15/12/2016 Business Questions


15/12/2016

Live coverage of the announcement of Commons business for the week ahead and questions to the Leader of the Commons David Lidington.


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for my credentials as a Unionist, and I want to see prosperity spread

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to every part of the United Kingdom. I thought the Scottish Government

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economic policies will also help contribute to that. Business

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question. Could I ask the Leader of the House to please tell us the

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forthcoming business? The business for next week will be as follows.

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Monday the 19th of December, a general debate on exiting the

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European Union and science and research. Tuesday the 20th, a

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general debate on leasehold and commonhold reform, followed by a

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general debate on matters to be raised before the forthcoming

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adjournment. The business for the week commencing the 9th of January

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will include Monday the 9th of January, remaining stages of the

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technical and further education bill. Tuesday the 10th of January,

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remaining stages of the Commonwealth development Corporation Bill,

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followed by consideration of lords amendments to the policing and crime

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Bill. Wednesday the 11th of January, an opposition day, allotted day,

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debates on opposition motions, subject to be announced. 12th of

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January, debate on a motion on Yemen, followed by a debate on

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Security and the political situation in the African great Lakes

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situation. Friday the 13th of January, private members bills. The

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traditional business for the week commencing the 16th of January will

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include, Monday the 16th of January, second reading of the National

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citizens service bill, Lords. I should also like to inform the House

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that the business in Westminster Hall for the the 12th of January,

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will be a debate on the fourth report from the Justice committee on

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restorative justice, followed by a general debate on the future of that

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UK maritime industry. The subjects of these debates were determined by

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the liaison and backbench business committees. As this is the last

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exchange of questions ahead of recess, could I conclude by wishing

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not just right Honourable members on all sides, but particularly the

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staff of the House, in all departments, a happy, peaceful and

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restful Christmas recess. The car and I thank the Leader of the House

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for forthcoming business? Can I pressed him yet again on that last

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day for summer recess? People are desperate to print those little

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calendars. We do need that. Can I ask invalid beat on the restoration

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and renewal report? I understand there's a date being floated around,

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I wonder if he could and light in all of us and perhaps let me know

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whether the resolution that is going to be put before the house on this

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issue will be in the form of motions, whether all the options

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will be put before the house or whether other members can table

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further resolutions as well? Could I also ask when the bus service will

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be arriving? It has a flashing sign. That would be helpful. 21 years ago

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today, European leaders announced their new currency would be known as

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the usual. It was a Tory government that took us into this European

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exchange mechanism and out again, but it was a Labour government that

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devised the five economic tests before we joined the judo and that's

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why we want get the government a blank check for article 50. We want

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to see that framework. We know the vital statistics, 50 to leave, 40

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remain, and over 20% didn't vote, so we need to find a way forward that

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encompasses every view. The to leave the EU and our job is to make sure

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appreciate that exit. We need to shake the exit to ensure jobs, the

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economy and our living standards are priorities. To ship the exit so that

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trade and services with and to the EU are not damaged. We need to shape

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the exit to make sure all the good things about our place in the world,

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that we act with other countries to protect the vulnerable against

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bullies. Negotiating to preserve the rights that were secured for our

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workforce, that has powered this economy through knowledge, skills

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and creativity, by hand and by brain. Could I ask the Leader of the

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House between January and March, could he ensure there are

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discussions through the usual channels, that there is a proper

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forum for debate. There are many committees producing reports, we

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don't want the public to be confused. We want a proper form of

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motion and proper recommendations. All that needs to be shaped to shake

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the government's thinking before article 50 is triggered. We need

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that debate. On Friday last week, the Secretary of State said he's not

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interested in transitional arrangements. Then the Chancellor

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said the government would likely seek a transitional deal in order to

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avoid disruption that would risk Britain's financial stability. The

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Prime Minister was very emphatic that Prime Minister's Questions,

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that we are leaving the EU. Could we have that statement on the correct

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position? We need to look at the effect on leaving the EU on young

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people. We need a debate on how these policies will affect them,

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because 75% of young people between the ages of 18 and 24, voted to

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remain. They say younger people will be hardest hit, because since 2007,

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median income for those between 22 and 30 has dropped by 7%. Inflation

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is going up, the cost of food and other necessities is also rising.

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Can I ask the government to implement the real living wage,

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which is ?8 45 and hour or ?9 75 in London. At Prime Minister's

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Questions, many members mentioned the' Jo Cox. The place I reckon my

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thanks to those who did a fantastic job of organising and playing on it.

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Steve Harley, KT Tunstall and the brilliant community choir. Many

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colleagues here have taken by it and even those who, like Lady Macleod,

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who came back to sing. Jo Cox's family will have to face their first

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Christmas with out. Many members on all facing hostility, they have to

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endure court cases, they have to deal with this with courage. Can I

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asked the Leader of the House and all members on a cross-party basis,

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to try and find out the nature and evidence of what is happening.

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Encourage them to report. Perhaps we can have a streamlined way of

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ensuring their matters dealt with. Can I also asked the Leader of the

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House of Lords and that's what is happening, if they will agree a

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package to keep the office is secure? Apparently, it is not coming

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through. I don't know what the leader of the houses giving the

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Prime Minister for Christmas? Can I suggest a couple of books? Perhaps

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the autobiography of John Major or perhaps The Team Of Rivals about

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Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet, three of whom had previously won

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against Lincoln. Finally, could I wish you, your family and your

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office are very happy Christmas. The Leader of the House, his suave

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deputy and his offers a very happy Christmas. The clerks, the

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doorkeepers, everyone who has made me so welcome, from cleaning,

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catering, postal workers, everyone. And all honourable and right

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Honourable members of those house. A very happy Christmas and peaceful

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New Year. Can I thank the honourable lady for

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her personal good wishes. Can I say to her I want to express the

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thoughts and prayers of everyone in this House will be with Jo Cox and

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her family. I would salute other honourable member on all sides of

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the house did to contribute to the recently released download. She

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asked a serious point about the threats and abuse that a number of

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honourable in a different political parties have been receiving. This is

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something that I take and the House authorities take very seriously. She

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will understand we don't normally talk about such a security matters

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in detail in the chamber but the chairman of ways and Means and I

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recently sent a letter to all members of the House alerting them

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to the existence now of a dedicated to the police hotline to which any

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such threats should be reported. Certainly both the chairman of ways

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and Means and I would want to know of any evidence or suggestion that a

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local police force were not taking such threats seriously, we would

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take whatever steps where appropriate in receipt of that

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information. Similarly, if there is evidence that for whatever reason

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security improvements to members's homes and offices that are necessary

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are being held up for some unreasonable grounds, I would

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certainly be willing to do what I can, as with the chairman of ways

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and Means, to make sure things are sorted out rapidly there. If I can

