19/01/2017 Business Questions


19/01/2017

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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shall now redouble our efforts in the coming years to improve further

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upon it. In order, business question, Valerie

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vows. Thank you Mr speaker. World Leader

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of the House please give us the forthcoming business?

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Did business for next week will be as follows. Monday the 23rd of

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January, second reading of the local government Finance Bill.

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consideration of Lords amendments to consideration of Lords amendments to

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the Wales Bill. Followed by a motion relating to the charter of budget

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responsibility, and Wednesday the 25th of an opposition day, there

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will be a debate on prisons, followed by debate entitled the

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detrimental effect on disabled people from government plans on

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employment and universal credits. Thursday the 26th of January,

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debates determined by the backbench business committee, the first one on

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a motion relating to the statutory pubs code, and the pubs code

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adjudicator. Followed by a debate on a motion relating to access to

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breast cancer drugs. The provisional business for the

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week commencing the 30th of January will include Monday the 30th of

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January, second reading of the pension schemes Bill. Tuesday the

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31st of January, second reading of the bus services Bill Lords,

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Wednesday the first of debris, opposition day, 20th allotted day,

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debate on an opposition motion subject to be announced. The second

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fabric, business to be put forward by the backbench committee. I would

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also like to inform the House the business in Westminster Hall for the

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remainder of January will be: Monday the 23rd of January, a debate on an

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EU petition relating to the banning of non-recyclable and

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non-compostable packaging. Thursday 26th of January, General debate on

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protecting civil society space across the world. Monday the 30th of

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January, debate on an EU petition relating to pay restraint for a

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agenda for change NHS staff. Thank you Mr Speaker. Can I thank

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the Leader of the House for his statement and we still don't appear

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to have a date for the summer recess. Could I ask him if he could

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think about it very carefully and perhaps come back next week. And

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also a date for parochial of Parliament and the State Opening of

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Parliament. Mr Speaker, can I wish you were very happy birthday. I am

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afraid the House can't sing to you. As a tennis fan, as a tennis fan I

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don't know if your presents included new balls... But we all know how

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well you handle a racket both inside and outside the chamber. And also an

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inspired choice for Speaker's chaplain. Great pastoral support for

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MPs. At the Leader of the House will join us in a doubles match for

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Charity! Mr Speaker, sadly this house is

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losing MPs and we have lost a former Prime Minister. I want to know how

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many members made an incredible contribution you can do things for

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the backbench. The member for Dewsbury amended the Finance Bill.

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The member for Cheltenham increased a ten minute rule Bill on stalking

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and the Government has extended the sentenced to ten years. The on the

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member for North Ayrshire, I don't know if she is in her place, when

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speaking on her own experiences on the loss of her baby reminded us

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that in England we should allow coroners to investigate stillbirths,

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so care can be addressed. There are many other honourable members across

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the House that do great work. That is why many of us cannot understand

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why the Prime Minister, on a major policy announcement that affects the

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whole country, refused to come and tell the House and its elected

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representatives about those 12 points of principle, which should

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have been 12 paragraphs in a white paper, as they are government policy

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initiatives. As the honourable member for New Forest West said last

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week, my pleasure is magnified when I addressed the chair and you, sir,

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are occupying it. I wish he would tell that to the Prime Minister. Mr

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Speaker, these 12 clauses in the white paper should have been set out

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last September, and that would have ended the speculation and

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uncertainty that has engulfed us that the last six months. I can see

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why the Prime Minister didn't want to come to be questioned about it

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because we still need clarity on a number of issues. Principal four,

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maintaining the Common travel area with Ireland is welcome. The Prime

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Minister said the joint administration will be consulted,

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but given their Iraqi elections in Northern Ireland, could the Leader

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of the House confirm who will be sitting on the joint ministerial

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committee? -- given there will be committee? -- given there will be

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elections. Gibraltar voted 96% to remain. What consultation does the

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Government intend to have with Government intend to have with

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Gibraltar? And Spain have already threatened to plant their flag in

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Gibraltar. The Prime Minister talks of a global Britain yet principle

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five sets out the Government's proposals to keep the world out. The

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Prime Minister said because we are no longer members of the single

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market we will not be required to contribute huge sums to the EU

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budget. Printable ten, she wants the UK to continue to be the best place

