15/03/2017 Prime Minister's Questions


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15/03/2017

Coverage of questions in the House of Commons to the prime minister Theresa May, from Wednesday 15 March.


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like to meet and discuss this further I am more than willing to do

:00:00.:00:00.

that. Questions to the Prime Minister.

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I am sure minsters will want to join me in wishing people around the

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world a happy St Patrick's Day on Friday. This morning I had

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ministerial meetings with my colleagues and will have further

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today With my Irish blood can I also wish a happy St Patrick's Day. Mr

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Speaker, I welcome the announcement from this Government that we will

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abide by the letter of our manifesto and also the spirit. CHEERS AND

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JEERS. MR THE Prime Minister AGREE WITH ME, THAT IN BALANCING THE BOOKS

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WE MUST SURE THAT WE HAVE A sustainable tax system in place. I

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would like to thank my honourable friend for this question. We made a

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commitment not to raise tax and we put our commitment into the tax

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lock. The measures we put forward in the Budget last week were consistent

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with those locks. But, as a number of my parliamentary

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colleagues have been pointing out in recent days, there is... THE

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SPEAKER: Order. This is intolerable, the answers from the Prime

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Minister... SHOUTS AND JEERS

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I do take a view on the importance of hearing the questions and the

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answers from the Prime Minister As a number of my Parliamently colleagues

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have been pointing out the trend towards greater self-employment

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creates a structural issue on the tax base on which we will have to

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act and we want to ensure that we maintain, as they have said,

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fairness in the tax system. So we are going to awhich the the report

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from Matthew Taylor on the future of employment, we will consider the

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Government's overall approach to employment status and rights to tax

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and entitledment. We will bring forward further proposals but we

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will not bring forward increases to ni. -- NICs later this this

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Parliament Can I wish everyone a very be happy St Patrick's Day for

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the 17th in my constituency, in Ireland and around the world. We

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have just heard the Prime Minister is about to drop the national

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insurance hike announced only a week ago. It seems to me like a

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Government in a the bit of chaos here. SHOUTS AND JEERS

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A Budget that unravels in seven days, a Conservative manifesto with

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a very pensive Prime Minister on the front page saying there would be no

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increase, a week ago an increase was announced. If they are to drop this

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increase, as they are indicating, then this is a time that she should

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thank the Federation of Small Businesses and all those that have

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pointed out just how unfair this increase would be. But, also, how

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big business evades an awful lot of national insurance through bogus

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self-employment. I have to say to the right honourable gentleman, I

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don't think he actually listened to the answer I gave to my honourable

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friend, the member from Bexhill and Battle. I normally stand at this

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despatch box and say I don't take any lectures from the honourable

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gentleman, when it comes to lectures on chaos, he'd be the first person I

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would turn to. Mr Speaker, I think the Prime Minister should offer an

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apology for the chaos that her Government has caused during the

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past week and the stresses caused to the 4.8 million self-employed people

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in this country. Will she offer that apology? Her friend, the member for

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Conway said so a week ago. It's time she joined in and said that as well.

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This measure, if carried through, will create a black hole in the

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Budget, what is she going to do to fill that black hole? If the right

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honourable gentleman is so concern about balancing the books, why is it

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Labour Party policy to borrow half a trillion pound and bankrupt Britain?

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? Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker, coming from a Government that proposes to

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borrow more between now and 2020, than the entire borrowing of all

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Labour governments put together, we don't need lectures from them on

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this. I hope that in his statement later today, the Chancellor will

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address the question of injustice of many people forced into bogus

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self-employment by unscrupulous companies. Because many of them

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force their workers to become self-employed, thus avoiding

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employers' national insurance contributions. It is a grossly

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unfair system, where those in self-employment pay some national

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insurance, employers do not benefit from it. That is a gross injustice

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that has to be addressed. The right honourable gentleman obviously

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hadn't noticed that one of the first things I did when I became Prime

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Minister was to commission Matthew Taylor from the RSA to conduct a