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turn to the policy point that she also raised. I will try and give

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dates for some as soon as possible although I think she will appreciate

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that in line with precedent, it has not been the custom for any

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Government to announce summer recess dates quite this early on in the

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Parliamentary year. Similarly, I would hope to be able to satisfy her

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appetite for dates both for the reform and restoration of the House

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reports and through the Commons proceedings on the bus services bill

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as as soon as possible. Her comments about the EU, she might have noted

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that it was a Conservative Prime Minister John Major who did actually

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ensure that this country had the opt out from the euro in the first place

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and without Sir John major's efforts, that choice would not have

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been available to the United Kingdom. I noted her comments about

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EU exit. I have to say, I rather welcomed her statement of the Labour

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Party's position. I have to say to her, this is at odds with what our

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party's owned a spokesman on EU exit, the honourable member, it said

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over a fortnight ago when he said we needed to keep our options open on a

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second referendum. I really think that if we are to take the Labour

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Party's wrote seriously, we have to accept whichever side we supported

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during the referendum, whether we agreed or disagreed with the verdict

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of the public, this was a decision that the electorate was

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democratically entitled to take and which almost all of us in the Has

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agreed in supporting the referendum bill should be delegated from

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Parliament to the voters of the United Kingdom to decide finally. I

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think that her appetite for debate on the European Union is going to be

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more than seated in the New Year. I would also point out there are no

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more than 30 different select committee enquiry taking place in

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this House and in the House of Lords into various aspects of our

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departure from the European Union. Where she is right is to say at the

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Prime Minister has repeatedly said that it is in our interests and in

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the interests of the other 27 members of the European Union that

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we secure in negotiation that provides for as COBOL a divorce as

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possible -- amicable. Although we are leaving the EU, we are not

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leaving Europe and a strong productive, mutually beneficial with

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the EU 27 is going to be important in the prosperity and security of

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all 28 countries. But also for effective cooperation is an

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international scale to deal with such challenges as large scale

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migration from Africa, as the threat from international terrorism, that

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are going to be with us for a long time into the future. She chided the

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Government about our approach to the living wage, but I have to say that

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we followed the advice of the low paid commission and the recent

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increase in the national living wage and I note as well that the

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resolution foundation, which is not always a champion of Government

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policy, has said that 2016 has marked the best year ever for a low

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paid workers because of this Government's commitment to the

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national living wage. Finally, she asked me about Christmas presents,

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Mr Speaker. I have to say that for some unaccountable reason, the

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honourable lady omitted to mention that in the opposition's campaign

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grid for this week, tomorrow is marked down as the day for Christmas

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jumpers. I somehow think that this combination of garish design,

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clashing colours and a general sense of nationalism, rather confuses were

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the Cabinet is. Over the last three weeks or so, Chelmsford commuters

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travelling into London by train have had nightmare journeys due to broken

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down trains, faulty tracks and other problems. Would my right honourable

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friend be able to arrange for a statement by the transport minister

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as to what can be done to stop this sort of inefficient provision of

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service, or would he advised me that I ought to seek to catch Mr

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Speaker's I next afternoon to contribute in the adjournment debate

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before we go into recess? For as long as I've been in the House, I've

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known my right honourable friend is the most formidable champion of

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commuters from Cheltenham. I think it's very important... I beg his

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pardon, from Chelmsford. It's the Christmas spirit getting to me, Mr

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Speaker. I think that there is an important message here for both the

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franchise holder and for the railway workers who together have to make

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that line operate that it should be the interests of the travelling

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public that should be first and foremost in their priorities at all

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times. I am sure that if my right honourable friend does catch your

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aye, Mr Speaker, the transport minister will not only be too happy

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to respond to that. Can I thank the Leader of the House for announcing

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the business of next week. I thought very minute he was trying to talk

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out of business questions. It is good to see a Leader of the House

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Minus the lederhosen. Then I take this opportunity, Mr Speaker, to

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wish you a happy Christmas. I extend that to the house staff who have

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looked after us then their usual exemplary fashion. Maybe we should

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have a debate about 2016 and perhaps vowed never to have another year

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quite like that, we have lost so many of our stars and artists, the

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election of Donald Trump in the States to this accidental clueless

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Tory Brexit, maybe we can learn the lessons from 2016 and vowed never to

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go back there again. Today's piece of Tory Brexit clues move comes

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courtesy of our man in Brussels, it might actually take ten years to get

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a tree deal with our European partners and some European capitals

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might never ratified Brexit. But this is only reflecting the views of

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the 27 nations were supposed to be negotiating! Only in the weird world

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of Tory Brexit cluelessness does that make it all right. Mr Speaker,

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with the Christmas recess coming in a few short days, it may be weeks

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before we get an opportunity to debate the deteriorating situation

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in Aleppo. Before we rise next Tuesday, we get an opportunity to

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have a statement from the Foreign Secretary to keep us updated before

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we go on to recess? Lastly, I know the whole House is engaged to get

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this Jo Cox single foundation for the number one for Christmas. We're

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really grateful to everyone in the House to make sure we do that. The

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Leader of the House would also like to join me in thanking Sir Mick

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Jagger and Keith Richard for waiving the royalties, to get even more

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money to the Jo Cox Foundation. I will happily endorse the honourable

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member's tribute to Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in weaving their

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royalties. I will pass on to my right honourable friend the Foreign

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Secretary, the honourable gentleman's Westbury further

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statement on Aleppo next week. This is the subject I think on which the

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house is united in a sense of horror what civilians there are having to

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endure. I know Foreign Office ministers are only very keen to

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ensure the House is informed as soon as possible about recent elements. I

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have worked in my previous ministerial rule with Ivan Rogers

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over a number of years. He is a formidable public servants who

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always reports to British ministers and successive governments what he

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picks up, is said to him from various people in different

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Government and EU Administration 's. It's not, Mr Speaker, that unusual.

