The Trade Bill Report Stage – My Amendment

20: After Clause 2, insert the following new Clause –

“Ratification of international trade agreements

(1) An international trade agreement may not be ratified unless it enables the United Kingdom to require imports to meet standards that are equivalent to the principal standards laid down by primary and subordinate legislation in the United Kingdom regarding food safety, the environment and animal welfare.

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Reform of leasehold and Community Land Trusts

Can the Minister confirm two things: first, that reform of leasehold means moving towards commonhold, and secondly, that the reforms will exempt community land trusts, which use this system in a very productive way?

Answering for HMG, Lord Greenhalgh said: I will not make such a statement today in the House but a statement will be made very shortly. Community land trusts are a separate policy matter. I agree with the noble Baroness that community land trusts are a way forward—not always the right way but one way to use land for the benefit of a particular community.

Read the whole debate on Hansard

Today I wrote to Cressida Dick regarding unlawful sexual relations between undercover police officers and their targets

Dear Commissioner

During the Policing and Security APPG on 14th Dec 2020 I asked you what investigations were happening within the Met on the issue of the historic unlawful sexual relations between undercover police officers and their targets.

You told me that there were no ongoing investigations, yet the HoL Minister has made it clear in the debate on the CHIS Bill that such interactions are now and always have been unlawful. It seems remiss not to examine previous instructions to establish wrongdoing by senior officers.                       

Can you please therefore outline, in full, the Met’s position on whether these sexual relations were lawful. Could you also please explain when and why the Met decided to take no further action on the issue?

The Trade Bill: Report Stage – ISDS

If you wanted to convince the public that international trade agreements are a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people, this is what you would do: give foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever a government passes a law to, say, discourage smoking, protect the environment or prevent a nuclear catastrophe… a process known as ‘investor-state dispute settlement‘, or ISDS.
(The Economist, October 2014)

This Trade Bill the government has written includes ISDS…

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HS2 Bill – Third Reading

I would like to take this opportunity to thank and celebrate all the campaigners who have been trying to stop HS2. Many of them have put their personal safety, their personal finances and a lot of other things on hold because they were so dedicated to trying to stop HS2. They had physical, personal and financial problems because of all the things they were doing. There are people like Sarah Green in Colne Valley, who has just been a beacon of hope actually trying to mitigate the worst of HS2’s damage to that beautiful area. Then, of course, there are other organisations and individuals, from the Woodland Trust, the Wildlife Trust and parish councils to communities all along the route and concerned residents, who all gave their time and efforts to do what they know is right for their area.

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HS2 Bill Amendment 10

Amendment 10 is a pretty good amendment and something to work towards, even if it is not accepted today. It would require a report every six months rather than annually; “indirect impacts” are explicitly mentioned; and it would require a report to Parliament by the Secretary of State, with a four-week consultation period, rather than no consultation at all.

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Trade Bill Report Stage day 1

The Government have put the Trade and Agriculture Commission on a statutory footing – with Amendments 49 and 50 giving it a degree of permanency – and have even seemed to incorporate what we were pushing for, in that it should have its own staff and facilities, but then government Amendment 36 throws all that out. A Secretary of State can ditch the whole thing with a statutory instrument. How is that sticking to a promise about making this a body that can properly do the job?

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