Week ahead in Parliament

John Bercow Image copyright PA

After the sound and fury of the Brexit Bill, the Westminster agenda seems rather more quiet in the coming week, with much of the most significant action taking place on the committee corridor.

The exception may come on Wednesday, when the Lib Dem Leader, Tim Farron, takes the unusual step for a party boss, of presenting a 10-minute rule bill calling for a referendum on the terms of the UK's divorce deal with the EU....

It does not, or course, stand a prayer of becoming law, both because 10-minute rule bills hardly ever do, and because there is virtually no support in the Commons for the idea, and even those who do want a second referendum may balk at backing a bill from the Lib Dems.

But beyond that, just imagine the scene, with the staunchly pro-Leave DUP behind him, and Labour MPs, increasingly infuriated by the way the Libs are seeking to outflank them as the party of Remain, to his right, this could very quickly turn into something resembling parliamentary bear-baiting, even before the Conservatives get involved.

And it might be quite a test for the not noticeably Farron-friendly Speaker, as well. So will we see a masterpiece of pro-Remain performance art, or something rather messy? Parental Advisory; may contain scenes of disorder and bad language.

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Labour lords open a new front in the Brexit battle

Peers in the House of Lords during a debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill Image copyright AFP

The story so far - this week the government's bill to trigger the process of leaving the EU cleared Parliament un-amended.

But the government did give MPs and peers assurances on two key issues.

Read full article Labour lords open a new front in the Brexit battle

Week ahead in Parliament

Protests outside Parliament Image copyright European Photpress Agency

After six weeks of debate across both Houses of Parliament it looks like the Brexit Bill, the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which gives the prime minister the power to begin the UK's divorce from the EU, is about to complete its passage through Parliament.

It looks pretty certain that MPs will strike down the two amendments made to the bill in the House of Lords, on Monday afternoon, and that peers will then concede on both points later that evening - at which point the bill can be sent off to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent.

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Farewell to Tarzan's advice

Lord Heseltine Image copyright HoL

So. Farewell. Then. Michael Heseltine.

After voting against the government on Lords amendments to the Article 50 Bill, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, has been ousted from his job as an advisor in the Department of Communities and Local Government.

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The week ahead in Parliament: Budget and Brexit

Peers in the House of Lords during a debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill Image copyright AFP
Image caption Peers will get their teeth into the Brexit bill again

Having amended the government's Brexit Bill by a thumping majority this week, the big question for next week in Westminster is whether peers will do it again, potentially more than once.

It looks pretty likely that the cross-party amendment on giving Parliament a final vote on the Brexit deal will be pushed to a division.

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Brexit: When will we see a real parliamentary clash?

Article 50 Bill Image copyright PA

Apocalypse when? So far every parliamentary event touted as a major Brexit confrontation has fizzled out.

Would remainers block the Article 50 Bill in the Commons? No.

Read full article Brexit: When will we see a real parliamentary clash?

Week ahead

Lords

After last week's marathon (drone-athon?) in the Lords, peers will next week get on to the really crucial section of the debate on the Brexit Bill, aka the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.

Two days of committee stage debate are scheduled, with more opportunities to press amendments at the ensuing report stage. And there are plenty of amendments down. The question is whether any of them will attract a critical mass of peers, capable of voting through an amendment.

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Lucky escape, but for how long?

Scaffolding Image copyright PA

On 10 June last year at 4.20pm, Parliament might have burned down.

Workmen spotted a fire in plant room Q on the roof of the Victorian Palace of Westminster.

Read full article Lucky escape, but for how long?

The week ahead in Parliament: Brexit bill and Trump debate

Lords Speaker Lord Fowler addressing peers Image copyright PA
Image caption The House of Lords will get its teeth into the Article 50 bill on leaving the EU

After half term week, it's back to Brexit, as the Article 50 Bill hits the House of Lords for a two day debate, with all the trimmings.

It's got diplomats, generals, bishops, former foreign secretaries, savants, super-lawyers, mandarins, ex-chancellors, immigration campaigners, authors, business folk, and even ex-policemen.

Read full article The week ahead in Parliament: Brexit bill and Trump debate

John Bercow: Why the Marmite Speaker is staying put

John Bercow at a football match last month Image copyright PA
Image caption John Bercow may have irritated some MPs but he has his admirers as well as his detractors

Bye, Bye, Bercow? I don't think so.

The coverage of one MP's Early Day Motion (EDM) of no confidence in the Speaker, in the wake of his comments about President Trump, is massively over-egged.

Read full article John Bercow: Why the Marmite Speaker is staying put