/r/MHOC

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Welcome to the Reddit Model House of Commons where we simulate the UK Parliament | Get started by joining a party and our Discord Server | We also simulate the House of Lords, Senedd and Holyrood | Find more information regarding the community in our New Members Guide | Be sure to check out the sidebar!

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1

MQs- Chancellor of the Exchequer - XXXV.IV

Order, order

Minister's Questions are now in order!


The Chancellor of the Exchequer, u/wineredpsy, will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, u/Hobnob88, may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Spokespeople for the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Major Unofficial Opposition Parties, u/CountBrandenburg and u/DylPickle_PolUK may ask 3 initial questions.


Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)

Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the chancellor of the Exchequer or junior ministers may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.


This session shall end on the 23rd of June at 10pm BST, no initial questions may be asked after the 22nd of June at 10pm BST

12 Comments
2024/06/19
20:44 UTC

1

MQs - Trade, Investment, and Economic Strategy - XXXV.III

Order, Order.

Minister's Questions are now in order!


The Secretary of State for Trade, Investment, and Economic Strategy, u/SpectacularSalad, will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Trade, Investment, and Economic Strategy, u/BlueEarlGrey, may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Spokesperson for Trade, Investment, and Economic Strategy Spokespeople of a Major Unofficial Opposition Party, u/model-sysadmin and u/TheDJ955 may ask 3 initial questions.

Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total).


Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Secretary of State may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.


This session shall end on Saturday the 22nd of June at 10pm BST. No initial questions may be asked after Friday the 21st of June at 10pm BST.

17 Comments
2024/06/18
11:39 UTC

1

MQs - Labour and Industry - XXXV.III

Order, order!

Minister's Questions are now in order!

The Secretary of State for Labour and Industry, u/thornille, will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Labour and Industry, u/Nick_Clegg_MP may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Labour and Industry Spokespeople of Major Unofficial Opposition Parties, u/model-kurimizumi and u/GigityGigtyGoo may ask 3 initial questions.

Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)

Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Secretary of State or junior ministers may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.


This session ends on Wednesday 19 June 2024 at 10PM BST. No initial questions can be asked after Tuesday 18 June 2024 at 10PM BST.

14 Comments
2024/06/15
17:39 UTC

1

MQs - Prime Ministers Questions - XXXV.IV

Order, order!

Prime Minister's Questions are now in order!


The Prime Minister, u/ARichTeaBiscuit will be taking questions from the House.

The Leader of the Opposition, u/Waffel-lol may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Leader of a Major Unofficial Opposition Party, /u/LightningMinion and /u/BasedChurchill may ask 3 initial questions.


Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)

Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Prime Minister may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.


This session shall end on the 17th of June at 10pm BST with no further questions asked after the 16th of June at 10pm BST

67 Comments
2024/06/13
09:04 UTC

3

M791 - Ministerial Code and the Seven Principles of Public Life Motion - Motion Reading

Ministerial Code and the Seven Principles of Public Life Motion

This House recognises:—

(1) The Ministerial Code is a vital part of Parliamentary democracy in ensuring that Ministers act ethically, responsibly, and with accountability.

(2) The Seven Principles of Public Life is an important component of the Ministerial Code which puts forth the ideals for which a Minister should strive to replicate.

(3) Without the Ministerial Code and the Seven Principles of Public Life the democracy of the United Kingdom would be made much weaker and be more susceptible to attacks on its integrity both from internal and external forces.

(4) The Ministerial Code should always be respected and valued by all those who are involved in the democratic process.

(5) There has of late been some negligence by the government towards the Seven Principles of Public Life, specifically in regard to the principles of Accountability and Openness with a lack of accountability by the government in for example not ensuring that Ministers are present at Minister’s Questions and that they answer the questions put forth by Parliament.

(6) To continue this negligence of the values of Accountability and Openness would weaken the institutions of democracy in Parliament, and would erode the trust that the British people hold in these institutions, which can only lead to the rise in extremism.

(7) In recognition of such negligence it is necessary for the government to work to rectify this issue and recommit itself to these principles in order to support democracy and the stability of the country.

Therefore, this House calls on the Government to:—

(1) Reaffirm its support and compliance to the Ministerial Code and the Seven Principles of Public Life.

(2) Always govern with selflessness and put the country above all.

(3) Always have the greatest integrity in making sure that the government is without conflicts of interest.

(4) Always be objective in how it governs in order for the government to be efficient, and act in a correct manner.

(5) Always commit itself to always be accountable to Parliament and to the British people in answering questions from Parliament and informing Parliament and the British people on the actions they are taking and any issues that may face the government, Parliament, or the British people.

(6) Always be open in its actions and relationship with the people, democracy can only ever be possible with transparency and openness.

(7) Always be honest to not erodes trust in institutions such as the government and Parliament.

(8) Always commit itself to the principles of leadership, government is a role model for the people, both individuals and institutions such as corporations or academia, through good governance by the government that will model the way that the people should live their lives, and with a firm commitment to leading through these principles, this can be a good first step to building a better society.

(9) Work towards greater compliance in regards to the principles of Openness and Accountability, in order that the intended functions of Parliament and in the relationship between government and Parliament can be maintained and strengthened.

This Motion was submitted by u/Not2005Anymore on behalf of the 39th Official Opposition.

Opening Speech:

Mr Speaker,

I rise today to bring forward this motion to recognise the importance of the Ministerial Code and the Seven Principles of Public Life. This is a subject which I hope all honourable members can agree is important to recognise and express the full commitment of the House to these vital regulations and principles. The Ministerial Code is a key part of working to make sure that our government is ethical, has integrity, and is accountable to the British people and their representatives in Parliament. This is clearly expressed most concretely in the Seven Principles of Public Life which is a key part of the Ministerial Code. Those principles are: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, and Leadership.

From these seven principles, it is clear what the ideal for a Minister is, it is one who puts the people and the country above their own interests, it is one who is truthful and objective in their undertakings, and finally it is one who is accountable and transparent. While these values are always important to emphasise and remember or else we risk a degradation of our beloved democratic institutions, and with that a degradation in the trust that the British people hold in them, I think we are at a moment when we are compelled to remember the importance especially of Openness and Accountability. Unfortunately it seems that this government is increasingly failing to be open and accountable to Parliament. This can be easily exemplified by the letter from the 6th of June, from the Deputy Prime Minister responding to their failure to respond to all questions raised at the session of questions to them in their role as Secretary of State for Digital, Space, Science, and Culture which ended on the 4th of June. And while I do acknowledge and appreciate this statement and attempt to rectify the questions they missed by the Deputy Prime Minister, the reality is that this rectification occurred almost two days after the session ended, and does not allow for the proper conversation which is allowed for by question period. Further, the reality is that this is not a one-off for this government and instead is a perennial occurrence from government Ministers. The Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and International Development missed questions during Questions to the Foreign Secretary that ended on the 3rd of June. The Secretary of State for Justice and Constitutional Affairs did not answer a single question during the session that ended on the 28th of May. If members check Hansard they’ll see that the list goes on and on.

This is a worrying and completely unacceptable trend from this government. It is a trend which directly harms the ability of Parliament to do the work it is supposed to do. And it is a trend that must end. The government must recommit itself to the Ministerial Code and the Seven Principles of Public Life, they must rectify the lack of accountability to Parliament and by extension the British people. And this resolution calls directly on them to do just that and I hope the entire House will join with me in supporting this resolution to ensure they do just that.

Thank you Speaker.


This reading shall end on Friday the 14th of June at 10PM BST

4 Comments
2024/06/11
12:57 UTC

2

MQs - Health and Social Care - XXXV.III

Order, order!

Minister's Questions are now in order!

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, u/weebru_m will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, u/StraightsOfMagellan may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Health and Social Care Spokespeople of Major Unofficial Opposition Parties, u/m_horses and u/BasedChurchill may ask 3 initial questions.

Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)

Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Secretary of State or junior ministers may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.

This session shall end on the 14th of June at 10pm BST, no initial questions to be asked after 13th of June at 10pm BST.

46 Comments
2024/06/10
18:19 UTC

2

B1677 - Sheep and Wool (Innovation and Resilience) Bill - 2nd Reading

##Sheep and Wool (Innovation and Resilience) Bill

A

BILL

TO

Make provision for a commission to oversee sheep farming in the UK to empower industry innovation and resilience, and for connected purposes.

Chapter 1:

Section 1: Definitions

For the purpose of this Act, the following definitions apply —

(1) ‘Competent authority’ refers to any public department or agency assigned responsibility of carrying out the provisions of this Act;

(2)

Chapter 2: The British Sheep and Wool Commission

Section 2: Establishment of the Commission

(1) There shall be established a commission for the purposes of ensuring the longevity, the good management, the efficiency, and the competitiveness of the Sheep and Wool industry.

(2) The commission shall have the power to make recommendations to the Secretary of State on matters that include but are not limited to —

(a) the development of Wool innovation Community action plans;

(b) land usage;

(c) scientific advancement and research funding;

(3) The Commission shall be entitled as the “British Sheep and Wool Commission”.

(4) The British Sheep and Wool Commission is a body corporate.

(5) Within this Act “The Commission” shall refer to the British Sheep and Wool Commission.

(6) The commission’s membership shall be drawn from experts in the industry and confirmed by the Secretary of State, and must include —

(a) At least one 1 member representing tenant farmers;

(b) At least one member who is a licenced veterinary surgeon;

(c) one member representing the interests of sheep grazing within the Crown Estate; and

(d) one member representing the interests of the woolen textile industry.

(e) a maximum of 10 members in total.

(6) The Secretary of state may, by regulations, amend the composition of the commission in section 2(5).

(7) The Commission shall not be an agent of the Crown meaning it does not enjoy any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown.

(9) Regulations set under this Section shall be subject to negative procedure.

Section 3: General powers of the Commission

(1) The Commission may do anything which it considers—

(a) to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of, or in connection with, the exercise of its functions, or to be conducive to the exercise of those respective functions.

(2) In particular, the Commission may—

(a) enter into contracts,

(b) acquire and dispose of land,

(c) co-operate with any person,

(d) Obtain advice or assistance from any person who is, in the Commission's opinion, qualified to give it,

(e) pay any such person such fees, remuneration and allowances as the Commission may determine.

Section 4: Annual Report

(1) The Commission shall annually lay before Parliament a report detailing —

(a) the status of the British Sheep and Wool Industry as assessed by the Commission;

(b) the sustainability of the industry, insofar as to consider:

(i) environment impact,

(ii) accommodating the industry alongside UK obligations under relevant international treaties concerning animal welfare, the climate emergency, environmental protection, and any other factor that the Commission deems relevant.

(c) a price analysis across all Commission Member farms to inform international trade.

Section 5: Investigative Powers

(1) Where appropriate, the Commission may appoint persons to inspect, investigate or examine sheep farms.

(2) Persons outlined in (1) shall not have the power to compel any person to comply with an investigation, unless accompanied by —

(a) a constable;

(b) an investigative person acting on behalf of a lawful agency of the crown.

Or in possession of —

(c) a court order issued by a magistrates

(3) Any investigation must be carried out for the purposes of informing the commission’s role as dictated by Section 2(1).

(4) If an investigator acting on behalf of the Commission finds evidence of unlawful activity, then they must inform the lawful authorities within the area in which they are acting.

Section 6: Aims of the Commission

(1) The Commission shall have, but not be limited to, the following aims and objectives —

(a) the building of collaborative challenge communities focused around circular design, circular business models and circular recovery;

(b) the developing and implementing of a circular innovation action plan that meets diverse industry needs, is challenge-led, and aligned with national initiates; and

(c) the creation of a circular knowledge hub to share and promote best practice, industry and policy insights.

(2) The Secretary of state may, by regulations, amend the aims of the Commission in section 1.

(3) Regulations set under this Section shall be subject to negative procedure.

CHAPTER 2:

Section 7: Sustainability Subsidy Scheme

(1) A sustainability subsidy scheme shall be established, funded and run by the designated operations UK Investment Bank.

(2) Administration of the Sustainability Subsidy scheme shall be to the responsibility of the —

(a) UK Investment Bank;

(b) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs or the responsible competent authority; and

(c) should the provisions of this Act extent to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; their respective competent authorities.

(3) Funds from the established scheme in paragraph 1 shall be used to support innovation and resilience investment into the agriculture industry, in which for the purposes of this Act, includes sheep farming.

(4) The Secretary of State may set regulations, through secondary legislation, to amend this Section.

(5) Regulations set under this Section shall be subject to negative procedure.

Chapter 3: Connected Purposes

Section 8: Application to Scotland

(1) This Act shall extend to Scotland following the passage of a motion of legislative consent in the Scottish Parliament.

(2) For application in Scotland, where “Secretary of State” is mentioned within this act, the Scottish Ministers shall have responsibility.

(3) Where applicable, the subsidy established by Section 6 shall be paid by the Scottish Treasury.

Section 9: Application to Wales

(1) This Act shall extend to Wales following the passage of a motion of legislative consent in the Welsh Parliament.

(2) For application in Scotland, where “Secretary of State” is mentioned within this act, the Welsh Ministers shall have responsibility.

(3) Where applicable, the subsidy established by Section 6 shall be paid by the Welsh Treasury.

Section 10: Application to Northern Ireland

(1) This Act shall extend to Northern Ireland following the passage of a motion of legislative consent in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) For application in Scotland, where “Secretary of State” is mentioned within this act, the Northern Irish Ministers shall have responsibility.

(3) Where applicable, the subsidy established by Section 6 shall be paid by the Treasury for Northern Ireland.

Section 11: Short Title, Commencement and Extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the ‘Sheep and Wool (Innovation and Resilience) Act’.