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review to look at the employment market, to look at employment rights

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and status, precisely because we recognise that the employment market

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is changing. He talks about the self-employed. Let's look at what we

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have done for the self-employed. Our increase in personal allowance means

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they now keep more of their earnings. They will have access to

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both tax-free childcare and 30 hours of free childcare, just like

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employees and now they have access to the new state pension worth over

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?1,800 more a year. But what we know from the Labour Party's policies is

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that their policies would bankrupt Britain, they put firms out of

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business and people out of jobs. We have a Government U-turn, no apolicy

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and we have a Budget that -- apology and we have a Budget that falls most

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heavily on those with the least broad shoulders. Cuts to schools,

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cuts to social care and cuts to people with disbabilities. That is

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the agenda of her Government and everybody knows it. I'm not sure - I

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don't think the right honourable gentleman has quite got the hang of

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this. He is supposed to ask questions to me when he stands up.

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Let's talk... THE SPEAKER: Order. Order. Let's hear the answer, Prime

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Minister. He talks about schools. What have we done? We've protected

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the core schools budget. We introduced the pupil premium. This

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budget delivers money for over 100 new schools, delivering on good

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school places for every child this. Budget delivers on skills for young

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people. We want them to be equipped for the jobs of the future. The

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Budget delivers ?500 million for technical education and on social

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care, we recognise the pressure on social care. This Budget delivers ?2

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billion more funding for social care. Funding that wouldn't be

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available with Labour's economic policies. Mr Speaker, it would be a

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very good idea if the Prime Minister listened to headteachers all over

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the country, desperately trying to work out how to balance the books in

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their schools, losing teachers, losing teaching assistants, losing

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support for their children because the schools' budgets are being cut.

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She knows that, we all know that, everybody out there knows that. They

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also know that according to IFS figures, average working families

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will be 1,400 pounds worse as a result of her Budget that was

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produced last week. Can she say what she is doing to help the worst-off

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and poorest in our society, rather than continuing cutting local

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government expenditure, schools expenditure and underfunding social

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care? I'll tell the right honourable gentleman what we have delivered for

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the low paid. We have frozen VAT and fuel duty and every basic rate

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taxpayer have had a tax cut of at worst ?1,000 and we have taken 3

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million people out of paying income tax altogether. That's what we have

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done for the low paid. On schools we now see 1.8 million children in good

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or outstanding schools. I want a good school place for every child.

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We have done it with free schools and academies and the changes we

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have brought forward in edge education, all opposed to the Labour

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Party. Now they want to oppose us giving a good school place for every

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child. What do we know about the Labour's policies? Let's see what

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the former Shadow Chancellor, the member for Nottingham East said,

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"Labour's policies would mean doubling national insurance,

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doubling VAT and doubling council tax as well." That wouldn't help the

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low paid or ordinary working families.

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Mr Speaker, the difference is, we want a good school and a good place

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for every child in every school in every community. Selective

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education, reintroduction of grammar schools does not achieve that. We

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want a staircase for all. Not a ladder for the few which is what the

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Conservatives policies actually are. What she hasn't addressed, also, is

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the unfairness of a Budget that cuts tax at the top end, continues to

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introduce corporation tax, encourages bogus self-employment.

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What she has to do is address the issues of injustice and inequality

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in our society and a Government that is dedicated towards widening the

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gap, not helping the hard-up or those that are working self-employed

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to try to make ends meet and not getting access to any benefits at

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the same time. Inequality has gone down under this Government. This

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Budget shows that the top 1% of earners will actually be

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contributing 27% in terms of the income they are providing. But let

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me address the issue, also, of schools. You see the problem with

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what the right honourable gentleman says is that on every single

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education policy that this Government has brought forward, that

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has been delivering more good school places for children, the Labour

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Party has opposed it and they continue to oppose it. Because the

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Labour Party's approach is that parents will take what they are

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given, good or bad. We believe in listening to parents. If he looks

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ahead to what his policies would produce for this country, half a

