Lord Gallery: the key action in the Upper Chamber this week

Posted On: 
1st December 2017

The political impact of opinion polling, health policy post-Brexit and the Anti-Money Laundering Bill all feature this week. Gary Connor looks at what’s coming up

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will speak in the Chamber on Friday
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Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill

On Wednesday peers continue their line-by-line scrutiny of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which allows the UK to maintain its existing sanctions and impose new ones when we leave the EU. There’s an amendment to look out for from former Justice Minister Lord Faulks (C), which has been backed by Labour and the Lib Dems. It seeks to introduce a public register of beneficial ownership of UK property by companies outside the UK. The government ran a public consultation on how this would work earlier this year, which is yet to report. Expect the minister’s response to hint at what concessions could be offered to Faulks in order stave off a government defeat at Report.

Question on post-Brexit health policy 

On Wednesday Baroness Quin (L) has a question on the government’s health policy priorities in the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Quin says that she’s deliberately framed the question widely, so as many issues as possible can be discussed, but tells The House of her worries over recent reports that the number of EU nurses applying to work in the UK has dropped by 90%. She’s particularly concerned, too, about the relocation of the EMA to Amsterdam. “All of us want to see more trained British doctors and nurses,” she says, “but in the short term, the Brexit vote is very negative for the NHS”.

‘Balanced’ regulation debate

Former Business minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe (C) leads the first of Thursday’s debates, on ensuring regulation is ‘balanced, cost-effective, easy to understand and properly enforced’. She tells us she’s “exercised by productivity” and the impact that the ‘wrong type’ of regulations can have on it. “This matters more because of Brexit,” she says, adding that the statute book will soon be adjusted and the government will be responsible for how these regulations are enforced.

Political Polling and Digital Media Committee

Away from the main chamber, Tuesday sees committee members take part in another evidence session as part of their inquiry into the accuracy and impacts of polls. Peers have already heard from representatives of the BBC, Sky News, academics, bookmakers, and former Labour leader Lord Kinnock. This time they’ll take evidence from market research companies ORB International, Ipsos Mori and Survation, as well as election night and exit poll veteran Professor John Curtice. He appears in his capacity as president of the British Polling Council, which ensures high standards are maintained in the industry.

Archbishop’s debate

Each year the Archbishop of Canterbury aims to hold a debate on a subject of national importance, and Friday’s business in the chamber will see him raise the issue of education. Expect Justin Welby to focus on the role of the education system in preparing society for the challenges ahead. He’ll also aim to highlight the importance of tackling deprivation and disadvantage, and what role the Church of England can play. Around a quarter of primary schools and 200 secondary schools are operated by the church, educating some 1 million children.