(2) This Act commences a year and one day following royal assent.

(3) This Act extends to the entirety of the United Kingdom.

This Bill was submitted by the Right Honourable Dame u/Underwater_Tara CT KG MVO PC, Countess Kilcreggan, Shadow Defence Secretary, on behalf of the 39th Official Opposition. With contributions from the Right Honourable Dame u/Waffel-lol LT CMG GCMG, Leader of His Majesty’s Official Opposition, and the Right Honourable u/Hobnob88 Lord Inverness, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer


Opening Speech:

Mr Speaker,

I welcome the privilege I have been given to open this debate, bringing attention and debate to a subject that has seldom seen debate in this House in the last 10 years.

Britain has a proud agricultural and horticultural history, founded on the principles that enabled Britain to be one of the foremost exporters of fabrics for around a Century. This bill is founded on those same principles, and will enable the sheep and wool industry to continue for years and decades to come.

A core part of this bill is sustainability. Now, this has double meanings. There is environmental sustainability, and the use of the word in the sense of how well the industry can maintain itself long into the future. Particularly in recent years there have been problems with the industry maintaining its competitiveness and as a result the British sheep industry has very much pivoted towards primarily meat production. This pivot, as a result of uncompetitiveness, is something that this bill is intending to help tackle.

In the previous few decades, the prevalence of so-called fast-fashion has grown and grown. Cheap clothes produced on a pence-per-hour wage, shipped in cheaply and “drop-shipped” to your door, designed for a handful of wears then thrown away. I personally recall during university my housemate saying how she needed to buy a new outfit for whatever night out she was going on next, and this is profoundly wasteful. These clothes are produced at high environmental expense, in highly unethical circumstances and we must create an alternative.

That alternative is fabrics produced closer to home, especially for consumers in the UK. The reason why wool was traditionally the fabric used for fine clothes and linen for cheaper and more daily use clothes. Even when cotton began to be imported, it was reserved for the wealthy as it was highly costly to import. In order to achieve net-zero, we must begin to seriously begin considering how we can fulfil the majority of our textile needs closer to home, and reverse the pivot of the British Wool industry towards solely meat production.

Thus, Mr Speaker, we arrive at this bill. This bill puts all of what I have said already into practice, setting up a government-backed commission to advise on policy changes necessary to safeguard the British wool industry and ensure its sustainability. Further, we have set up a new subsidy scheme to be operated by the British Investment Bank that will be responsible for appropriately subsidising wool producers to deliver innovation and ensure resilience.

I commend this bill to the House and wish to see it’s swift passage.


This debate will close on 12th June at 10PM BST.

18 Comments
2024/06/09
16:57 UTC

2

M790 - Central Bank Digital Currency Motion - Motion Reading

Central Bank Digital Currency Motion

This House Finds that:

(1) A January 2021 survey by the Bank for International Settlements found that 86% of central banks, representing countries with close to 72% of the world’s population and 91 percent of global economic output, are currently or will soon be engaged in work relating to CBDC, with almost three-quarters of such central banks having moved beyond the research of CBDC to experimentation, proof of concept, or testing activities.

(2) Since December 2016, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have conducted a joint research project named “Project Stella”, which aims to conduct experimental work and conceptual studies exploring the opportunities of digital ledger technologies and challenges for the future of financial market infrastructures, including CBDCs.

(3) Since 2014, the People’s Bank of China has conducted research and development activities for a CBDC, and in October 2020, launched a digital yuan pilot program in Shenzhen.

(4) In August 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston announced a collaboration with the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to perform technical research related to a central bank digital currency.

(5) In October 2020, the Financial Stability Board, in coordination with the BIS’s Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, released a report to provide a roadmap for enhancing cross-border payments, including an exploration of new payment infrastructures presented by central bank digital currencies.

(6) In January 2020, the Bank for International Settlements announced that the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Sveriges Riksbank, the Swiss National Bank, and the Bank of International Settlements had formed a group to share information on the potential uses of CBDC in the central banks’ jurisdictions, as well as information on potential economic, functional, and technical design choices.

(7) According to data from the International Monetary Fund, as of the third quarter of 2019, the United States dollar share of global currency reserves totaled $6,750,000,000,000, or 61.78% of all allocated reserves, and the standing of the United States dollar as the world’s predominant reserve currency enables the United States to use economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool.

(8) The Bank of England is responsible for, among other things, conducting the United Kingdom’s monetary policy, promoting the stability of the financial system, supervising financial institutions to ensure safety and soundness, ensuring the safety and efficiency of payment systems, and issuing and circulating Bank notes.

This House notes that:

(1) A digital pound would be a new form of sterling, similar to a digital banknote, issued by the Bank of England. In which It would —

(a) be used by households and businesses for their everyday payments needs;

(b) be used in-store, online and to make payments to family and friends; and

(c) ,if introduced, exist alongside, and be easily exchangeable with, cash and bank deposits.

(2) A digital pound would maintain public access to retail central bank money and, as our lifestyles and the economy become ever more digital, it would also promote innovation, choice and efficiency in domestic payments.

Therefore it is the opinion of the House that:

(1) a joint Bank of England and HM Treasury Taskforce on Central Bank Digital Currency shall be created

(2) the Board of Governors should begin and continue to conduct research on, design, and develop, a CBDC that takes into account its impact on consumers, businesses, the United Kingdom’s financial system, and the United Kingdom’s economy, including the potential impact of a CBDC on monetary policy; and

(3) the United Kingdom should strive to maintain its leadership in financial technology and services.

To which this House urges:

(1) The Bank of England, in consultation with the HM Treasury under the Joint task force, to conduct a study on the impact of the introduction of a CBDC on—

(a) consumers and small businesses, including with respect to financial inclusion, accessibility, safety, privacy, convenience, speed, and price considerations;

(b) the conduct of monetary policy and interaction with existing monetary policy tools;

(c) the United Kingdom financial system and banking sector, including liquidity, lending, and financial stability mechanisms;

(d) the United Kingdom payments and cross-border payments ecosystems,;

(e) compliance with existing industry standards, illicit financing, and related laws and regulations, and electronic recordkeeping requirements;

(f) data privacy and security issues related to CBDC, including transaction record anonymity and digital identity authentication;

(g) the international technical infrastructure and implementation of such a system, including with respect to interoperability, cybersecurity, resilience, offline transaction capability, and programmability;

(h) the likely participants in a CBDC system, their functions, and the benefits and risks of having third parties perform value-added functions, such as fraud insurance and blocking suspicious transactions; and

(i) the operational functioning of a CBDC system, including—

(i). how transactions would be initiated, validated, and processed;

(ii). how users would interact with the system; and

(iii). the role of the private sector and public-private partnerships.

(2) The Bank of England and HM Treasury to submit before Parliament a report that provides the following:

(a) The results of the study conducted under subsection (1).

(b) Based on such study, one or more recommended feasible models for the development of a CBDC that includes a description of the salient design, policy, and technical considerations therein, including a model which takes into account the following:

(i) Financial access and inclusion for unbanked and underbanked consumers, with the ability to make real-time digital payments and transactions through digital wallets.

(ii) Strong cybersecurity controls capable of mitigating cyber-related risks including ransomware, malware, and fraud and theft.

(iii) A strong digital identity verification system to prevent identity fraud and allow for compliance with applicable requirements relating to anti-money laundering, illicit financing, and security and authentication standards.

(iv) Mechanisms to account for instances of mistake, unauthorised transfers, or fraud which may require transaction modification or reversibility.

(v) The capacity for third-party features such as custody and recoverability, account and transaction monitoring, and other services.

(vi) Third-party transaction anonymity which protects user privacy and only allows for traceability when otherwise required by law, including through a court order.

(vii) Interoperability with other UK and international payments systems.

(c) A timeline for CBDC development and deployment of the recommended models in paragraph (b), that includes relevant interim milestones.

(d) A description of any legal authorities, if any, the Board of Governors would require to implement the CBDC model set forth in paragraph (b), including any authority with respect to—

(i) the issuance of digital currency;

(ii) licensing and supervision of digital currency transmission services and nonbank technology providers to the extent they provide CBDC-related services; and

(iii) international agreements which would be necessary to allow foreign nationals to utilise CBDC’s while preserving appropriate privacy and legal traceability.


This Motion was submitted the Right Honourable Dame u/Waffel-lol LT CMG GCMG, Leader of His Majesty’s Official Opposition, on behalf of the 39th Official Opposition.


Referenced and Inspired Documents

HR.2211

The digital pound: a new form of money for households and businesses


Opening Speech:

Deputy Speaker,

The introduction of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in the UK is a highly impotent and urgent matter. As technology and innovation reshapes the fabric of society, it is imperative that our financial systems evolve in tandem to maintain stability, efficiency, and inclusivity.

A January 2021 survey by the Bank for International Settlements revealed that 86% of central banks worldwide are engaged in CBDC-related work. This encompasses countries representing 72% of the global population and 91% of global economic output. Almost three-quarters of these central banks have progressed beyond mere research to experimentation, proof of concept, or testing activities. Such widespread international activity and the fact the United Kingdom has lagged behind our competitors underscores clear urgency and huge missed out potential benefits of adopting a CBDC. Just look at other countries, since 2016, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have embarked on “Project Stella” to explore the opportunities and challenges of digital ledger technologies, including CBDCs. In China, the People’s Bank has made significant strides since 2014, launching a digital yuan pilot program in Shenzhen. Similarly, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, in collaboration with MIT, has undertaken technical research on CBDCs since August 2020. The Financial Stability Board, alongside the BIS’s Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, has mapped out a roadmap for enhancing cross-border payments, highlighting the transformative potential of CBDCs. Furthermore, a consortium including the Bank of Canada, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan, among others, was formed to share insights on CBDC applications. Yet from all of this, the United Kingdom remains unseen and underdeveloped on the matter.

The introduction of a digital pound would serve as a new form of sterling, akin to a digital banknote. It would be available for everyday payments, both in-store and online, and facilitate transactions between individuals. To be clear, this is not to replace current cash or currency, that is not what this is about. CBDC would exist alongside cash and bank deposits, maintaining accessibility and exchangeability. As a party that bases itself on a platform of innovation and prosperity, the Liberal Democrats are eager to support the UK’s first steps in developing a digital pound, which would also foster innovation, choice, and efficiency in our increasingly digital economy.

Therefore, this is why we have proposed this Motion to the House to urge the importance that we establish a joint Bank of England and HM Treasury Taskforce on CBDCs. This taskforce will spearhead research, design, and development, ensuring the digital pound's impact on consumers, businesses, the financial system, and the broader economy is thoroughly understood. In doing so however, it is inportent that we must consider various factors, including financial inclusion, monetary policy, financial stability, cross-border payments, and data privacy. This comprehensive study by the taskforce will culminate in a report submitted to Parliament, detailing feasible models for CBDC development and deployment. If there is any country who is to benefit the most from this, it is the United Kingdom as we are meant to be a world leader in the financial service sector/ Through embracing this initiative, we not only safeguard the United Kingdom’s leadership in financial technology and services but also ensure a resilient and inclusive financial future for all our citizens.


This reading ends at 10PM BST on Tuesday 11 June.

6 Comments
2024/06/08
16:24 UTC

1

B1674 - Standardised Nutritional Standards Bill - 3rd Reading

Standardised Nutritional Standards Bill

A01 was agreed to.


A

BILL

TO

Expand upon thorough and comprehensive nutritional food standards law, and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of House of Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1 Requirements for Nutritional Information on Packaging

(1) All packaged food items must prominently display a nutritional information label, referred to in this Act as a “label”.

(2) The label must include information on—

(a) serving size and number of servings per package;

(b) total calories and calories from fat per serving;

(c) total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat per serving;

(d) cholesterol content per serving;

(e) sodium content per serving;

(f) total carbohydrates, dietary fibre, sugars, and added sugars per serving;

(g) protein content per serving;

(h) percentage of daily values for vitamins and minerals (such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron) based on a 2,000-calorie diet; and

(i) any other nutritional elements as the Agency sees fit.

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument amend subsection 2 to vary what nutritional information the label must contain.

(4) Regulations under this section are subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Commons.

(5) The Agency may make provision as to the format of labels.

2 Exemptions

(1) The Agency may—

(a) exempt small businesses from the requirement in section 1, or

(b) modify the requirement in section 1 for small businesses.

(2) The Agency may modify the requirement in section 1 for fresh produce, raw meat, and other single-ingredient whole foods.

(3) If the requirement under section 1 is modified under subsection (2), the Agency must make provision requiring the information specified in section 1(2) to be accessible to consumers by some other means.

3 Enforcement

(1) After section 8(2) of the Food Standards Act 1999, insert—

“(2A) The function specified in subsection (1) includes functions related to nutritional information labels (within the meaning given by the Nutritional Information Labels Act 2024).”.

(2) Subject to section 2, a person who—

(a) fails to place a label on a packaged food item, or

(b) ensures that a label contains information they know is false or misleading

commits an offence.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

4 Repeals

The Nutritional Standards Act 2016 is repealed.

5 Interpretations

In this Act—

“the Agency” means the Food Standards Agency;

a business is small if the small companies regime under the Companies Act 2006 applies to it (see section 381 of that Act).

6 Extent

This Act extends to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

7 Commencement

This Act comes into force at the end of the period of three months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed.

8 Short title

This Act may be cited as the Nutritional Information Labels Act 2024.


This Bill was submitted by u/SlipstreamTeal on behalf of The New Liberals and Centre Party.