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trillion pounds of borrowing, 500 billion more borrowing under the

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Labour Party. More taxes, more spending, more borrowing, a bankrupt

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Britain that wouldn't give money for public services or help ordinary

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working families. It's the Conservative Party that is helping

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ordinary working families. It is the Labour Party that is failing to

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address the needs of the people of this country. Inhe is just sitting

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there and going on protest marches. Thank you, Mr Speaker. As the tax

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changed, I changed my question. May I congratulate my right honourable

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friend on proposing the most radical reform of technical education in a

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generation and also delivering fair funding for all our schools but may

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I also her, as part of that consultation, to ensure a minimum

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level of appropriate funding for all schools?

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I thank my honourable friend, because he's raised an important

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point. One of the issues with addressed in the budget is to put

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more money into skills training, further education and technical

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education for young people. I think one of the most important things we

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can do is equip young people for the jobs of the future so they can get

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on in life. We are investing an extra half ?1 billion a year in

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England's technical education system to do this. My honourable friend has

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referred to the issue of a minimum funding levels. The Education

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Secretary confirmed last month that the DFE have heard representations

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on this issue and are considering the issues. But in relation to the

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funding formula, it is complex and has needed addressing for some time.

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We will look at it carefully. We once had a Prime Minister who

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said that the lady's not for turning. My, goodness. Isn't it

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welcome that the Prime Minister today has announced that she is

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returning with her screeching, embarrassing U-turn? Only days

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remain until the Prime Minister is going to invoke Article 50 on

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leading the European Union. And last July, she promised to secure a UK

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wide approach - an agreement between the devolved administrations between

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Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the UK Government before

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triggering Article 50. So when will be Prime Minister announced the

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details of the agreement? As I said to the Right Honourable

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gentleman yesterday, and to others asking the questions on the

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timetable, we will trigger Article 50 by the end of March. There will

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be an opportunity for further discussions with the devolved

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administrations over that period. When the right honourable gentleman

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looks at the issue of membership of the European Union, and his view of

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Scotland not being a member of the United Kingdom, I say this to him.

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He is comparing membership of an organisation that we've been a

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member of four 40 years with our country. We have been one country

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for over 300 years. We have fought together, we've worked together,

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we've achieved together. And constitutional gameplaying must not

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be allowed to break the deep bonds of our shared history, and our

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future together. The Prime Minister can wag her

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finger as much as she likes. Last year, she made a promise. She

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promised an agreement. I asked her about it yesterday. She didn't

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answer. I asked her about it now. She hasn't answered. When will she

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reach an agreement? Not discussions, an agreement with the Scottish

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Government before triggering Article 50.

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HECKLING I recognise the passions. Calm yourself, I'm perfectly capable

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of doing that without your assistance. The right honourable

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gentleman will be heard, however long it takes. Carry on, Mr

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Robertson. The Prime Minister promised an

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agreement. There is not an agreement. When will there be an

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agreement? Because does she not understand that if she does not

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secure an agreement before triggering Article 50, if she is not

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prepared to negotiate on behalf of the Scottish Government and secure

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membership of the single European market, people in Scotland will have

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a referendum, and we will have our...

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We have been in discussions with the Scottish Government and other

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devolved administrations about the interest that they have. As we

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prepare as the United Kingdom government to negotiate a deal on

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behalf on the whole United Kingdom. A deal which will be a good deal,

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not just for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but for the people

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of Scotland as well. And as we go forward in negotiating that deal, I

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think the right honourable gentleman should remember this - Scotland will

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be leaving the European Union. It will leave the European Union either

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as a member of the United Kingdom, or were independent, it's very clear

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with the document that it would not be member of the European Union.

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What we need now is to unite, to come together as a country and to

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ensure that we can get the best deal for the whole of the United Kingdom.

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This government is working with councils and other partners to grow

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the economy. But despite being in the prosperous south-east, the Isle

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of Wight is 339th out of 379 in the UK competitive index. Will my right

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honourable friend ensure that more growth funding is targeted at rural

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areas, like the islands, with many small and micro businesses, to

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deliver a country that works for all?

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My honourable friend speaks well on behalf of his constituents, and he's

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right to do that. I know that he has consistently put forward the unique

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characteristics of the Isle of Wight. We've already been able to

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support the island's economy through the local growth deal for the

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Solent, and supporting the Isle of Wight rural SME programme. I want to

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make sure that we make the best of the diverse strength of Britain's

:19:40.:19:43.

cities, regions and Islands. I'm sure that on the island, the

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business community will work together to create the best possible

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conditions. It is our two single market that are

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the backbone for our economy. And yet the Prime Minister wants to rip

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us away from one, and they want to break up the other. Can she tell me,

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is it really a price worth paying, the risky and reckless approach she

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is taking to Brexit, to foster the break-up of Britain?

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The honourable gentleman is wrong when he uses the term that I want to

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rip the United Kingdom away from the single markets. What we wanted

:20:20.:20:27.

you... No, this is... I'm sorry to say to honourable members on the

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Labour benches, this is the same answer that I have given

:20:31.:20:34.

consistently in this house. We want to ensure that we get a good free

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trade agreement which gives us the maximum possible access to the

:20:40.:20:43.

single market to enable us to trade with the single market and operate

:20:44.:20:49.

within the single market. Can I welcome the support of

:20:50.:20:52.

business rates, which is being given by the budget to local high streets,

:20:53.:20:57.

which also crucially valued in places like my constituency in

:20:58.:21:00.

Barnet. With the Prime Minister agree that we can give more help to

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small businesses if we can secure the international agreement that we

:21:05.:21:07.

need to ensure that all big businesses pay their taxes?

:21:08.:21:12.

This is a very important issue. It's one on which I think this government

:21:13.:21:16.

has a record of which we can be proud. Of course, there's more to

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do. We have, since 2010, in the work we've done on tackling tax evasion,

:21:23.:21:26.

avoidance and noncompliance, we have secured an additional 140 billion in

:21:27.:21:31.

compliance yields since 2010. Internationally we've driven the

:21:32.:21:35.

global agenda and we now have several companies signed up to the

:21:36.:21:40.

global exchange. -- global exchange information. We have pushed for the

:21:41.:21:47.

G7 nanograms eight. -- G7 and G8. There is more to be done and I want

:21:48.:21:51.

to see an economy that works for everyone. That means that the

:21:52.:21:53.

company should be paying their tax as well as everybody.

:21:54.:22:00.

An answer to my honourable friend from Murray, the Prime Minister

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called for respect. But that is a two-way street. The Scottish

:22:04.:22:12.

Government's compromise proposal has been ignored in these negotiations.

:22:13.:22:17.

Where is your respect? The proposal has not been ignored.

:22:18.:22:22.

It has been discussed by ministers. There are many areas within that

:22:23.:22:26.

proposal on which we agree. As I've said before, such as on ensuring our

:22:27.:22:30.

securities and maintaining and protecting workers' rights.

:22:31.:22:40.

Colchester Hospital's A department has excellent staff but suffers from

:22:41.:22:44.

poor layout and patient flow. Does the Prime Minister agree with me

:22:45.:22:48.

that the ?100 million set aside for triage in the budget last week will

:22:49.:22:52.

allow hospitals like mine to address this issue and improve patient

:22:53.:22:55.

outcomes? My honourable friend is right to

:22:56.:22:59.

recognise, and we should all recognise, the hard work and

:23:00.:23:02.

dedication of our excellent staff throughout the NHS. What we're

:23:03.:23:08.

seeing in the NHS is that A are treating more people than ever

:23:09.:23:11.

before. We are spending half ?1 trillion on the NHS in England

:23:12.:23:17.

during this Parliament. The NHS will see that increase in its funding of

:23:18.:23:20.

