Madeleine Moon MP

Labour Member of Parliament for Bridgend

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There are 529 remarkable people who are registered stem cell donors in Bridgend. These individuals are real-life heroes who will potentially save the life of someone with blood cancer. Anthony Nolan is the incredible charity that helps to match patients with donors from their register.However, 1 in 8 people across the UK tragically do not find a match. Consequently, more needs to be done to increase the number of potential donors. An estimated 2,000 people in the UK are in desperate need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant ever year.  

There is an extremely common misnomer that donating can be painful. In fact, most donors only experience mild flu-like symptoms and may feel a bit tired afterwards. A short-term inconvenience that will make the world of difference to someone whose life could be saved.  

Every 20 minutes someone in the country is diagnosed with blood cancer and only about 60% of them actually find their best possible match from a stranger. Donors can help cure someone’s cancer and give them a second chance at life.Donors must be between 16 - 30 and in good health, To find out more go to: https://www.anthonynolan.org/8-ways-you-could-save-life/donate-your-stem-cells  


How to save a life

There are 529 remarkable people who are registered stem cell donors in Bridgend. These individuals are real-life heroes who will potentially save the life of someone with blood cancer. Anthony...

When Parliament returns in September, MPs will have the Repeal Bill waiting for them to debate and vote on. It essentially converts EU law into UK legislation.

Controversially, the Bill includes proposals to give ministers extensive “Henry VIII powers”, also known as statutory instruments, to make changes to laws without full Parliamentary approval. The Government say they need this to correct some laws after Brexit. For example, they will need to amend laws that refer to the “European Commission” or to the UK’s “EU Obligations” as they will no longer apply once we exit.

There’s a reason why they’re known as Henry VIII powers. Just like the Statute of Proclamations gave Henry the power to make any laws he wanted simply by decree; statutory instruments will allow ministers to change Bills with little or no Parliamentary oversight. This means hard-won rights could be removed or weakened without any say from Parliament. It’s estimated that there could be between 800 and 1,000 statutory instruments which will have limited Parliamentary scrutiny. This raises serious concerns about democratic legitimacy and parliamentary sovereignty - the government could change laws without your elected representatives having a vote.

At a time where the constitutional fibres of the UK will be reshaped because of swathes of legislative changes, total transparency and accountability is needed more than ever. Some of our cherished rights will be left to the whims of ministers and their Henry VIII powers – and we all know what Henry did with such sweeping powers.

 

So what are Henry VIII powers?

When Parliament returns in September, MPs will have the Repeal Bill waiting for them to debate and vote on. It essentially converts EU law into UK legislation. Controversially, the Bill...

This week I made a visit to the Parliamentary archives in the Elizabeth Tower. The Tower is the large central one which dominates the Palace.  It was specifically designed to hold the Parliamentary archive after a fire burned down the medieval Palace in 1834. The great rolls of vellum stacked on shelves that hold the Laws of Britain look like the age rings of giant trees.

You can see how busy monarchs were by the number of rolls carrying their name.  Interestingly there are few rolls for Charles 1st, a man who did not like to call Parliaments, did not like to be held to account for his spending and ….. the rest is history.

We are coming to the end of the first session of this Parliament. It's been slower to get going than my previous three Parliaments. Structures have to be in place before Parliament can fully function and we can add to those rolls of vellum.  We need a Speaker so that MP’s can take the oath of allegiance to the Queen before they can speak in the Chamber and debates can begin.

You need to elect Deputy Speakers and select of Members of the Speaker’s Panel of Chairs to facilitate the debates. You also need Chairs of Select Committees, Members of Select Committee’s and other outside bodies.

I have been elected to the Defence Select Committee and re-appointed to the Speaker’s Panel. I will Chair debates in Westminster Hall and deal with the legislative processes of Bills, Statutory Instruments and Delegated Legislation. We expect a wide range of legislation to be brought forward for debate as we unpick the consequences of Brexit and the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

The Bill is highly controversial as it contains what are called Henry VIII powers enabling the government to deal with ‘deficiencies arising from withdrawal’.  It gives power to Ministers (not Parliament) to make regulations as they consider appropriate to anything they feel may be needed to ‘prevent, remedy or mitigate’ the transfer of EU legislation into British legislation. Government has awarded itself huge powers over Parliament.  You can expect a noisy Parliamentary session ahead as the traditional battle between Government and back benchers and oppositions goes into overdrive.

Why will Parliament not just nod changes through?  Because rules, standards and agreements matter. Two areas which impact on life in communities across Bridgend have come up this week.

Euratom is the agency which regulates the transportation of nuclear materials across the 28 member states. Nuclear material used to generate energy for electricity for homes and business, to power submarines or for use in medicine and research. The UK cannot move or access nuclear materials from the EU without complying with these regulations. The body ultimately responsible for arbitration in disputes is the European Court of Justice and the Government wants to leave the ECJ.

The Reach Rules control the use of chemicals across the EU. Britain’s motor manufacturing companies must abide by the Reach Rules as four fifths of cars produced in the UK are exported to Europe, the world most valuable consumer market. The car export market is worth £17.8 billion to the UK so we cannot ignore it.

To protect our future economic wealth, our industries, local jobs, our health service, power generation and defence capability those Henry VIII powers will be challenged.

Governments don’t like to be challenged. They don’t like to be told they have made mistakes and their sums don’t add up. I’d like congratulate the Gem for demonstrating this most graphically in a recent article.  Commenting on my contribution to the Queen’s speech debate. In an exchange with Chair of the Defence Select Committee (Conservative Dr Julian Lewis) we both expressed our concern that the government was only able to claim it was spending 2% on defence by including military and civil servant pensions.  Dr Lewis commented, “It is a measure of the management downwards of our expectations that we are supposed to ring the church bells in triumph at our not falling below the bare minimum that NATO members are supposed to achieve. We really have to rethink this. We really should be looking at 3% of GDP, and not this bare minimum of 2%.”

I was therefore delighted to see the quote from Minister Mark Lancaster in the Gem article. As a national defence journalist texted me ‘if the minister wants to lash out they can be v quick at giving a quote’. Seems my speech and the Gem article touched a nerve. We are underfunding our armed services, personnel numbers are cut to the bone because the MOD is struggling to pay for American equipment it cannot afford, partly because of the drop in the value of the pound.  The £20 billion black hole in the budget is not shrinking no matter how much Mark claims was spent in the past in Iraq and Afghanistan or is being spent with Welsh business.

The next few years are going to fill up those shelves with more rolls of vellum as we tackle Brexit. The impact on Britain and our place in the world will be tested and the need for ingenuity in legislation and decision making stretched. The largest roll in the current archive dates from 1820 and contains the registration of all of the land ownership in England and Wales for that year. Talking to the archivist I question how often this figured in the rolls. We plan to look for Bills relating to the building of the railroad and harbour in Porthcawl to transport coal from the mines in valleys to the north. That was our past.  I’m confident Bridgend will add more to those rings of vellum over the next few years.

 

 

 

The Chocolate Egg That Falls Apart

This week I made a visit to the Parliamentary archives in the Elizabeth Tower. The Tower is the large central one which dominates the Palace.  It was specifically designed to...


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