Opening Speech

Mr Speaker,

I am glad to introduce this Bill, which seeks to merely expand upon old legislation that does not live up to far in governing the monument necessities to enhancing our nutritional food standards law. This bill seeks to ensure that consumers across our nation have access to accurate, comprehensive, and easily understandable nutritional information on all food items. By doing so, we aim to empower individuals to make informed choices that promote better health and well-being. Fundamentally, diet and nutrition play a pivotal role in the prevention of many chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Despite the wealth of information available, many consumers struggle to make sense of nutritional data presented on food packaging. This bill addresses that challenge by mandating a standardised nutritional information label for all packaged food items, something the original act failed to ensure in its vague nature. Stressing the importance and the need for a clear and standardised format for nutritional labels. By ensuring that labels are presented in a legible and conspicuous manner, we eliminate confusion and make it easier for consumers to understand the nutritional value of the food they consume. This label will include detailed information on serving sizes, calories, fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals that this Bill specifies. Such transparency is vital for consumers to make choices that align with their dietary needs and health goals.

Furthermore, our bill recognises the diverse nature of our food industry and provides exemptions and modifications for small businesses and single-ingredient whole foods like fresh produce and raw meat. We believe that while it is essential to maintain high standards, it is equally important to support our local and small-scale food producers. This is why the exemption clause is important whilst ensuring minimum standards in nutritional information is provided in respect to this. Going above the original Act, an integral part set is the public education and outreach campaign. It is not enough to merely provide information, we must also ensure that consumers know how to use it effectively. This is why there are measures to ensure public efforts to educate the public on interpreting and utilising nutritional information, thereby fostering a more health-conscious society.

With our Bill addressing and improving upon the critical inadequacies of the original act to still govern nutritional food standards, it is importantly we act on this. This is why I urge members to support this bill and improve nutritional information for food and ensure regular legislative modernising.


This debate will end on Monday 10th June at 10pm BST.

1 Comment
2024/06/07
22:10 UTC

1

B1676 - Labour Market (Non-Compete Clauses) Bill - 2nd Reading

Labour Market (Non-Compete Clauses) Bill


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BILL

TO

Balance non-compete clause restrictions and protect grounds for nullification, and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of House of Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Part 1: General Provisions

Section 1: Definitions

For the purpose of this Act, the following definitions apply —

(1) "Non-compete clause" means an agreement between an employee and employer that restricts the employee, after termination of the employment, from performing:

(a) work for another employer for a specified period of time;

(b) work in a specified geographical area; or

(c) work for another employer in a capacity that is similar to the employee's work for the employer that is party to the agreement.

A non-compete clause does not include a nondisclosure agreement, or agreement designed to protect trade secrets or confidential information. A covenant not to compete does not include a non solicitation agreement, or agreement restricting the ability to use client or contact lists, or solicit customers of the employer.

(2) "Employer" means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, business, trust, or any person or group of persons acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee.

(3) "Employee" as used in this section means any individual who performs services for an employer, including independent contractors.

(4) "Independent contractor" means any individual whose employment is governed by a contract and whose compensation is not reported to HM Revenue and Customs.

(5) For purposes of this Act, independent contractor also includes any corporation, limited liability corporation, partnership, or other corporate entity when an employer requires an individual to form such an organisation for purposes of entering into a contract for services as a condition of receiving compensation under an independent contractor agreement.

(6) “Minimum employment standards" refer to the basic rights and protections afforded to employees under the relevant laws, including but not limited to minimum wage, overtime pay, safe working conditions, and statutory leave entitlements.

Part 2: Non-Compete Clauses

Section 2: Non-compete clauses

(1) Any non-compete clauses contained in a contract or agreement following this Act becoming law shall not exceed a duration of three months. In which —

(a) Non-compete clauses exceeding three months shall hereby be void and unenforceable.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1a), a non-compete clause exceeding three months is valid and enforceable if:

(a) the non-compete clause is agreed upon during the sale of a business whereby the person

selling the business and the partners, members, or shareholders, and the buyer of the business may agree on a temporary and geographically restricted non-compete clause that will prohibit the seller of the business from carrying on a similar business within a reasonable geographic area and for a reasonable length of time; or

(b) the non-compete clause is agreed upon in anticipation of the dissolution of a business whereby the partners, members, or shareholders, upon or in anticipation of a dissolution of a partnership, limited liability company, or corporation may agree that all or any number of the parties will not carry on a similar business within a reasonable geographic area where

the business has been transacted.

(3) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to render void or unenforceable any other provisions in a contract or agreement containing a void or unenforceable non-compete clause.

(4) In addition to injunctive relief and any other remedies available, a court may award an employee who is enforcing rights under this section reasonable attorney fees.

Part 3: Nullification of Non-Compete Clauses

Section 3: Conditions for Nullification of Non-Compete Clauses:

(1) For the purpose of this Section "Breach of minimum employment standards" means any violation of labour laws or employment regulations that protect worker rights and ensure fair treatment.

(2) An employee subject to a non-compete clause may petition for the nullification of said clause if they can demonstrate that their employer has breached minimum employment standards.

(3) The following conditions must be met for the nullification of the non-compete clause —

(a) The employee must provide evidence of the employer's breach of minimum employment standards;

(b) The breach must be substantiated by the competent authority, court, or tribunal with jurisdiction over employment matters;

Section 4: Procedure for Petitioning Nullification:

(1) An employee seeking nullification of a non-compete clause must submit a formal petition to the appropriate competent authority or court, providing —

(a) A copy of the employment contract containing the non-compete clause;

(b) Documentation and evidence of the employer's breach of minimum employment standards;

(2) Upon receipt of the petition, the competent authority or court shall —

(a) Review the evidence provided by the employee;

(b) Conduct a hearing or investigation if necessary to determine the validity of the breach claim;

(c) Make a determination within a reasonable time frame.

Section 5: Consequences of Determination:

(1) If the competent authority or court finds that the employer has breached minimum employment standards, the non-compete clause shall be deemed null and void, and the employee shall be released from all obligations under the clause.

(2) The employer may be subject to additional penalties or remedies as provided by relevant laws and regulations, including but not limited to fines, back pay, and compensatory damages.

Section 6: Protection Against Retaliation:

(1) An employer shall not retaliate against an employee for petitioning for the nullification of a non-compete clause under this section.

(2) Any form of retaliation, including but not limited to termination, demotion, reduction in pay, or adverse changes in employment conditions, shall be considered unlawful and subject to penalties.

Section 7: Notification and Awareness:

(1) Employers must inform employees of their rights under this section, including the conditions and procedures for petitioning for the nullification of non-compete clauses in cases of breach of minimum employment standards.

(2) This information must be included in the employment contract and any employee handbooks or policy documents provided to the employee.

Section 8: Enforcement and Compliance:

(1) The competent authority shall be responsible for enforcing compliance with this section and ensuring that employees are aware of their rights and remedies.

(2) The competent authority shall establish a hotline or online portal for employees to report breaches of minimum employment standards and seek assistance with the nullification process.

Part 4: Final Provisions

Section 9: Short Title, Commencement, and Extent

(1) This Act shall be known as the ‘Labour Market (Non-Compete Clauses) Act’

(2) This Act shall commence exactly 3 months from when it receives Royal Assent.

(3) This Act shall extend to the United Kingdom.


This Bill was submitted byThe Right Honourable Dame u/Waffel-lol LT CMG GCMG, Leader of His Majesty’s Official Opposition, on behalf of the 39th Official Opposition.


Opening Speech:

Deputy Speaker,

Firstly I want to make clear that there is fundamentally monopsony within the Labour market as a result of non-compete clauses (NCCs). Research shows that non-compete agreements make labour markets less competitive, reduce wages and reduce labour mobility. Thus displaying the monopsonist power employers exert on labour markets through non-compete clauses. As this acts as a barrier to job switching. There are an array of benefits in restricting non-compete clauses. For employees, this provides individuals with greater freedom to take up new employment and start their own businesses, better career progression, and the potential for higher wages. We recognise all of this and it is why we still support the restrictions on non-compete clauses. However, notions of a total ban of non-compete clauses or the lengthy time duration is equally not wise for the economy. Which is why a balance it’s important to be struck.

Why not a complete ban on NCCs?

Immediately we are proposing a Bill which significantly reduces the time period of non-compete clauses to 3 only months. This is a big step because we are bringing the United Kingdom far ahead than our competitions, improving our comparative competitiveness. In comparative examples such as in Germany, NCCs are enforceable up to 24 months, and in Italy NCCs up to 3-5 years. The United Kingdom would offer a far more reasonable and attractive environment that seeks a balance to ensure stability, innovation and investment into skills development.

The big part as to why a middle ground needs to be struck is that non-compete clauses do have very legitimate reasons to exist and are necessary in many circumstances. Through non-compete clauses, it encourages and incentivises businesses to invest in skills development for their employees. Non-compete clauses ensure that this investment is not lost to competitors, encouraging companies to continue enhancing their workforce's skills and knowledge without fear of immediate poaching by rivals. Furthermore, these clauses can serve as a tool for retaining critical employees, ensuring that valuable talent does not leave the company instantly to work directly for a competitor. This stability helps maintain continuity and productivity within the organisation, benefiting long-term projects and client relationships.

Now why is there such a concern about employees leaving instantaneously? without non-compete clauses it would actually lead to employees being able to leverage critical insider knowledge against employers, which is the disincentive against businesses investing in employees. In a way, these clauses can promote fair competition by preventing employees from exploiting insider knowledge and established client relationships to gain an unfair advantage when working for a competitor or starting their own business.

It is crucial to us in the Liberal Democrat’s that we ensure growth and innovation is supported. Through non-compete clauses, we are ensuring minimum protections of intellectual property and proprietary knowledge. Since non-compete clauses create a secure environment for innovation and investment into companies and employees as mentioned earlier. Companies are more likely to invest in research and development when they are confident that their innovations will not be immediately replicated by competitors through former employees.

When faced with economic uncertainty and various adverse challenges, notably in investment, it is crucial that we foster an environment of stability. Non-compete clauses contribute to market stability by reducing employee turnover and preventing sudden shifts in workforce talent among competitors. Would high levels of turnover ever encourage long-term in-house skills development and training? of course not, and only harming productivity and the quality of jobs available overall. This is why the stability provided can be beneficial for long-term business planning and industry consistency. Moreover, it allows businesses to engage in more strategic business planning when they are confident that key employees will not leave to join competitors. This includes long-term projects, mergers and acquisitions, and other strategic initiatives that require a stable and committed team.

Equally however, we also recognise the many valid reasons employees may leave their roles, whether due to unworkable conditions and violations of basic business practices. This is why we have worked to introduce a method allowing non-compete clauses to be nullified should an employer be found in breach of the minimum and relevant labour rights laws, business practices and other relevant rules and regulations. Making sure that employees are not left to be exploited and there is a punishment for employers that may try to do so, encouraging fair treatment.


This debate will end on Monday 10th June at 10pm BST.

2 Comments
2024/06/07
22:03 UTC

2

MQs - Education - XXXV.III

Order, order!

Minister's Questions are now in order!


The Secretary of State for Education and Skills, u/rybicue, will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills, u/FlameBasilisk, may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Spokespersons for Education and Skills from Major Unofficial Opposition Parties, u/Frost_Walker2017 and u/TheNewLiberal may ask 3 initial questions.

Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)


Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Secretary of State or junior ministers may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.


This session shall end on Tuesday 11th June at 10pm BST. No initial questions may be asked after Monday 10th June at 10pm BST.

39 Comments
2024/06/07
22:01 UTC

1

Results: B1673 B1655.2 M787

Results: B1673 B1655.2 M787

B1673 - Bank Holiday Bill

Ayes49
Noes77
Abstain14
Turnout93.33%

The Noes have it! The Noes have it! This bill shall be thrown out!

B1665.2 - Smoking Elimination Bill

Ayes64
Noes69
Abstain14
Turnout97.33%

The Noes have it! The Noes have it! This bill shall be thrown out!

M787 - Model House of Commons 10th Anniversary Motion

Ayes131
Noes9
Abstain6
Turnout97.33%

The Ayes have it! The Ayes have it! This motion will be sent to His Majesty's Government for consideration!

2 Comments
2024/06/06
04:16 UTC

3

MQs - Home Department - XXXIV.III

Order, order!

Minister's Questions are now in order!


The Secretary of State for the Home Department, u/DavidSwifty will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Office, u/Youmaton may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Home Spokesperson of a Major Unofficial Opposition Party, u/VitaminTrev and u/BasedChurchill may ask 3 initial questions.


Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total).

Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Secretary of State may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.


This session shall end on the 9th June at 10PM BST, with no initial questions to be asked after the 8th June at 10pm BST.

15 Comments
2024/06/05
17:30 UTC

1

LB280 - Equality Act (Amendment) (Extension of Protections) Bill - 2nd Reading

LB280 Equality Act (Amendment) (Extension of Protections) Bill


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Amend the Equality Act 2010 to replace the protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership with a new protected characteristic of relationship status; to extend excluded discrimination protections to relationship status; to remove certain exceptions to discrimination law; and for connected purposes.

Bᴇ ɪᴛ ᴇɴᴀᴄᴛᴇᴅ by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

  1. Extension of marriage and civil partnership protection to relationship status

(1) The Equality Act 2010 is amended as follows.

(2) For each existing instance of "marriage and civil partnership" substitute "relationship status".

