After Easter recess the week began with a Ministerial Statement from the Secretary of State for Business and Trade on CPTPP Negotiations. I raised concerns that CPTPP member, Malaysia, is largely reliant on palm oil for their economic growth and asked the Minister how the UK could join the trading block while maintaining our environmental principles. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
This was followed by a second Ministerial Statement, this time regarding the situation in Sudan. I asked the Minister what consideration there had been for young women and girls in the region who may face the prospect of forced child marriage due to instability in the country. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
Tuesday began with an Urgent Question to the Minister for Armed Forces on Top Secret Document Leaks. Here I raised concerns that the leaking of military documents puts lives at risk and asked at what point soldiers on the ground were informed of breaches and what protections were put in place for them and their families. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
This was followed by a Westminster Hall debate on Religious Minorities in Nigeria. I made several interventions here. Firstly, to highlight the persecution of those of the Baha’I faith. Then to raise concerns that religion in Nigeria has become increasingly politicised and that a separation between church and state is incredibly difficult to achieve in practice all around the world. And finally, to raise the issue of the persecution of atheists and the role that control plays in this. You can watch the entire debate here on ParliamentTv.
After this I participated in a second Westminster Hall debate, this time on Research and Development Funding and Horizon Europe. I made two interventions here. Firstly, to ask whether the UK could cement itself as a scientific powerhouse by participating in both the Horizon Scheme and the forging ahead with our own Pioneer program. Then to ask if the Government’s unwillingness to join the Horizon scheme might lead to the best and brightest minds leaving the UK in search of scientific funding. You can read a transcript of my interventions here and here in Hansard or watch them here and here on ParliamentTv.
On Wednesday I began the day with a Westminster Hall debate on Human Rights in Myanmar. I made two interventions here. To highlight that military authorities have recently arrested a number of school teachers for participating in online schools and the dangers of restricting access to education while intimidating teachers. Also, to share my hopes that peaceful activists advocating for democracy are not deterred by military crackdowns. You can read a transcript of my interventions here and here in Hansard or watch them here and here on ParlaimentTv.
This was followed by a second Westminster Hall debate, this time on Asbestos in the Workplace. I made two interventions. Firstly, to ask about the role that HSE should play in creating a credible strategy for wholesale asbestos removal. Then to raise concerns about the impact of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill on existing legislation aimed at removing asbestos. You can read a transcript of my interventions here and here in Hansard or watch them here and here on ParliamentTv.
Thursday kicked off with Business Questions and I took the opportunity to congratulate my constituent, Brandon Grant, on his boxing achievements and asked The Leader of the House for time to debate the accomplishments of Scottish boxers. You can read a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
I then participated in a debate on International Trade and Geopolitics. Here I raised concerns about the impact on Taiwan’s application if China joined the CPTPP and asked if the UK Government should formally acknowledge Taiwan’s sovereignty. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
Later that afternoon, I took part in a debate on Landmine Awareness. I made three interventions here. I highlighted the important work done by charitable organisations such as the HALO Trust and asked if the Government should ensure that they are adequately funded. I also asked if there needed to be stronger deterrents and consequences for landmine use in conflicts. And finally, to raise concerns about the indiscriminate nature of landmines, the enduring nature of them and the need for the UK Government to commit to programmes for their removal. You can read transcripts of my interventions here, here and here in Hansard or watch the whole debate here on ParliamentTv