Today, MPs faced one of the most divisive votes of this Parliament, namely the measures relating to the Omicron variant. Having been repeatedly asked how I intended to vote, I have spent much of the week reading the correspondence that I have received, counselling widely and taking advice. Given that all arguments are deeply polarised and that opinions vary wildly, this has not been easy.
Over the past few days, I have been asked why I voted against the Mercer/Jarvis Amendment on visa fees for foreign and commonwealth soldiers. Some of the criticism I have received is ill-informed and the facts are somewhat different so I wish to set the record straight. It is also not true that I ‘rebelled’ against it - As a member of the Government, I voted with the Whip, along with the vast majority of my colleagues.
Click here to read my statement in full
James Sunderland recounts his experiences in Bosnia and welcomes the current suspension of Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik’s separatist plans for Republika Srpska. He calls on the UK, as a witness to the Dayton agreement, to send British military planners to the country, back amendments to the Dayton agreement to encompass recent changes and cultural developments and for the international community to refocus on enforcing the political solution as set out at Dayton.
James Sunderland supports the Government’s actions to stem the spread of the Covid-19 omicron variant but seeks confirmation that these further restrictions are only imposed as an absolute last resort.
I write this on the train as I head into Westminster. Now that the dust has settled after the evacuation of British nationals and entitled personnel from Afghanistan, I wanted to provide some form of perspective as someone who has spent much of his working life dealing with that troubled country and to commend those from the FCDO and MOD for their hard work.