(3) For section 8 substitute—

  1. Relationship status(1) Relationship status includes—

(a) being single;
(b) being in a relationship but not being married or in a civil partnership;
(c) being married;
(d) being in a civil partnership;
(e) being engaged;
(f) proposing to enter into a civil partnership;
(g) formerly being in a marriage that was annulled;
(h) being divorced;
(i) formerly being in a civil partnership that was annulled;
(j) formerly being in a civil partnership that was dissolved;
(k) being legally separated;
(l) being widowed; and
(m) formerly being in a civil partnership that was ended by the death of one of the civil partners.
(2) Relationship status also includes—
(a) the length of time a person has held a particular relationship status; and
(b) whether a relationship is with one other person or with multiple people.
(3) In relation to the protected characteristic of relationship status—
(a) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person with a particular relationship status;
(b) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons who have the same relationship status.
(4) A person may have multiple relationship statuses at the same time, and the reference in subsection (3) to having the same relationship status—
(a) is to sharing a particular relationship status; and
(b) does not require the persons to share all relationship statuses.

(4) Omit section 13(4).

(5) Omit Schedule 9 paragraph 1(3)(b).

(6) For Schedule 9 paragraph 2(4)(c) substitute—

a requirement to have or to not have a particular relationship status;

(7) In any Act—

(a) a reference to marriage and civil partnership discrimination in respect of the Equality Act 2010 is to be read as a reference to relationship status discrimination; and

(b) references to being married or in a civil partnership in respect of the Equality Act 2010 are to be read as references to having a particular relationship status.

  1. Extension of protections

Schedule 1 contains further amendments to and repeals of the Equality Act 2010.

  1. Extent, commencement and short title

(1) This Act extends to England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

(2) This Act comes into force in England on the day on which this Act is passed.

(3) This Act comes into force in Wales on the day on which the Senedd passes a motion in the form of—

"That the Senedd agrees that the Equality Act (Amendment) (Extension of Protections) Act 2024 should come into force in Wales."

(4) This Act comes into force in Scotland on the day on which the Scottish Parliament passes a motion in the form of—

"That the Scottish Parliament agrees that the Equality Act (Amendment) (Extension of Protections) Act 2024 should come into force in Scotland."

(5) This Act comes into force in Northern Ireland on the day on which the Northern Ireland Assembly passes a motion in the form of—

"That the Northern Ireland Assembly agrees that the Equality Act (Amendment) (Extension of Protections) Act 2024 should come into force in Northern Ireland."

(6) This Act may be cited as the Equality Act (Amendment) (Extension of Protections) Act 2024.

Schedule 1: Amendments to and repeals of the Equality Act 2010

  1. The Equality Act 2010 is amended as follows.

Dual characteristics

  1. In section 14(1) omit "relevant".

  2. Omit section 14(2).

Harassment

  1. In section 26(1) omit "relevant".

  2. Omit section 26(5).

Services and public functions

  1. Omit section 28(1).

  2. Omit section 28(8).

Premises

  1. Omit section 32(1).

  2. Omit section 33(6).

  3. Omit section 34(4).

  4. Omit section 35(4).

Discussions about pay

  1. In section 77(1) omit "in so far as P makes or seeks to make a relevant pay disclosure".

  2. In section 77(2) omit "in so far as P seeks a relevant pay disclosure from the colleague".

  3. Omit section 77(3).

  4. In section 77(4) omit every instance of "relevant".

Education

  1. Omit section 84(b).

  2. Omit section 85(10).

  3. Omit section 90.

  4. Omit section 95.

Associations

  1. Omit section 100.

  2. Omit section 103(2).

Advancement of equality

  1. In section 149 omit every instance of "relevant".

  2. Omit section 149(7).

Further and higher education

  1. Omit Schedule 12 paragraph 6.

Referenced legislation


This Bill was written by the Right Honourable Duke of the Fenlands OM GCMG KCT CB MVO, on behalf of the Labour and Co-operative Party.


Opening Speech

My Lords,

The Equality Act 2010 when originally passed protected those who were married or in a civil partnership from discrimination. This was the predominant form of discrimination at the time, so although I do not agree with that limitation, I understand the reasoning at the time.

But times have moved on. Yes, marriage and civil partnership discrimination still happens. But discrimination based on other types of relationship status also happens. Whether or not someone is in a relationship, and the kind of relationship they are in, is not relevant to how well they can work. This no longer reflects our modern world.

Sam Middlemiss wrote for the Law Society of Scotland that there has been a lack of research into the issue, but that the issue should be treated seriously as a result. They give examples of how a single worker might be discriminated against, including being overloaded with work that isn't placed on a colleague who is married or in a civil partnership.

This Bill also extends the protections afforded to relationship status, previously marriage and civil partnership, in Schedule 1, scrapping arbitrary exclusions. For example, it will make it illegal to discriminate against someone who has a particular relationship status in education settings.

In drafting those latter provisions, I discovered further arbitrary exclusions. For example, it is currently lawful under section 85(10) of the Equality Act for the management board of a school to harass a pupil based on their religion, belief, being transgender, or their sexual orientation. It feels like part of section 28's legacy. I hope noble Lords agree with me that this is an unacceptable state of affairs.

Schedule 1 removes these arbitrary exceptions and exclusions, ensuring that there is nowhere to hide for discriminatory employers, schools and services.

My Lords, I hope when the question is put, noble Lords support these modernising changes to our statute book.


Debate under this bill shall end on the 8th of June at 10PM BST

2 Comments
2024/06/05
17:30 UTC

1

B1666.3 - School Freedoms Bill - 2nd Reading

School Freedoms Bill


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provide Primary and Secondary Schools with comprehensive autonomy over Budgets, Curriculum, Policies, and Local Engagement, and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Section One - Interpretation

In this Act:

(1) "Primary School" means a school that provides education to children between the ages of 5 and 11.

(2) "Secondary School" means a school that provides education to children between the ages of 11 and 18.

(3) "Governors" means the governing body of a school as constituted under the relevant provisions of the Education Acts.

Section Two - Enhanced Autonomy over Budgets

(1) Every Primary and Secondary School shall have the power and authority to formulate and manage its own budget, subject to compliance with financial regulations, statute, and in line with any guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

(2) In addition to budgetary control, schools shall have the authority to raise supplementary funds through local fundraising efforts, with the funds being used to enhance educational resources, extracurricular activities, and community engagement.

(3) The Secretary of State must ensure that funding from His Majesty’s Government is sufficient to meet the needs of schools.

Section Three - Comprehensive Curriculum Autonomy

(1) Each Primary and Secondary School shall have the authority to determine its curriculum within key stage one, key stage two, and key stage three (as defined by section 82(1) of the Education Act 2002), subject to the requirement that the curriculum must be broad, balanced, inclusive, innovative, and in compliance with national educational standards set by the Secretary of State.

(2) Schools may collaborate with local industries, universities, and cultural organisations to offer specialised courses, workshops, and experiential learning opportunities that prepare students for future careers and contribute to the growth of the local economy.

(3) Unless a school has an individual curriculum in place, as defined by section 6 of the Exam Board (Reorganisation) Act 2022, they may not vary the curriculum for the fourth key stage, as defined by section 82(1) of the Education Act 2002.

Section Four - Policy Autonomy and Local Engagement

(1) Primary and Secondary Schools shall have the discretion to establish their own policies on matters such as admissions, discipline, attendance, and student support services, in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

(2) Schools shall establish mechanisms for regular consultation with parents, students, staff, the local community, and other relevant persons to ensure that policies are reflective of local needs, values, and aspirations.

Section Five - Quality Assurance and Improvement

(1) Primary and Secondary Schools shall participate in periodic reviews and self-assessment processes to ensure the maintenance of high educational standards and continuous improvement.

(2) The Secretary of State shall provide support and resources for schools to engage in quality assurance initiatives and share best practices within the educational community.

Section Six - Enhanced Accountability

(1) Schools shall produce annual reports detailing their financial performance, academic achievements, community engagement initiatives, and student outcomes.

(a) These reports must be sent to the relevant Local Authority and the Secretary of State within 14 working days of being compiled.

(b) Once the Local Authority and the Secretary of State issue notice of receipt of the reports and confirm there are no issues with the reports as written, schools must make reports publicly available within 28 working days in such a format to ensure as wide accessibility as possible.
(i) Schools may compile multiple of the same reports for the purposes of ensuring accessibility, such as translating a report into braille or into a foreign language, but must ensure the content is as equivalent to the initial report as is possible.

(2) OFSTED, as reconstituted by the OFSTED Reform Act 2023, shall conduct regular inspections that take into account the broader context of the school's autonomy and its impact on student well-being and development.

Section Seven - Implementation

(1) Schools shall have the option to utilise the powers granted by this Act or the option to not utilise them.

(2) Where a school has decided to utilise the powers granted by this Act, they shall consult such relevant persons as necessary for the implementation of these powers.

(3) Schools must, at minimum, consult;

(a) The Local Authority within which they reside

(b) The board of governors of the school,
(c) The Secretary of State, or a person delegated by the Secretary of State,

before utilising the powers granted by this Act, though they are not required to implement the results of the consultation but may do so if they so decide.

(4) The Secretary of State shall ensure that appropriate guidance and support is made available to schools to ensure they can be well informed about the powers this Act grants schools.

(5) Any changes made under the powers granted by this Act may only be implemented at the commencement of the next academic year, unless the next academic year commences in 90 days or sooner in which case they may only be implemented at the commencement of the academic year following the next academic year.

Section Eight - Commencement, Short Title, and Extent

(1) This Act shall come into force one year after receiving Royal Assent.

(2) This Act may be cited as the School Freedoms Act 2024.

(3) This Act extends to England only.


This Bill was written by His Grace the Most Honourable Sir /u/Sephronar, the 1st Duke of Hampshire, and the Rt. Hon. Sir Frost_Walker2017, Duke of the Suffolk Coasts, initially for the 33rd Government, and has been submitted on behalf of the Labour Party and the Conservative Party.

Permission to submit the bill was received.


Opening Speech: /u/Frost_Walker2017

Deputy Speaker,

I rise in support of this bill. Schools require flexibility to deliver and avoid a one-size-fits-all approach that has plagued education for some time. Every student is different, and such approaches risk failing students up and down the country.

This bill gives schools flexibility over their budgets, their policies, and their curriculum. The former ensures they can take the necessary steps to safeguard their staff and students, delivering the best education possible, while the flexibility over policies ensures that schools have the opportunity to focus on what matters locally. The flexibility over the curriculum ensures that schools can deliver a tailored education and play to the strengths of their educators or local area - a school in Leiston, for example, may seek to emphasise engineering (as a future pathway) to make use of the trained individuals working in the nuclear power station in Sizewell, while a school in a manufacturing area may make use of other skills to educate their students. In Staffordshire, schools may demonstrate ceramics in Art classes and hold enrichment sessions at nearby pottery works. This bill frees up schools to pursue deepening local ties in whatever manner fits best with them, and helps bring together communities by developing respect for the local area.

An inevitable criticism that will arise is that this is academisation through the back door. While I don’t wish to get bogged down debating academies, I believe that while the powers this bill grants are similar to academies it is ultimately more successful in its implementation through the oversight procedures granted by local governments. By returning many of the equivalent powers that academies had to schools, and placing it within the accountability framework provided by local representatives, we ensure that communities can appropriately hold their educators accountable. Under the Academy system, communities with schools in multi-academy trusts would have to fight often opaque accountability and transparency policies and discuss matters with a headquarters many miles away from their area.

It is important that we continue to work on delivering a high quality education system, fit for the 21st century. Schools and the education system are the basis for our future, and it is imperative that we treat the institutions and staff with the respect they deserve. Being able to trust them with the flexibility and freedom to innovate means we set our education sector up to succeed.

For all these reasons, and more, I commend this bill to the House.


This reading shall end on the 7th of June at 10pm BST

3 Comments
2024/06/04
12:11 UTC

3

MQs - Defence - XXXV.III

Order, order!

Minister's Questions are now in order!


The Prime Minister, /u/ARichTeaBiscuit, will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, /u/Underwater_Tara, may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Defence Spokespeople of Major Unofficial Opposition Parties, /u/Chi0121 and /u/The_Nunnster may ask 3 initial questions.


Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)

Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Prime Minister may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.


This session shall end on the 8th of June at 10pm BST with no further questions asked after the 7th of June at 10pm BST

51 Comments
2024/06/04
12:11 UTC

1

Results - B1670 B1664.2 M785 B1672

B1670 - Protected Sovereign States and Territories Bill

The AYES to the Right: 3

The NOES to the Left: 120

Abstentions: 4

Did Not Vote: 23

Turnout: 84.67%

The NOES have it! The NOES have it! The Bill will be thrown out.


B1664.2 - British Nationality (Amendment) (Inviolability) Bill

The AYES to the Right: 103

The NOES to the Left: 20

Abstentions: 3

Did Not Vote: 24

Turnout: 84.00%

The AYES have it! The AYES have it! The Bill will be sent to the Other Place.


M785 - Motion to Support Rejoining the European Union

The AYES to the Right: 35

The NOES to the Left: 89

Abstentions: 3

Did Not Vote: 23

Turnout: 84.67%

The NOES have it! The NOES have it! The motion will be thrown out.


B1672 - Blue Carbon (Interagency Working Group) Bill

The AYES to the Right: 72

The NOES to the Left: 49

Abstentions: 8

Did Not Vote: 21

Turnout: 86.00%

The AYES have it! The AYES have it! The Bill will be sent to the Other Place.

1 Comment
2024/06/02
22:51 UTC

2

M789 - Droitwich Transmitter Motion - Motion Reading

Droitwich Transmitter Motion

This House recognises:—

(1) That the reception of amplitude-modulated long-wave transmissions is declining.

(2) Long-wave transmissions were vitally important as radio was being developed.

