The Best for Britain team is made up of news junkies and political know-it-alls. So we thought you might be interested in what we think of the week's news, the things we spotted that you might have missed and the things we found surprising.
This new Weekend Wire should get you up to date and prepped for another week. We hope to keep you up to date, and as in-the-know as we are. Read on...
Big week ahead for fans of ping pong
Their Lordships are ploughing through this Government’s authoritarian legislation next week, with the Policing Bill back with Peers on Tuesday <[link removed]> after MPs removed their amendments. Lords now have the opportunity to put their amendments back in and send it back to MPs again. Unedifying as this process may be, we do get to call it ‘ping pong’ as the Bill ricochet’s back and forth between the chambers.
Best for Britain’s very reasonable amendment <[link removed]>to allow us to continue to be able to apply legally for demos in Parliament Square is being fought against by Government Ministers because they say large gatherings block 'vehicular access to the parliamentary estate'. Given that most big demos happen at weekends when Parliament isn't sitting, we can only conclude that the Government is prioritising the delivery of wine and beer to their many on-site boozy establishments over our democratic right to protest…
Elections Bill go-slow
Peers are also going through the Elections Bill <[link removed]> line by line next week and the Government may be worrying about how long it’s taking them to do so. Over 200 amendments have been proposed to this alarming Bill so far…
Long Covid’s long shadow
Members of the Coronavirus APPG <[link removed]>, Layla Moran MP (Lib Dem), Dan Poulter MP (Con) and Debbie Abrahams MP (Lab) have secured a debate in the House of Commons on the impact of Long Covid. Best for Britain provides secretariat for the Coronavirus APPG so we’ll be watching the debate and listening closely to what the Government says it will do to help those living with the long term effects of Covid. You can watch it too from around 2:30pm here <[link removed]>.
Deltacron has entered the chat
Which brings us to the latest Covid strain, Deltacron <[link removed]>, a variant which as the name suggests is carrying genes from both the Delta and Omicron strains of Covid-19. It’s going woefully underreported because of Ukraine and because it’s an inconvenient truth for the government.
In the UK, cases are up 50% <[link removed]> on last week, and hospitalisations are up 2000 in a week. Remember also that hospitalisations are lagging that 47,000 uptick in cases so we will expect those to rise over the next fortnight too. 1 in 20 are currently dying in Hong Kong (their line has gone vertical <[link removed]>). Meanwhile, England’s free mass testing programme will end on April 1 <[link removed]> - what fools we are.
Not making any friends
Liz Truss is yet again threatening to trigger Article 16 <[link removed]> of the Northern Ireland Protocol, undermining the Good Friday Agreement, setting back relations with the EU and giving Biden yet more reasons to avoid agreeing a US-UK trade deal.
American’t for Johnson
That might be why Trade Minister Anne Marie Trevelyan is going to Maryland <[link removed]> next week, looking to do trade deals with US states one by one. Bring us back some cookies Anne Marie! And Johnson has so far not been invited <[link removed]> to next week’s EU/US meeting. Leading the world indeed.
Darroch on the airwaves
Best for Britain’s Chair, Lord Kim Darroch, though, has been on Times Radio <[link removed]> talking about renewing friendships around the world in light of Ukraine, showing this government the way out of the situation it’s created for us.
And on ITV’s Peston drawing on his experience as a UK Ambassador and National Security Advisor to suggest that a week when they executed 81 people perhaps wasn’t the best time <[link removed]> for the PM to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Going further for refugees
Chaotic planning and risks for vulnerable refugees <[link removed]> who could be put in unvetted homes <[link removed]> is blighting the government’s new refugee policy. We’re still calling for them to waive visas for Ukrainian refugees, just like the rest of Europe and you can use our Hey-MP tool to send a message to your MP here <[link removed]>.
Did Brexit poison our refugee response?
An interesting take from Alf Dubs <[link removed]> who's also written a piece about Priti Patel’s Nationality & Borders Bill <[link removed]>. Lord Dubs came to the UK on Kindertransport in WW2 and has long been an advocate for refugee rights.
And some good news!
Read this statement by Tulip Siddiq <[link removed]> on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's homecoming, saying Richard Ratcliffe has 'set the bar high' for husbands. And another nice clip - the moment BBC presenter Joanna Gosling choked up on air <[link removed]> when she heard Nazanin was coming home. Welcome home Nazanin!
Keep up to date and keep checking our messages. All of us at Best for Britain thank you for being with us, and for supporting the work we do together.
Director of Operations, Best for Britain
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