- Today, there is a general debate on Covid-19. That will give the Government’s backbench critics who want a Sweden-style approach a chance to make their case. It will be well worth watching to see how many put it; how strongly; and how many Tory backbenchers make the counter-case for lockdowns, which polling suggests have strong public support.
- Tomorrow comes the remaining stages of the UK Internal Market Bill – and so also the revolt against it headed by Theresa May. The Government’s concession of an eventual Commons vote on any safeguarding measures that might be argued to break international law, in the event of No Deal on trade, has won round such discontented MPs as Geoffrey Cox, Damian Green and Bob Neil. We will see tomorrow evening how many others vote against the Government or more likely abstain on Third Reading.
- Wednesday sees the second reading of the Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) (No.2) Bill. The main bone of contention is likely to be the permission it would grant for two-storey extensions to homes and tower blocks to go ahead without planning permission. That’s unlikely to provoke a mass backbench revolt. But the debate will be worth watching to see how many backbenchers pile in to criticise the coming planning reforms that will bring about more housebuilding in shire Tory seats.
- Finally, there is the renewal of the Coronavirus Act’s temporary provisions – and the Brady amendment seeking more Parliamentary control. It’s not clear as we write whether or not the Speaker will select it for debate. The Government appears to be holding back any concessions, in case it isn’t chosen after all.
Conservative MPs made a strong case against Labour’s free school meal plans in the Commons yesterday
“The Prime Minister was right to take a balanced approach to tackling Coronavirus.” Sunak’s statement: full text
“I cannot support this policy”…”huge concerns”…”levelling over green fields with concrete”. Tory MPs on the Government’s housing plans.
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