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It may be hard for you to believe that in some countries, people who

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are part of the same Government say slightly different things on the

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subject of the future. The truth here is that we have not set out to

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our 27 colleagues what the Government's objectives are in this

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negotiation nor have they yet met to have out what their mandate is to

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their appointed negotiators. The speculation about how long

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negotiations will take seems to me as remarkably premature if there is

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good well and strong political intent, I'm confident and amicable

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and good negotiation can lead to an agreement in which all sides can

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take pleasure. As we approach the time of the year at which there was

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no room in the in for Jesus to be born, can we have an early debate on

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the position facing many of our constituents who are looking to move

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into new shared ownership properties. Many of my constituents

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exchanged contracts in early September and the completion date

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has been ruled endlessly forward. The are being chased by their

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landlords, taken to court, some of them are pregnant and hoping to have

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children, are expecting to have children shortly, and they don't

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know when they can move on. To make things worse, I understand that some

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of the developers are concentrating on finishing off their own

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properties first, leaving these shared ownership tenant is totally

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at the mercy of when will be able to move into their new homes. AM

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concerned by what my honourable friend says about this case in his

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own constituency. And while the Government is right to press forward

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with an ambitious programme of new home building and of all types of

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tenure, we need to be very clear that where sites have planning

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permission, those developers have a responsibility to move ahead as

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quickly as possible. The most important step in the question of

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shared ownership is for developers and authorities work closely

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together at local level to ensure that once permission is granted,

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work on building out the site is taken forward as rapidly as

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possible. We are taking action to enable a planning Bill, as my

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honourable friend knows, to remove some of the causes of unnecessary

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delays to development. But I hope local councils will use the power

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that they have, both resetting conditions to development and

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through negotiation of section 106 planning agreements, to ensure we

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get the rapid develop -- delivery of shared ownership properties as well

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as properties for sale. Could I join all members in wishing

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you, the Leader of the House and all members of the house and staff of

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the House and our constituents, a very happy Christmas and a very

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happy, healthy and peaceful New Year. Good I also thank the Leader

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of the House for the business announcement this morning. A number

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of members have been asking me why we haven't had a debate about Yemen,

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and I'm glad he has announced we have that scheduled for the 12th of

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January, along with the general debate about the African great Lakes

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region. Yemen has been a topic have been asked about an awful lot. Can I

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also thank the Leader of the House for his generous cooperation since

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he came to his offers, which has helped us to plan ahead in the

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backbench business committee, so can I thank him for that? I am grateful

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to him, both for his Christmas wishes and for his final remarks. It

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is always a juggling act to try and ensure we have adequate time

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available or the business that different members in different parts

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of the House want to see debated, but we always do our utmost to

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accommodate the backbench business committee. Today, the sustainability

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and transformation plan for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has

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been published. There is a lot of good common sense in it, but there

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is also a statement that they need to consider whether to move from

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three to two accident and emergency sites and one Arjun carers Centre.

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It's clear from the demand and Tess Daly that all the accident and

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emergency sites are required. Can we have a debate on this issue

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urgently? It is vital our constituents know their interests

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are being considered. He will be very trenchant in defending the

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interests of his constituents and he is right to say that sustainability

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plans must not just be locally tailored, but also must deliver

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services that are good quality and sustainable for the future of a

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particular locality. Any changes must have to meet the four tests,

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they have to have support from GPs, demonstrate clinical evidence,

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support from patients and consider patient choice. The local scrutiny

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committee of any locality has the right to object to a planned service

:26:28.:26:32.

cheese and referred that to the Secretary of State for a decision. I

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know the timing of statements is never easy, but given the importance

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of the local government settlement for places like Birmingham, which

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are virtually bankrupt, and the fact that many of us will be serving on

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public bill committees from 1130 today, can I ask the Leader of the

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House for an urgent debate on the combined impact of social care,

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education and local government funding decisions on towns and

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cities that are not run by Conservative administrations? I

:27:06.:27:11.

don't want to pre-empt what my honourable friend the Minister for

:27:12.:27:16.

local government is going to see in a statement this afternoon. There is

:27:17.:27:22.

an opportunity next Tuesday in the debate for as I see the kind of

:27:23.:27:28.

local, city or county specific issues that he has in mind. The Post

:27:29.:27:37.

Office has recently closed. As in my constituency and moved its services

:27:38.:27:43.

to a local shop despite opposition. It now appears that promises made

:27:44.:27:47.

during the consultation about services may not be being fully

:27:48.:27:50.

adhered to by the Post Office. Can we please have a debate on the

:27:51.:27:55.

impact on rural communities of changes to the Post Office branch

:27:56.:28:01.

network, and the assurances given by the post office being adhered to. I

:28:02.:28:06.

would be concerned to hear that the Post Office was going back on

:28:07.:28:12.

conditions that have been previously accepted. He may wish to raise that

:28:13.:28:21.

in the adjournment debate next Tuesday. The Post Office does run as

:28:22.:28:27.

an independent business and the government doesn't intervene, but

:28:28.:28:34.

the Post Office has a responsibility to carry out proper consultation

:28:35.:28:38.

locally and seek feedback from people, and I hope that he will be

:28:39.:28:42.

bringing the concerns of his constituents directly to the

:28:43.:28:45.

attention of senior managers in the Post Office. Just before I called

:28:46.:28:51.

the member for Gordon, I should inform the house that he received an

:28:52.:29:03.

award last night in Brussels, and the award is an initiative to honour

:29:04.:29:08.

individuals and organisations standing out in defence of cultural

:29:09.:29:14.

and linguistic diversity, intercultural dialogue,

:29:15.:29:17.

self-determination, the rights of minorities, peace, democracy and a

:29:18.:29:24.

united Europe. Can I say to him, I hope the circumstances, he

:29:25.:29:30.

deservedly feels and will sound even more chipper than usual? Mr Alex

:29:31.:29:38.

Salmond. Thank you so much. Congratulations on the

:29:39.:29:46.

pronunciation, also the quality required by leaders of the house.

:29:47.:29:51.

Can we have a brief statement from the Leader of the House, showing

:29:52.:29:54.

that he alone on the government understands the difference between

:29:55.:29:57.

access to the single market, which just about everybody in the world

:29:58.:30:01.

has, and membership of the single market, which is in economic

:30:02.:30:05.

advantage which only 500 million people have on the planet. How many

:30:06.:30:11.

answers to business questions does he believe he will be able to cram

:30:12.:30:17.

into the ten years that Sir Ivan Rogers estimates will take to

:30:18.:30:24.

complete trade negotiations? I sometimes think that the Right

:30:25.:30:27.

Honourable gentleman wants to continue debating these matters

:30:28.:30:30.

indefinitely, rather than come to a decision and a good outcome for this

:30:31.:30:38.

country, but can I genuinely congratulate him on his award. I

:30:39.:30:44.

think, in response to his points about the single market, I would say

:30:45.:30:48.

this to him. One thing I learned in my six years as Europe Minister is

:30:49.:30:53.

that the four freedoms discussed in the context of the single market,

:30:54.:31:00.

none of them are unqualified in their operation. If we look for

:31:01.:31:04.

example at the single market in goods, it is much more developed at

:31:05.:31:10.

EU level than a single market in services is, at present. To present

:31:11.:31:14.

in or out of the single market in binary fashion as he does, it does

:31:15.:31:20.

not do justice to the complexity of the negotiation and ahead of us. The

:31:21.:31:25.

Prime Minister has made it clear she wants both the maximum access for UK

:31:26.:31:29.

companies to the European single market, but also the greatest

:31:30.:31:33.

possible freedom for UK companies to operate within that market and for

:31:34.:31:38.

reciprocal rights for EU companies here. Can we please have a debate on

:31:39.:31:47.

essential services? This will give me and other members across the

:31:48.:31:54.

house the opportunity to thank and pay tribute to our armed forces, who

:31:55.:31:59.

are serving both in this country and around the world, and not just them,

:32:00.:32:04.

but also the police, our NHS, care sector workers, printers and

:32:05.:32:11.

officers, energy sector workers, transport workers, broadcasters and

:32:12.:32:14.

the many others who will have to work this Christmas period. He makes

:32:15.:32:24.

a very important point indeed. Many of us in our constituencies and

:32:25.:32:27.

families will know of people working in the health service, the police,

:32:28.:32:34.

the army and other key public services, he will be on duty over

:32:35.:32:40.

the Christmas period. I think we want to wish them and their families

:32:41.:32:44.

well, and to see a profound thank you to them for their continuing

:32:45.:32:51.

servers. Having spent time on the police Parliamentary scheme and seen

:32:52.:32:55.

close up the excellent work are police officers do up and down the

:32:56.:32:58.

country, I am concerned the government are now planning to make

:32:59.:33:01.

being a police officer a graduate entry occupation. It seems to me

:33:02.:33:06.

there is a number of officers that don't have degrees, but are

:33:07.:33:11.

excellent police officers, especially on the beat. Can we have

:33:12.:33:14.

a statement from the government about their plans in regards to

:33:15.:33:23.

this? I think if she looks at what is being proposed, and the College

:33:24.:33:33.

Of Policing, she will see the degree requirement as one of three options

:33:34.:33:37.

that they have suggested for consideration. Another is for an

:33:38.:33:44.

apprenticeship scheme, in order to provide enhanced education and

:33:45.:33:48.

training for police officers after recruitment. The point that the

:33:49.:33:53.

police service believes itself it needs to address, is that we ask

:33:54.:33:59.

police officers, even at the most junior new constable level, to carry

:34:00.:34:02.

out fairly sensitive decisions on our behalf, including whether to

:34:03.:34:10.

initiate a process that may lead to a family's children being taken into

:34:11.:34:16.

local authority care. Including whether a person should be

:34:17.:34:20.

physically restrained, because they represent a threat. It is right that

:34:21.:34:24.

police officers should have the expertise and training, so that they

:34:25.:34:27.

are capable of taking those decisions wisely. That is what the

:34:28.:34:31.

College of Policing is seeking to ensure. Residents in my constituency

:34:32.:34:43.

are concerned about the lack of Post Office in the village. Will you join

:34:44.:34:51.

me in asking this matter to be expedited, to get the post office

:34:52.:34:58.

opened again for Christmas. I know that he will continue to champion

:34:59.:35:03.

the interests of his own constituents in securing the opening

:35:04.:35:08.

of post office services locally. As I said earlier, the government does

:35:09.:35:14.

not intervene in these day-to-day business decisions by the post

:35:15.:35:18.

office, but I'm sure that post office senior management will have

:35:19.:35:27.

heard what he has said. We learned in about 12 hours after the vote

:35:28.:35:34.

that the 350 million was nonsense. Could the Leader of the House commit

:35:35.:35:37.

to a debate on government time on the real impact of the EU and health

:35:38.:35:45.

and issues we need to concern regarding Brexit. There are going to

:35:46.:35:52.

be many opportunities when we return in January for every aspect of our

:35:53.:35:56.

departure from the European Union to be debated in full, and foreign

:35:57.:36:01.

ministers from all relevant departments and be questioned.

:36:02.:36:11.

Tomorrow is local charities day, and we all have very good local

:36:12.:36:15.

charities in our constituencies. One of mine is Crazy Hats, run by

:36:16.:36:21.

enthusiastic volunteers. They've raised over ?2 million by people

:36:22.:36:29.

wearing crazy hats. And they spend that money on breast cancer in

:36:30.:36:34.

Northamptonshire. Would the Minister be able to say how those charities

:36:35.:36:42.

could be further supported? I indulge him further period of his

:36:43.:36:46.

question, but I'm glad he has now taken at hats off, and I sincerely

:36:47.:36:51.

hope he won't put it on again, preferably at any time, but

:36:52.:36:57.

certainly not in the chamber. I thought for one moment he was

:36:58.:37:01.

auditioning for a role in a remake of the film Else. I think that the

:37:02.:37:10.

Chancellor has demonstrated, through improvements in the Gift Aid scheme,

:37:11.:37:18.

that the government is keen to provide better opportunities to

:37:19.:37:22.

small local charities to benefit from donations. But as legislation

:37:23.:37:26.

going through Parliament at the moment, that will make further

:37:27.:37:30.

concessions to help such charities, but I think we would all want to

:37:31.:37:34.

celebrate tomorrow the work that so many thousands of local charities do

:37:35.:37:37.

in every constituency in this country. You can do you weren't able

:37:38.:37:46.

to call me on International trade questions, and I wish you a very

:37:47.:37:50.

happy Christmas and particularly, because at one stage, it looked like

:37:51.:37:53.

the House of Commons children's Christmas party wouldn't happen, and

:37:54.:37:57.

I believe you had some role to play in making sure it did happen. We had

:37:58.:38:02.

a lovely party on Tuesday, all the kids had a great time and so did the

:38:03.:38:06.

parents and grandparents. Thank you for that. Before I came in today, I

:38:07.:38:12.

consulted my constituents about neglected things they wanted to go

:38:13.:38:18.

back to in the New Year. Aleppo, of course, the disgraceful blot on our

:38:19.:38:22.

civilised world. Secondly, the fact that we are likely to lose our A

:38:23.:38:28.

Hospital in Huddersfield. And thirdly, that we are neglecting the

:38:29.:38:34.

people that make things in our country, the manufacturers. In trade

:38:35.:38:40.

questions today, the word manufacturing was barely spoken.

:38:41.:38:43.

Those are the concerns of my constituents. Could we have them

:38:44.:38:44.

early in January? I will look for opportunities to

:38:45.:38:55.

provide for debates on all those important subjects. I think on the

:38:56.:39:01.

subject of sustainability and transformation plans, those plans

:39:02.:39:06.

must all meet for specific criteria and the honourable gentleman's local

:39:07.:39:10.

authority has the right to challenge and referred to the Secretary of

:39:11.:39:15.

