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This week Mike Gapes MP signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.

Mike Gapes MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

This week Mike Gapes MP signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during... Read more

Mike Gapes MP spoke yesterday (Tuesday 16th January) in the Commons on the EU Withdrawal Bill to criticise the government's lack of clarity over the border of Anguilla and what will happen if the UK leaves the EU.

What about Anguilla?

Mike Gapes MP spoke yesterday (Tuesday 16th January) in the Commons on the EU Withdrawal Bill to criticise the government's lack of clarity over the border of Anguilla and what... Read more

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2018 is the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of our National Health Service by the Labour Government of Clement Attlee.

Ministers must get urgent grip of NHS

2018 is the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of our National Health Service by the Labour Government of Clement Attlee. Read more

Thank you to all those who have contacted me about the debates in Parliament on the European Union Withdrawal Bill. I have made made several contributions and speeches during the debates and signed a very large number of amendments. 

 

I made clear in my election address at the General Election in June 2017 that if I was re-elected I would continue to be a strong pro European Labour voice in Parliament. I told my constituents that I would vote for our country to stay in the Single Market and the Customs Union to mitigate the damage which will be caused if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. I have therefore supported amendments on those issues as well as those on many other matters including animal welfare, environmental protection and Defence and security. However only a few of these amendments were selected to be voted on. 

 

The Bill has now completed its Committee stage. The following link from the Institute of Government explains what happened each day. 

 

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/eu-withdrawal-bill-amendments-and-debates

 

Unfortunately the Government was only defeated on one occasion, which was Amendment 7, which called for Parliament to have a meaningful vote on the outcome of the negotiations. 

 

Here are links to all my contributions in the debates on the European Withdrawal Bill and in other recent interventions and speeches in debates on the United Kingdom’s relationship with our European neighbours and partners.

 

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-01-24b.161.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g183.3 Article 50 Bill (January 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-01-26a.454.4&s=speaker%3A10219#g466.4 Maastricht Treaty (January 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-02-01b.1005.171&s=speaker%3A10219#g1005.258 European Defence Agency (February 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-02-06b.22.7&s=speaker%3A10219#g38.4 Turkey (February 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-02-07b.337.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g391.0 Overseas territories (February 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-02-08b.433.9&s=speaker%3A10219#g478.1 Gibraltar (February 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-02-08b.433.9&s=speaker%3A10219#g475.3 Withdrawal Bill amendments (February 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-03-14b.178.13&s=speaker%3A10219#g192.6 EU Citizens (March 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-03-15c.379.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g379.3 Good Friday Agreement (March 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-03-30a.426.5&s=speaker%3A10219#g441.1 Customs Union (March 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-04-18b.542.6&s=speaker%3A10219#g547.8 General Election (April 2017

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-06-26a.300.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g317.5 European Court of Justice (June 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-06-26a.328.6&s=speaker%3A10219#g340.1 Northern Ireland (June 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-06-26a.367.2&s=speaker%3A10219#g371.3 European Court of Justice (June 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-06-26a.367.2&s=speaker%3A10219#g380.4 Single Market (June 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-06-26a.367.2&s=speaker%3A10219#g400.0 Gibraltar (June 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-07-10a.45.7&s=speaker%3A10219#g55.7 Arms Exports (July 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-10-17b.730.5&s=speaker%3A10219#g741.1 British citizens in the EU (October 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-10-23a.22.6&s=speaker%3A10219#g42.3 European Council (October 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-11-06a.1224.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g1248.0 European Economic Area (November 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-11-06a.1224.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g1243.0 European Economic Area (November 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-11-07c.1332.3&s=speaker%3A10219#g1344.0 Department for Exiting the EU (November 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-11-13b.35.7&s=speaker%3A10219#g50.3 Parliamentary approval on exiting the EU (November 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-11-14b.191.1&s=speaker%3A10219#g223.3 World Wars (November 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-11-14b.262.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g271.0 EU Laws (November 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-11-14b.262.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g316.4 EU Laws (November 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-11-20b.758.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g758.3 Northern Ireland (November 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-04b.700.8&s=speaker%3A10219#g701.10 Briefing by Brexit Department (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-04b.703.1&s=speaker%3A10219#g824.2 Irish border (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-04b.703.1&s=speaker%3A10219#g812.7 Irish border (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-04b.703.1&s=speaker%3A10219#g735.0 UK-wide frameworks (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-04b.703.1&s=speaker%3A10219#g716.4 UK-wide frameworks (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-04b.703.1&s=speaker%3A10219#g709.0 UK-wide frameworks (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-05c.892.8&s=speaker%3A10219#g907.2 Regulatory Convergence (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-06b.1124.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g1158.0 Parliamentary vote on Brexit deal (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-11b.24.8&s=speaker%3A10219#g42.4 Brexit negotiations (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-13a.542.2&s=speaker%3A10219#g548.3 Irish border (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-18b.744.7&s=speaker%3A10219#g758.4 Transition phase (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-20b.1119.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g1184.2 Single Market (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-20b.1074.2&s=speaker%3A10219#g1091.5 Department for Exiting the EU (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-20b.1074.2&s=speaker%3A10219#g1086.2 European Council of Ministers (December2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-20b.1074.2&s=speaker%3A10219#g1075.2 Regulatory Convergence (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2017-12-14.119762.h&s=speaker%3A10219#g119762.q0 Gibraltar (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2017-12-21a.1357.0&s=speaker%3A10219#g1374.2 British citizens in the EU (December 2017)

