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Animal Welfare, No-Deal & Northern Ireland

Animal Welfare, No-Deal & Northern Ireland

By far the most correspondence I receive is on animal welfare matters. This has increased ten-fold in the last decade as campaigns have raised awareness about animal cruelty and abuse across our communities and the globe. This week I attended the World Dog Alliance event in Parliament with TV / Media presenter Anthea Turner. The campaign ‘I am not Food’ calls on the UK Government to outlaw the consumption of dog meat in the UK and to show leadership in animal welfare by sending a message that this horrific practice should be banned all over the World. Our furry friends are much loved companions.

I am also pleased that the Welsh Government has also adopted Lucy’s Law to ban third party sales of puppies; bringing the law in line with England. The large-scale breeding of puppies is abhorrent. As a dog owner I know only too well how much pleasure dogs and pets give to people.

The attempt by the UK Government to suspend Parliament in October and push through a no-deal Brexit was rightly stopped by a substantial majority. Parliamentary sovereignty is the cornerstone of our democracy. The last time this was attempted was when Charles I lost his head – literally.

Moreover, No-Deal would be a disaster for the UK in terms of security and the economy. Nobody called for no-deal at the 2016 Referendum; in fact, the Leave Campaign said it was vital to get a ‘good deal’ for Britain. In 2017 I made clear I would oppose this and look for a sensible outcome to Brexit. I do feel it’s time to put the issue back to the people in a final (not 2nd) referendum. This time based on facts, not soundbites and emotion.

The defeat on No-Deal actually took place on the Northern Ireland Bill. It is wrong that we have to legislate at the Westminster level, but the devolved assembly is not up and running; this is a Constitutional Crisis and while masked by Brexit, it is a crisis nonetheless. I do think we need a more federal UK going forward and will be returning to this over the coming weeks.

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