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for science and innovation, forgetting the UK received 8.8

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billion euros, the fourth largest share in the EU for research and

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develop men. The private sector were perceived ?1.4 billion in 2013 for

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research and development. That is just one sector. We get but we give

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something back. As we wait the judgment from the Supreme Court, on

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a point of law, on the 24th of January, next Tuesday, let's remind

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the people that judges are on the people side, upholding the rule of

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law. Can the Leader of the House confirm whether whatever the Bill

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that comes out after the judgment, it won't be a cynical, one line

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Bill, as suggested by government? The Prime Minister wants to do this

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pariah children and grandchildren but our children between the age of

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18-24 voted overwhelmingly, 75%, to remain in the EU. They already feel

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let down. As we remember Martin Luther King

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day this week and Holocaust Memorial Day next week, let us remember the

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words of Martin Luther King, and a Holocaust survivor who died last

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year, let us remember that the European Union was formed for

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nations to come together in peace, not hatred. We must remember that we

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are interdependent on each other, we do not live in isolation, whether as

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individual countries, nations. We want economic and social justice

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here and in Europe in the months and years ahead. Let those speeds are

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guiding principles. Mr Speaker, in terms of the dates of summer recess

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and prorogation, while I would hope to oblige the House as soon as I am

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able to do so, I think the honourable lady and others will

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understand there are uncertainties about how long it is going to take

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to transact business before the House in the weeks to come, so I'm

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not able to give firm dates as yet. She made a of criticisms about the

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government's handling of the forthcoming EU negotiations. I have

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to say the Secretary of State gave an oral statement and answered

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questions from about two hours, and I rather detected in her strictures

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on the Prime Minister is, a sense of frustration that I sensed her

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frustration. On the question of Northern Ireland, the ministers who

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have not resigned from the executive in the way that Mr Martin McGuinness

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has stepped down as First Minister, remain as Acting ministers until the

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new executive can be appointed, so the government is able to talk to

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them and officials from the Northern Ireland Executive continue to attend

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meetings. In the days when I used to chair committees on Europe, I can

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remember a previous occasion after last Stormont elections when it took

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awhile for the next executive to be formed, and they attended joint

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meetings to ensure Northern Ireland was represented. On Gibraltar, in

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line with the undertaking that the Prime Minister gave following the

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referendum, ministers and officials are in regular contact with the

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government of Gibraltar from the Chief Minister Darren. More broadly,

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on the question of European Union and the honourable lady's concluding

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words, I think the Prime Minister made it very clear during her speech

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that the last thing that she and the government was seeking was a

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weakening or dismantling of the European Union, the Prime Minister

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said she wanted the European Union to succeed. And my right honourable

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friend and the entire government are very aware of the fact that for much

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of Europe, the mid-20th century was an utterly scarring experience. And

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that many governments, many people in those countries, still look to

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European institutions as a safeguard against anything like that happening

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again. And we respect that view, that outlook, which terms from --

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stems from their historical experience in the last century. And

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so we will go forward respecting and determined to implement the

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democratic verdict of the British people last June, but also in a way

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where we will be seeking to achieve a future relationship with our

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closest neighbours, which is based on mutual trust, friendship and

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continued alliance and cooperation on a whole range of policy measures.

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Finally, I would join the honourable lady in wishing all the best to you

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and also the Speaker's Chapman on your birthdays today, and I would be

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happy to accept the honourable lady's challenge, but I have to say,

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knowing your prowess on the tennis court, I would regard the outcome is

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something of a foregone conclusion! It is a bit rich coming from the

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shadow Leader of the Commons complaining about parliamentary

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scrutiny matters announced in the media, when I lived through the Tony

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Blair and Gordon Brown years, when they never turned up to answer

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anything! Yesterday, though the opposition claim they want to

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discuss Europe, the debate on Europe finished early. There were not

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enough speakers from them! So will be excellent Minister continue to

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schedule general debate, but to those be seen debates, and each of

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the 12 points the Prime Minister mentioned, be one of the debates, so

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they can have as much time as they like to discuss it? Finally, I want

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to put to rest a live. The leader of the Liberal Democrats claimed I

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might have written to reason may's speech. I am afraid I had nothing to

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do with it, it was her own work. Mr Speaker, I do not know of that last

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comment was a bid to join ministerial speech writing teams in