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2017-12-14.119766.h&s=speaker%3A10219#g119766.q0 Anguilla (December 2017)

 

The Bill will have its House of Commons Report Stage on January 15 and 16 2018. It will then go to the House of Lords before returning to the House of Commons later this year. 

Mike Gapes MP responds to the EU Withdrawal Bill

Thank you to all those who have contacted me about the debates in Parliament on the European Union Withdrawal Bill. I have made made several contributions and speeches during the...

Mike Gapes MP warned parliament on Tuesday (19th December) that more needs to be done to stop terrorist organisations from marching in London. Banners supporting proscribed terrorist organisations have been seen recently in the capital at parades and Mike Gapes MP made the point in parliament that simply proscribing a terrorist organisation may not be enough to help the authorities prosecute.

You can see Mike's question here or read it below.

Mike Gapes MP:

"I broadly support the Minister’s proposals, but how can we be sure that adding organisations to the list in any way makes our authorities effective in combating them, given that in the last few months terrorist organisations have been parading openly with their flags—in Arabic—in the centre of London, and prosecutions have not occurred?"

Ben Wallace MP, Minister of State (Home Office, Security):

"Proscription opens up a whole new level of offences for which people can be prosecuted. Proscribing an organisation allows asset-freezing and prosecution, but other offences can be linked to such activity. The hon. Gentleman is right to point out that it is often hard to prove membership—very few of these organisations have membership cards and joining ceremonies—but the order gives our law enforcement agencies more powers with which to prosecute a campaign against them.
The hon. Gentleman also mentioned flags, no doubt referring to Hezbollah and Hamas. Those organisations are not proscribed in their entirety. Their military wings are proscribed, but as Hezbollah forms part of the Government in Lebanon and Hamas plays an active role in its part of the region as a member of a Government, the proscription applies only to the military wing. In some cases the flags are identical, but that does not mean that if people participate in Hezbollah-supporting actions here that constitute terrorism or anything linked to it, our police and law enforcement agencies will not act. We have acted in respect of Hezbollah and Hamas in the past, either to disrupt activity or to bring prosecutions."

Mike Gapes MP warns parliament that more needs to be done to stop terrorist organisations from parading in London

Mike Gapes MP warned parliament on Tuesday (19th December) that more needs to be done to stop terrorist organisations from marching in London. Banners supporting proscribed terrorist organisations have been...

In the Commons on Monday (18th December), Mike Gapes MP asked the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to confirm whether Gibraltar's transition phase for leaving the EU will be the same as the rest of the UK.

You can watch Mike's question here or read the exchange below.

Mike Gapes MP:

"Further to the Prime Minister’s answers to the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh South West (Joanna Cherry) and the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill), will she confirm that the implementation or transition phase will be exactly the same for Gibraltar as it will be for Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK?"

The Prime Minister, Theresa May:

"I thought I had made it clear that as we negotiate these matters we will be negotiating for the UK, but that includes negotiating to ensure that the relationships are there for Gibraltar as well. We are not going to exclude Gibraltar from our negotiations for either the implementation period or the future agreement."

