Welcome to the first weekly update from CND’s Parliamentary Officer, Amy Keegan, on what is going on in the Houses of Parliament.
Last week in Parliament was pretty quiet on nuclear disarmament news as Brexit remains the number one topic of discussion and debate. But it was great to see the news that after lobbying from Yorkshire CND activists, Sheffield MPs Louise Haigh and Paul Bloomfield signed the Parliamentary Pledge. This commits them to working within parliament to promote the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Early Day Motion 2073 on the INF suspension continues to gain momentum with 31 MPs having signed up to it so far. In other news it looks like next month there will be a debate on 50 years of continuous at-sea so-called ‘deterrence’, proposed by a group of pro-nuclear MPs. We just need to wait and see if it will get the elevated status of being debated in the chamber of the House of Commons or if it will be in Westminster Hall (still a debate, but with slightly less prestige than being held in the chamber.) As you can expect, we are watching these developments closely and our Parliamentary CND MPs will be ready to engage with this.
This week in Parliament, Brexit is the main focus of Parliament again so should be quieter on the nuclear disarmament side. This afternoon there will be Defence Oral Questions at 2.30pm in the chamber of the House of Commons where Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, and his team will answer questions from MPs across the house. Ahead of these sessions there are 25 questions already agreed and assigned as well as a few topical questions that could be on anything. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Secretary of State’s response to a question from Conservative MP Kevin Foster on his assessment of the security situation in the Korean peninsula. Since peace talks broke down between North Korea and the US we are keeping a close eye on how the security situation is developing. I’ll be attending the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Security and Non-Proliferation meeting this afternoon to discuss the breakdown of the Hanoi Summit and to ask what is next for discussions with North Korea.
As always, I’ll share updates throughout the week here.