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Video: Darren comments on threat of no deal

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, commented on the government’s continued move towards a no deal Brexit following concerns from the former Chancellor Phillip Hammond.

Darren said:

” I agree with the former Chancellor when he says Boris (and Dominic!) are sabotaging any negotiations with the EU to further a hardline ideology. Crucially, this reckless ‘do or die’ ideology doesn’t have the support of Parliament and wasn’t on the ballot in 2016. As recently as March this year, Gove admitted that most leave voters hadn’t backed Brexit with a no deal in mind. Raab repeatedly said at the time no deal wasn’t an option.

No deal is a disaster for the country and for my constituency – with circa 1400 jobs predicted to be lost. As I said again on Sunday Politics back in July, the only way to resolve this is to go back to the British people and ask – now there is detail of what’s realistically on offer and the consequences – how they want to proceed, and then get on with it.

Boris has made several spending pledges since becoming PM, I’m keen to understand where all this ‘new’ money is coming from. Quite rightly, Labour has been asked these questions when they’ve made pledges – yet time and again there’s no detail from Boris (and much of the money seems to be recycled from existing budgets).

At some point, whoever is in government will need to face the reality that any form of Brexit will make the UK poorer and a no deal will be catastrophic for our country’s prosperity – false promises and empty spending pledges won’t be enough to save this country from job losses and an increasingly-likely recession.

Boris needs to stop channeling his time in the playground at Eton and remember he has the country’s future in his hands”.

 

 

 

 

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Darren calls for independent inquiry into UAE death

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones signed a cross-party letter calling on the UAE to allow independent investigations into the death of a female prisoner from breast cancer.

The letter was published in the Guardian on 29th July and can be found here.

Darren said:

“I’ve signed a cross-party letter in The Guardian calling for an inquiry into Alia Abdulnoor’s death in UAE custody in May 2019. Diagnosed with breast cancer a month after her arrest in February 2017, she was denied adequate medical care until it was too late.

In the last months of her life, the UAE ignored calls from the UN to grant her early release on medical grounds. Instead, Alia died in inhumane conditions, shackled to a hospital bed, in a windowless room without ventilation.

As reported by many news outlets, after being denied a fair trial, Alia received a 10-year jail sentence for abetting al-Qaida-led terrorism. Many believe her arrest was linked to her support of Syrian people after the outbreak of the uprising, specifically her fundraising that sent money to Syrian women and children. Human rights groups have also commented that Alia’s statements may have been taken under torture and her trial was marred by due-process violations.

Alia’s case is not sadly isolated – for example, Ali Issa Ahmad, from Wolverhampton, recently brought a case to the UN alleging he was tortured while on holiday in the UAE for wearing a Qatari football shirt. British citizen, Matthew Hedges was also detained in solitary confinement in the UAE for seven months on allegations of spying, and has now lodged a complaint with the UN: https://www.theguardian.com/…/matt-hedges-uk-academic-accus…

A freedom of information response obtained by the Guardian revealed that between 2016 and 2018 more than 1,000 British citizens were arrested and detained in the UAE“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren signs Child Trafficking pledge

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed ECPAT UK’s (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking) pledge calling for Stable Futures for all child victims of trafficking.

Darren said:

Child victims of trafficking are just like other young people, with hopes and dreams for the future. While they may have experienced unimaginable trauma, they are resilient, resourceful and full of potential. Yet under the current system, they are often unable to recover, live stable lives and plan for their future. Some of the barriers they face include securing their immigration status, poor decision making and lengthy waits for immigration claims and other important decisions, and a lack of support to navigate the many complex legal and care systems in the UK.

Following difficult journeys to the UK, unaccompanied children may be victims of trafficking, but this often goes undetected by the authorities as there is no one for them to confide in. Having a long term plan in place, a stable immigration status where necessary and someone to support them early on in their recovery would allow each child to live in safety, free of fear and of further instability in their lives. It would allow them to focus on their education, future careers and friendships, just like any other young person. 

That’s why I stand with ECPAT UK’s call for the government to give trafficked children their futures back“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren comments on drop in GDP

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, comments on the drop in UK GDP announced on 9th August 2019.

Darren said:

“Boris has no mandate from Parliament or the British public to crash out with a chaotic no deal Brexit, but if he does, we’ll be seeing a whole lot more headlines about economic contraction as we slide closer to recession.

