Clear the Lobby
by Sebastian Salek

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Hey team.

You may be wondering why the agenda is looking quiet.

Harking back to the Theresa May days, Boris Johnson's support is now so fractured that any number of backbench Tory alliances could push for changes to the government agenda.

Therefore, No 10 has to think carefully about what it brings to the floor. Any Commons defeats would erode the prime minister's authority even further.

That said, there is one new government bill this week.

It's all about cutting regulation around gene-edited foods, which the government says will unlock the potential of new technologies to promote sustainable and efficient farming and food production.

This sort of thing is almost entirely banned in the EU, so it's a big post-Brexit divergence.

And on Wednesday we'll find out which private members' bills won the ballot.

This is the process of deciding which MPs can present their own law at some point in the year. Until recently, there was a Harry Potter release day-esque sleepover where MPs would camp overnight to be the first in the queue. Now it's (much more sensibly) done via email.

Until next week. In the meantime, feel free to tweet me, or just reply to this email.

Sebastian (@sebastiansalek)

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Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - report stage and 3rd reading
Applies to: England, Scotland (part), Wales
Places new obligations on universities and colleges to defend free speech (for the first time this includes student unions). Creates the position of Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom, who sits on the board of the Office for Students (England's independent higher education regulator) and investigates breaches of these new free speech duties, with the power to issue fines.
Draft bill (PDF) / Commons Library briefing


No votes scheduled


Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill - 2nd reading
Applies to: England, Wales
Allows the sale of gene-edited food. Potential mooted uses are to crops more drought-resilient or resistent to diseases. Gene editing differs from genetically modifying in that it's a small, controlled tweak to a living organism’s existing DNA rather than the introduction of a new, foreign gene. Both are de-facto banned in the EU so this is a major post-Brexit divergence from EU law.
Draft bill (PDF) / Commons Library briefing


No votes scheduled


No votes scheduled

Want more?
Check your MP's voting record and read the day's debates at TheyWorkForYou.



  • National Security Bill - goes to committee stage
  • Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill - goes to committee stage

Click here to read details of the bills in last week's newsletter.

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