Quakers seek to engage with politicians across Britain, at the local, national and international level. We can help Quakers to understand more about the UK government in Westminster, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the European Parliament, and local councils.

Political bodies

    The UK Parliament (Westminster)

    Currently happening

    Parliament is currently considering the European Union Withdrawal Bill, often referred to as the Great Repeal Bill. Many other political issues have been temporarily laid to one side while Parliament considers legislation around leaving the European Union.

    Sally Hamwee, a member of the House of Lords, is sponsoring a Private Member's Bill on Refugees and Family Reunion. The debate will be held on 12 December 2017. If you are interested in the debate, or simply wish to offer thanks and support, please do email her at hamwees@parliament.uk.

    The government is consulting on proposals for changes to gaming machines and social responsibilities measures. The deadline for responses is 23 January 2018. Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs (QAAD) has welcomed the consultation. QAAD and other faith-based organisations are campaigning on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (electronic casino-style roulette machines), arguing that the maximum stake must be radically reduced. QAAD has a news item on their main website (scroll down past the first section on what QAAD does).

    Coming up soon

    An Immigration Bill is expected soon. We are likely to be asking for three things to be included in it: family reunion, clarification on right to work, and limits to detention.

    Consultations and debate regarding the UK's human rights framework are expected within the next year. Some consultation has already taken place. The government's explanatory notes say that it will include measures to reform and modernise the UK human rights framework, which would "better protect against abuse of the system and misuse of human rights laws and would restore common sense to their application" and "be based on those set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, while also taking into account our common law tradition".

    Recent past activities

    In 2016-17 Ruth Cadbury MP (Labour, Brentford & Isleworth) sponsored a Private Member's Bill on Peace Tax. Due to the end of that parliamentary year (as well as the election afterwards), the Bill ran out of time and was withdrawn. Please do contact Ruth to thank her for raising the issue.

    Housing and Planning Act 2016: Download the Quaker briefing about the Housing and Planning Act (PDF) or read more about Quaker work on the Housing and Planning Act – Nov 2015 (PDF)

    Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016: Download the Quaker briefing about the Welfare Reform and Work Act (PDF) or read more about Quaker work on the Welfare Reform and Work Act – Nov 2015 (PDF)

    Immigration Act 2016: Download the Quaker briefing about the Immigration Act (PDF)

    In 2017 we attended the Conservative, Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrat party political conferences.

    If you have a question about Westminster, email Jessica Metheringham at jessicam@quaker.org.uk.

    The Scottish Parliament

    Currently happening

    Militarisation in schools: Quakers in Scotland have been working with Forces Watch and have submitted a petition on armed forces visits to schools to the Scottish Parliament. Find out more about our work on militarisation.

    There is currently a Social Security Bill at Stage 1, which will make provision about social security following the devolution of further powers to the Scottish Parliament.

    Coming up soon

    John Finnie MSP has secured the right to introduce the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Bill. It received the support of 31 MSPs.

    We expect a Member's Bill from Claudia Beamish MSP (Labour) on prohibiting fracking. There was previously a consultation on this proposed fracking Bill.

    Recent past activities

    In late spring 2017 the Scottish government consulted on the future of energy in Scotland. Submissions were made by South Edinburgh Local Meeting and by South East Scotland Area Meeting.

    In early spring Parliament consulted on destitution and asylum seekers in Scotland. One submission was made jointly by Britain Yearly Meeting, General Meeting for Scotland, and the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network.

    In 2017 we attended the Scottish National Party political conference.

    If you have a question about the Scottish Parliament, email Mairi Campbell-Jack at mairic@quaker.org.uk.

    The Welsh Assembly

    Currently happening

    The Welsh Assembly is currently in Stage 1 of a Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) Bill. Consultation finishes in December 2017.

    Housing is also an issue for the Welsh government at the moment. The Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights Bill is now in Stage 3, and expected to pass soon. The Regulation of Registered Social Landlords Bill is a technical piece of legislation which reclassifies social landlords, and is still in Stage 1.

    The Welsh government is currently consulting on the National Development Framework, including on energy and the environment, the economy, communities, and equality.

    Find all current Welsh government consultations here.

    Coming up soon

    In its Programme for Government the Welsh government committed to legislation "to protect local facilities, to prevent unnecessary closures and to help communities take ownership of community assets".

    We expect legislation to stop landlords and estate agents from charging unfair, up-front fees to tenants and prospective tenants in the private rented sector.

    Recent past activities

    Wales Act 2017: A piece of legislation in Westminster, which has now passed. Read the full text of the Wales Act.

    If you have a question about the Welsh Assembly, email Jessica Metheringham at jessicam@quaker.org.uk. You could also visit Cytûn (Churches Together in Wales).

    The European Parliament

    The current MEPs will continue to sit in the European Parliament until the UK leaves in March 2019.

    To find out more about what Quakers are doing at a European level, visit the Quaker Council for European Affairs (offsite link).

    Local councils

    Many local councils across England elected some or all of their councillors on 5 May 2016. Local councils in Scotland and Wales will elect councillors in May 2017.

    All local councils are different. In your area, you may be represented by more than one council. If you want to find out more, email Jessica Metheringham at jessicam@quaker.org.uk.

    Elections

    There is more information on elections on our special elections website; www.quakervote.org.uk.

    Contact us

    Let us know about political engagement.

    For Westminster, Wales, local councils and the EU:
    Jessica Metheringham
    Parliamentary Engagement Officer
    jessicam@quaker.org.uk
    020 7664 1107
    @PoliticalQuaker

    For Scotland:
    Mairi Campbell-Jack
    Scottish Parliamentary Engagement Officer
    mairic@quaker.org.uk
    07419 991 246
    @ScotPolQuaker