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Westminster diary – a significant week for Brexit

This week has been another significant week for the Brexit process.

Government’s Immigration Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons. The purpose of the bill is to repeal free movement, bringing European nationals under UK immigration control in preparation for our leaving the EU. However, government is bringing forward an immigration policy before the legal, economic and trade relationship with the EU is anywhere near settled. We should have a two-year transition period with the EU where immigration policy will remain the same – this gives us time to come up with a properly thought out new realistic immigration system that is fit for purpose, rather than rushing through these heavy-handed proposals. On that basis I voted against the bill as I believe it will be damaging to our NHS, business, farming and our higher education sector.

A series of important amendments relating to the Brexit process were debated and voted on on Tuesday. I added my name to several of these, including what would have been the most significant one for the process. The amendment would have put in place a process to prevent a no-deal Brexit happening. Unfortunately, MPs voted against it. No-deal would be a disaster for our manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover and I am extremely disappointed MPs did not vote to take the option off the table. The commons has instead sent the prime minister back to Brussels to revive her deal. It took just six minutes after the votes on Tuesday night for the EU to say they were not willing to make changes to the withdrawal agreement and underlines the damaging strategy the prime minister is following to preserve her government and her premiership.

Sunday marked Holocaust Memorial Day and I was pleased to be able to be able to attend a service of commemoration at the war memorial in Church Street, Warwick. A group of local people contributed by remembering the holocaust and other genocides. I was privileged enough to read out a moving poem written by Eva Pickova, a 12-year old victim of the holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors.