Dhaka, Jan 15 (UNB) - British Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, a niece of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has delayed giving birth in order to vote on the Brexit deal.
Tulip Siddiq, 36, has been advised by doctors to have a caesarean section, but agreed to push the procedure back to Thursday so she can vote on Tuesday.
The Hampstead and Kilburn MP plans to go through the lobby in a wheelchair, reports BBC.
"She should not have to choose between going through the division lobby in a wheelchair, nine months pregnant... or losing her right to vote"— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) January 14, 2019
Labour's @HarrietHarman says @TulipSiddiq should be allowed to cast her vote on May's #Brexit deal by proxyhttps://t.co/DiymEhJGsc pic.twitter.com/3uWZZjUUmV
Fellow Labour MP Harriet Harman said Tulip Siddiq “should not have to choose” between her caesarean and her vote.
Speaker of the Commons John Bercow said that a proxy vote for Tulip would be his “preference”, but it was not in his power to grant it. However, he was happy for her to be "nodded through".
This process normally means an MP's vote can be counted if they are anywhere on the parliamentary estate, rather than going through the voting lobby.
It has traditionally been used for unwell MPs, such as during the votes on the Maastricht Treaty in the 1990s, where some were driven onto the estate by ambulance to be "nodded through" on crucial votes.
Tulip told the Evening Standard that she had a difficult first pregnancy with her two-year-old daughter, and was originally due to give birth to her second child by elective caesarean section on 4 February.
But after developing gestational diabetes, her doctors recommended she bring the date forward to a delivery this Monday or Tuesday.
She spoke to medical staff at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London, and they agreed to the delay.
Tulip said, “If my son enters the world even one day later than the doctors advised, but it's a world with a better chance of a strong relationship between Britain and Europe, then that's worth fighting for.”
There is a system in Parliament for MPs who cannot make a vote called "pairing" - where an MP on either side of an issue agree to not vote, so cancelling each other out.
However, Tulip said she did not trust the system after Tory chairman Brandon Lewis was accused of breaking the system when he voted on a Trade Bill, despite being paired with Lib Dem Jo Swinson, who was on maternity leave. He later apologised for making an “honest mistake”.
"If the pairing system is not honoured, there's nothing I can do, and it's going to be a very close vote," said Tulip. "I've had no pressure at all from the whips to come and vote but this is the biggest vote of my lifetime.
"I've sat down with my husband Chris and he said to me this is my choice, but that he would support me."
Dhaka, Jan 14 (UNB) - Japanese Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Toshimitsu Motegi arrived here on Monday afternoon on a three-day visit to Bangladesh to discuss issues related to investment and economic cooperation between the two friendly countries.
He will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office at 10am on Tuesday.
The visiting Japanese minister, who is leading a 10-member delegation, will also visit Sylhet during his stay in Bangladesh.
Dhaka, Jan 14 (UNB) - Bangladesh and India will hold the next round of foreign minister-level bilateral talks in the first week of February, aiming to take the relations between the two countries to newer heights.
The meeting – 5th Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) – will be held in New Delhi paving the way for new Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen to make his maiden foreign tour to India after formation of the new government .
A preparatory inter-ministerial meeting is scheduled to be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday to finalise the agenda of the 5th JCC, a senior official told UNB.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque will preside over the meeting to be attended by the representatives of relevant ministries, divisions and agencies.
The 4th Joint Consultative Commission between Bangladesh and India, led by former Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj respectively, was held in October 2017.
The 5th JCC meeting, if the date is set, will review the progress made in areas such as trade and investment, security, connectivity, border management, power, energy, shipping, people-to-people exchanges, said a diplomatic source.
The two countries will also discuss the common challenges and find ways on how the two friendly countries along with other like-minded nations can continue fighting the scourge of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation, the source indicates.
Rohingya issue might come up for discussions as well during the meeting.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Momen on Monday said he will make his maiden visit as the Foreign Minister to New Delhi as India has invited him.
“India is our neighbouring and friendly country and our relationship is very warm,” he said without giving any date and purpose of his India trip.
Earlier, acting High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Dr Adarsh Swaika met the new Foreign Minister of Bangladesh and handed over the letter of congratulations from the External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first among the global leaders to congratulate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after her party Awami League’s absolute victory in the December-30 elections.
Prime Minister Modi expressed confidence that the partnership between Bangladesh and India will continue to flourish under her “farsighted” leadership.
He also reiterated the priority India attaches to Bangladesh as a neighbour, a close partner for regional development, security and cooperation, and a central pillar in India’s ‘’Neighbourhood First” policy.
Dhaka, Jan 14 (UNB) – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Monday said the Rohingya issue will remain a priority one for the government mentioning that there should be an “obligation” for all neighbouring countries to make sure that the regional stability is protected.
“I think this problem won’t be solved easily. So, we’ve to overcome many hurdles,” he told reporters at his office.
Emphasising the importance of stability and development in the country and beyond, the Foreign Minister said if stability prevails, development will take place and everyone will be benefited from it (stable atmosphere).
Minister Momen also urged all the neighbouring countries to work together for ensuring regional stability.
Asked whether the government will move ahead to resume the halted repatriation process in line with the already signed bilateral agreement with Myanmar or there will be new mechanisms, Momen said he needs to study it further in details.
He supported Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s five-point proposal placed at the UNGA over finding an amicable solution to Rohingya crisis but noted that the international community could not play its due role on those very good proposals.
The Foreign Minister thinks the international community did not perform their responsibility properly though Bangladesh showed its generosity giving Rohingyas shelter on humanitarian ground.
“The international community has a big responsibility for their (Rohingyas) repatriation and rehabilitation,” he said adding that the interest of Myanmar, India, Thailand and China, not only Bangladesh, might be affected if the Rohingya crisis remains unresolved.
Terming the Rohingya issue a very serious one, the Foreign Minister laid emphasis on further analysing economic, social and security impacts and subsequent consequences due to the Rohingya crisis.
Momen said the whole western world extended their support to the new government. “The entire western world expressed their support to the new government and conveyed that they all will work with us…the western force is with us.”
He said they want to engage the Bangladeshis living abroad in the development process of Bangladesh. “Now we’ve started the journey on the highway of the development and there’re many expatriates who can help us. They can invest their expertise and wealth here.”
Dhaka, Jan 14 (UNB) - The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Office in Bangladesh has said it is encouraged by the Bangladesh government’s decision to revisit the minimum wages for readymade garment workers through an agreement reached by a special tripartite committee set to examine and resolve the issue.
“We acknowledge the genuine efforts of all parties, led by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, to work towards setting minimum wages at an appropriate level and reach a consensus. Through this tripartite process of dialogue confidence is being built and we call upon all parties to help the industry resume its activity,” says Tuomo Poutiainen ILO Country Director for Bangladesh on Monday.
As a pillar of decent work, social dialogue plays a key role in social and economic stability and equity, said the ILO adding that it creates a framework for peaceful and orderly procedures addressing the concerns of workers and employers.
The ILO said it stands ready to accompany its tripartite constituents in Bangladesh and the ready-made garment industry in reviewing the wage-setting system to ensure predictability for business and promoting sound industrial relations through social dialogue and collective bargaining.
“We believe that establishing a strong wage policy for the country and regular evidence-based adjustments through full consultation with all social partners would contribute to inclusive growth, boost industry competitiveness and strengthen social protection for workers, as well as decent work and productive employment for millions of Bangladeshis,” says Tuomo Poutiainen.