?10 billion in real terms. But there is an issue about the consideration

:23:21.:23:27.

of A, and enabling changes to take place to help the flow, and to help

:23:28.:23:32.

in dealing with patients as they come in. That's why my right

:23:33.:23:36.

honourable friend the Chancellor announced last week 425 million in

:23:37.:23:41.

new capital investment in the NHS, which includes 100 million to help

:23:42.:23:46.

manage the demand on A services, enabling hospitals to make changes

:23:47.:23:49.

to ensure that people are treated in the most appropriate way possible.

:23:50.:23:56.

Over 200 staff at the pension fund in my constituency face an uncertain

:23:57.:23:59.

future as they have been told they have to relocate to other areas over

:24:00.:24:05.

the next few years. Does the Prime Minister realise the impact this has

:24:06.:24:08.

on staff and the local economy? Will she meet me and representatives of

:24:09.:24:12.

the workforce to see what can be done to save the pension centre?

:24:13.:24:17.

I recognise the concern raised for staff at that particular pension

:24:18.:24:29.

office. I recognise this is an issue. I'm sure it is an issue which

:24:30.:24:33.

the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions will look at very closely.

:24:34.:24:36.

But of course the Government is looking to ensure that we both use

:24:37.:24:41.

our resources effectively, but also provide the proper and appropriate

:24:42.:24:43.

service for the recipients of those particular benefits.

:24:44.:24:50.

Last weekend, thousands of people across Lincolnshire came to the

:24:51.:24:55.

races in my constituency to enjoy the racing and the delicious local

:24:56.:24:58.

food - including award-winning Lincolnshire sausages. As the

:24:59.:25:06.

Government prepares to strike new trade deals, international trade

:25:07.:25:09.

deals, will my right honourable friend ensure that the high

:25:10.:25:14.

standards we expect of our food producers and farmers will be met

:25:15.:25:19.

and maintained in these deals, and will this government continued to

:25:20.:25:25.

back British farming? I can assure my honourable friend

:25:26.:25:29.

that we will certainly do that. I remember when I visited her prior to

:25:30.:25:33.

the general election in 2015, sampling some of the excellent

:25:34.:25:37.

Lincolnshire sausages that has come from her constituency. But we do

:25:38.:25:40.

have an opportunity to build a new future for our food and farming

:25:41.:25:44.

industry when we leave the European Union. We will maintain high

:25:45.:25:48.

standards of food safety and animal welfare, that will be a priority.

:25:49.:25:52.

Any trade deals we enter into will need to be right for consumers,

:25:53.:25:57.

businesses, farmers. They will need to ensure our food safety,

:25:58.:26:00.

environmental protection and the animal welfare standards I've just

:26:01.:26:04.

referred to. We recognise the need for certainty for businesses and

:26:05.:26:09.

have provided guarantees for support for farmers up to 2020. We will

:26:10.:26:15.

continue to back British farmers. The UK has one of the worst

:26:16.:26:18.

performing currencies in the world. It has a trade deficit of ?133

:26:19.:26:24.

billion, and a national debt approaching ?1.7 trillion. Does the

:26:25.:26:29.

Prime Minister really believe that the UK can afford to be an

:26:30.:26:40.

independent country? If he wants...

:26:41.:26:48.

Honourable members on those benchers are very overexcited individuals. I

:26:49.:26:53.

want to hear the Prime Minister's reply.

:26:54.:26:56.

If he wants to talk about figures in relation to the UK economy, the UK

:26:57.:27:01.

economy is the world's sixth-largest economy. The Government has reduced

:27:02.:27:06.

the deficit by two thirds. If he cares to look at the employment

:27:07.:27:10.

figures we see today, employment at a record high, and unemployment

:27:11.:27:21.

which hasn't been lower since 1975. Today is the Ides of March. Yet

:27:22.:27:28.

again, Brutus opposite missed badly. So can the Prime Minister take the

:27:29.:27:33.

opportunity to stick the knife into the ridiculous European Court that

:27:34.:27:37.

ruled yesterday that employers can ban their staff from wearing signs

:27:38.:27:42.