(3) Long-wave transmissions are able to travel further and to more locations that shorter-wave services and internet services.

(4) Long-wave transmissions continue to have a use in emergency alert broadcasts.

(5) Many electricity meters rely on the Radio Teleswitch Service to function properly.

(6) The Droitwich Transmitter is one of the main long-wave and Radio Teleswitch Service transmitters in the United Kingdom.

(7) The BBC has announced its intention to close Droitwich Transmitter because of the complexity and costs of maintaining it.

Therefore, this House calls on the Government to:—

(1) Secure Droitwich Transmitter's immediate future, either by providing the BBC additional funds to keep it going or by purchasing it off the BBC.

(2) Secure that long-wave services and Radio Teleswitch Service transmissions continue in at least the short-term.

(3) Explore options for opening up the Droitwich Transmitter to the public or to students, to inspire them to get into engineering, the sciences, and media.

(4) Create a medium-term strategy for the replacement of Droitwich Transmitter for normal usage, and for the preservation of Droitwich Transmitter as a heritage asset once replaced, including exploring whether to transfer it to a charity for preservation.


This motion was written by the Right Honourable Duke of the Fenlands OM GCMG KCT CB MVO, on behalf of the Labour and Co-operative Party.


Opening Speech

Deputy Speaker,

I am sure many members are wondering why I've brought this motion to the House today. Some unknown transmitter for unknown services? It seems like an ideal thing to cut, save some money, and be done with it. But I hope that I can convince members otherwise today.

You see, Droitwich Transmitter provides three vital services.

First, it provides AM services. Primarily on the long-wave bands, but also on the medium-wave bands. The long-wave bands are particularly important because they are free to tune into, work in valleys and extremely remote regions, and cover large distances. This is something that cannot be said about internet radio. BBC Radio 4 Long Wave is the only radio station still broadcasting on long-wave in the UK. But it still provides a vital service at sea. I'm not talking about the common myth surrounding our nuclear submarines, but small boats around the UK. While very few continue to use the shipping forecast as their primary source of weather forecasting and safety, many continue to have it as a backup system should their primary, internet systems fail.

Second, it provides the Radio Teleswitch for much of the UK. This is for Economy 7 and similar electricity meters, in order to switch them between day and night rates. Without the RTS, many of these meters will fail, costs will skyrocket for consumers, and the incentive to shift electricity demand to off-peak times will vanish. The RTS has a major advantage in ensuring that demands doesn't outpace supply. Although smart meters will not be affected by the switching off of RTS, some consumers are unable to yet have a smart meter installed. This may be because of poor signal, because the meter is too far from the property, or because the electricity supply installed is too complex for the current generation of smart meters. While this reason will diminish with time, for now it is still a pertinent one. In 2020, there were still 1.4 million MPANs using radio teleswitching. We must not damage consumers' trust in reaching net zero by hiking their energy prices until they are able to get a smart meter.

Finally, it provides an opportunity. We could establish a museum or tech history centre at the Droitwich Transmitter. It is the perfect place for students or even the general public to get an understanding of how radio and other forms of media developed, how radio used to work and how it works now. When I was at school, Year 12 pupils were often invited to visit the Joint European Torus in Oxfordshire. It inspired many to take physics or maths forward as a result. I strongly believe that the Droitwich Transmitter could do the same for engineering, physics, maths, and media studies. We should utilise our history to promote the pioneers of tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the BBC are unable to keep Droitwich running themselves. They already have plans in place to decommission the transmitter and close down long-wave services and the Radio Teleswitch Service. This is in part down to the complexity and cost of maintaining the transmitter. Parts are hard to obtain, are expensive to comission, and difficult to physically replace. The valves, when they blow, can cause dangerous arcing.

This does not mean it is impossible to maintain. It just needs some help from Westminster to do so. And I do believe that there are merits to replacing the transmitter in the medium term with more modern kit that uses less power. In the long term, the need for long wave and the Radio Teleswitch Service will hopefully disappear. But in the short term, we must ensure that continuity of broadcast is maintained for everyone. I hope every member of this House agrees with me that the wide-ranging immediate benefits of Droitwich Transmitter make it worthy of our support today.

I commend this motion to the House.


This reading ends on Wednesday 5 June 2024 at 10PM BST.

9 Comments
2024/06/02
22:11 UTC

1

M788 - Economic Growth (Tax Burden) Motion - Motion Reading

Economic Growth (Tax Burden) Motion

This House acknowledges that:

(1) Whilst there are a large number of factors that contribute towards growth, taxes nonetheless play a crucial role in economic recovery.

(2) A balancing act relationship in which —

(a) Tax reduces the incentive to invest in skills and technology, both by individuals and corporate entities, which in turn reduces productivity and then growth; however

(b) Public expenditure, can enhance growth, via items such as defence, justice, education, public health and infrastructure.

(3) There is an observed optimal tax burden for economic growth, clustering between 20% and 30% of GDP.

(4) The current United Kingdom tax burden is estimated to far exceed this optimal window of percentage of GDP —

(a) Utilising the figures of the February 2024 Budget for the FY23/24, the tax burden, calculated out of a total revenue of £1.3 billion and a GDP of £2.4 billion, the tax burden resulted in 55.8%

(b) The OECD average tax burden as per the provisional 2022 data, reported a figure of 34%, with the United Kingom having the highest tax burden of any OECD country, surpassing France’s 46.1%, a near 10% difference.

(5) Evidence on the optimal structure is mixed but usually suggests the following —

(a) recurrent taxes on immovable property, especially land, are least damaging;

(b) transactions and business profits taxes are most damaging; and

(c) estimates usually find taxes on income to be more damaging than taxes on expenditure.

(6) There is an observable negative relationship between high tax burden and economic growth.

This House recognizes the following extracts, summarizing findings supporting its acknowledgment:

(1) Piroli & Pesschner, The Impact of Taxation Structure on Growth: Empirical Evidence from EU27 Member States, 2023:

(a) “Increasing the overall tax burden has a negative impact on growth in the long-run”

(2) Alesina et al, The output effect of fiscal consolidation plans, 2015:

(a) “Fiscal Adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly, in terms of output losses, than tax-based ones and have especially low output costs when they consist of permanent rather than stop-and-go changes in taxes and spending.”

(3) Afonso & Jalles, Economic Performance and Government Size, 2011:

(a) “Our results show a significant negative effect of the size of government on growth.”

(4) Johansson et al, Tax and economic growth, 2008:

(a) “a shift of 1% of tax revenues from income taxes to consumption and property taxes would increase GDP per capita by between a quarter of a percentage point and one percentage point in the long run”

(5) OECD, Sources of Economic Growth in OECD Countries, 2003:

(a) “government expenditure and the required taxes may reach such levels where the negative effects on efficiency start dominating, reflecting an extension of government activities into areas that might be more efficiently carried out in the private sector”

(b) “additional negative effect is found for tax structures with a heavyweight on direct taxes.”

(6) Liebfritz et al, Taxation and Economic Performance, 1997:

(a) “a cut in the tax-to-GDP ratio by 10 percentage points of GDP (accompanied by a deficit-neutral cut in transfers) may increase annual growth by ½ to 1 percentage points (a somewhat larger effect than that found by the “top-down” approach).”

(7) Facchini & Melki, Efficient government size: France in the 20th century, 2013:

(a) “the effect of a 1% point increase in the change in the share of public spending is a decrease of the GDP growth rate of 0.19% for the total period”

(b) “66.6% of the studies find a negative effect of Government size, while only 8.3% find the opposite effect, and 25.1% are inconclusive.”

(8) Bassanini & Scarpetta, The Driving Forces of Economic Growth: Panel Data Evidence for the OECD Countries, 2001:

(a) “The overall tax burden is found to have a negative impact on output per capita. Furthermore controlling for the overall tax burden, there is an additional negative effect coming from an extensive reliance on direct taxes.”

(b) “An increase of about one percentage point in the tax pressure - e.g. two-thirds of what was observed over the past decade in the OECD sample - could be associated with a direct reduction of about 0.3% in output per capita. If the investment effect is taken into account, the overall reduction would be about 0.6% to 0.7%.”

(c) “A reduction in taxes and expenditure as a share of GDP somewhat boosted output per capita growth in the 1990s.”

(9) Lee & Gordon, Tax Structure and economic growth, 2005:

(a) “a cut in the corporation tax rate by 10 percentage points will raise the annual growth rate by one or two percentage points.”

(b) “the corporate tax rate is significantly negatively correlated with economic growth in a cross-section data set of 70 countries during 1970-1997.”

Therefore, this House urges:

(1) The Government takes the necessary measures to ensure that the national tax burden is kept at no more than 30% of GDP in adhering to empirical findings for economic growth.

(2) The Government to reduce the United Kingdom’s fiscal reliance on direct taxes in the long-run.


This Motion was submitted by u/Kellogg-Briand on behalf of the Centre Party with contributions from the Right Honourable Dame u/Waffel-lol LT CMG GCMG, Leader of His Majesty’s Official Opposition and is sponsored by the 39th Official Opposition.


Sources and References

OECD, Revenue Statistics 2023

The Budget (February 2024)

OECD, Sources of Economic Growth in OECD Countries, 2003

Liebfritz et al, Taxation and Economic Performance, 1997

Facchini & Melki, Efficient government size: France in the 20th century, 2013

Bassanini & Scarpetta, The Driving Forces of Economic Growth: Panel Data Evidence for the OECD Countries, 2001

Lee & Gordon, Tax Structure and economic growth, 2005

Taxes, growth and the tax burden


Opening Speech:

Mr Speaker,

This is a matter of crucial importance and the New Liberals and Centre Party, alongside the Liberal Democrats have worked to bring forward a key concern that we have regarding our nation's finances. The United Kingdom has the highest tax burden amongst the OECD countries at nearly 56%. Not only exceeding the OECD average of 34% but this is a figure that is nearly 10% above the runner up of France at 46.1%. This level of tax burden is very dangerous and harmful for the aims of economic growth. In supporting our assurance of this matter, this is a position that has been backed up and supported by decades of academic study and research where there has been clear evidence and a negative relationship between the tax burden and economic growth. The current tax burden we have is comparatively ridiculously high and we urge the urgency of measures to reduce this tax burden and unlock growth for our economy.


This division closes at 10PM BST on Tuesday 4 June 2024.

5 Comments
2024/06/01
20:00 UTC

1

MQs - Digital, Space, Science, and Culture - XXXV.III

Order! Order!

Minister's Questions are now in Order!


The Secretary of State for Digital, Space, Science, and Culture, model-avtron will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Space, Science, and Culture, Amazonas122 may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Digital, Space, Science, and Culture Spokespeople of Major Unofficial Opposition Parties, Model-Ben and XVillan may ask 3 initial questions.


Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)

Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Secretary of State for Digital, Space, Science, and Culture may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.

This session ends on Tuesday 4 June 2024 at 10pm BST. No initial questions can be asked after Monday 3 June 2024 at 10pm BST.

28 Comments
2024/05/31
19:47 UTC

2

MQs- Foreign Affairs and International Development - XXXV.III

Order! Order!

Minister's Questions are now in Order!


The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Development, weebru_m will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Development, comped may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Foreign Affairs Spokesperson of a Major Unofficial Opposition Party, Frost_Walker2017 and meneerduif may ask 3 initial questions.


Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)

Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Secretary of State for Transport may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.

This session shall end on Monday 3rd June at 10pm BST, no initial questions to be asked after Sunday 2nd June at 10pm BST.

65 Comments
2024/05/30
09:09 UTC

1

B1671 - NHS Management (ICG Boards) Bill - 3rd Reading

NHS Management (ICG Boards) Bill

A

BILL

TO

Amend Integrated Commissioning Group Boards to prioritise expert led effectiveness in NHS management, and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament, assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows —

Section 1: Amendments

(1) The National Health Service and General Practice Act 2023 is amended as follows.

(2) The following provisions are repealed —

(a) subsection 4(a) of Section 4: Establishment of Integrated Commissioning Groups; and

(3) In subsection 4 of Section 4: Establishment of Integrated Commissioning Groups, insert and reorder accordingly —

(a) clinical managers, within the relevant area appointed on five year terms by the regional authority within that area; and

(b) general managers within the relevant area appointed on five year terms by the regional authority within that area; and

(c) operational managers within the relevant area appointed on five year terms by the regional authority within that area; and

(d) two elected members, who are individuals from within the NHS employment of the relevant area, elected on five year terms by a ballot of all staff within NHS employment in the relevant area

(4) Subsection (5) of Section 4: Establishment of Integrated Commissioning Groups; is amended as follow to read —

(5) NHS England may generally regulate the character, conduct and duties of members of Integrated Commissioning Group boards

(4) Subsection (6) of Section 4: Establishment of Integrated Commissioning Groups; is amended as follow to read —

(6) NHS England must regulate for a minimum number of members upon boards of Integrated Commissioning Groups, and regulate as necessary to weight the votes of board members to be equal in distribution between clinical, general, and operational managers, and general practitioner cooperative members, and local authority members.

Section 2: Extent, Commencement, and Short Title

(1) This Act extends to England.

(2) The provisions of this Act shall come into force the day this Act is passed, and has received Royal Assent.

(3) This Act may be cited as the ‘NHS Management (ICG Boards) Act’.

