May I start by wishing a Happy Diwali to all those celebrating from Sunday. It’s a festival I appreciate for its primary message – that light will always triumph over darkness. Clearly this is one that is particularly important in the present times. The festivities bring great colour to our community and it’s always a joy to participate.
Last week we saw the prime minister scramble together a damaging deal with the EU – one that is even worse than Theresa May’s. It will lead to a reduction in worker’s rights, removes protections to the environment and will increase friction at our borders, harming businesses in Warwick and Leamington.
Saturday’s sitting of the Commons was critically important, as MPs across the house succeeded in ensuring that Mr Johnson’s reckless Brexit plans should be properly scrutinised. I was privileged to read out the result that MPs had ensured that a no deal is no longer an option. However, it is clear the Prime Minister wants to drive a coach and horses through our parliamentary democracy, trying to schedule only three days of debate despite the 110-page bill being the most complex and important piece of UK legislation for over 40 years. Indeed, the Institute for Government pointed out the Brexit Bill would have less time than was assigned to the Wild Animals in Circuses Act!
The prime minister promised we’d take back control, but the deal underlines his determination to centralise control for himself. This cannot be right irrespective of whether people voted to leave or remain. I don’t trust him, his own family doesn’t trust him and, increasingly, nor does the British public.
Away from the drama in the Commons chamber, I was delighted to welcome Ferncumbe Primary School, based in Hatton, to parliament last Wednesday. The pupils challenged me on a range of issues and provided a welcome distraction. These visits are terrific for educating young people on the workings of Parliament and I’d encourage all schools to visit.