of religious or political belief, and reiterate that reasonable

:27:43.:27:44.

freedom and expression should never be snuffed out politically. We have

:27:45.:27:54.

a strong tradition in this country of freedom of expression. It's the

:27:55.:27:57.

right of all women to choose how they dress, and we don't intend to

:27:58.:28:01.

legislate on this issue. He's raised to be broader issue of symbols, but

:28:02.:28:06.

this case came up in relation to the wearing of the Vale. There will be

:28:07.:28:09.

times when it's right for Israel to be asked to be removed, perhaps in

:28:10.:28:15.

border security law courts. Institutions can make their own

:28:16.:28:17.

policies, but it is not for government to tell women what they

:28:18.:28:22.

can and cannot wear. We want to continue the tradition of freedom of

:28:23.:28:23.

expression. Our First Minister was voted with

:28:24.:28:34.

the largest vote in Scottish parliamentary history on a manifesto

:28:35.:28:37.

which stated that the Scottish Parliament... THE SPEAKER: The

:28:38.:28:43.

question will be heard. Thank you, Mr Speaker, I will start again. Our

:28:44.:28:48.

First Minister was elected with the largest vote in Scottish

:28:49.:28:51.

parliamentary history, on a manifesto pledge which stated that

:28:52.:28:54.

the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold an independence

:28:55.:29:00.

referendum if there was a significant and material change of

:29:01.:29:04.

circumstances like Scotland being taken out of the EU guest our will.

:29:05.:29:08.

My question to the Prime Minister is simple - does she agree that

:29:09.:29:12.

Government's should stick to their manifesto promises and if so, she

:29:13.:29:16.

cannot object to the First Minister sticking to hers?

:29:17.:29:21.

I, of course, recognise that there was a vote that took place in the

:29:22.:29:26.

Scottish Parliament and the First Minister was returned as the First

:29:27.:29:36.

Minister of a minority Government. But I would refer the honourable

:29:37.:29:40.

lady to two other votes that took place. The Scottish people were

:29:41.:29:46.

given the opportunity to vote to whether or not they wished to remain

:29:47.:29:58.

in the United Kingdom. They choose that Scotland should remain part of

:29:59.:30:01.

the United Kingdom. That was described by the right honourable

:30:02.:30:04.

member for Gordon, as a once in a generation vote. And the other vote

:30:05.:30:08.

to take note of is that on June 23rd last year, the people of the United

:30:09.:30:11.

Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, and that is what we are going

:30:12.:30:18.

to do. Mr Speaker, with 80% of SMEs reluctant to export, does my right

:30:19.:30:21.

honourable friend agree that the prospect of Brexit gives those firms

:30:22.:30:28.

a golden opportunity to use the great British entrepreneurial spirit

:30:29.:30:31.

to go out into the world, particularly those firms in

:30:32.:30:36.

Scotland, to go out into the world and to sing? My honourable friend is

:30:37.:30:40.

absolutely right about this. Small businesses and the intren airs are

:30:41.:30:43.

essential for an economy that is working for everyone. --

:30:44.:30:46.

entrepreneurs. But the opportunity that comes from Brexit is to see

:30:47.:30:51.

those firms going out across the world, exporting across the world

:30:52.:30:54.

and doing the trade deals that will be of benefit to them and their

:30:55.:30:58.

communities and of benefit to our economy. We divoont to encourage

:30:59.:31:03.

more businesses to go out there. That's exactly what my right

:31:04.:31:08.

honourable friend the Secretary of State for International trade is

:31:09.:31:11.

doing. This is anp important part of building a stronger, fairer Britain

:31:12.:31:13.

for the future. -- an important part. Thank you, Mr Speaker. HRMC

:31:14.:31:19.

employed over 1,000 staff in my Livingston constituency. Despite

:31:20.:31:24.

widespread criticism from the NEO or Public Accounts Committee and the

:31:25.:31:27.

staff at Livingston being most engaged and productive this Prime

:31:28.:31:31.

