One thing is certain - parliament will continue amid global pressures as it has for 800 years, says Grantham MP Gareth Davies
Spring is upon us and I do hope that readers were able to enjoy the best of the season this Easter weekend - not least Christian members of our community, for whom this time of year of course holds a special significance.
In Westminster, spring heralds an approaching Queen’s Speech. With this being my final column during this current Parliament, I wanted to look back on some significant legislation from the past year.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will provide greater powers to protect Lincolnshire Police and the public. The Health and Social Care Bill will reform our NHS by integrating services. The Environment Act safeguards our wildlife and tackles pollution, while the Animal Welfare Bill will give greater protections against cruelty.
The Building Safety Bill will ensure safety and accountability in construction, while the Leasehold Reform Act cracks down on excessive ground rents. And the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill will transform opportunities for people of any age.
There is also the Nationality and Borders Bill to deter illegal immigration while supporting those in need; the Armed Force Act to enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant in law; the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Act to help fund our future energy security; the Charities Act to allow organisations more control over money raised; the Dormant Assets Act to find new funds for good causes, and many more. It has been a busy year.
These new laws strengthen our communities, our borders, and our NHS. They address many of the concerns and priorities of so many people across our area, and they have all come before parliament in the context of a global pandemic, a war on mainland Europe and a global inflationary shock.
Someone recently commented to me that they were tired of living in “unprecedented times” and I agree. The challenges we face appear to be unabating but rest assured Parliament has continued with its business at pace and responded to the global events that have impacted us all.
This Tuesday, the Prime Minister spoke with the US President and other world leaders to update them on his visit to Kyiv. Afterwards, he came before the House of Commons and rightly offered a full and unreserved apology for receiving the widely reported £50 fixed penalty notice, an apology I have accepted. Today, he is in India to meet with his counterpart Narendra Modi to discuss shared trade and defence, and how these can be built upon in the future.
Whatever the next 12 months bring, one thing is certain: that our Parliament, the ‘mother’ of all such assemblies, will continue to debate, deliberate, and decide - as it has done for almost 800 years.