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the future. On the point about debates, there will be ample

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opportunities for the House to continue to debate all aspects of

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the forthcoming negotiation on the European Union. Thank you. Can I

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also wish you a happy birthday. Lang may your lum reek. This has been a

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bad week for Parliament. The Leader of the House should be ashamed. The

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Prime Minister made about the most important statement about the future

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of this country not here where elected members are, but in an

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assembly full of press and diplomats. We know now it is almost

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certain that a bill will be required in order to trigger Article 50, so

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will he ensure this is subject to scrutiny, and thoroughly debated in

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this House? Can we have a debate about to win friends and influence

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people? The Fallen secretary is touring Europe like a dodgy

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character doing his utmost to upset the very people that global Britain

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needs to negotiate with to get a good deal about Brexiting the

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European Union. We now know that this government's predominant

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obsession, everything that underpins Brexit is immigration and freedom of

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movement. Can the Leader of the House do what the Prime Minister

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failed to do yesterday, and that is to confirm that English votes for

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English laws procedure will not be applied to the great repeal bill?

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This will cross across many devolved areas, it will be very complicated,

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and there will be so many jurisdictions involved. So will he

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do what the Prime Minister said Andrew outback today? We lost about

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half of our opposition day on Tuesday, and it was necessary to

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have the opportunity to question ministers about an important

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statement. Will he pledged to give us that half day back in the future?

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I cannot promise him to give the SNP that additional day, and I recognise

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the pressure that there was on the limited time because of what he

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himself acknowledge where two important statements. I will reflect

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on that request but he will understand that there are other

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pressures on the parliamentary timetable as well. He asked two

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particular points about European Union legislation, and on the first

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point, clearly, until the Supreme Court has ruled, we do not know

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whether any bill will be required or not. But any bill, if it is to

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become law, has two goals to the full parliamentary process in this

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chamber and in the other place. That is the only route available to

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change primary law in this country. So I hope that gives him some

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reassurance. The extent to which amendments are in order, that

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clearly depends upon the rules of the House and the interpretation of

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the chair. On his question about the English votes for English laws

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arrangements, it might be helpful if I remind the House for any matter to

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be subject to the Evel arrangement, it must be subject to tests, it must

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revert to a matter which is devolved in Scotland, the legislation here

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must refer only to England or to England and will, and there must be

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a certification from Mr Speaker that the clause or the bill or the

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statutory instrument meets those tests. We have not yet published or

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determined the final shape of the bill that will give effect to our

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excerpt from the EU, the repeal Bill, but those tests would continue

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to be the ones that would have to be met in any case. And I think it is

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very clear to me that if, for example, we look at a measure that

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is repealing the communities act 1972, clearly that has UK wide

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implications, and not just applying to one part of the United Kingdom.

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Can I also wish you a very happy birthday. Yesterday the youth

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employment APPG heard from a number of youth employment ambassadors, and

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these young people with inspirational but their achievements

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were not going to the careers advice they achieved, but self belief and

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determination. Can we have a debate about how careers advice can be

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improved as currently there are examples of where we are potentially

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letting people down. That sounds to me like an important issue which

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might be in any area of the backbench committee debate. This is

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also something to which my right honourable friend the Secretary of

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State for education is getting very close attention. Many happy returns.

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Can I thank the Leader of the House for notifying us of the business on

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the backbench business. Provisionally we have tabled a

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six-hour debate on the Armed Forces covenant for the 2nd of February.

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This Monday, the House adjourned at 7:40pm, which frankly was rather

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predictable, given the business on the day, and I wonder if this leader

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could yet again consider working with us to consider backbench

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debates which would take second place should government business run

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its full course on such days in future. I am also asking the Leader

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of the House to resolve thorny problem. We have had an application

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for the debate on International women's Day, which is the 8th of

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March, which is also scheduled for the spring statement. I wonder if we

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can work with the Leader of the House to get a debate on

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International women's Day is close to the 8th of March, probably before

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hand, if possible? I will do my best to meet the honourable gentleman's

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request on the last point. I take seriously and I will see whether we

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can do anything more to accommodate the problem he identified regarding

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last Monday. Difficulty for business managers is that you cannot tell by

:20:43.:20:47.

the day -- until the day whether there will be questions that will

:20:48.:20:51.