Minister's Government is determined to move jobs from Livingston toad

:31:32.:31:35.

inborough whose staff don't want to move and rental costs would be

:31:36.:31:39.

higher. And to compound this, another 400 jobs are to go at

:31:40.:31:45.

another Livingston site. Will the Prime Minister change her mind on

:31:46.:31:49.

the is jobs in Livingston and meet with me to make sure that vital

:31:50.:31:53.

public sector jobs to Livingston will stay there. The HRMC are

:31:54.:32:00.

relocating 170 outdated offices to 13 large and modern regional

:32:01.:32:04.

centres. These new centres will be equipped with the digital

:32:05.:32:07.

infrastructure and facilities needed to build a more highly-skilled and

:32:08.:32:11.

flexible workforce to enable modernisation of ways of working, to

:32:12.:32:15.

make tax collection more efficient and effective and it'll bring

:32:16.:32:19.

significant improvements to HMRC's customer services.

:32:20.:32:29.

-- HRMC's. People moo my can constituent voted

:32:30.:32:43.

in favour of Brexit and I was proud to be here in the House on Monday to

:32:44.:32:54.

vote no sport withdrawal of the EU bill. Can my honourable friend, the

:32:55.:32:59.

Prime Minister confirm that she shares my commitment that Brexit

:33:00.:33:02.

should work in the best interests of everyone in our country?

:33:03.:33:03.

THE SPEAKER: Prime Minister? I think, I have to say be... THE

:33:04.:33:07.

SPEAKER: Order. I say to the honourable gentleman for pert and

:33:08.:33:11.

North pertshire. Order, order, the for Perth ander North Perthshire.

:33:12.:33:13.

The honourable gentleman was shouting from beyond the bar, which

:33:14.:33:17.

is very disorderly, on top of the fact that a few moments ago he was

:33:18.:33:22.

gesticulating in a most eccentric manner. I'm becoming concerned about

:33:23.:33:27.

the honourable gentleman, he must now calm himself. The Prime

:33:28.:33:28.

Minister. Thank you, Mr Speaker. My honourable

:33:29.:33:33.

friend is absolutely right. She had, as she said a condition

:33:34.:33:35.

constituencicy that voted overwhelmingly to leave the European

:33:36.:33:39.

Union. The point is that the people of the United Kingdom voted by a

:33:40.:33:42.

majority to leave the European Union. As we do, that we will be

:33:43.:33:47.

ensuring that the deal we achieve in our negotiations, will be the right

:33:48.:33:50.

deal for the United Kingdom, the whole of the United Kingdom and for

:33:51.:33:54.

people across the UK, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern

:33:55.:34:00.

Ireland. Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister's

:34:01.:34:06.

just done a ?2 billion Budget U-Turn in the space of a week. Last year

:34:07.:34:11.

the Government did a ?4 billion U-Turn in the space of five days. Is

:34:12.:34:17.

that why they want to abolish Spring Budgets? Because they just keep

:34:18.:34:28.

ripping them up? I welcome the measure that is were

:34:29.:34:33.

in this Spring Budget, to improve school places for children in this

:34:34.:34:37.

country, to ensure that we put money... THE SPEAKER: Mr Fabricant

:34:38.:34:44.

you are another eccentric fellow shouting loudly but you mustn't

:34:45.:34:47.

shout down your own Prime Minister. Let's hear the Prime Minister. Thank

:34:48.:34:51.

you, Mr Speaker, I welcome the measures in the Spring Budget to

:34:52.:34:56.

ensure that we are putting money... LAUGHTER

:34:57.:34:59.

Money into schools, into skills and into social care and I would've

:35:00.:35:03.

thought The Right Honourable lady would accept that money into

:35:04.:35:06.

schools, skills and social care is good for this country.

:35:07.:35:13.