This Bill was submitted by  Leader of His Majesty’s Official Opposition, on behalf of the 39th Official Opposition. With contributions from  Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Referenced Legislation:

National Health Service and General Practice Act 2023

Opening Speech:

Deputy Speaker,

We are again proposing this Bill as we believe it is important that our National Health Service is effective and efficient in its management. Last term we proposed this Bill, it saw zero debate by those who subsequently voted against it which was a shame as to the public. Nonetheless, in our commitment to our principles, platform, voters and determination to the matter, it is the position of the Liberal Democrats that we cannot effectively run a health service that does not recognise and place trust in expertise and experience. This is a fundamental principle that ought to shape the foundation of our National Health Service management, the unwavering commitment to expertise. In the realm of healthcare, expertise is not merely a desirable trait; it is the bedrock upon which the well-being of our citizens hinges and the quality of projects and care are delivered. The value of expertise and experience in healthcare is not just about knowledge; it is about the ability to apply that knowledge with precision, compassion, and a deep sense of responsibility dedicated throughout their career.

However, something that the Liberal Democrats and other parties took issue with was when the creation of Integrated Commissioning Group boards decided to place politics over a well-run health service. Section 4 of the Act lacked the inclusion of key positions that play an integral role in regional clinical practice and operations for ICGs to actually be involved and effectively coordinated, notably that of the management positions. Instead opting to have arbitrary elected members driven by ideological convictions. What this Bill does is amend the original Act to prioritise expertise, experience and professionalism in the appointment of these key decision makers to the board. Their crucial positions will allow for a more tailored and coordinated approach to projects, whereby valuable insight, influence and ideas can be shared and developed for effective implementation and integration of health services.

This debate shall end on the 2nd of June at 10pm BST

4 Comments
2024/05/30
08:57 UTC

4

B1675 - Gambling (Advertising Prohibition) Bill

Gambling (Advertising Prohibition) Bill

A

B I L L

T O

Amend the Gambling Act 2005 to prohibit all forms of gambling advertising except for non-commercial gaming.

Bᴇ ɪᴛ ᴇɴᴀᴄᴛᴇᴅ by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1. Amendment of the Gambling Act 2005

(1) The Gambling Act 2005 is amended as follows.

(2) Insert after section 331—

331A. General prohibition of gambling advertising

(1) A person commits an offence if they advertise gambling within the scope of section 332 or section 333.

(2) But subsection (1) does not apply to the extent that the advertisement is to promote gambling where—

(a) the profits of that gambling are wholly and exclusively appropriated for a non-commercial society; and

(b) the advertisement identifies that the gambling is for the exclusive benefit of that non-commercial society.

(3) In subsection (2), profit means—

(a) the aggregate of amounts—

(i) paid by way of stakes or bets, or

(ii) otherwise accruing to the person organising the gaming directly in connection with it, minus

(b) amounts deducted by the person organising the gaming in respect of—

(i) the provision of prizes, or

(ii) other costs reasonably incurred in organising or providing facilities for the gaming.

(4) A person does not commit an offence under subsection (1) by reason only of delivering, transmitting or broadcasting a communication or making data available if—

(a) they act in the course of a business of delivering, transmitting or broadcasting communications (in whatever form or by whatever means) or making data available, and

(b) the nature of the business is such that persons undertaking it have no control over the nature or content of the communications or data.

(5) Where a person commits an offence under this section by causing an advertisement to be displayed or made accessible, they shall be treated as committing the offence on each day during any part of which the advertisement is displayed or made accessible.

(6) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment—

(i) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 18 months,

(ii) to a fine, or

(iii) to both; and

(b) on summary conviction—

(i) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months,

(ii) to a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale, or

(iii) to both.

(3) Insert after section 332(3)—

(3A) Section 331A(1) applies to anything in the way of advertising which is done—

(a) wholly or partly in the United Kingdom, and

(b) otherwise than by way of remote communication.

(4) Insert after section 333(3)—

(3A) Section 331A(1) applies to advertising by way of remote communication only if the advertising satisfies the test in subsection (4).

(5) In section 333(4) for "(1)(a), (2)(a) and (3)" substitute "(1)(a), (2)(a), (3), and (3A)".

2. Extent, commencement and citation

(1) This Act extends to England, Wales, and Scotland.

(2) This Act comes into force at the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on which it is passed.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Gambling (Advertising Prohibition) Bill.


Referenced legislation


This Bill was written by the Right Honourable Duke of the Fenlands OM GCMG KCT CB MVO, on behalf of the Labour and Co-operative Party.


Opening Speech

Deputy Speaker,

Gambling is now a public health crisis. While we need to do more to help those who are already problematic gamblers or at risk of becoming a problematic gambler, we also need to ensure that the gambling industry cannot easily exploit more vulnerable people in the future.

If you turn on the TV today, it's likely you'll see several adverts for gambling, including the sponsorship of programmes. The theme of such adverts often revolve around community. Tombola adverts in particular are a bad example of this, with players often being shown to be together in person, go-karting and taking part in other social activities. But Tombola is an online casino that does not have a physical space. Its adverts prey on those who are isolated and vulnerable.

Other companies do little to highlight the dangers of gambling. Many will put in a quick line saying "when the fun stops, stop", but this hardly moves the needle on problematic gambling. Yet gambling companies continue to spend £1.5 billion per year on advertising.

In fact, in 2017, our own Gambling Commission described problem gambling as a public health concern. Nearly 2% of the population are problem gamblers or at risk of becoming a problem gambler. That's over a million people. Not only that, but gambling operators make 60% of their profits from the 5% of gamblers who are already problem gamblers or are at risk of becoming a problem gambler. In Victoria, Australia, 2% of suicides are connected to gambling.

The cost to the Government of problem gambling is also substantial. Estimates vary from £200 million to £1.2 billion per year, and these are identified as likely underestimates. Gambling has a substantial cost both socially and financially, and both to the individual and to society as a whole.

I do recognise the benefits that are often associated with lotteries, raffles and associated forms of gambling for the exclusive benefit of charities and similar groups such as amateur sports clubs. The bill as originally drafted creates an exception for "non-commercial" gaming, which is defined elsewhere in the Act. Parliament would be open to review this exception in the future if it is abused. But at the moment, the financial impact on charities by banning gambling advertising would be too severe compared to the risk associated with charity raffles, lotteries, and the like.

This bill will not prevent people from gambling. Those that already do so can continue to do so. But it will aim to reduce the number of vulnerable people sucked into the world of gambling and problematic gambling. Ultimately, this bill must form part of a wider strategy.

Gambling operators can no longer be trusted to run responsible adverts. We have banned advertising for alcohol and cigarettes. It's time we do the same for gambling.

I commend this bill to the House.


Debate under this bill shall end on Sunday 2nd June at 10pm BST

10 Comments
2024/05/30
08:39 UTC

1

B1665.2 - Smoking Elimination Bill - 3rd Reading

Smoking Elimination Bill


A

BILL

TO

Create a statutory duty to eliminate most smoking by 2030, implement licensing for the sale of tobacco and nicotine-containing products, regulate e-cigarettes and for connected purposes

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--

Chapter I: Smoke Free by 2030

Section 1: Smoke Free Target

(1) It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that by 2030, less than 5% of the United Kingdom population are regular smokers. This shall be referred to as the “Smoke Free Target”.

(2) The Secretary of State must publish an annual smoking elimination plan, which must include:

(a) an action plan demonstrating the actions to be taken by the Secretary of State to achieve the Smoke Free Target,

(b) measurable objectives to be achieved by the time of the publication of the next annual smoking elimination plan,

(c) the best available data regarding smoking within the United Kingdom, and

(d) a summary of failures to achieve targets set out in all previous smoking elimination plans until such time as they have been achieved, alongside remedial measures to ensure ascertainment of the relevant target.

Section 2: Definitions

(1) For the purposes of this act, a regular smoker is a person who usually consumes at least one tobacco product per week

(2) For the purposes of this act, a tobacco product is a product primarily intended for the consumption of nicotine, including but not limited to:

(a) smoked tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and hookah tobacco,

(b) smokeless tobacco products such as dipping tobacco, chewing tobacco or snus,

(c) heated tobacco products, or

(d) any other product as designated by regulations by the Secretary of State.

(3) For the purposes of this act, a nicotine-containing product is any product given under subsection (3), or an electronic cigarette, or any other product as designated by regulations by the Secretary of State.

Chapter II: Introduction of Licensing of Sale

Section 3: Licensing Requirement for sale

(1) A person commits an offence if they—

(a) sell nicotine-containing products by retail without a licence, or

(b) sell nicotine-containing products by retail from premises other than premises in respect of which they have been granted a licence, unless that licence is granted for online sales.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or a fine, or both.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), a person is considered to have sold a nicotine-containing product by retail if they provide the item for free.

(4) This Subsection shall come into force upon either the 1st of January 2025, or on a date appointed by regulation by the Secretary of State not later than the 1st of January 2027.

Section 4: Regulations Regarding Licensing

(1) A body known as the Tobacco Licensing Agency is to be formed.

(2) The Secretary of State must by regulations make provision about the granting of licences for the sale by retail of nicotine-containing products, and such regulations as the Secretary of State deems reasonably necessary for the orderly function of the Tobacco Licensing Agency.

(3) Regulations under subsection (2) must provide that—

(a) the licensing authority for the sale by retail of nicotine-containing products is the Tobacco Licensing Agency,

(b) the licensing authority may place conditions on persons to whom licences have been granted,

(c) no licence may be issued to or held by a person who has been convicted of an offence under section 7 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

(d) licences will be issued on an individual basis for a specific address, or online point of sale, and subject to compliance inspection by the licensing authority.

(3) Regulations under subsection (2) must further ensure that the licensing authority may to such an extent compliant with other legislation regulate product standards with respect to products under their remit, including but not limited to:

(a) Restrictions of the marketing and advertising of tobacco products

(b) Requirements regarding health warning and information displays with respect to the sale of tobacco products

Section 5: Age Verification Conditions

(1) Regulations under section 4 must—

(a) require holders of a licence to operate an age verification policy,

(b) enable the licensing authority to issue fines in respect of a failure to operate an age verification policy,

(c) create criminal offences in respect of a failure to operate an age verification policy.

(2) The Secretary of State may publish guidance on matters relating to age verification policies, including guidance about—

(a) steps that should be taken to establish a customer's age,

(b) documents that may be shown to the person selling a tobacco product or related goods as evidence of a customer's age,

(c) training that should be undertaken by the person selling the tobacco product or related goods,

(d) the form and content of notices that should be displayed in the premises,

(e) the form and content of records that should be maintained in relation to an age verification policy.

(3) A person who carries on a business involving the retail sale of tobacco products must have regard to guidance published under subsection (2) when operating an age verification policy.

Chapter III: Regulations Regarding E-Cigarettes

Section 6: Extension of Plain Packaging to all “nicotine-containing products”

(1) Within the Plain Packaging Act 2016, the following amendments are to be made:-

(a) replace all instances of tobacco products with nicotine-containing products

(b) replace Section 1 subsection c with:

“c) Nicotine-containing products shall have the same meaning as that given in the Smoking Elimination Act 2023”.

Section 7: Ban of disposable e-cigarettes

(1) A person commits an offence if they sell disposable e-cigarettes (where intended for use as a nicotine-containing product) by retail.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine, or-

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or a fine, or both.

(3) For the purposes of this section, an e-cigarette shall be considered disposable if it is intended only for a single use, and lacks capacity either to be refilled or recharged by the user.

(4) It shall be a defence under paragraph 1 if a disposable vape is sold to a healthcare professional or body.

(5) A healthcare professional or body may only procure disposable vapes for the purpose of issuing them for persons whilst under medical supervision or can be reasonably provided for persons who may deemed unable to utilise refillable or rechargeable e-cigarettes ordinarily.

(6) This Subsection shall come into force upon either the 1st of January 2025, or on a date appointed by regulation by the Secretary of State not later than the 1st of January 2027.

Chapter IV: Implementation

Section 8: Commencement, Extent and Short Title

(1) This Act shall come into force one year after receiving Royal Assent.

(2) This Act shall extend to England only unless—

(a) a Legislative Consent Motion is passed in the Pàrlamaid na h-Alba, in which case it shall also apply to Scotland, or

(b) a Legislative Consent Motion is passed in the Senedd Cymru, in which case it shall also apply to Wales, or

(c) a Legislative Consent Motion is passed in the Northern Ireland Assembly, in which case it shall also apply to Northern Ireland.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Smoking Elimination Act 2024.


This bill was written by the Right Honourable Dame /u/SpectacularSalad KG KP GCB OM GCMG GBE CT PC MP MLA FRS and the Right Honourable Sir /u/weebru_m CT KT PC MP on behalf of His Majesty’s Government


Chapter 2 was largely sourced from the real life Sale of Tobacco (Licensing) Bill.

This Legislation amends the Plain Packaging Act 2016.


Opening Speech:

Deputy Speaker,

The house recently read the Advertisement of Vape Products (Regulation) Bill, one I was happy to welcome to this house and support at division. I believe that we in this house must do more to regulate vaping, and also to do what we can to eliminate smoking more generally.

Recalling also the Plain Packaging Bill read earlier this year (and subsequently withdrawn), I was spurred into action to propose the following legislation. I have sought to propose a package of world-leading, comprehensive measures.

Firstly, this bill will create a statutory duty for the Secretary of State to reduce the number of regular smokers to 5% of the population by 2030. In 2021 it was 13.3%, and below this threshold the UK will be considered “smoke free”. This 5% target is inspired by New Zealand’s health measures, but I must make clear that this bill does not go as far as a total ban for certain ages as seen in Aotearoa.

To support this goal, the bill will introduce two new licences. These are a licence on the sale of nicotine products (meaning tobacco products, and vapes), and a licence on the purchase of tobacco products specifically, but not vapes.

