I have spent a great deal of time dealing with matters relating to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework recently so I have not had much chance to comment too much on wider political developments. News broke on Friday that another young Labour MP had decided to quit resulting in another by-election. This time in Stoke-on-Trent, at least for me a rather easier constituency to visit than Copeland.
Of more significance to the long term prospects for U.K. PLC was the news that the Prime Minister is going to set out more details on Tuesday of what she expects Brexit will look like. There has been much speculation as to what will actually be announced but it has always seemed clear to me that leaving the European Union must mean leaving its internal market – often confusingly referred to as the single market. A single market with a single currency for what EU Leaders want to turn into a single Country. Without the UK they might find their dream easier to achieve. It equally follows that if we are to regain control of our own affairs we must no longer be subject to the European Court of Justice. If we are to do our own trade deals and set our own trade tariffs we must leave the Customs Union. The fact the Prime Minister established a new department for international trade rather suggests she fully understands this point. I am looking forward to hearing what the Prime Minister has to say on this defining issue.
Theresa May yesterday made her first full speech to the Conservative Party Conference as Prime Minister. Not her first speech as she made a speech specifically on the issue of our departure from the European Union on Sunday. I noticed one commentator on the speech said only 8% of the speech yesterday was on Brexit which was, the commentator claimed going to take most of her time up as Prime Minister, completely overlooking the fact that the speech on Sunday completely concentrated on Brexit. In any event whilst Brexit is important the PM has three Secretaries of State all with a role in ensuring we get the best possible deal as we leave the EU.
You can watch the PM’s speech here:
For many people politics is what happens at the weekly sessions of Prime Minister’s Questions. Every Prime Minister has their own style and I anticipate that Mrs May will deal with questions in a similar no nonsense style that we have seen from her as Home Secretary. The Questions will come from the following MP’s who have come out of the ballot.
Q1 John Glen (Salisbury)
If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 20 July. (905968)
Q2 Mr Jamie Reed (Copeland) (905970)
Q3 Julie Cooper (Burnley) (905971)
Q4 Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (905972)
Q5 Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North) (905973)
Q6 Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham) (905975)
Q7 Nusrat Ghani (Wealden) (905976)
Q8 Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) (905977)
Q9 Imran Hussain (Bradford East) (905978)
Q10 Stuart Blair Donaldson (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) (905979)
Q11 Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (905980)
Q12 Kelly Tolhurst (Rochester and Strood) (905981)
Q13 Stuart Andrew (Pudsey) (905982)
The main business will be debates chosen by the Opposition on Supported Housing and the Budget.
It is a rare event that the United Kingdom changes Prime Minister, even rarer that it happens with out the incumbent Prime Minister losing a general election but today will see one such occurrence. After taking questions for the final time it is expected David Cameron will go to Buckingham Palace and tender his resignation to Her Majesty the Queen. A short while later Theresa May will go to the Palace , be appointed Prime Minister and be invited to form a new government.
Meanwhile back at the Palace of Westminster in the House of Commons there will be the first of two days debate on The Iraq Inquiry also known as the Chilcot Report. With some 12 volumes and over two million words you can read it all here http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/