State any change to services to which the object. On Aleppo, this

:39:16.:39:23.

has been debated, the subject of questions already this week, I don't

:39:24.:39:27.

think there's any member of this House who does not sure the

:39:28.:39:30.

honourable gentleman's horror of what we have seen and is a matter of

:39:31.:39:35.

the utmost regret, that's putting it to mildly, that Russia sometimes in

:39:36.:39:42.

line with other countries, have consistently vetoed Security Council

:39:43.:39:47.

resolutions designed to ensure a ceasefire and the peaceful

:39:48.:39:50.

evacuation of civilians from the affected areas. In respect of

:39:51.:39:56.

manufacturing, support for manufacturing and the upgrading of

:39:57.:40:01.

our skills base in this country so that we can compete internationally

:40:02.:40:05.

in high-value manufacturing in the future is a core element of this

:40:06.:40:08.

Government's economic and industrial strategy. Was the last two sets of

:40:09.:40:16.

women and equality 's questions, by right honourable friend has

:40:17.:40:18.

committed she will publish the consultation document on

:40:19.:40:23.

discolouration legislation in this country that will give British

:40:24.:40:27.

Hindus the opportunity to ensure this ill thought out divisive and

:40:28.:40:32.

unnecessary legislation is removed from the statute book. Mr Speaker,

:40:33.:40:36.

time is running short. The only three more days of parliamentary

:40:37.:40:39.

time before the end of the year when this consultation is promised to be

:40:40.:40:44.

released. Can my right honourable friend ensure we have a statement to

:40:45.:40:47.

the House before Parliament rises on this consultation document so that

:40:48.:40:53.

the British Hindus in ours is IT have the optimum opportunity to

:40:54.:40:58.

respond to that consultation? I will draw the attention of my right

:40:59.:41:01.

honourable friend the Secretary of State to my honourable friend's

:41:02.:41:08.

concern. Mr Speaker, yesterday I was hosting as chair of the kidney group

:41:09.:41:14.

in the leading experts in kidney disease along with the member of

:41:15.:41:18.

North Norfolk. One of the things that shocked us was that a quarter

:41:19.:41:24.

of people on dialysis have diabetes. And that early monitoring in

:41:25.:41:29.

diabetic kidneys of renal failure would actually make a huge

:41:30.:41:34.

difference to those who go on to need dialysis and transplantation.

:41:35.:41:38.

Can we have a debate on how we join up that knowledge so that actually

:41:39.:41:41.

we prevent people needing dialysis and needing transplants because of

:41:42.:41:48.

early diagnosis of those with diabetes? The honourable lady makes

:41:49.:41:52.

a very interesting and important point and it might be the subject

:41:53.:41:55.

for a future backbench committee debate but I will also make sure

:41:56.:42:00.

that health ministers have their attention drawn to the point she has

:42:01.:42:05.

me today. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Earlier this week was the finals of

:42:06.:42:10.

the British high street words and Seaview Street in Cleethorpes hosts

:42:11.:42:13.

one of the finest, winning a silver in one of the categories. The street

:42:14.:42:19.

itself is a collection of independent retailers, could we have

:42:20.:42:24.

a debate on the role and the contribution that independent

:42:25.:42:26.

retailers make to our communities and the economy? I think we all

:42:27.:42:36.

accept that today with the growth of online sales, we face a very

:42:37.:42:40.

challenging environment for all retailers and particularly for small

:42:41.:42:46.

high street shops. That makes it all the more welcome that Seaview Street

:42:47.:42:50.

in Cleethorpes has won this award and I would like to add my

:42:51.:42:54.

congratulations to all the retailers there who has clearly worked

:42:55.:43:00.

extremely hard and in an innovative fashion to ensure they still bring

:43:01.:43:07.

the customer zone. The last Leader of the House feel to tell me how far

:43:08.:43:11.

it was from Castlemilk to Newlands. I am surprised at that given when

:43:12.:43:15.

the DWP cat to do the distance they didn't use any of the great

:43:16.:43:19.

resources at our fingertips, instead be used Google maps. This is what

:43:20.:43:24.

they've used to calculate eight of Glasgow's 16 job centres being

:43:25.:43:29.

close. And here we are eight days after that announcement and the

:43:30.:43:33.

consultation is still not on the DWP website. That is at least eight days

:43:34.:43:37.

we are going to have to extend it by. Can the leader of the housing

:43:38.:43:41.

help me facilitate getting that up on the website today and will he

:43:42.:43:46.

also can be our frustration to the Minister in the way they've handled

:43:47.:43:52.

this whole our fear? The central point here is that there will be no

:43:53.:43:57.

change in the level of service that job centres offers people in

:43:58.:44:01.

Glasgow. What DWP is doing is merging a number of small offices

:44:02.:44:06.

into bigger sites as leases come to the end so we can save taxpayers,

:44:07.:44:11.

including Scottish taxpayer's money, without changing the service that is

:44:12.:44:16.

being offered. The Government has already consulted on these plans but

:44:17.:44:19.

there will be further consultation in areas where people have to travel

:44:20.:44:24.

more than three miles or more than 20 minutes to reach a job centre.

:44:25.:44:31.

Can we have a debate on horse racing and in particular the bravery of

:44:32.:44:36.

jockeys? Horse racing is undoubtedly the finest sport that there is and

:44:37.:44:41.

plays an important part in many communities, local economy. It

:44:42.:44:46.

wouldn't be possible without jockeys and their bravery. One in ten jump

:44:47.:44:52.

jockey's ride ends any fault. He jockey recently suffered life

:44:53.:44:56.

changing injuries from a fall on the flat. Mark Enright recently spoke

:44:57.:45:00.

about the mental health problem he has faced another jockeys have faced

:45:01.:45:04.

in keeping their weight down to ride horses. Such a debate would enable

:45:05.:45:08.

us to praise those jockeys, the British horse racing authority and

:45:09.:45:11.

the professional jockeys Association. Will the Minister Grant

:45:12.:45:16.

a debate and see if the Government can help the horse racing industry

:45:17.:45:23.

tackle these matters? Mr Speaker, I think there are millions of people

:45:24.:45:29.

in this country and who enjoy horse racing in all its forms and admire

:45:30.:45:34.

the guts and determination of jockeys. It is a very risky

:45:35.:45:40.

occupation. It is an occupation for which those jockeys volunteer and

:45:41.:45:47.

the accept the sort of devastating risk that he has described as part

:45:48.:45:52.

of their work, but also derive huge pleasure and a compass went from

:45:53.:45:58.

doing it. Can I ask the Leader of the House To offer up a feast for

:45:59.:46:03.

members on all sides of the house, that is the Transport Secretary at

:46:04.:46:07.

that dispatch box, two answer for the chaos that our constituents are

:46:08.:46:10.

being suffering on the rail services? It would give him an

:46:11.:46:13.

opportunity to explain why he refused to give suburban services to

:46:14.:46:18.

the mayor the London on political grounds. Something which is now

:46:19.:46:21.

supported by businesses in London and it would give them an

:46:22.:46:24.

