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I've been piling up pressure on ministers before the Easter break

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Parliament has now wrapped up for the Easter break, and I'm back in the constituency.

It's been an emotional few weeks in Westminster, with the appalling events that took place last week, and this week, the triggering of Article 50, which put the UK formally on the path to leaving the European Union. That's something I and many MPs feel a great deal of regret about. It will be good to spend time away from parliament over the next couple of weeks.

I've been using the last few days before the break to pile up pressure on ministers. I've been asking questions about disability benefits, probation services, investment in the motorway network to relieve congestion on the M60 and M62, and lots of Brexit-related questions. As predicted, Brexit is taking up more and more of MPs' time now that Article 50 has been triggered.

That's because so much is still so uncertain - worryingly, given its huge importance. Ministers published a document on Thursday describing how all EU law will be transposed automatically into UK law on the day we exit. That's necessary, as otherwise we wouldn't have laws on a whole host of things from employment rights to consumer rights to environmental standards which we get from EU law. But questions still exist about everything from how we'll cooperate on cross-border crime and security to our future trading arrangements with the EU and other countries. The government can't give us any detail, except to say, shockingly, that if it wants to change EU laws once they've been incorporated into UK law, ministers will in many cases be able to do that via so-called 'secondary legislation', which won't necessarily be debated or voted on by parliament. So much for 'bringing back control' to the UK parliament.

But despite all that's been happening on the EU, I've also had time to get along to some very interesting meetings. One was on the future of community pharmacies something constituents will know I've taken a lot of interest in. There is so much potential to deliver more healthcare advice through our local pharmacies, so I was very keen to participate in that discussion.

Finally, to let you know about some changes going on to my office staff, which those of you who have contact with them will be interested in. Rebecca is moving from my Westminster office to work in the constituency office in Stretford, alongside Wayne, Tom, Andy and Catrin. And Joe Corry-Roake joined the team last month - he's based in Westminster, and will be working as my researcher on the subjects I concentrate on in parliament. Your best first point of contact is the constituency office 0161 749 9120 or kate.green.mp@parliament.uk if you want to get hold of me about anything. I couldn't manage without my marvellous staff, and they'll always be happy to help with queries.

I'll be out and about in the constituency over the break - so follow me on Twitter @KateGreenSU or like my Facebook page to keep up with what I'm doing.

 

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