Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The Return of Parliament(s)

Parliament is due to return from its Christmas break today. Even in wartime, I'm not aware of any period during which Parliament has sat so infrequently over a six month period - with a long summer break, an illegal prorogation, a further break to end one session to start another, a general election...

But is is back - and the Brexit Bill - [European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill] - is being rushed through - it will have finished its stages in the House of Commons by Thursday evening. Not an encouraging start if one cares about scrutiny. The other bad news is that there is no rush to set up the Departmental Select Committees.

Washminster will be following the work of Parliament - and where it might be helpful, explaining what is going on. My aim is to enable as many people as possible to be aware of what Parliament does, and how it works. Sometimes this will be in my own words - but I will also provide links to information and guides.

The most useful website is www.parliament.uk - all you could ever want to know is probably to be found on this site.

These are my favourite shortcuts

What's on in Parliamenthttps://calendar.parliament.uk (Allows you to look ahead - I often use the weekly calendar for highlighting interesting forthcoming business on my Platform:MK programme on Secklow 105.5FM.)

Bills before Parliamenthttps://services.parliament.uk/bills/ (This gives you all the tools to read and follow the progress of current bills - as they seek to progress towards becoming Acts of Parliament)

Committeeshttps://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/ (This gives details of membership, inquiries, hearings and reports of the various committees)

House of Commons business Papershttps://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/ (The Order Paper is available by clicking on "Summary Agenda and Order of Business)

Live and Recorded Video of Parliamentary Proceedingshttps://parliamentlive.tv/

Research Papershttps://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/ (I find Research Briefings useful on specific issues - and click on the highlighted link for briefings about business coming up in the Commons and Lords

Other Legislatures also return today - The Second Session of the 116th Congress is due to begin. For more detail see the website of the House Majority Leader and France's Assemblée national also meets - http://www2.assemblee-nationale.fr/agendas/les-agendas/2020-01-07.