opportunity to listen to what members of Parliament think about

:46:25.:46:30.

his decision. I my right honourable friend the Transport Secretary

:46:31.:46:32.

answering honourable member 's questions about this within the last

:46:33.:46:37.

two weeks. I do hope that the honourable member, part of his work

:46:38.:46:44.

on railways, might perhaps drop a line to Aslef enquiring as widely

:46:45.:46:48.

refused to respond to the Transport Secretary's invitation to them to

:46:49.:46:52.

come to talks to try to end this devastating strike that taking --

:46:53.:46:57.

affecting so many commuters on a site of England. Mr Speaker, can we

:46:58.:47:02.

please have a debate on the implementation of payments? A number

:47:03.:47:07.

of constituents have contacted me with serious long-term health issues

:47:08.:47:10.

who are grievously in receipt of TLA that you have been assessed with low

:47:11.:47:14.

scorers in relation to PIP. My concern is some of the most

:47:15.:47:17.

vulnerable in our society are being cast aside by a system which is not

:47:18.:47:26.

working as it should. As she knows, personal independent payments are

:47:27.:47:33.

designed to provide a means of compensating people for additional

:47:34.:47:37.

costs of living that the incurred as a result of their disability.

:47:38.:47:41.

Certainly, if she has particular cases where she believes there is

:47:42.:47:45.

some systemic problem over the way in which awards are being assessed,

:47:46.:47:51.

then she is welcome to join to my attention. I will pass it to the

:47:52.:47:54.

relevant ministers. The approach is surely right with the Government to

:47:55.:47:58.

concentrate on enabling all those disabled people who wish to work to

:47:59.:48:03.

get into employment as record numbers are now doing and to support

:48:04.:48:06.

people at the same time at additional costs. Can be Leader of

:48:07.:48:13.

the House arranged for a debate on the availability and of drugs,

:48:14.:48:21.

high-cost drugs, for children with rare medical condition is? A young

:48:22.:48:24.

child in my constituency sufferers from do Chen muscular dystrophy.

:48:25.:48:30.

There is a consultation taking place about the withdrawal of the drug to

:48:31.:48:36.

help this which has dramatically improved his life. There are many

:48:37.:48:39.

other such conditions of which I'm not aware where drugs such as that

:48:40.:48:45.

are not available to families. This is a really urgent matter that

:48:46.:48:51.

affects many children and others across our country and I think the

:48:52.:48:55.

Minister needs to talk to the Department of Health and ask them to

:48:56.:48:58.

come to this House and discuss and debate without that funding for the

:48:59.:49:04.

availability of high-cost drugs. If the honourable gentleman would like

:49:05.:49:08.

to let me have a note of the particular constituency case I will

:49:09.:49:11.

pass that on to the Health Secretary but as he will understand, the

:49:12.:49:16.

general principle to which we and the previous Labour Government

:49:17.:49:24.

adhered is that decisions about the availability of drugs to treat

:49:25.:49:27.

unusual conditions should be determined either by nationally or a

:49:28.:49:33.

local commissioners looking always at the clinical effectiveness of

:49:34.:49:38.

those drugs and I don't think it would be right to go back to a

:49:39.:49:44.

system in which ministers, perhaps influenced by the political voices

:49:45.:49:48.

of which campaign shouted loudest, to take those decisions instead of

:49:49.:49:55.

the bodies. Can we have a statement or a debate on Government time

:49:56.:49:57.

regarding the world health organisation pulled a goal to

:49:58.:50:00.

eliminate the illicit trade in tobacco products? In June, any

:50:01.:50:03.

response to a Laurence P Q, the Government is fully committed to

:50:04.:50:12.

this. To require the licensing of tobacco machinery. The growth was

:50:13.:50:16.

criminal trade continue to threaten public health and result in a loss

:50:17.:50:20.

of Government revenue. Isn't it time we had an update? There will be an

:50:21.:50:25.

excellent opportunity for the gentleman to raise this question to

:50:26.:50:31.

the Health Secretary next Tuesday. Sadly in July my constituent's

:50:32.:50:38.

teenage daughter needed to seek acute mental health care on an

:50:39.:50:41.

inpatient basis. The nearest available bed was in Colchester, an

:50:42.:50:48.

eight hour round trip by car causing her family untold hardship both

:50:49.:50:52.

emotionally and financially. With the Leader of the House clarify it

:50:53.:50:56.

is this what his Government means by parity of esteem and he hoped he

:50:57.:50:59.

agrees with me that you serious as of this issue, we need an urgent

:51:00.:51:07.

debate. We have not only legislated to give mental and physical health

:51:08.:51:11.

equal parity in law by the Government has introduced the first

:51:12.:51:16.

ever access and waiting standards for mental health services which

:51:17.:51:20.

never existed under previous administrations. 1400 more people

:51:21.:51:23.

are accessing mental health services every day compared with 2010. An

:51:24.:51:30.

increase of 40%. We are investing more taxpayer's money in mental

:51:31.:51:34.

health than ever before. Yes, there is more to be done, I don't deny

:51:35.:51:37.

that an instant. This garment has shown great determination more so

:51:38.:51:42.

than any of its predecessors in moving forward to improve the

:51:43.:51:45.

quality of mental health services available to our constituents. Many

:51:46.:51:53.

thanks, Mr Speaker. May we have a debate on the importance of

:51:54.:51:57.

accessibility for disabled people to local sports grounds and amenities?

:51:58.:52:00.

I recently had an inspirational meeting, Mr Speaker, with use --

:52:01.:52:06.

East Kilbride disability sports club who many I am delighted to inform

:52:07.:52:09.

the house will be taking place in the Special Olympics next year. Will

:52:10.:52:13.

the Leader of the House Agree this is an important issue that requires

:52:14.:52:18.

access for all to maximise potential and to focus on ability rather than

:52:19.:52:27.

disability? Mr Speaker, I completely agree with the honourable lady and

:52:28.:52:30.

if I can wear my heart as the member whose constituency includes Stoke

:52:31.:52:38.

Mandeville I think that sport has shown that it can provide one of the

:52:39.:52:43.

best means available for people with disabilities of all kinds to show

:52:44.:52:49.

that they can achieve great things and have those achievements

:52:50.:52:52.

celebrated by the public as a holder. I hope all sports governing

:52:53.:52:56.

bodies and the management of other premises will pay close attention to

:52:57.:53:03.

her words. The drive for Justice campaign is being led by the

:53:04.:53:06.

Sheffield Star and its sister publications to look at sentences

:53:07.:53:09.

for death by dangerous driving. One mother described the drunken women

:53:10.:53:15.

who had murdered her 15-year-old son, who only served one year in

:53:16.:53:20.

prison, she described herself as serving a life sentence. Can we have

:53:21.:53:25.

an urgent debate on sentencing guidelines for death by dangerous

:53:26.:53:29.

driving? While the next transfer questions are not on the 12th of

:53:30.:53:32.

