Backbenchers could have been given domestic agenda in run-up to Brexit

The Guardian - 18 Sep 2018

Aside from the occasional skirmish on Brexit, parliament has had very little to do in recent months. In an attempt to fill the domestic reform vacuum described by Isabel Hardman (Tory hopes suffocate in an ideas vacuum, 17 September), I submitted a proposal to the prime minister for the government to give the necessary time and protection to bills presented by backbenchers, as well as select committees, that are approved by the cabinet’s legislative committee. Had this approach been picked up, we could have had a major domestic reform programme without waiting for Brexit.

Indeed, when such an approach was taken by Harold Wilson’s minority government, great strides were made in divorce law reform, the abolition of capital punishment and homosexual law reform.

What is so repellent to the government to use backbenchers and select committees to forge a radical programme for it, while preparing for the crunch decisions on Brexit?

Frank Field MP
Independent, Birkenhead