Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A new Parliament, Queens Speech, and addressing votes of conscience

Today, Her Majesty the Queen opened Parliament with a host of proposed new laws. There are 27 Bills, with many of them designed to prepare the UK for a "smooth and orderly" exit from the EU.

Of the 27 bills, eight relate to Brexit. The other main non-Brexit proposals include:
  • a Civil Liability Bill, designed to address the "compensation culture" around motoring insurance claims
  • a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill, establishing a Domestic Violence and Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims and survivors and monitor the response of the authorities
  • a Tenant's Fees Bill, banning landlords from charging "letting fees"
  • a High-Speed Two Bill to authorise the second leg of the rail link from Birmingham to Crewe
  • A Data Protection Bill to strengthen individuals' rights and introduce a "right to be forgotten".
  • An Armed Forces Bill allowing people to serve on a part-time and flexible basis

A new Parliament also often brings a number of conscience issues; such matters are often decided by free votes. In addition, there were specific single issue free vote queries which were raised during the election campaign. I have set out below my views on some of these issues, many of which I have previously blogged about.

Same-sex Marriage - I campaigned for and voted for this legislation and always will support it. Click here to read my blog post from the day we passed the Bill in Parliament.

Abortion Laws - I would not support any changes to to the present law, to restrict abortion.

Mitochondrial Donation - I have campaigned for, and voted for, and remain supportive of Mitochondrial Donation. Click here to read more from the vote at the time.

Assisted Dying
- I am in favour of an Assisted Dying Bill, as a safe evolution of the law, with stringent safeguards. Click here to read my blogpost on the most recent attempt to pass a bill on this issue.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology: I am in favour, subject to suitable legislation.

Fox Hunting - I would not support a repeal of the Hunting Act.

The Paris Agreement - I support + voted for the Paris Agreement. I acknowledge man made climate exists and support action to tackle it. Click here to read my blog post discussing climate change with constituents. 

Stem cell research: I am in favour of stem cell research to cure the diseases / illnesses we face.

House of Lords: I am personally in favour of elected second chamber and supported the House of Lords reform bill when it came before parliament in the Coalition government's time.