BREXIT UPDATE: Something BIG just happened in parliament. An Explanation.

london-2928889_1920Today, the government succeeded in suppressing an attempt by would-be Conservative rebels to ensure that MPs had the power to prevent the Prime Minister from leaving the European Union without a deal. The amendment failed with 303 votes in favour and 319 against.

The implications of this vote are huge.  

In place of the amendment, the government has agreed a compromise with Conservative backbench MPs. In the case of a no-deal, the Department for Exiting the European Union has suggested that the minister responsible should make a statement before MPs about the next steps. Although MPs will be given a vote on this statement, the Department for Exiting the European Union has agreed that this vote should take place ‘on neutral terms’.

What does this mean?

This means that MPs will simply note what has just been said, and do not have the power to make the usual alternations to the statement using amendments.

However, it is up to the Speaker of the House of Commons to decide whether votes will take place ‘on neutral terms’ or not. This means that the Speaker of the House of Commons (John Bercow) will decide during the address whether the minister’s statement is amendable or not.

What have the government said?

The government’s public motive for blocking the amendment is that it does not want parliament to ‘bind the hands’ of the executive as it negotiates Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

What’s suspicious? 

As pointed out by Conservative MP Anna Sandbach, parliament will only be voting on the deal after the government has concluded its negotiations. It is therefore, wrong to suggest that by giving MPs a greater say over the negotiating process, it is in any way binding upon the Prime Minister at all.

Why does this matter?

In severely limiting the power of amendment, Theresa May has reduced the ability of parliament (all the MPs) to hold the government (Conservative ministers) to account in the event of a no-deal with the European Union.

Not only does this threaten the long-standing relationship between parliament and the Prime Minister, but it removes the safety net of parliament in the event of a no-deal with the EU.

Why should this anger leave voters?

Many who voted to leave the EU did so to ‘take back control’. At the time, it was assumed that this meant taking back decision-making powers from Brussels to Westminster. However, the Prime Minister has set a dangerous precedent by limiting the power of the British parliament in deciding how it wants to leave the European Union – especially in the event of a no-deal.

If leave voters thought Brexit meant empowering British democracy, this vote enforces the opposite.

 

Advertisements

Thank you for your support.

tpvl.jpg

In January, I announced that I would run in the Young Labour elections to become the Under-19s representative on its National Committee.

During the campaign, my priorities were:

  • Form closer links between CLP Youth Officers. This should make it easier to organise large events/fundraisers/socials/leafletting sessions in your local area.
  • Work to lower the voting age to 16
  • Massively improve the campaign to get young people to register to vote. It is especially important for Young Labour members who move out to university accommodation and do not change their voter registration information. Not only does this make voting difficult come election time, but it can act as an inefficient drain on CLP resources.
  • Give Under-19s a minimum allotted period of speaking time in main conference hall at the party’s annual conference.
  • I am keen to represent the concerns and ideas of the WHOLE membership, and not just that of a particular group from within the Labour Party.

Over the past two months, I have received much help and support from fellow Labour Party members. Thank you for this.

Although I was unable to top the ballot, I will continue to push for the changes I believe will make the Labour movement more accessible and appealing to our youngest citizens – particularly issues surrounding Labour’s annual party conference. (see below)

The election was fought in good spirit and I would encourage every Young Labour member to seriously consider standing for election next time. I have certainly learnt a lot about our party, its membership and how to run a campaign.

Congratulations to the successful candidates on all ballots. We have a busy two years ahead!

“As a Young Labour member and CLP Youth Officer, I understand the challenges in widening Labour’s appeal. Last year, I was able to represent my CLP as a conference delegate in Brighton. This was the first time I had seen our Labour movement on a national level. The week was busy and interesting, especially for Young Labour delegates and CLP delegates. As a first-time conference attendee however, there were some areas that needed improving.