The nicotine-containing products licence will come into effect a year after passage of the bill, and this will require any business selling either tobacco or vapes to be licensed. This will also ban online sales of these products, making them only available in brick and mortar stores.

This effort is aimed at cracking down on the sale of tobacco and particularly vapes to young people, as the 25 years of age check will apply as a part of the terms of the licence itself. The NHS estimates that 9% of secondary school pupils either regularly or occasionally vape. This is 9% too many.

Eliminating online sale of tobacco or vaping products will close the online sales loophole, and by controlling which businesses are able to sell these products, we can implement better checks and controls to ensure that young people are unable to access them.

The second measure is the Tobacco Purchase Licence, which will come into force no earlier than the beginning of 2027. This is a licence to be required for an individual to buy tobacco containing products (but explicitly not vapes).

This will be a free, renewable, annual licence. Everyone who is 18 or older will be able to get one, but they will need an application signed by their GP, with the licences themselves issued by NHS bodies, who may issue guidance to the GP on how to support the individual in question.

The aim here is twofold, firstly to ensure that all active smokers have some interaction with the NHS relating to smoking, giving us a greater ability to support cessation. Individuals will retain the right to choose to smoke tobacco, but they will be unable to renew their licence to purchase without a GP’s awareness.

The second aim is simply to make smoking tobacco more hassle than vaping. We do not know how harmful vaping is, but the NHS’ own guidance is that vapes are far less harmful than cigarettes, exposing users to fewer toxins and at lower levels than smoking cigarettes. By creating a licence required to buy tobacco but not vaping, it is hoped that individuals will be nudged away from cigarettes and towards vaping as a substitute. Due to the nature of the licence, this will be a passive incentive built into the nicotine-products market.

And that brings me neatly onto the fourth key strand of this legislation, that is the extension of plain packaging and out-of-view laws to vapes, and banning disposable vapes. The first component is intended to crack down on bright packaging intended especially to appeal to young people. The second component is intended to tackle both the ease of access to addictive nicotine products, and also to reduce the environmental impact of vaping.

Overall, this represents a comprehensive package of measures that will fit well with the Government’s existing proposals. I hope they will see fit to provide cross-bench support for these measures, aimed at the substantive elimination of smoking in the UK.


This reading shall end on Friday the 31st of May at 10PM BST

3 Comments
2024/05/28
12:03 UTC

2

B1674 - Standardised Nutritional Standards Bill - 2nd Reading

Standardised Nutritional Standards Bill

A

BILL

TO

Expand upon thorough and comprehensive nutritional food standards law, and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of House of Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Section 1: Definitions

For the purposes of this Act, the following terms apply —

(1) "Food item" refers to any substance, whether processed, semi-processed, or raw, which is intended for human consumption.

(2) "Nutritional information" includes, but is not limited to, data on calories, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and any other nutritional components as determined by the relevant competent authority.

(3) "Packaged food" refers to food items that are packaged for sale to consumers.

(4) "Label" refers to any display of written, printed, or graphic matter upon the immediate container of any article.

(5) "Competent authority" refers to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and its agencies or any other agency designated to enforce this Act.

Section 2: Requirements for Nutritional Information on Packaging

(1) All packaged food items must prominently display a standardised nutritional information label.

(2) The label must include —

(a) Serving size and number of servings per package;

(b) Total calories and calories from fat per serving;

(c) Total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat per serving;

(d) Cholesterol content per serving;

(e) Sodium content per serving;

(f) Total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars, and added sugars per serving;

(g) Protein content per serving;

(h) Percentage of daily values for vitamins and minerals (e.g., Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron) based on a 2,000-calorie diet; and

(i) Any other nutritional elements as prescribed by the competent authority.

(3) The Secretary of State may set regulations to amend the contents of paragraph 2 within this section.

(4) Regulations set under this section shall be subject to negative procedure.

Section 5: Format and Design

(1) The nutritional information must be presented in a clear, legible, and conspicuous format that meets standards set by the competent authority.

(2) The label must use a standardised design, including font size, style, and color contrast, as specified by the competent authority to ensure readability.

Section 6: Exemptions and Special Cases

(1) Small businesses, defined by the Companies Act 2006 may apply for an exemption or modification of the labeling requirements.

(2) Fresh produce, raw meat, and other single-ingredient whole foods are exempt from these requirements but must still provide basic nutritional information in an accessible manner, such as through signage or available literature.

Section 7: Enforcement and Penalties

(1) The competent authority shall conduct regular inspections and audits to ensure compliance with this Act.

(2) Non-compliance with the labeling requirements shall result in —

(a) Monetary penalty notices and stop notices being issued by the competent authority.

(b) Repeated or severe violations may result in the suspension of the right to sell the non-compliant food items.

Section 8: Public Education and Outreach

(1) The competent authority shall implement a public education campaign to inform consumers about the nutritional labeling standards.

(2) The campaign shall include resources to help consumers understand and utilise nutritional information in making healthier food choices.

Section 9: Repeals

(1) The following Act is hereby repealed.

(2) The Nutritional Standards Act 2016 is repealed.

Section 10: Extent, Commencement and Title

(1) This Act extends to the United Kingdom.

(2) This Act shall commence three months after it receives Royal Assent.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Standardised Nutritional Standards Act 2024.

This Bill was submitted by u/SlipstreamTeal on behalf of The New Liberals and Centre Party


Opening Speech

Mr Speaker,

I am glad to introduce this Bill, which seeks to merely expand upon old legislation that does not live up to far in governing the monument necessities to enhancing our nutritional food standards law. This bill seeks to ensure that consumers across our nation have access to accurate, comprehensive, and easily understandable nutritional information on all food items. By doing so, we aim to empower individuals to make informed choices that promote better health and well-being. Fundamentally, diet and nutrition play a pivotal role in the prevention of many chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Despite the wealth of information available, many consumers struggle to make sense of nutritional data presented on food packaging. This bill addresses that challenge by mandating a standardised nutritional information label for all packaged food items, something the original act failed to ensure in its vague nature. Stressing the importance and the need for a clear and standardised format for nutritional labels. By ensuring that labels are presented in a legible and conspicuous manner, we eliminate confusion and make it easier for consumers to understand the nutritional value of the food they consume. This label will include detailed information on serving sizes, calories, fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals that this Bill specifies. Such transparency is vital for consumers to make choices that align with their dietary needs and health goals.

Furthermore, our bill recognises the diverse nature of our food industry and provides exemptions and modifications for small businesses and single-ingredient whole foods like fresh produce and raw meat. We believe that while it is essential to maintain high standards, it is equally important to support our local and small-scale food producers. This is why the exemption clause is important whilst ensuring minimum standards in nutritional information is provided in respect to this. Going above the original Act, an integral part set is the public education and outreach campaign. It is not enough to merely provide information, we must also ensure that consumers know how to use it effectively. This is why there are measures to ensure public efforts to educate the public on interpreting and utilising nutritional information, thereby fostering a more health-conscious society.

With our Bill addressing and improving upon the critical inadequacies of the original act to still govern nutritional food standards, it is importantly we act on this. This is why I urge members to support this bill and improve nutritional information for food and ensure regular legislative modernising.


This reading shall end on Friday the 31st of May at 10PM BST

6 Comments
2024/05/28
12:02 UTC

3

M787 - Model House of Commons 10th Anniversary Motion - Motion Reading

#Model House of Commons 10th Anniversary Motion

In the spirit of bi-partisanship and reflection, the House of Commons hereby:

Notes:

(1) The dramatic turn of events that began 10 years ago due to the unexpected and turbulent resignation of the Cameron Government;

(2) The significant degrading in public trust in politics from this event, and the actions of many to restore this trust;

(3) The yearning for continued political dialogue, highlighted by the establishment of an online community known as “Model House of Commons” around the time of the Cameron resignation;

Recognises:

(1) The 10th anniversary of the resignation of the Cameron Government;

(2) The ongoing and respectable efforts of all sides of politics over the past decade in restoring trust to the political system;

(3) The achievements and successes that have been accomplished within the House of Commons since 2014;

Resolves:

(1) In expressing it's thanks and gratitude towards all who have contributed to the rebuilding of the nation’s political system over the past decade;

(2) That the United Kingdom must continue on its path of democracy and open government;

(3) To thank the efforts of all candidates, parliamentarians and speakership members in the upholding of parliamentary institutions and collaboration;

(4) That the tireless work of Electoral Commission workers, affectionately known throughout the years as “Quad members” should be commended and thanked;

(5) To commend the Prime Minister's who led the nation through unprecedented times;

(6) To wish for a decade ahead of prosperity for the nation and citizens' involvement in politics.


This motion was submitted by The Right Honourable Youma CT LT MBE PC MP as a Private Members Motion and is co-sponsored by The Right Honourable ARichTeaBiscuit DCT LT LP LD GCB GCMG OM DBE OBE PC MP on behalf of Solidarity, The RIght Honourable Waffel-lol LT CMG GCMG MP on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, The Right Honourable Sir PoliticoBailey KG KT KD GBE KCT KCB LVO MP on behalf of the Labour Party, The Right Honourable BasedChurchill LT CBE MVO PC MP on behalf of the Conservative and Unionist Party, The Right Honourable The Marquess of Melbourne Sir model-kyosanto KD OM KCT on behalf of Volt Europa, and His Excellency The Most Honourable Timanfya PGCT GCOE PC.

This debate will end on the 31st of May at 10PM

12 Comments
2024/05/28
11:01 UTC

1

B1673 - Bank Holiday Bill - 2nd Reading

##Bank Holiday Bill


A

BILL

TO

Remove Trafalgar Day as a bank holiday; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows –

1 Repeal

(1) Section 1 (4) of the Bank Holidays Act 2019 is repealed.

2 Final provisions

(1) This Act extends to England and Wales.

(2) This Act comes into force on the day on which it is passed.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Bank Holidays Act 2024.


This Bill was submitted by Her Grace Duchess of Enniskillen, Marchioness of Omagh, Lady Blaenau Ffestiniog, Dame Lady_Aya, LP LD GCVO DCT DCMG PC as a Private Member’s Bill.


Deputy Speaker,

In general, I am supportive of bank holidays and the expansion of compensation for workers. I would not find myself in the party of Solidarity if not. However, I think such considerations must also be tempered with common sense and reasonable governance.

The Bank Holidays Act 2019 is not common sense. There are some aspects of the Act which are more reasonable, such as allowing more flexibility regarding bank holidays for work contracts. And that is a topic which I believe a solid argument can be made for its existence even if I may disagree in some aspects.

The creation of Trafalgar Day is not a solid argument and makes little sense. I have nothing against celebrations of Trafalgar Day and enjoying the parades and celebrations that are made each year on that day. But quite frankly, the barrier for a bank holiday should be made higher. For each new bank holiday, this Parliament is costing the economy and its people a possible few billion pounds.

That amount of money for a holiday that is mainly celebrated by the Royal Navy and specific localities is not a rational argument or one that I believe we should be allowing, especially as recent Governments seem to be seeking a balancing of the books for their budgets. The inclusion of Trafalgar Day makes little sense and it should be repealed.


This debate will end on 30th of May 2024 at 10PM

4 Comments
2024/05/27
18:11 UTC

1

MQs - Transport, Housing and Local Government - XXXV.III

Order, order!

Minister's Questions are now in order!

The Secretary of State for Transport, Housing and Local Government, u/Inadorable, will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Housing and Local Government, u/TheVeryWetBanana, may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Transport, Housing and Local Government Spokespeople of Major Unofficial Opposition Parties, u/model-finn and u/DriftersBuddy may ask 3 initial questions.

Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)

Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Secretary of State or junior ministers may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.

This session shall end on the Friday 31st May at 10pm BST, with no initial questions to be asked after Saturday 30th May at 10pm BST.

17 Comments
2024/05/27
18:03 UTC

2

B1672 - Blue Carbon (Interagency Working Group) Bill - 2nd Reading

Blue Carbon (Interagency Working Group) Bill


A

BILL

TO

Establish the Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon, and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of House of Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Section 1: Definitions

For the purposes of this Act, the following definitions apply —

(1) Coastal Blue Carbon Ecosystems —

(a) The term “coastal blue carbon ecosystems” means vegetated coastal habitats, including mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrasses, kelp forests, and other tidal, freshwater, or salt-water wetlands, that have the ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, accumulate carbon in biomass for years to decades, and store carbon in soils for centuries to millennia.

(b) The term “coastal blue carbon ecosystems” includes autochthonous carbon and allochthonous carbon.

(2) The term “Interagency Working Group” means the Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon established under Section 2(1).

Section 2: Interagency working group on coastal Blue Carbon

(1) The Secretary of State shall establish an interagency working group, to be known as the “Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon”.

(2) The Interagency Working Group shall be comprised of senior representatives from—

(a) the Environment Agency;

(b) the Marine Management Organisation;

(c) Natural England;

(d) the Office for Environmental Protection;

(e) the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science;

(f) the Maritime and Coastguard Agency;

(g) the Geospatial Commission;

(h) the UK Investment Bank;

(3) The Secretary of State may set regulations, subject to negative procedure, to amend the representative agencies within subsection (2).

(4) The Interagency Working Group functions shall include but not be limited to —

(a) oversee the development, updates, and maintenance of a national map and inventory of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, including habitat types, with a regional focus in analysis that is usable for local-level conservation, planning, and restoration;

(b) develop a strategic assessment of the biophysical, chemical, social, statutory, regulatory, and economic impediments to conservation and restoration of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, including the vulnerability of coastal blue carbon ecosystems to climate impacts, such as sea-level rise and ocean and coastal acidification, and other environmental and human stressors;

(c) develop a national strategy for foundational science necessary to study, synthesise, and evaluate the effects of climate change and environmental and human stressors on sequestration rates and capabilities of coastal blue carbon ecosystems conservation, with input from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine;

(d) establish national conservation and restoration priorities for coastal blue carbon ecosystems, including an assessment of Federal funding being used for conservation and restoration efforts;

(e) ensure the continuity, use, and interoperability of data assets, including data assets available through the Geospatial Commission; and

(f) assess legal authorities in effect as of the date of the enactment of this Act to conserve and restore coastal blue carbon ecosystems.