take up time, or how many members on each side will participate and for

:20:52.:20:56.

how long they which bid wish to speak. I can remember previous

:20:57.:21:01.

occasions in the House, when it was backbench business that came under

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enormous pressure, resulting in a debate that had to be abandoned or

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drastically curtailed, which was understandably immense frustration

:21:11.:21:16.

to the backbenchers who had altered their arrangements so they were in

:21:17.:21:19.

their places to participate in the debate. It is trying to strike a

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balance. Would he find time for a debate on

:21:22.:21:30.

national schools funding formula, because of the proposals go ahead,

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every single school in South Bend will be worse off, and we will rank

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84th out of the 533 constituencies in England, worst affected? I

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understand his concern, and a new he is always a formidable active

:21:51.:21:55.

champion of his constituents' interests. What I advise him is the

:21:56.:22:00.

consultation, run by the Department for Education, is live now. It

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doesn't end until the 22nd of March. What I would urge to do is to make

:22:07.:22:12.

sure that he, on behalf of his constituents and perhaps

:22:13.:22:15.

constituents individually, makes strong representations to that

:22:16.:22:22.

consultation. I am always willing to offer breathtaking saturation is to

:22:23.:22:27.

young people, be it yourself or your chaplain. Can I ask a Leader of the

:22:28.:22:35.

House This question? Why is this constant delay and evasion in the

:22:36.:22:39.

government bringing a motion before the House on the renewal of the

:22:40.:22:44.

Parliamentary building? I know about the debate in Westminster All next

:22:45.:22:50.

Wednesday, but why is there this delay? Isn't it essential that a

:22:51.:22:54.

decision is reached, so that ever general election is going to take

:22:55.:22:58.

place in 2020, those elected will now they would be sitting in this

:22:59.:23:05.

building, for the work will be carried out without members of staff

:23:06.:23:09.

being present, and hopefully will be completed much shorter than if

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evacuation doesn't take place. When are we going to have a government

:23:14.:23:16.

recommendation on this very important issue? He will be in his

:23:17.:23:24.

place in his birthday, which if memory serves me correctly, is the

:23:25.:23:28.

26th of June. We look forward to that and to the honourable gentleman

:23:29.:23:33.

undertakings interrogation on that day. I understand his urgency to get

:23:34.:23:41.

on with this. It's a feeling I share. Its possible additional

:23:42.:23:45.

legislation will be needed after a court ruling next week. But there is

:23:46.:23:51.

pressure on government time. I hope we can come forward with a clear

:23:52.:23:59.

date as soon as possible. In addition to your birthday today,

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maybe slightly less illustrious, last week saw the 70th anniversary

:24:04.:24:08.

of Crawley being declared a new town. I appreciate it is obviously

:24:09.:24:17.

for her Majesty to convert city status, but would the Leader of the

:24:18.:24:21.

House speak with the Communities Secretary to see what process that

:24:22.:24:27.

Crawley may be able to start to initiate, to explore that

:24:28.:24:33.

possibility? I am happy to pass that request on to the Communities

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Secretary, and I think the whole House will wish the people and civic

:24:38.:24:41.

leaders of Crawley congratulations on this achievement, and their work

:24:42.:24:48.

over the decades in building a thriving and successful community.

:24:49.:24:52.

I'm sure he will agree that community pharmacies are very

:24:53.:24:55.

important part of taking the pressures of overstretched casualty

:24:56.:25:00.

Matt at the moment. Despite cuts to their funding just last month. The

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government had introduced a pharmacy access scheme, to help deal with

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some of the cuts and communities. I was really surprised to see, that in

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the Prime Minister's constituency, 37% of our pharmacies will be able

:25:15.:25:18.

to apply for that additional funding. In the three constituencies

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in my city, only 1% of pharmacies can apply. The debate about Wyatt is

:25:25.:25:28.

that the most disadvantaged communities still suffer the biggest

:25:29.:25:34.

cuts this government? I am happy on the particular points you raise, I

:25:35.:25:42.

clearly don't know the detail of the situation in Hull to ask the

:25:43.:25:49.

relative health minister. I will ask them to write to you about this. The

:25:50.:25:55.

principle is that there are now 15% more pharmacies in existence than

:25:56.:25:59.

