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Mike Gapes MP
Member of Parliament for Ilford South
A Local Man with a National and International Voice
My Question in Parliament Regarding Withdrawal of US Forces from Northern Syria
October 9, 2019
Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (IGC) The Turkish President has recently improved his relations with Putin, and the Russians and the Iranians who are fighting on the side of Assad will also have views and interests in respect of what is happening. Is not the danger of what President Trump has done that it reduces the influence of other forces in the region and means that the autocrats and demagogues are dominant in this conflict? Dr Murrison We want to make sure that autocrats and demagogues are not dominant in this conflict. The hon. Gentleman talks as though action has been taken, but my understanding is that that is not the case yet, so we are talking about what might happen. What we have done is say that we do not believe that what has been discussed is the right way forward. We believe we have to ensure that Turkey does not go ahead with this, as it would be unhelpful. If it does not go ahead with it, presumably the US will not carry out the action that has been talked about and which the President has been tweeting about....
My Recent Question in Parliament Regarding Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
October 9, 2019
Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (IGC) The right hon. Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) drew attention to the 40-year-long pattern of behaviour by the Iranian revolutionary regime of taking hostages. It is clear from what the Minister said that Nazanin’s case is different from that of the Australian dual national, but there are other people detained in Iran—Canadian-Iranians, Austrian-Iranians and American-Iranians, as well as our own citizens. What discussions have the Government had with other countries whose nationals are detained in Iran, and has there been any co-ordination on how we might approach these questions collectively to pressurise this vile regime? Dr Murrison The hon. Gentleman is correct: there are other dual nationals who are discommoded in a similar way. Of course we talk to our interlocutors in other countries where people are dealt with in this way, to ensure that we see what common ground we have and what we might do together to address these issues. But the fact remains that Nazanin is an Iranian-British dual national. That makes her case different from the other case that we have been discussing today....
My Recent Question in Parliament Regarding Northern Ireland
October 9, 2019
Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (IGC) Last year, The Economist reported from the Norway-Sweden border—at Svinesund—and said: “Even with the latest technology being outside the customs union entails a hard border”. There is automatic number plate recognition, and there are lorry parks and the confiscation of alcohol. How can we have anything but that if the Government proposals come forward? James Duddridge The hon. Gentleman refers to one border. There are many borders around the world. Technologies can be used to avoid a hard border, and this Government are committed to having no hard border....
My Question to the Foreign Secretary
September 26, 2019
Yesterday I requested an update from the Foreign Secretary about what actions the government is taking in Yemen, and what is being done to stop the repeated Houthi attacks on civilians in Saudi Arabia....
Congratulations to the Supreme Court
September 24, 2019
The unanimous decision by all eleven judges on the Supreme Court is unprecedented. The highest court in our country has ruled that the Prorogation of Parliament by Prime Minister Boris Johnson was “unlawful, void and of no effect”. I am delighted by this decision. Congratulations to the Supreme Court for defending our Parliament and our democracy. We live in the UK under the rule of law in a Parliamentary Democracy. The Prime Minister must accept the ruling of the Supreme Court without equivocation. If he is not prepared to do so then he must resign and allow Parliament to choose someone else to take forward negotiations with the European Union. It is essential that we have a Prime Minister who commands cross party support, and who will respect the rule of law. The Prime Minister must write to the European Union to inform them that we need a further extension to stop our country crashing out with No Deal . This judgement also calls into question the future of the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox who gave wrong and unlawful advice.Tomorrow I will be back in the House of Commons. I will be pressing for Parliament to take back control and continue its efforts to Stop a No Deal Brexit. Strenuous efforts must now be made to resolve this crisis. A referendum got us into this mess and I believe another referendum between any deal and Remain is now the only way to resolve the matter. It would be very reckless and dangerous to call an early General election before the issue of Brexit has been put back to the people in another referendum....
Mike Gapes Ilford Recorder Column – September 2019
September 23, 2019
The House of Commons has voted to ensure that Boris Johnson cannot crash our country out of the European Union on 31 October without a Deal. Prime Minister Johnson disgracefully asked the Queen to Prorogue Parliament for five weeks during which there can be no questions, debates, committees or scrutiny of government. Important Bills on Immigration, Agriculture and Domestic Violence have been lost. The Queens Speech to start the new session will be on 14 October. Johnson took the Whip from 21 MPs. Others resigned. There are now a record number of Independents. I am also an Independent MP. I resigned from the Labour Party in February after 50 years of membership. To be true to myself I could not pretend to defend or support the foreign policy positions taken by Jeremy Corbyn on Russia, Syria and Venezuela, the anti- Jewish racism, and Corbyn’s facilitation of Brexit. But I remain Labour to my core. I still have traditional Labour values of decency, equality, and solidarity. In the debate about whether to call an early election I expressed my concern at the dangerous polarisation of politics. Members of Parliament are representatives of their constituents. They must use their independent judgement on the vital national and international issues which face our country. They must not become delegates of factions or parties. I have received many messages and expressions of support from constituents, including from Labour members and supporters. I have therefore decided to put myself forward for re-election in any early General Election....
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