MPs were hoping for a more relaxing time after the general election, but a new battle is rearing its head – the ongoing fight to save their rights, privileges and comfort…
MPs are now up-in-arms at proposals to half the size of their library to accommodate other procedural services such as the Public Bill Office, Journal Office and Table Office.
Steve Brine MP emailed fellow Members, saying
I am to be honest really horrified and worried by a decision seemingly being sneaked past Members in respect of the Library…
While I realise the working conditions – let alone the mental health – of members is bottom of most lists these days, I think that’s wrong. The Library provides a safe space which so many of us value greatly.
It’s a place where we can read, think, even pause for breath away from prying eyes of the media and staff members and to halve its size at this time is sheer madness.
Whilst some staffers have pointed out MPs voted for the restoration and renewal programme knowing they would lose facilities, others have defended MPs’ outrage, noting;
“But making it more difficult for MPs to speak privately to each other – without the chance that what they say will end up on Guido or the Canary – makes doing their job harder.
Coincidentally, Guido completely endorses the proposed change…
The House of Commons library has this afternoon published its “Brexit Glossary“, setting out the official definitions of a soft, hard, smooth, black, white and red, white and blue Brexits:
A situation in which the UK leaves the EU swiftly and probably with a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU. A very hard Brexit would involve resorting to WTO rules.
A situation in which the UK leaves the EU but negotiates continued membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) and largely staying in the single market while giving up influence over single market rules.
An orderly, negotiated, prepared Brexit.
Red, white and blue Brexit
The Prime Minister used this to describe the kind of Brexit she hopes to achieve, continuing: “the right Brexit for the UK, the right deal for the UK”. But its precise meaning has been debated. The Guardian, 6 December 2016, said that this kind of Brexit was “midway between a ‘black Brexit’, a cliff-edge scenario for businesses and financial services in which the government left the article 50 talks without a future deal with the EU, and a ‘white Brexit’, which would see the UK attempt to remain in the single market”.
The library adds: “It is not a comprehensive list but will be expanded and updated periodically”. In truth these varying types of Brexit are Remainer talk. There is only one Brexit: a clean departure from the single market and customs union to untie ourselves from EU shackles and freely embrace the rest of the world…