Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Back to Westminster
Last Tuesday I was on Capitol Hill, popping into a Congressman's office - before taking lunch with a former member of Congress - then to National Airport to fly home. Yesterday I was in the Palace of Westminster - my first visit of the new Parliament.
In the United Kingdom, Parliament's are usually referred to by the date of their election. So most people will refer to this as the "2015 Parliament". But, like Congress, Parliament's can be known by their number. This is the 56th Parliament of the United Kingdom. The first met in 1801, after the formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. There was no General Election, but its members were those who had sat in the 18th Parliament of Great Britain, which was elected in 1796. Prior to the numbering of Parliaments of Great Britain (from 1707), Parliaments were known as the xth Parliament of the sitting Monarch. Some of the earlier Parliaments even had nicknames - such as the "Parliament of Devils", which was the 21st Parliament of Henry VI (1459), or the "Parliament of Bats" (1426).
Whilst down there I was able to read some of the excellent material produced by the House of Commons Library - which is also available online. I find the library to be a superb resource - both for academic study of parliament & for following business. More details - and links can be found here.
I didn't go into the gallery for the first day of the committee stage of the European Union Referendum Bill (Day 2 is tomorrow) - but I found the following very useful
Briefing on the Bill
EU exit: impact in key UK policy areas