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Summary

  1. The week in Parliament began with questions to the Defence ministerial team.
  2. There were two urgent questions - on child refugees in Calais and on EU referendum guidance for civil service and special advisers.
  3. MPs were then asked to approve the statutory instruments relating to the European Union Referendum.
  4. Then there was an opposition debate on the UK steel industry.
  5. The Government suffered a defeat in the House of Lords as peers considered Commons amendments to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.
  6. The Scotland Bill completed its report stage scrutiny in the House of Lords.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Chris Davies

All times stated are UK

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  1. Commons adjourns for the day

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    That is the end of the day's business in the Commons.

    MPs will meet again tomorrow at 1130 am for Treasury questions.

    The main business of the day will be two estimates day debates, the first on the FCO and the 2015 Spending Review, and the second on reform of the police funding formula.

    There will be an adjournment debate on job losses at Bombardier in East Belfast.

  2. Commission pensions not an issue for the government, says Minister

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Mark Lancaster

    Defence Minister Mark Lancaster says the pension arrangements for the Commonwealth War Grave Commission are ultimately an issue for the trustees of the Commission, not the government.

    He says that the Commission consulted with trade unions before deciding to close the final salary pension scheme, but that maintaining a final salary pension scheme would be too expensive.

  3. End of Business

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    And with that the Scotland Bill completes its report stage scrutiny in the House of Lords, brining to an end today's business in the House of Lords.

    Peers will have one last chance to amend the bill when it comes back the chamber for its third reading, its final stage in the House of Lords.

    Peers will be back tomorrow at 2.30 pm when the main business will be committee stage of the Housing Bill.

  4. War Grave Commission pension cut

    Adjournment debate.

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Chris Stephens

    The SNP's Chris Stephens is introducing his adjournment debate on the pension fund of employees of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

    From March, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is ending its final salary pension scheme.

    It is estimated that staff, including people who tend the cemeteries of the war dead, will lose £6,000 a year.

    Chris Stephens says salaries at the Commission are "very modest" and "have not been commensurate to the job" over time.

  5. MPs reject steel motion

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs have voted against the opposition motion by 288 to 239 - a majority of 49

  6. MPs divide on steel motion

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs have divided on the opposition motion calling on the government to do more to help the UK steel industry.

    The result is expected at 22:13.

  7. Minister say market economy status a 'red herring'

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Anna Soubry

    Business Minister Anna Soubry says the government has "seized the nettle" and delivered action for the steel industry. 

    She says that changing the rules on government procurement and cutting energy costs will help the industry.

    She argues that the government has voted in favour of imposing EU tariffs on Chinese steel.

    She notes that The EU has imposed tariffs on Russia, which has market economy status, and says the debate over the status is a "red herring".

  8. Labour withdraw amendment

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord McAvoy replies that his party are "reasonably happy" with the government's arguments and agree to withdraw their amendment. 

  9. Labour says anti-dumping tariffs 'lack teeth'

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Bill Esterson

    Shadow business minister Bill Esterson says the steel industry faces an "existential threat" and needs "swift action" with tariffs against China.

    He adds that EU anti-dumping tariffs "do not have the teeth" to deal with cheap Chinese imports.

    He also calls for cuts in business rates for key industries.

  10. Dunlop: No need for new committee

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Scotland Minister Lord Dunlop dismisses the need for a new joint committee, saying welfare devolution is already monitored by the Joint Ministerial Working Group.

    As he tells peers, the working group has met four times since February last year and will meet again soon after the Scottish parliamentary elections.

    Lord Dunlop says he will explore how we can make the joint group "more visible in this place".

    Scotland Minister Lord Dunlop
  11. SNP call for action on dumping

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Hannah Bardell

    The SNP's Hannah Bardell says the UK government "must work harder with European partners" to tackle Chinese steel dumping.

    She adds that the UK government could find the money to bail out the banks but not the steel industry.

  12. Labour call for Committee on Welfare Devolution

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour's Scotland spokesman Lord McAvoy tables another amendment, this time calling for a Joint Committee on Welfare Devolution to be set up to monitor the transfer of welfare powers to Scotland.

    Under the plans the committee will be made up of: 

    • the Scottish Secretary - who is to be the chair of the Committee
    • the Scottish Minister responsible for welfare
    • the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee in the House of Commons
    • the Chair of the Welfare Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament  
    • two non ministerial MPs
    • two non ministerial MSPs, and   
    • two persons representing local government in Scotland.
  13. Labour MP left with 'bitter taste'

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Anna Turley

    Labour's Anna Turley says she has been leading debates in the steel industry since last September. 

    She adds that she now does so "with a bitter taste" since the steelworks in her constituency of Redcar closed down.

    She argues that steelworkers make something "more meaningful than a latte or a subway sandwich".

    She says she is "embarrassed" that the UK is not pushing for higher tariffs to protect UK industry.

  14. Amendment withdrawn

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Scotland Minister Lord Dunlop replies that the government already set out changes to Scotland's block grant "at every spending review as well as twice a year at budgets and autumn statements when required". 

    Labour withdraw their amendment.

  15. Labour MP says government is 'disingenuous'

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Stephen Doughty

    Labour's Stephen Doughty says the government is being "disingenuous" over procurement, and adds that the Ministry of Defence is not keeping records about where is acquires steel from.

    He argues that it is impossible to tell if a department is keeping to procurement guidelines if they do not keep records.

  16. Labour amendment

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Labour Scotland spokesman Lord McAvoy tables an amendment to the government's plans calling for a full record of all meetings and correspondence on the payment of grants to Scotland be laid before parliament each year.

    Lord McAvoy tells peers Labour have "always advocated more transparency in these matters" as opening the proceedings up to the realm of "public opinion"  will help "both governments come to satisfactory conclusions".

    Labour Scotland spokesman Lord McAvoy
  17. Labour MP congratulates the government

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Nic Dakin

    Labour's Nic Dakin says the government should be congratulated for bringing forward new guidelines to encourage the use of British steel in public projects.

    He adds it will be important to make sure the guidelines have an impact, and that the government "has a duty to deliver".

  18. SNP MP says Scottish government 'bold and forward thinking'

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Margaret Ferrier

    The SNP's Margaret Ferrier says the Scottish government has taken action by cutting business rates, and adds that the steel industry is a "vital strategic asset for the Scottish economy".

    She says the Scottish government has been "bold and forward thinking" and says the UK government should follow their example.

  19. Labour MP accuses government of being 'a lobbyist for Beijing'

    UK steel

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Stephen Kinnock

    Labour's Stephen Kinnock says the government "operates inside a fog of laissez-faire ideology" preventing it from taking action to support industry.

    He asks why Swedish steel is being used for new Royal Navy frigates.

    He says that the growth in Chinese market share is due to state subsidies to its steel industry.

    He says the government should "be a cheerleader for Britain, not a lobbyist for Beijing" and oppose market economy status for China.

  20. New borrowing powers

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers are debating the government's plans to increase the borrowing powers of the Scottish Government.

    Under the plans, the Scottish government could borrow up to £600m "should their tax revenues decline as the result of a economic shock which adversely affect Scotland". The total amount borrowed under these plans will be capped at £1.75bn.

    The cap on capital borrowing will be set at £3bn, while the annual limit will increase to £415m a year.

    The limit on borrowing in the case of a financial forecast error will be increased to £300m to "reflect the volatility of tax and welfare responsibilities".

    Setting out the new measures, Scotland Minister Lord Dunlop tells peers these new powers will "boost the capacity of the government to manage the increased risk of tax powers devolved in this bill".