Thank you Mr Speaker, would the Prime Minister join with me in

:35:14.:35:18.

welcoming the news today that Sergeant Blackman's murder

:35:19.:35:21.

conviction has been downgraded to manslaughter, in part, thanks to the

:35:22.:35:23.

release of previously unheard evidence. This is fantastic news for

:35:24.:35:31.

his wife Claire, who lives in my constituency and who has complained

:35:32.:35:34.

so unstintingly on this and my honourable friend the member for

:35:35.:35:37.

South Dorset who I believe is turning to the chambers provided a

:35:38.:35:41.

very worthy advocate for this case and I commend his hard work. And

:35:42.:35:44.

would the Prime Minister agree with me that within the correct legal

:35:45.:35:48.

framework, those who defend our peace, protect our world from evil,

:35:49.:35:52.

be treated with fairness and understanding and given the adequate

:35:53.:35:57.

resources, including for mental health support they deserve. THE

:35:58.:36:01.

SPEAKER: I'm extremely grateful. Prime Minister. We respect the

:36:02.:36:06.

court's decision, the Ministry of Defence will be looking closely at

:36:07.:36:09.

the judgment but I can assure the House that the Ministry of Defence

:36:10.:36:12.

has cooperated fully at each stage of Sergeant Blackman's case and will

:36:13.:36:15.

continue to provide support to the family as they have done since the

:36:16.:36:18.

charges were first brought. What I would just say on a generalp point

:36:19.:36:23.

is that our Royal Marines have a worldwide reputation as one of the

:36:24.:36:26.

world's elite fighting forces. They make an incredible contribution to

:36:27.:36:29.

our country and we should pay tribute to them all for that. The

:36:30.:36:34.

Disasters Emergency Committee have launched its East Africa crisis

:36:35.:36:37.

appeal. In the context of that crisis, does the Prime Minister

:36:38.:36:41.

share my concern that President Trump is considering major cuts to

:36:42.:36:48.

spending by the United States on aid? Will this Government take every

:36:49.:36:52.

opportunity to press the Americans to remain fully part of the global

:36:53.:36:57.

humanitarian system? I can assure the right honourable gentleman we

:36:58.:37:00.

recognise the severity and urgency of the crisis that is taking place

:37:01.:37:03.

in the East Africa. More than 20 million people face the risk of

:37:04.:37:06.

dying from starvation because of war and drought and again it is this

:37:07.:37:11.

country that is leading the way in delivering life-saving support.

:37:12.:37:15.

We've announced we'll match pound for pound the first ?5 million

:37:16.:37:23.

donated by the public to the Disasters Emergency Committee's new

:37:24.:37:25.

appeal and I can assure him we take every opportunity to ensure that

:37:26.:37:29.

countries around the world recognise the importance of international aid,

:37:30.:37:33.

the importance of supporting countries when we see terrible,

:37:34.:37:39.

terrible disasters like this famine coming to place and it is the UK's

:37:40.:37:44.

record on what we do on this, that enables us to say to others that

:37:45.:37:48.

they should do more. Henry Smith? It is my honour to

:37:49.:37:54.

chair the all parliamentary group on blood cancer and today we launched

:37:55.:38:01.

an inquiry into greater awareness of the condition can I take assurance

:38:02.:38:05.

from my honourable friend that the additional ?10 billion going into

:38:06.:38:08.

the NHS in this Parliament will in some way be spent on ensuring we

:38:09.:38:11.

tackle this third biggest cancer killer? High honourable friend is

:38:12.:38:15.

right to raise a subject like that, which is a cancer of which many

:38:16.:38:19.

people have not heard much and probably are not awhich are of that

:38:20.:38:23.

as a particular issue. I can assure him that -- aware of that particular

:38:24.:38:27.

issue. I I can assure him what the NHS is doing. Over recent years we

:38:28.:38:30.

have seen a significant improvement in cancer survival rates. We have

:38:31.:38:39.

seen significant improvement in the increase of the number of people who

:38:40.:38:44.

are being referred on because of potential cases of cancer and the

:38:45.:38:47.

number of people being treated for cancer

:38:48.:38:48.