January, and she will know that the Government has recently gone out to

:53:33.:53:38.

public consultation on proposed increases to the severity of

:53:39.:53:42.

sentences for dangerous driving and I hope that she and her constituents

:53:43.:53:45.

will avail themselves the opportunity to make their voices

:53:46.:53:46.

heard during that conservation. At the weekend, there were newspaper

:53:47.:53:59.

reports that the Home Office estopped transverse to the UK of

:54:00.:54:03.

unaccompanied minors registered in the refugee camp in France. Children

:54:04.:54:08.

awaiting transferred in France are going missing and reports say that

:54:09.:54:13.

children who have arrived in the UK under schemes operated by the

:54:14.:54:16.

British government, have gone missing after their arrival here.

:54:17.:54:20.

Can we have a statement from the Home Secretary before Christmas,

:54:21.:54:23.

updating the house on the operation of the scheme, under the scheme? I

:54:24.:54:34.

will draw her request to the attention of the Home Secretary, but

:54:35.:54:37.

the Home Office continues to work very closely with the French

:54:38.:54:40.

authorities to make sure we identify and give priority in a resettlement

:54:41.:54:46.

plans to those children who are the most vulnerable. That was what was

:54:47.:54:54.

envisaged under Lord Dubbs' amendment and matters of policy to

:54:55.:54:56.

which the government remains committed. According to DWP figures

:54:57.:55:06.

released yesterday, over 120,000 disabled people have had their

:55:07.:55:09.

benefits severely downgraded, and that's despite living with chronic,

:55:10.:55:15.

progressive conditions. Following the earlier question, could we have

:55:16.:55:21.

a debate on how reassessments from DLA to PIP have been conducted? I

:55:22.:55:31.

will draw the Work and Pensions Secretary's attention to her

:55:32.:55:34.

concern, but the principle is surely right. Both, as has been announced,

:55:35.:55:45.

people who are suffering from long-term, often degenerative

:55:46.:55:50.

conditions and disabilities should be exempt from reassessments, but

:55:51.:55:55.

also, people who have disabilities and medical conditions, who are

:55:56.:55:59.

capable of returning to work of some kind, should be supported in doing

:56:00.:56:05.

that. That helps restore to them the dignity that goes with working. This

:56:06.:56:13.

is the third Christmas that six veterans, including my constituent

:56:14.:56:17.

Billy Irving, will be stuck in jail in India, awaiting judgment. Will

:56:18.:56:23.

you join me by making a new resolution by doing everything in

:56:24.:56:26.

your power to bring these men home? Can we have a statement of what the

:56:27.:56:29.

government will do to make sure this never happens? As she knows, these

:56:30.:56:38.

men are being held under the Indian judicial system, and while we cannot

:56:39.:56:46.

give orders to another country about how it operates its judicial system,

:56:47.:56:51.

the case of her constituents and the other men being detained, has been

:56:52.:56:55.

raised frequently by ministers, when they have spoken to their Indian

:56:56.:57:00.

counterparts. It continues to be raised by our High Commissioner in

:57:01.:57:03.

New Delhi, and we will continue to make such representation. Instead of

:57:04.:57:11.

the traditional adjournment debate, perhaps the Tuesday debate could be

:57:12.:57:16.

on a substantive role shouldn't, in tribute to our former colleague Jo

:57:17.:57:22.

Cox, that this house believes we have more in common than that which

:57:23.:57:28.

divides us. William Hill bookmakers have said they will donate all the

:57:29.:57:36.

money staked on the MPs' single becoming number one, the alternate

:57:37.:57:45.

back to the charity. Would it not be a great statement if all the other

:57:46.:57:50.

bookmakers matched their generosity? I would like to pay tribute to the

:57:51.:57:54.

action that William Hill have taken, it sounds to me as though they have

:57:55.:57:59.

taken a precedent -- set a precedent that others might like to look at

:58:00.:58:07.

closely. The announcement of job losses in my constituency have ended

:58:08.:58:14.

years of industrial heritage. Family have a debate about how to protect

:58:15.:58:21.

jobs in the sector, especially given plans to leave the biggest market in

:58:22.:58:28.

the world? Any job losses are to be regretted, but I would think he

:58:29.:58:31.

would surely welcome the fact that unemployment in Scotland has fallen

:58:32.:58:39.

significantly since this government took office, and we have more people

:58:40.:58:43.

in work in the UK today than ever before in his today. Can they say

:58:44.:58:53.

when the Parliamentary amendments constituency Bill will move into

:58:54.:58:56.

committee and if he cannot say, how will he say why he cannot say? As I

:58:57.:59:05.

said last week, the response was, the bills published until three days

:59:06.:59:09.

before it was to be debated. Now estimate or description of costs was

:59:10.:59:14.

provided with the Bill. But our schoolwork, the government is now

:59:15.:59:22.

having to undertake. Could we have a debate in government time, order

:59:23.:59:26.

statement regarding the unacceptable delays in Tier one Visa tribunal 's?

:59:27.:59:31.

I have a constituent regions December 20 15th the Visa for his

:59:32.:59:36.

wife and another who is facing eviction from his home with his

:59:37.:59:40.

family. Can the Leader of the House help my constituents, please? It is

:59:41.:59:48.

clearly of concern when one hears the particular case history that she

:59:49.:59:52.

has described. If she would like to let me have the details, I will pass

:59:53.:59:59.

them onto Justice Secretary. Is he aware of the campaign started in

:00:00.:00:03.

Chester by my constituents, in which low-paid bar and hospitality staff

:00:04.:00:10.

are giving up a large proportion of the gratuities to charities

:00:11.:00:14.

supporting children? It's now being rolled out across the country and

:00:15.:00:17.

has made thousands of pounds in just a couple of years. Would now not be

:00:18.:00:22.

a good time to have a debate about voluntary giving the celebrate the

:00:23.:00:26.

success of my constituents? I would like to give unreserved

:00:27.:00:31.

congratulations to the bartenders in Chester, who have acted in this way.

:00:32.:00:36.

My understanding is they have raised more than ?7,000 during the last

:00:37.:00:41.

year, when the money went to a Syrian aid. We rightly take pride in

:00:42.:00:45.

this country at the fact that the UK has pledged ?2.3 billion of taxpayer

:00:46.:00:50.

money to the humanitarian crisis in Syria. But I think what his

:00:51.:00:55.

constituents have demonstrated is that that sense of solidarity with

:00:56.:00:59.

the suffering people of Syria is felt widely and in every part of

:01:00.:01:10.

this country. I recently visited a cafe in my constituency which

:01:11.:01:13.

employs a lot of EU nationals. They are concerned about the future,

:01:14.:01:20.

clock following the referendum. Could the government reflect on this

:01:21.:01:23.

over the Christmas period and come back and make a statement in the New

:01:24.:01:26.

