The week ahead in Parliament

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The government has already flagged up that the coming week's programme could well be re-jigged at short notice to allow for debates on Covid-19 regulations or other pandemic developments

And these could be very big events, given the growing tensions over the government's strategy.

But here are five things to watch out for next week:

Not an easy trick but possible, depending on what (if any) new Covid regulations might be put to MPs.

But suddenly, it feels like these relatively new creations have taken on a real political life of their own.

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The week ahead in Parliament

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With talk of a major initiative to curb the spread of Covid-19, any government announcement will dominate events in Parliament in the coming days, and possibly overshadow gathering concerns that really major restrictions are not being debated in the Commons before coming into force.

As I write, nothing has been confirmed, but it is worth noting that the Commons agenda for Monday looks rather light, leaving room for a ministerial statement and even a debate and vote on the rumoured three tier restrictions being worked up by the government. If there is a statement, look out for South Yorkshire metro mayor Dan Jarvis - the only big city mayor who remains an MP - who might have a thing or two to say.

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The week ahead in Parliament

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In the shadow of the Margaret Ferrier incident, next week in Parliament will doubtless see a redoubled emphasis on Covid safety and social distancing, and probably some angry questioning about the exact timeline of the erring MP's visit to Westminster, her positive test for the virus, and her notification of her SNP colleagues and the parliamentary authorities.

There's a lot of anger and quite a bit of politics tangled around those questions.

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Brady's 'win' shows Tory woe over Covid powers

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Graham Brady has already won.

The chairman of the Conservatives' backbench 1922 Committee has demonstrated that he has the numbers to defeat the government if it carries on pushing through pandemic measures which restrict civil liberties, without consulting Parliament first.

Read full article Brady's 'win' shows Tory woe over Covid powers

The week ahead in Parliament

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This is a week where the twin big issues of the day, the pandemic and Brexit, hit the intricacies of parliamentary process.

MPs have to vote on the renewal of emergency powers in the Coronavirus Act while there's a dive into the detail of the controversial Brexit measure, the UK Internal Market Bill, in the Commons.

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The week ahead in Parliament

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Will Covid-19 or the UKIMB dominate this week?

The published Commons agenda sees two days of debate on the UK Internal Market Bill, but there's a sense that developments relating to the pandemic are now moving pretty fast, so watch out for ministerial statements and urgent questions about the government's response.

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The week ahead in Parliament

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The agenda is dominated by the UK Internal Markets Bill with a Second Reading debate and two Committee Stage days in the Commons (and two more to come, the following week), plus a gathering storm over the bill in the Lords.

There is already furious controversy over Part 5, which gives ministers powers to disapply or modify the rules put into law just months ago in the EU Withdrawal Agreement, on the movement of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, and rules relating to state aid, that would come into force if the UK and EU are unable to reach an alternative agreement.

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The week ahead in Parliament

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There's a sense of phoney war about Parliament at the moment in two different but interlocking ways.

First, huge decisions loom on the pandemic, Brexit and taxes, but the Commons and Lords are ticking over with a light legislative agenda - leaving room for opposition and Backbench Business Committee debates.

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The week ahead in Parliament

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After an eventful month away from Parliament, MPs return to pick up the threads of the pandemic and Brexit in a shortened Westminster week.

They won't be refreshed and bushy-tailed, but grumpy and beleaguered, especially on the Conservative benches, where the ministerial handling of the A-level results, the issue of mask-wearing in schools and the proposed new planning system have not been well received (backbenchers are all in favour of the PM's "Build, build, build!" slogan until it is applied to their constituency).

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Reflections on the Pandemic Parliament

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Parliament is in recess, with MPs and peers due to return to Westminster in the first week of September.

The Commons and Lords have both seen a tumultuous few months since they returned after the general election last December.

Read full article Reflections on the Pandemic Parliament