The House returned from Easter Recess with a tangible sense of deliberation from the UK Government to deliver on their legislative programme before the upcoming end of the parliamentary session.
During consideration of Lords Amendments to the Nationality and Borders Bill, I intervened on the Minister to highlight the plight of victims of modern slavery. I noted that the measures contained in the Bill would only further traumatise and criminalise victims, and that due protections needed to be offered to the most vulnerable such as minors, or victims of sexual abuse. You can read a transcript of my intervention in Hansard.
During Thursday’s oral questions to the International Trade ministerial team, I noted the department’s 12-point strategy ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ and asked what impact this has had on Scottish exports. You can read a transcript of my question in Hansard, or watch it on ParliamentTV.
I participated in two Westminster Hall debates in the afternoon. The first was on the two-child limit for Universal Credit claimants, where I made three interventions. I first highlighted the deeply controversial ‘rape exception’ which only serves to further victimise claimants with a history of abuse. I also spoke to how the current policies are driving children below the poverty line, and the associated impact that will have on social mobility, and pointed to research showing that the limit does not deter low-income families from having more children, but only worsens their financial position. You can watch the debate on ParliamentTV.
The next debate was foster carers. While a devolved matter, there are things to be learned from the approach taken across the UK, which is why I highlighted the Welsh Government’s more national approach, and considered whether a similar approach to foster carer recruitment and retention could work in both England and Scotland. You can watch the debate on ParliamentTV.