Year, to give certainty to these employees who make such a

:01:27.:01:31.

contribution to our society? On behalf of the government, I would

:01:32.:01:35.

say first of all, yes, but we would want to say very clearly that people

:01:36.:01:40.

from other EU countries who have come here lawfully in order to work,

:01:41.:01:46.

are obeying the law, are paying their taxes, are people who are

:01:47.:01:52.

contributing to our society. The Prime Minister has made the position

:01:53.:01:55.

very clear on many occasions, that we want to see early agreement on a

:01:56.:02:02.

deal which enables those EU nationals already in this country to

:02:03.:02:09.

know that their rights here are secure, and equally, that UK

:02:10.:02:12.

nationals living elsewhere in the EU, they will have their rights

:02:13.:02:19.

respected on the same basis. As the great Tory party icon Ebenezer

:02:20.:02:26.

Scrooge is thought about at this time of year, can we have a debate

:02:27.:02:30.

on building a social security system built around helping the needs of

:02:31.:02:35.

the most vulnerable and produced in our society? Does he agree with me

:02:36.:02:41.

that initiatives such as the government community Tory bank,

:02:42.:02:44.

which is provided toys for 700 families in the last two years, and

:02:45.:02:56.

bringing into focus why such help is needed? Whatever system social

:02:57.:03:02.

security we have in this country, voluntary initiatives such as the

:03:03.:03:07.

government Tory bank, will have a significant additional role to play.

:03:08.:03:12.

But we cannot shy away from the fact that we need to have a welfare

:03:13.:03:19.

system which is they're both to those people who are in need and

:03:20.:03:23.

also fair to taxpayers, especially taxpayers who work hard on modest

:03:24.:03:28.

wages to pay for that Social Security system. On Monday at

:03:29.:03:38.

defence questions, I asked the undersecretary of state why the

:03:39.:03:42.

national shipbuilding strategy had not been published. She accused me

:03:43.:03:46.

of complaining about the lack of a publication that has been published.

:03:47.:03:51.

Can we have a government statement, preferably right now, to confirm for

:03:52.:03:56.

my benefit, the country's benefit, the benefit of this Howes, but most

:03:57.:04:02.

importantly, for the benefit of the undersecretary of state, that Sir

:04:03.:04:05.

John Parker's report is not the National shipbuilding strategy, and

:04:06.:04:11.

that the National shipbuilding strategy has not been published and

:04:12.:04:13.

will not be published until the spring of next year. I think at the

:04:14.:04:22.

end of his question, he was replaying a timetable I myself have

:04:23.:04:26.

given in the past that this dispatch box. But I think he is right to say

:04:27.:04:30.

that the Parker report has presented the government with some very far

:04:31.:04:36.

reaching recommendations for the future of our shipbuilding industry.

:04:37.:04:41.

I think he and his friends would have been the first to criticise us,

:04:42.:04:46.

has government ministers rushed to the dispatch box abruptly after the

:04:47.:04:50.

publication of the report, rather than first giving it the CD

:04:51.:04:52.

consideration that it needs. He doesn't want to year what I've

:04:53.:05:10.

got to save. The government made great play of this ?23 billion

:05:11.:05:18.

investment funds. But there was a single budget line of ?7 billion it

:05:19.:05:22.

has been put back to the year 2122, which is beyond the scope of this

:05:23.:05:28.

Parliament. That budget line is called long-term investment. Would

:05:29.:05:32.

the Leader of the House make a statement explaining what that money

:05:33.:05:36.

is for and how a future government can be held to account for it? And

:05:37.:05:41.

if it's for long-term investment, why are we not making the investment

:05:42.:05:46.

now? Is it sensible to have provision in the medium-term

:05:47.:05:50.

economic plan, and obviously, it will be for the government to decide

:05:51.:05:55.

and if necessary, seek parliamentary approval for the details of spending

:05:56.:06:00.

within that envelope, where we can take stock of where the economy is

:06:01.:06:05.

closer to that date. I would have thought, talking about the Autumn

:06:06.:06:09.

Statement, the honourable gentleman would have had the grace to

:06:10.:06:14.

knowledge not only the 23 billion Chancellor has set aside for

:06:15.:06:17.

infrastructure spending, but the hundred million infrastructure bonus

:06:18.:06:24.

going to Scotland. I've just been informed of the remarkable

:06:25.:06:27.

development, namely that an honourable member has beetle out of

:06:28.:06:31.

the chamber and not asked his question, on the grounds that it had

:06:32.:06:36.

already been asked. That has never normally stopped members. The

:06:37.:06:42.

honourable gentleman is most unusual. Order. I am most grateful

:06:43.:06:49.

to the Leader and colleagues. Just before I called the Secretary of

:06:50.:06:53.

State for Communities and Local Government to make a statement, I

:06:54.:06:55.

will just say this. I understand that a copy of the statement was

:06:56.:07:03.

provided to the Opposition spokesman on the approximately 15 minutes ago.

:07:04.:07:11.

That is, frankly, a discourtesy, not only to the Opposition, but to the

:07:12.:07:18.

House. And it is a departure from a very long-standing and almost

:07:19.:07:24.

invisibly adhered to convention in this place. I must say to the

:07:25.:07:29.

Secretary of State and I see it in all courtesy, but I had considered

:07:30.:07:32.

in the circumstances, a brief suspension of the House, but after

:07:33.:07:39.

consultation and on reflection, I am persuaded, not least in the light of

:07:40.:07:42.

other business, with which we have to deal today, that it is probably

:07:43.:07:49.

best for the House to press on. That said, this must not happen again.

:07:50.:07:56.

Moreover, I very gently say to the Secretary of State one further

:07:57.:08:01.

thing, he enquired of my office earlier if it would be acceptable

:08:02.:08:08.

for his statement to be of 15 minutes length, rather than the

:08:09.:08:11.

normal ten, because he wished to provide the house with as much

:08:12.:08:16.

detail as possible. And it is acceptable for him to do that on

:08:17.:08:22.

this occasion, but, of course, compensation must be granted to the

:08:23.:08:27.

Opposition spokesman, in terms of the length of his reply. All of that

:08:28.:08:33.

said, I nevertheless would like to wish the Secretary of State and all

:08:34.:08:40.

colleagues are very Merry Christmas. The Secretary of State for

:08:41.:08:41.

Communities and Local Government. Apply to Michu Merry Christmas and

:08:42.:08:51.

am sorry to

:08:52.:08:53.

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