It was a strange week in Parliament. The legislation to allow the triggering of Article 50 was passed with a large majority as everyone knew it would be. But the Prime Minister has still not started the process of leaving the EU by triggering Article 50. A bit strange given the sense of hurry created by the right wing press. Anyway parliament has shown good faith in carrying out the will of the British people expressed in the Referendum result. The harder work of making our way successfully outside the EU now begins with the negotiations to determine our future relationship.
On Tuesday the Government voted down Labour's amendments to the first Budget under Prime Minister May which passed with a large majority. On Wednesday it was the Chancellor who voted against his own Budget by announcing he was abandoning the major tax raising measure in that self same budget by withdrawing the proposals to raise National Insurance contributions on the self employed. He gave no indication of how this £2 billion hole in the budget will be filled. But I fear further cuts in services or raids on pensions or rises in VAT. Time will tell. But the fact that Tuesday's Budget didn't survive till the end of Wednesday is not a good omen!
In contrast Hornsby travel has prospered for over 100 years providing bus services to local people. I was pleased to praise them whilst serving on the Buses Bill in Committee. I also had a very busy Ask Me Anything session with a wide range of interesting questions to respond to.
I really enjoyed my morning at Frederick Gough School. I was heartened when I arrived to see them proudly displaying their Gold Award for Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance which struck a chord with the points I was making in my recent Ten Minute Rule Bill on the subject. I spoke to an attentive Year 8 assembly before being taken for a tour of the school where I saw loads of students and staff enjoying their learning. This was capped off by a challenging meeting with the School Council where they asked me a host of difficult, stimulating questions.
I was delighted to open Ongo's new estate agency venture in the town centre - Mi Living. Finally it was great to join the Scunthorpe Lions for their 53rd Charter Dinner held at Ashby Decoy Club. These are one of the many excellent local charity fundraising groups that do so much for our local community.