  1. Speaking time for Young Labour members on the conference floor – I would encourage for there to be a minimum number of Young Labour speakers to address conference in the main conference hall.
  2. Jargon – Conference is full of acronyms and rules which are complicated to understand if you are a first time delegate or attendee. It would be helpful for all delegates to receive a booklet/email that outlines what much of the conference terminology means.
  3. Access for delegates with disabilities – Although there are few places in the UK where Labour can hold a conference of its current size, I did have some concerns about access for delegates and attendees with disabilities.
  4. CLP support – At conference, it was interesting to note the variation in the number of delegates/attendees that CLPs were sending. Some could afford to send up to nine, whilst others could barely afford to cover the costs of two delegates. This issue must be addressed.

I was grateful for the twenty-four-hour phone line which all Young Labour delegates were given before they went to conference. Young Labour delegates could use this phone line throughout their week at conference for any issue they may have. This provided an extra layer of security for first time delegates who may have been travelling/living on their own.

The party’s annual conference is the most exciting part of the year for Labour members. It is therefore, important that all members – particularly our youngest – feel confident and are financially capable of going.”
– 
Posted: parkin4younglabour.wordpress.com – 03/03/18

 

Under-19s Representative: Young Labour Elections 2018

MID WORCS AGM SEPTEMBER 2017

MID WORCS AGM SEPTEMBER 2017

There are only sixteen days left to vote in the Young Labour 2018 elections.

I am standing as Under-19s Representative on a ballot paper with sixty-two other candidates. The candidate with the most votes wins, so every vote makes a difference.

I joined the Labour Party at fourteen, having been an active local party campaigner since 2010. In the last eight years, the party has undergone an immense transformation. Membership numbers have exploded, giving grassroots members an opportunity to play a significant role in Labour’s next election campaign.

The enthusiasm, excitement and participation of our youngest members and supporters will determine Labour’s success next time. I am eager to encourage more young people to join and campaign for a Labour government.

This is why I am standing in this election.

As a Young Labour member and CLP Youth Officer, I understand the challenges in widening Labour’s appeal. Last year, I was able to represent my CLP as a conference delegate in Brighton. This was the first time I had seen our Labour movement on a national level. The week was busy and interesting, especially for Young Labour delegates and CLP delegates. As a first-time conference attendee however, there were some areas that needed improving.

  1. Speaking time for Young Labour members on the conference floor – I would encourage for there to be a minimum number of Young Labour speakers to address conference in the main conference hall.
  2. Jargon – Conference is full of acronyms and rules which are complicated to understand if you are a first time delegate or attendee. It would be helpful for all delegates to receive a booklet/email that outlines what much of the conference terminology means.
  3. Access for delegates with disabilities – Although there are few places in the UK where Labour can hold a conference of its current size, I did have some concerns about access for delegates and attendees with disabilities.
  4. CLP support – At conference, it was interesting to note the variation in the number of delegates/attendees that CLPs were sending. Some could afford to send up to nine, whilst others could barely afford to cover the costs of two delegates. This issue must be addressed.

I was grateful for the twenty-four hour phone line which all Young Labour delegates were given before they went to conference. Young Labour delegates could use this phone line throughout their week at conference for any issue they may have. This provided an extra layer of security for first time delegates who may have been travelling/living on their own.

The party’s annual conference is the most exciting part of the year for Labour members. It is therefore, important that all members – particularly our youngest – feel confident and are financially capable of going.

Tom Parkin for Young Labour National Committee Under-19s Representative

covernec

Earlier this week, I announced that I am an standing to be elected as Under-19s Representative to Young Labour’s National Committee. The position has a two-year term.

This position is a recognition of the breadth of ages amongst our young members and the potential for under-representation of members under 19. The role of the Under 19s Officer is to represent young members who are under the age of 19 on the Young Labour National Committee, support these members and help campaign on issues that matter to them. This position is for a young activist who is keen to give younger members a strong voice and support them to play a full role in the Labour Party. – The Labour Party

For more information, please visit my campaign website at:
Tom Parkin for Under-19s Representative

Thank you for the support!