Mike Gapes MP quizzes Theresa May on Gibraltar’s transition phase for leaving the EU

In the Commons on Monday (18th December), Mike Gapes MP asked the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to confirm whether Gibraltar's transition phase for leaving the EU will be the same...

Save the Good Friday Agreement

My latest Ilford Recorder Column, Save the Good Friday Agreement (07/12)

Save the Good Friday Agreement Read more

Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday 6th December, Mike Gapes MP has told Parliament to "take back control" from an "overweening and incompetent" government.

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Parliament must "take back control"

Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday 6th December, Mike Gapes MP has told Parliament to "take back control" from an "overweening and incompetent" government. Read more

Mike Gapes MP spoke late on Monday 4th November in the House of Commons to warn the government against putting the Good Friday Agreement at risk in their Brexit negotiations.

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Mike Gapes MP warns the government to not put the Good Friday Agreement at risk

Mike Gapes MP spoke late on Monday 4th November in the House of Commons to warn the government against putting the Good Friday Agreement at risk in their Brexit negotiations.... Read more

Mike Gapes MP made the case for the UK to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA) in a debate in the House of Commons on Monday 6th November.

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You can watch Mike's speech on here or read the speech below:

"It is a real pleasure to follow James Cartlidge He has made an excellent speech, and I want to hear more from him in the future.

I begin by taking on the claim that was made by some on the Government Benches that, somehow, a decision was taken in June 2016 to leave the European economic area. If that is the case, I have to ask why, in their submission in December 2016, the Government’s lawyers said:

No decision has been taken either to serve or not to serve a notice under article 127 of the agreement. Consequently, there is no decision which is amenable to judicial review.

No decision was taken because that decision has to be taken by the Government; it was not automatic. Therefore, this Parliament must have the final say about that matter.

I am not an advocate in any strong way of the proposal of my hon. Friend Stephen Kinnock. I am an unreconstructed remainer. I remain so, and I will fight to stay in the European Union. We have not left yet, but if—if—we leave, I will fight to get the best possible deal for our country.

There are problems with EFTA and the EEA: the arrangements do not cover agriculture or fisheries. Potentially, that is a massive problem for Northern Ireland, and it needs to be taken into consideration. As we have heard, the arrangements do not cover the financial sector and they do not deal with many problematic issues that we will have to confront if we leave the customs union. We need to have an EEA-plus arrangement rather than just an EEA one, as that will need other agreements alongside it. It may take time to negotiate those, and in the meantime, let us not go on a Gadarene rush over the cliff."

Interjection by Edward Leigh: "I am amused by the hon. Gentleman’s proposal to have an EEA-plus. Presumably, he can now tell us what will be the difference between being a member of the EU and being a member of the EEA-plus?"

"EEA-plus would relate to issues such as having an agreement on a common foreign and security policy, and an agreement on those matters that do not affect some of the EFTA or EEA countries because the UK is not Liechtenstein, Norway, or Iceland. We must have the closest possible relationships with our EU neighbours and partners on many issues to do with policing, security and defence. Having said that, the essence, which is the economic relationship, is fundamental, and a transition is better than a disaster. The disastrous crashing out of the single market with no deal, or a very costly bad deal, is not in our interests. As Michel Barnier, the EU’s negotiator, has said:

We don’t have time to invent a new model.

Why reinvent something when it is already there and when it can be taken up and built on to establish the security and the certainty that our businesses need in this transition period?

Interestingly, there is support for that view in an article by Wolfgang Münchau in the Financial Times today. He said:

Once the reality of a limited trade deal sinks in, we are left with only two logical strategies: either join the EEA, or go for a minimalist agreement and focus on making that work.

That seems to be the choice, and there are some on the Government Benches who, for ideological reasons, want a minimalist agreement. That is because they are not Brexiteers, but wrexiteers and they are prepared to bring down our economy and slash our public sector and our national health service. It will cost our public services billions if our economic growth is reduced and our economy is reduced. We will then suffer the consequences. We will also suffer the consequences of unpicked fruit and difficulties in the agricultural sector. All the major financial services companies, banks and American banks are already planning to move their headquarters from London to Dublin and their personnel from London to Frankfurt and Paris. Those things are happening even now before the decision is finally taken. Let us stop this insanity, act now and, at least, stay in the EEA."

Mike Gapes MP makes the case for the UK to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA)

Mike Gapes MP made the case for the UK to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA) in a debate in the House of Commons on Monday 6th November. You...

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