Darren signs letter calling for stronger powers for the Electoral Commission

Darren has signed a letter calling for stronger powers for the Electoral Commission.

Recently, the Electoral Commission investigated improper spending by the BeLeave campaign in the Brexit referendum, and found them to have done so. Darren signed a letter calling on changes to what the Electoral Commission does in order to prevent this happening again in the future

 

 

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Darren calls for Public Inquiry into Brexit Referendum

Following the findings of the Electoral Commission’s review of Vote Leave spending and the fine levied to Facebook by the ICO in relation to data harvesting in advance of the referendum, Darren wrote to all MPs calling for their support in demanding an independent judge-led inquiry into the referendum. Darren first called for a public inquiry during PMQ’s on Wednesday 11th July.

Darren said:

” I have written to colleagues in Parliament today(17th July), to seek their support in calling for a public inquiry into the Brexit Referendum. If illegality can take place in our democracy, we must bring forward reforms. Please write to your MP to ask for their support. You can check who your MP is here“. ‬

 

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Darren questions Government about post-brexit trade

The UK will leave the EU in March 2019. But there are many unanswered questions about what will happen after this, to the extent that the EU and UK have agreed that there will be a transition period after Brexit during which arrangements can be made. However, even the details of this have not been fully planned out.

The EU and the Government has said that the UK will be able to benefit from EU-Third Country (i.e. non EU) trade deals during this transition period. Darren asked the Minister of State for Trade Policy what would happen if Third countries did not agree to this.

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Free event being held in Bristol for EU Nationals

Are you an EU national concerned about your personal situation after Brexit?

Have you got questions about settled status?

Avon and Bristol Law Centre are hosting a Q and A with an EU Commission solicitor on Tuesday 31st July at Hamilton House.

The session is free to attend and will be geared towards EU nationals who have concerns about their rights as EU citizens.

Reserve your ticket here.

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Darren asks government about UK company participation in EU projects after Brexit

Currently, after Brexit the UK will for a time continue to contribute financially to EU Security and Defence projects. However, non-EU country companies are prohibited from bidding for EU security and defence projects. Mindful of the effect this could have on companies, Darren asked the Government Minister for Defence Procurement about this potential situation and whether it could be prevented.

 

Darren also asked how concern around funding for the Galileo project tied into concerns around defence funding in general.

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Darren speaks to BBC News about Brexit risk to Airbus UK

Airbus have today stated that they ‘require immediate details’ on what they will need to do as a consequence of Brexit, as ‘without these, Airbus believes that the impacts on our UK operations could be significant’. They’ve also specifically stated that a No Deal Brexit or an overly short transition period could impact their business in Britain.

Darren spoke to BBC about what this could mean for Bristol, and what the government needed to do to fix the situation.

 

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Watch Darren ask business and third sector representatives about post-Brexit visas

The Science and Technology committee, which Darren is a member of, held a one off evidence session on post-Brexit immigration arrangements. The session was set up to help the committee develop proposals for an immigration system which works for science and innovation.

The witnesses were from a range of bodies, including techUK (the main trade body for technology companies in the UK), the Wellcome Trust (a health research charity) and the Campaign for Science and Engineering.

Darren asked them about which non-EEA countries we should focus on getting visa arrangements in place with.

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Darren speaks about Obesity and Brexit on ITV

Darren appeared on this topical debate show with Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP for Totnes and Lib Dem Peer Baroness Judith Jolly, who’s from North Cornwall.

The topics of debate were obesity and Brexit. This was because Dr Sarah Wollaston and Darren both sit on committees which had recently done work on addressing obesity, and moreover nearly 20,000 year six pupils in the West Country are obese – illustrating a growing epidemic. Brexit is always in the news, but this week it was particularly important as it was time to consider the Lords’ amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Darren discussed his work on the Science and Technology Committee, and what the government could do to tackle obesity. He then discussed his own position on Brexit, and what he would like to see in a Brexit deal if Brexit does happen.

You can watch the full episode here.

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Darren votes on EU withdrawal bill amendments

This week, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which decides how we will leave the EU – if we do – came back to the House of Commons. The House of Lords had added amendments including for EEA membership and a meaningful vote in Parliament on the final deal. The Commons was asked to vote on these. Darren wrote a letter to constituents, published on Facebook, explaining how he would vote. You can read the letter here.

 

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Watch Darren on BBC Sunday Politics West

Today, Darren was on BBC Sunday Politics West, appearing as a studio guest alongside Conservative MP for Wells James Heappy. He was asked about Brexit, energy and transport.

Firstly, Darren was asked about his views on Brexit. He took the opportunity to restate his commitment to mitigating the effects of Brexit as far as possible.

In relation to energy, the government’s recent decision to fund a new nuclear power station with public money was discussed. Darren said that  more money needed to go into renewable energy sources, like wind and tidal energy.

Darren then spoke about the need for better transport in North Bristol. He highlighted, in particular, the need for better road networks owing to new developments in the area – which could come from a £50m fund which North Bristol will need if the Bristol Arena is situated there.