Joanna Mills1's blog

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE TRADE BILL

Regrettably, I was not selected to speak in the debate on the Trade Bill.  This was the speech I'd planned to give, setting out what's wrong with the Bill

Trade Bill speech

I would like to start by saying that this Bill could have been an opportunity to set out a democratic, environmentally and socially just framework for the UK’s new independent trade policy.  But instead, the government has rehashed the same, controversial Bill from before.  And surreptitiously removed the Lords’ amendments on scrutiny of trade agreements. 

LATEST NEWSLETTER

For the first time since the coronavirus crisis began, the Prime Minister made a statement in the Commons about the Government’s response.   Sadly there was no humility over the catastrophic mistakes it’s made, and the new strategy of “Stay Alert” is muddled and confusing.  I’m not surprised it’s been rejected by the devolved administrations.  I wrote about the litany of failings in my column for Metro.

Prime Minister’s Questions

CORONAVIRUS DEBATE IN PARLIAMENT

National failings

Thank you Mme Deputy/Mr Speaker. 

At times of crisis, it’s true the Opposition should be constructive. 

But we must also speak the truth – and the truth is that the Government’s handling of this crisis has been a disaster.

The Public Inquiry, which will inevitably happen, will have no shortage of material to consider:

GREEN STEPS TO BETTER

Introduction

The Coronavirus crisis has changed everything.  It has reminded us who and what really matters in our lives.  It has laid bare the profound weaknesses of an economy which has systematically eroded our collective social immune system.  It has taught us that many things we were told were impossible or unrealistic, are possible.

The government can house homeless people, fund the NHS, provide an income for people who aren’t able to work and write off billions in public debt overnight. 

LATEST NEWSLETTER

I had my first real taste of being a “virtual MP” last week, when I questioned Matt Hancock during health questions in the Commons.  I have been pushing for a recall of Parliament since the beginning of this month, so was very glad when the Speaker and the parliamentary digital teams managed to facilitate this, with dozens of MPs joining via video link.  I wrote about the experience in the i-paper

CONDITIONS FOR LIFTING THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN

I have called on the Government to adopt the advice of the World Health Organisation on community-based testing and contact-tracing to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 and as a precondition for any relaxation of the lockdown. 

The First Minister of State, Dominic Raab, has set out five conditions for the lifting of the lockdown but they do not include the clear WHO advice that health systems must have the capacity to “detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact”.

HOW COMMUNITY-BASED SCHEMES COULD HELP

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