It’s been another busy week here in Parliament, with Monday kicking off with Defence questions, where I took the chance to ask the Secretary of State about the support shown to Taiwan by the USA in recognising their sovereignty, and if the UK government would be following suit. You can read a transcript of my question and the response here in Hansard or watch it here, on ParliamentTV.
I also had the opportunity to ask about NATO and the input the UK government have had in the 2022 Strategic Concept and what this could mean for the UK’s defence interests. You can read a transcript of my question and the Minister’s response here in Hansard, or watch it on ParliamentTV.
Urgent Questions saw the topic raised of refugees and the government’s controversial new plan to deport them to Rwanda for processing and resettlement. With this being the subject of many emails from my constituents, I took the chance to raise an important issue on their behalf, questioning if the government had taken into consideration the risk of modern-day slavery with this new policy. You can read a transcript of my question and the response here in Hansard, or watch it on ParliamentTV.
The passport backlog continues to cause major issues for many constituents trying to plan summer getaways, with waits for renewals and new documents taking in excess of 10 weeks in some cases. The House discussed this on Tuesday. I questioned what plans Ministers have to support hard working staff in the Passport Office and ensure their welfare. You can read a transcript of my question and the response from Ministers here in Hansard or watch it on ParliamentTV.
Wednesday saw the Second Reading of the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill which gave MPs the chance to debate various issues relating to it. Concerns included the efficacy of proposed techniques and any impact this will have on animal welfare and what regulatory framework will be put in place to protect both the public and livestock. I made two interventions in this debate which can be found here and here in Hansard, or you can watch the debate on ParliamentTV.
Thursday was especially busy, beginning with International Trade questions in the morning. I asked Ministers about the Trade Remedies Authority and how best this would be used by businesses in Scotland. A transcript of my question and the response can be found in Hansard or can be watched on ParliamentTv.
I also took the opportunity to ask the Minister what contact they have had with the Scottish Government with regards to trade strategy and the role of offshore wind and hydrogen. A transcript of my question and the response can be found in Hansard or can be watched on ParliamentTv.
On Saturday, I will be attending Summerfest in Cambuslang, so during Business Questions, I raised the importance of community led events and congratulated John and Liz Edgar who have been instrumental in organising this event after a two-year break. You can read a transcript of my comments in Hansard or you may watch it here in ParliamentTv.
This was followed by a Ministerial Statement by the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, providing an update on the current situation in Ukraine, including ongoing aggression from Russia and reports of war crimes, the current sanctions imposed and future humanitarian and military aid from the UK. After the Defence Secretary claimed that “China is watching” the situation in Ukraine as it develops, I took the chance to question the Foreign Secretary on what contact she has had with her Taiwanese counterpart to better understand their standpoint. You can read my question and the Ministers response here in Hansard and can be watched here in ParliamentTV.
On Thursday there was a backbench business debate on the 5th anniversary of Grenfell, which was this week on Tuesday 14th June. Backbenchers gathered to remember the 72 lives lost, discuss what can be done to obtain justice for them and how similar events can be prevented in future. I gave a speech expressing my sadness for the victims, their families and the survivors, and pressed the Government on the issue of personal evacuation plans for disabled residents. A transcript can be found in Hansard. Alternatively, it can be watched in ParliamentTv.