know, Christmas is not a perfect time for everyone, it can be lonely, difficult and expensive for many members of our community. Some may have lost a loved one during the year, their grief is felt so acutely at Christmas time. I know how this feels.

Opinion
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