Section 3: Strategic Plan and Parliamentary Submissions

(1) No later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Interagency Working Group shall submit to Parliament a report containing the following:

(a) A summary of any public funded research, monitoring, conservation, and restoration activities relating to coastal blue carbon ecosystems, including—

(i) the budget for each such activity; and

(ii) a description of the progress made by each such activity in advancing the national priorities.

(b) An assessment of biophysical, chemical, social, statutory, regulatory, and economic impediments to conservation and restoration of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, including the vulnerability of coastal blue carbon ecosystems to climate impacts, such as sea-level rise and ocean and coastal acidification, and other environmental and human stressors.

(2) The Interagency Working Group shall create a strategic plan for public investments in basic research, development, demonstration, long-term monitoring and stewardship, and deployment of coastal blue carbon ecosystem projects for the 5-year period beginning on the date on which the first fiscal year after the date on which the report is submitted under subsection (1) begins.

(3) The plan required by subsection (2) shall—

(a) include an assessment of the use of Federal programs existing as of the date of the enactment of this Act to conserve and restore coastal blue carbon ecosystems; and

(b) identify any additional authorities or programs that may be needed to conserve and restore such ecosystems.

(4) The Interagency Working Group shall—

(a) on a date that is no later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act and not earlier than the date on which the report required by subsection (1) is submitted, submit to Parliament the strategic plan required by subsection (2); and

(b) submit a revised version of such a plan no less frequently than once every 5 years thereafter.

(5) No later than 90 days before the date on which the strategic plan or any revised version of such plan is submitted, the Interagency Working Group shall—

(a) publish such plan to be publicly available; and

(b) provide an opportunity for submission of public comments for a period of not less than 60 days.

Section 4: Map and Inventory of coastal blue carbon Ecosystems

(1) The Interagency Working Group, utilising the Geospatial Commission systems, shall produce, update, and maintain a national-level map and inventory of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, including—

(a) the types of habitats and species in such ecosystems;

(b) the condition of such habitats, including whether a habitat is degraded, drained, eutrophic, or tidally restricted;

(c) the type of public or private ownership and any protected status of such ecosystems;

(d) the size of such ecosystems;

(e) the salinity boundaries of such ecosystems;

(f) the tidal boundaries of such ecosystems;

(g) an assessment of carbon sequestration potential, methane production, and net greenhouse gas reductions with respect to such ecosystems, including consideration of—

(i) quantification;

(ii) verifiability;

(iii) comparison to a historical baseline as available; and

(iv) permanence of those benefits;

(h) an assessment of co-benefits of ecosystem and carbon sequestration;

(i) the potential for landward migration as a result of sea level rise;

(j) any upstream restrictions detrimental to the watershed process and conditions such as dams, dikes, levees, and other water management practices;

(k) the conversion of such ecosystems to other land uses and the cause of such conversion; and

(l) a depiction of the effects of climate change, including sea level rise, environmental stressors, and human stressors on the sequestration rate, carbon storage, and potential of such ecosystems.

(2) In carrying out subsection (a), the Interagency Working Group shall—

(a) incorporate, to the extent practicable, existing data, as determined on the date of the enactment of this Act, collected through public funded research by a public agency and peer-reviewed published works;

(b) engage regional experts, public agencies, and additional data and information resources in order to accurately account for regional differences in coastal blue carbon ecosystems.

(3) The Interagency Working Group shall use the national map and inventory produced under subsection (1)—

(a) to assess the carbon sequestration potential of different coastal blue carbon ecosystems and account for any regional differences;

(b) to assess and quantify emissions from degraded and destroyed coastal blue carbon ecosystems;

(c) to develop regional assessments in partnership with, or to provide technical assistance to—

(i) regional and local government agencies; and

(ii) regional information coordination bodies

(d) to assess degraded coastal blue carbon ecosystems and the potential for restoration of such ecosystems, including developing scenario modelling to identify vulnerable land areas and living shorelines where management, conservation, and restoration efforts should be focused;

(e) to produce predictions relating to coastal blue carbon ecosystems and carbon sequestration rates in the context of climate change, environmental stressors, and human stressors; and

(f) to inform the creation of the annual Inventory of UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks.

Section 5: Restoration and conservation of coastal blue carbon ecosystems

(1) The Secretary of State shall—

(a) lead the Interagency Working Group in implementing the strategic plan;

(b) coordinate monitoring and research efforts among public agencies in cooperation with local governments, academic institutions, international partners, and nongovernmental organisations;

(c) in coordination with the Interagency Working Group, and as informed by the report under section 3(e)(1), identify—

(i) national conservation and restoration priorities for coastal blue carbon ecosystems that would produce the highest rate of carbon sequestration and greatest ecosystem benefits, such as flood protection, soil and beach retention, erosion reduction, biodiversity, water purification, and nutrient cycling, in the context of other environmental stressors and climate change; and

(ii) ways to improve coordination and to prevent unnecessary duplication of effort among public agencies and departments with respect to research on coastal blue carbon ecosystems through existing and new coastal management networks; and

(d) in coordination with local governments and coastal stakeholders, develop integrated pilot programs to restore degraded coastal blue carbon ecosystems in accordance with subsection (b).

(2) In carrying out subsection (1)(d), the Secretary of State shall establish one or more integrated national pilot programs that—

(a) further develop—

(i) best management practices, including design criteria and performance functions for restoration of coastal blue carbon ecosystems;

(ii) nature-based adaptation strategies;

(iii) restoration areas that intersect with built environments as green-gray infrastructure projects;

(iv) management practices for landward progression, migration, or loss of coastal blue carbon ecosystems;

(v) best management practices to account for latitudinal biogeographic factors; and

(vi) best management practices for restoration of hypersaline coastal ecosystems and estuarine ecosystems; and

(b) identify potential barriers to restoration management efforts.

(3) The Secretary of State shall ensure that pilot programs under Subsection (2) cover geographically, socioeconomically, and ecologically diverse locations with—

(a) significant ecological, economic, and social benefits, such as flood protection, soil and beach retention, erosion reduction, biodiversity, water purification, and nutrient cycling to reduce hypoxic conditions; and

(b) maximum potential for greenhouse gas emission reduction, taking into account—

(i) quantification;

(ii) verifiability;

(iii) additionality, as compared to an appropriate historical baseline determined by the Interagency Working Group; and

(iv) permanence of those benefits.

(4) The Secretary of State shall—

(a) establish a procedure via regulation for reviewing applications for pilot programs under Subsection (2);

(b) encourage applications from minority serving institutions; and

(c) consider proposals from institutions that may not have adequate resources.

(5) The Secretary of State shall ensure, through consultation with the Interagency Working Group, that the goals and metrics for pilot programs under Subsection (2) are communicated to the appropriate authorities, coastal stakeholders, resource managers, academia, and the general public.

(6) The Secretary of State shall coordinate with—

(a) relevant public agencies and departments specified under section 2(2) to prevent unnecessary duplication of effort among such agencies and departments with respect to restoration programs; and

(b) relevant public authorities and local government entities.

(7) In carrying out pilot programs under Subsection (2), the Secretary of State shall give priority to proposed eligible restoration activities that would—

(a) result in long-term sequestration of carbon stored in coastal and marine environments;

(b) conserve key habitats for fish, wildlife, and the maintenance of biodiversity;

(c) provide coastal protection from storms, flooding, and land-based pollution;

(d) restore optimal salinities and chlorophyll levels in estuarine and coastal environments or lead to other improvements to water quality; and

(e) conserve coastal resources of national, historical, and cultural significance.

(8) Any project performed under a pilot program under subsection (2) shall be conducted within the territorial boundaries of the United Kingdom.

Section 6: Coastal Carbon Database

(1) The Interagency Working Group, in coordination with the Secretary of State shall —

(a) provide for the long-term stewardship of, and access to, data relating to coastal blue carbon ecosystems and national mapping, by supporting the maintenance of a Coastal Carbon Database;

(b) process, store, archive, provide access to, and incorporate (to the extent practicable) all data relating to coastal carbon collected through publicly funded research by a public agency, an academic institution, or another relevant entity;

(d) ensure that existing global and national data assets, as determined on the date of the enactment of this Act, are incorporated into the Coastal Carbon Database, to the greatest extent practicable;

(e) establish best practices for sharing coastal carbon data with local and national governments, coastal stakeholders, resource managers, and academia;

(f) work to disseminate the data available through the Coastal Carbon Database to the greatest extent practicable; and

(g) develop digital tools and resources to support the public use of the Coastal Carbon Database.

Section 7: Assessments Of Carbon Dioxide Storage In Deep Seafloor Environments And Of Coastal Carbon Markets

(1) No later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Interagency Working Group shall seek to enter into an agreement with the relevant research and academic institutions to conduct—

(a) a comprehensive assessment of—

(ii) the long-term effects of containment of carbon dioxide in a deep seafloor environment on marine ecosystems;

(iii) the socioeconomic effects of such containment on existing ocean users and communities; and

(iv) the integrity of existing storage technologies, as determined on the date of the enactment of this Act;

(b) a comprehensive assessment of pathways, methods, and technologies able to directly remove carbon dioxide from the oceans by the removal of dissolved carbon dioxide from seawater through engineered or inorganic processes, including filters, membranes, phase change systems, or other technological pathways; and

(c) a comprehensive assessment of the viability of using coastal macroalgae cultivation and sustainable coastal wetlands management and restoration for carbon sequestration, which shall consider—

(i) environmental and socioeconomic effects on coastal communities;

(ii) durability and cost per ton of carbon dioxide sequestered using coastal macroalgae cultivation and sustainable coastal wetlands management in a variety of regions of the United Kingdom;

(iii) research, data, resource management, monitoring, reporting, life cycle assessment, and verification improvements necessary to develop a carbon market around coastal macroalgae cultivation and sustainable coastal wetlands management or restoration; and

(iv) relevant successes and failures of carbon markets in agriculture, forestry, and wetlands and how such successes and failures might apply to a future coastal carbon market.

Section 8: Extent, Commencement and Title

(1) This Act shall be known as the ‘Blue Carbon (Interagency Working Group) Act’

(2) This Act shall commence exactly 3 months from when it receives Royal Assent.

(3) This Act shall extend to the United Kingdom.


This Bill was submitted by The Right Honourable Dame u/Waffel-lol LT CMG GCMG, Leader of His Majesty’s Official Opposition, on behalf of the 39th Official Opposition.


Inspired Documents

Blue Carbon

HR.2750

Opening Speech:

Deputy Speaker,

The fight against climate change is one of upmost importance. As the Liberal Democrats have been leaders on sustainable development and supporting environmentally conscious policies, we are proud to be presenting the following Bill to the House. It is our duty as stewards of this planet to act decisively and collaboratively. This Bill is a critical piece of legislation aimed at harnessing the power of our coastal ecosystems to combat climate change.

Coastal blue carbon ecosystems, such as mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrasses, and kelp forests, play an invaluable role in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, storing it for centuries, and providing essential benefits like flood protection, erosion control, and biodiversity support. However, these ecosystems are under threat from rising sea levels, pollution, and human activity. Our Bill proposes the establishment of an Interagency Working Group on Coastal Blue Carbon, comprising senior representatives from key environmental and marine agencies. This group will be tasked with developing a comprehensive national strategy for the conservation and restoration of our coastal blue carbon ecosystems. They will oversee the creation of a national map and inventory of these vital habitats, assess the impediments to their preservation, and identify national conservation and restoration priorities.

Importantly, our Bill calls for the development of integrated pilot programs to restore degraded coastal blue carbon ecosystems, focusing on areas with the highest potential for carbon sequestration and ecosystem benefits. Furthermore, it mandates the creation of a Coastal Carbon Database to ensure long-term management, recording and updating of data and support public access to vital information building off the necessary infrastructure and work we achieved with our Geospatial Commission established through the Geospatial Data Act.

This Bill is not just about environmental stewardship; it is about ensuring the resilience and sustainability of our coastal communities and the broader environment. It is why we urge the House to vote in favour of this Bill as we take a significant step towards mitigating the impacts of climate change, protecting our natural heritage, and securing a healthier future for generations to come.


This debate will end on Monday 27th May at 10pm BST.

8 Comments
2024/05/24
22:48 UTC

3

MQs - Justice - XXXV.III

Order! Order!

Minister's Questions are now in order!


The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Justice, u/model-avery, will be taking questions from the House.

The Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Justice, u/realbassist, may ask 6 initial questions.

As the Spokespeople for Constitutional Affairs and Justice of a Major Unofficial Opposition Party, u/Yimir_ and /u/meneerduif may ask 3 initial questions.

Everyone else may ask 2 questions; and are allowed to ask another question in response to each answer they receive. (4 in total)


Questions must revolve around 1 topic and not be made up of multiple questions.

In the first instance, only the Secretary of State or junior ministers may respond to questions asked to them. 'Hear, hear.' and 'Rubbish!' (or similar), are permitted.


This session ends on Tuesday 28th May at 10pm BST. No initial questions may be asked after Monday 27th May at 10pm BST.

24 Comments
2024/05/24
22:40 UTC

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