Westminster Weekly (20 February - 24 February 2017)

Friday 24-02-2017 - 15:47

Your weekly round-up of NUS' work in parliament.

Westminster this week:

Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central by-elections
Two by-elections were held yesterday in Stoke-on-Trent Central and Copeland, following the resignations of Labour MPs Tristram Hunt and Jamie Reed. Gareth Snell held the Stoke-on-Trent seat for Labour, with UKIP leader Paul Nuttall coming in second. However, Labour lost Copeland to the Conservatives with 13,748 votes to 11,601; the first time they have failed to retain the seat since its 1983 creation.

Brexit in Parliament
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has begun its journey through the House of Lords, following its passage through the House of Commons. The Bill was produced to enact the Supreme Court’s judgement on parliament’s right to vote on triggering Article 50. The House of Lords gave the Bill its 2nd reading this week, with the general principles of the Bill being debated. Concerns about the impact of Brexit on students were raised several times throughout the debates. You can read the transcripts of the debates here and here.

Technical and Further Education Bill – Committee stage
The Technical and Further Education Bill has entered Committee stage in the House of Lords this week. Peers debated the importance of ensuring the quality of apprenticeships, as well as amendments regarding access to apprenticeships and the functions of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. You can read the debates here.

Oral questions: shortage of trained nurses
In the House of Lords this week, peers questioned the Government on the shortage of trained nurses in the NHS and care sector. Concerns were raised over the removal of the bursary scheme for student nurses, and the subsequent reduction in nursing applications. You can read the debate here.

NUS in Parliament:

The APPG on Students met on Tuesday to discuss the impact of Brexit on students. The meeting was attended by MPs, student representatives and sector experts. The event was an opportunity for MPs to hear about the ways in which they can promote students' priorities at a time of uncertainty around the UK's position in relation to the EU. Discussion points included: the UK as a destination for international students; British students’ opportunities abroad; and the practicalities of studying in a post-Brexit UK.

Sorana Vieru, NUS Vice-President (Higher Education), attended a University Alliance event in the House of Commons to launch a report on lifelong learning. Lord Willetts and Roberta Blackman-Woods MP also spoke at the event.

What’s coming up?


  • The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill will continue to be debated in the House of Lords next week.
  • The Technical and Further Education Bill will also continue to be debated in the Lords in Committee stage.
  • The Higher Education and Research Bill will enter Report stage in the House of Lords on Monday 6 March.



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