Let’s not pretend otherwise – stats like this ultimately equal job losses and a drop in our prosperity. If we leave with no deal, food prices will rise sharply, the pound will slump (even further that it has) and we will see formerly strong businesses go bust – sadly some of them will be here in Bristol. There will be significant knock-on impacts in whole supply chains and the service and retail industry.

No deal means playing Russian roulette with the UK – any MP who is happy to do that, is clearly putting ideology before their constituents, the very future of our United Kingdom and the country’s economic prosperity”.

 

 

 

 

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Darren demands PM support British prisoners in Iran

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones signed a cross-party letter to then Tory leadership candidates, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, calling on them to use all diplomatic powers at the Prime Minister’s disposal to free British prisoners in Iran.

Darren said:

“Yesterday (22nd July 2019), I signed a letter to both candidates in the Tory leadership contest regarding the unfair imprisonment of British nationals and residents in Iran.

Just this week, we have heard one of these political prisoners, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been returned to solitary confinement after a traumatic stay in a psychiatric unit. The standards foreign nationals are experiencing in Iranian jails fall well below those internationally accepted.

I know Jeremy and his team at the FCO have worked hard to move Nazanin’s case forward in recent months, but we now need to see robust action from our new Prime Minister. Of course, I hope on this occasion he can recall the required detail to ensure he is supporting Nazanin and others rather than working against them“.

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren signs Cancer UK Pledge

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed Cancer Research UK’s Pledge (in full below) reinforcing that he will continue to support the NHS in fighting cancer. Southmead Hospital is sited within Darren’s constituency.

Darren has previously written to the government calling for more support for young cancer patients, the need for early detection of bowel cancer, post-treatment support for breast cancer patients and backed Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear it Pink’ campaign.

Darren said:

“I am delighted to have signed Cancer Research UK‘s pledge to Stand with the NHS Against Cancer.

We need a long-term, fully funded plan for a specialist cancer workforce. Without this plan, workforce shortages risk undermining the investment into the NHS and the ambitions of diagnosing 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028.

I will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our NHS.”

Darren recently nominated some of the team’s at Southmead for NHS Parliamentary Awards and one of these nominations went on to win the national award for employee wellbeing. To follow Darren’s work on health please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren gets government response on facial rec. tech.

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, secured a debate in Westminster Hall in May 2019 to discuss the policy and civil liberties implications of recent developments in facial recognition technology.

Since that debate, and Darren’s Science and Technology Committee’s report on Biometrics, Darren has received a response from government.

 

 

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Darren demands cessation of visa fees for commonwealth armed forces personnel

In April 2019, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed a cross party letter, along with 130 other MPs, calling on the Home Secretary to cease charging visa fees for commonwealth servicemen and women.

At that time (April 2019) Darren said:

“I am pleased to have signed this letter – all visa fees, alongside the Home Office’s assessment process, need a total re-think, but making money out of those who have risked their lives for this country (as the cost to the tax payer to process these applications is very low) is totally unacceptable and must stop”.

In July 2019, Darren updated that:

“Charging high visa fees to those who have sacrificed, and put their life on the line, to serve this country is no way to thank them. The fees for Leave to Remain are over £3000, so this is not a small amount were asking brace service personnel to find! The Royal British Legion are now running a campaign to help raise awareness of this injustice and are asking for people to write to their MP. Whilst I welcome any contact from my constituents, I have already pledged my support to this campaign and will proudly continue to do so”.

 

 

 

Darren presses Science Minister on costs of no-deal

At the Science and Technology Committee this morning, Darren tried to hold the outgoing Minister for Science and Boris Johnson supporter, Chris Skidmore, to a straight answer on what leaving the EU without a deal will mean for Britain’s research partnerships and R&D spending.

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Watch: Darren presses Government over Avlon redundancies

Staff at the Avlon pharmaceuticals plant, which was recently put into administration by its American owners, were promised that should the facility fail, they would be entitled to a full redundancy package – but are now being forced to leave on statutory pay only. This unjust situation can still be avoided if the plant’s former owners AstraZeneca choose to enforce the previously negotiated guarantee, but it may take some pressure from Government. That’s why Darren’s been writing to Business Ministers and trying for weeks to secure a debate in Parliament — and this morning raised the issue directly with the Leader of the House of Commons, Mel Stride.