The week ahead in Westminster

Read on to find out what is happening in the Houses of Parliament this week
Read on to find out what is happening in the Houses of Parliament this week
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The possibility of a Supreme Court ruling on the triggering of Article 50 continues to dominate the agenda, with a decision expected before the end of the month.

But whether or not the decision comes this week, the Prime Minister is scheduled to make a speech on Tuesday in which she will out further detail of her plans for Brexit negotiations.

The extracts trailed over the weekend have led to fierce speculation that she is preparing to commit the UK to a 'hard Brexit' outside the Single Market and union customs

However, this has been contradicted to some extent by the Chancellor Philip Hammond, after he told a German newspaper he hopes Britain will "remain in the mainstream of European economic and social thinking".

Monday January 16

Business kicks off at 2.30pm with questions to the secretary of state for communities and local government. The Government could face some tough questions about the sustainability of social care funding, as well as the delayed publication of its long-awaited housing White Paper

This is followed by the second reading of the Government's National Citizen Service Bill, which seeks to incorporate the new NCS Trust as a Charter body. Just last week a report by the spending watchdog the NAO warned that the service is now at "a critical stage" after missing all its participation targets.

Outside the chamber, members of the Public Accounts select committee will be discussing the sustainability of the UK' defence estate. This follows November's announcement of the latest round of MoD closures, which included Imphal Barracks in York and Queen Elizabeth II Barracks in Strensall.

The day wraps up with an adjournment debate led by Labour MP Angela Eagle on the availability of potentially life-saving defibrillators in public areas.

Tuesday January 17

MPs gather at 11.30am for questions to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, where it seems highly likely that the row over NHS funding will once again rear its head.

This is followed by an opposition day debate - led by the SNP - about the impact of leaving the EU on the rural economy. Among the issues that MPs will wish to raise are support payments to farmers and post-Brexit access to seasonal migrant labour .

Over in Westminster Hall, Lib Dem MP John Pugh will lead a debate on changes to the school funding formula and Northern schools. Under the Government's proposed new formula, schools in Yorkshire are set to benefit from an additional £100m.

And the Culture, Media and Support select will be grilling Sir David Clementi, the Government's preferred candidate to chair the BBC Board.

Wednesday January 18

The day will begin with questions to the Secretary of State for Scotland, followed by Prime Ministers Questions.

There will then be another EU-related debate - this time on the possible impact of leaving on law enforcement and criminal justice.

This comes as Hilary Benn leads a Brexit select committee hearing focussing on the consequences of leaving the EU on European citizens currently living in the UK. The committee published the first of its highly-anticipated reports on Saturday, and has been touring the country to ensure regional voices are represented in its findings.

Business closes with an adjournment debate on flooding in Lancashire's Ribble Valley, where countless homes and businesses were left in ruin in the wake of 2015/16's winter storms.

Thursday January 19

The Commons meets at 9.30am for departmental questions to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Depending on the direction of Theresa May's Brexit speech on Tuesday, MPs might have some questions about the future of regulation, trade and the agricultural workforce.

This will followed by questions to the Leader of the House, which could see a repeat of last week's questioning about plans for the multi-billion pound refurbishment of Westminster Palace. The former Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bryant pointed out on Thursday that four months have now passed since the Joint Select Committee on the Palace of Westminster published its report, and the Commons is yet to debate its findings.

The main business of the afternoon is a backbench debate on the reports of escalating violence and breaches of international human rights in Kashmir. This is followed by a debate about Holocaust memorial day, which this year falls on April 23.

And over in Westminster Hall, there is a cross-party debate led by former Tory culture minister Ed Vaizey, Lib Dem MP Tom Brake and Labour MP Steve McCabe on the decommissioning of in-vitro fertilisation and other NHS fertility services.

Friday January 20

The week comes to an end with a discussion of private members bills, which sees Tory MP John Glen up first with his bill to repeal laws that allow merchant seamen to be dismissed on grounds of homosexual behavior.

This is largely a symbolic measure as legislation to a similar effect already exists, however, it is understood to have widespread support so is likely to be successful.

The Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh is also down for a second reading of her Organ Donors Bill, which seeks to introduce new guidance on statutory sick pay to ensure all organ donors are eligible. Unfortunately, she is seventh on the list so it is likely that time will run out before there is a chance for debate - but it is a fairly uncontroversial reform which may find itself included in future Government legislation.

The day closes with an adjournment debate on Southern Rail led by the Tory MP Maria Caulfield. Given the level of anger in the wake of recent strike action, this could see the week draw to a livelier end than usual.