The Prime Minister made a statement to Parliament yesterday on the European Council she attended last week. I was able to ask a question and I asked about free access to the European Single Market. I pointed out that we do not have to pay to sell our goods and services to any other country around the World.
In the morning I chaired the first session of the Committee Stage of the Bus Services Bill. In the afternoon I attended the Backbench Business Committee where we heard bids for debates on the operation of the Child Maintenance Service, the future of Local and Regional news provision and the position of the claim for compensation from the German government for the victims of the Thalidomide drug.
The budget debate was completed and the government will now bring forward a Finance Bill to implement the various measures announced in the Budget.
Today after questions to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and then the Prime Minister the main business is consideration of amendments made by the House of Lords to the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill and the remaining stages of the National Citizens Service Bill
There is always an air of anticipation in the Commons on Budget Day and today is no exception. The first task for MP’s wanting a ringside seat is to make sure they reserve a seat with their prayer card when the Chamber opens at 8am – and then attend prayers at 11.30am.
I am not expecting this will be a particularly notable budget. We are approaching mid-term and we already know that the Chancellor is planning to move the budget to the autumn so I have the impression he will look to do only what is necessary this time. Anyway, we will all know in a few hours time.
As expected the House of Lords imposed another amendment to the Brexit Article 50 Bill yesterday, requiring the government to have a meaningful vote before any deal is finalised. An amendment designed to frustrate the process. The government will now seek to persuade the House of Commons to overturn the Lords two amendments. From what I gather this is likely to take place next Monday.
Following the public meeting on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework last week I am informed another public meeting will be held this time at the Elizabethan Suite on Friday 6th January starting at 7.30pm.
On the national scene the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the date of his first budget. It will take place on Wednesday 8th March.