11 February 2020

Parliament in operation - BPF Futures event review

I recently had the opportunity to attend a parliamentary seminar run by the Industry and Parliament Trust and organised through BPF.

The morning began with a tour of the Palace of Westminster including the Great Hall, House of Lords and House of Commons. Having the opportunity to walk through the voting corridors, as Members of Parliament have done for generations, and hear about the opportunities (depending on your point of view) that the system presents for members to access and lobby the government of the day, as well as Henry VIII’s enthusiasm for tennis, is something I would commend to all.

Following the tour, an excellent seminar was given by Parliamentary Consultant Paul Grant who led us through an overview of the workings of both houses, including the role of select committees and parliamentary questions.

While the role and workings of parliament may be a relatively clear and established process, the subsequent discussion around policy engagement, consultation, pre-legislative scrutiny, statutory instruments and the Civil Service was one that I had not had cause to turn my mind for some time. If I took one thing from the morning, it was that, for people who want to engage with government, it is clear that speaking up, putting your issues front and centre and engaging with the various stakeholders early on in any discussion around statutory change is imperative.

While it may not always be directly related to your day to day job, how the government operates is something that affects us all and if the opportunity presents itself I would highly recommend attending a seminar by the Industry and Parliament Trust as reminder of the constitutional norms that we all operate under, whether we realise it or not.

Colin Brown is an associate in our Commercial Real Estate team.

"They are very pragmatic and give you advice that you can implement."  
Chambers UK, 2015
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