there were just a decade ago. Two fifths of pharmacies are within ten

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minutes of two or more other pharmacies. The average pharmacy

:26:05.:26:09.

receives roughly 220,000 a year in NHS funding. Even after changes, the

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community pharmacies budget is going to be 20% more than it was a decade

:26:17.:26:21.

ago. So I think the government is demonstrating it remains committed

:26:22.:26:26.

to community pharmacies. For disabled people, achieving a job can

:26:27.:26:32.

be a life changing experience. Last Friday, I was privileged to promote

:26:33.:26:38.

a disability event in Cleethorpes to encourage local employers to take on

:26:39.:26:43.

more disabled people. Could the leaders of the house join me in

:26:44.:26:47.

congratulating Lorraine Alexander and her team from Grimsby job

:26:48.:26:50.

centre, who did a great deal of work to stage the event, and also all the

:26:51.:26:55.

voluntary and charitable groups? And could we find time to debate the

:26:56.:27:00.

role and opportunities for disabled people in the workplace? I am very

:27:01.:27:08.

happy to congratulate his constituents on this successful

:27:09.:27:13.

event. I think it's been a really important step forward that we've

:27:14.:27:17.

now got a record number of people with disabilities in work. I am the

:27:18.:27:23.

first to acknowledge there is more that still needs to be done, but I

:27:24.:27:26.

am heartened by the fact we are making progress, and that the risk

:27:27.:27:31.

that kind of local and using a sum that he has described, which is

:27:32.:27:35.

helping to highlight the opportunities for people with

:27:36.:27:39.

disabilities. In contrast to just about every one of his predecessors

:27:40.:27:44.

for the last 30 years, the leader shows no inclination to defend the

:27:45.:27:49.

wider interests of the House, as to really progress on government

:27:50.:27:53.

business. While his disgraceful treatment of the Parliamentary

:27:54.:27:58.

Boundaries Bill is an example of that. What representations does he

:27:59.:28:02.

make when a parliamentary select committee recommended the White

:28:03.:28:08.

Paper before the implication of Article 50? What representations to

:28:09.:28:11.

team-mate to secure that in the wider interests of the House, as

:28:12.:28:15.

opposed to a prime ministerial statement, not even me there? Will

:28:16.:28:24.

he indicate to the House, across the House, that he will see his job as

:28:25.:28:29.

executing effective parliamentary scrutiny of a major constitutional

:28:30.:28:35.

decision, however long it might take? I am absolutely committed to

:28:36.:28:40.

their being full parliamentary scrutiny. Indeed, I have the delight

:28:41.:28:45.

of appealing for the first time in my current responsibilities before

:28:46.:28:50.

the European scrutiny committee yesterday in order to give evidence

:28:51.:28:53.

to them on one aspect of that subject. I think that he makes

:28:54.:29:04.

incorrect assumptions about the role of the Leader of the House in

:29:05.:29:07.

relation to individual select committee reports. It is for select

:29:08.:29:13.

committees individually to come to make their recommendations to

:29:14.:29:17.

government. It is then primarily for the department to which those

:29:18.:29:22.

recommendations are addressed to recommend to government colleagues

:29:23.:29:27.

what that response should be. Then there is a collectively approved

:29:28.:29:33.

government response to that select committee report. If the right

:29:34.:29:36.

Honourable gentleman believes that any government of any political

:29:37.:29:42.

colour is likely to agree with absolutely every recommendation of

:29:43.:29:46.

every select committee, then I do think he has read many select

:29:47.:29:49.

committee reports responses from governments to them over the years.

:29:50.:29:55.

It is a perfectly fair, transparent way that we operate. With the

:29:56.:30:04.

decision of the backbench business committee not to schedule a debate

:30:05.:30:10.

on settlements and the destruction yesterday, is the other possibility

:30:11.:30:16.

of a government statement on what seems to be a shift in government

:30:17.:30:21.

policy over recent days as because he up to the incoming American

:30:22.:30:25.

administration in granting complete impunity to Israel? The government

:30:26.:30:33.

policy on Israel and Palestine has not changed. We remain committed to

:30:34.:30:40.

a two state solution, involving you soften viable Palestinian state

:30:41.:30:46.

living alongside Israel, with mutually agreed land swaps where

:30:47.:30:51.

appropriate and with Jerusalem as a shared capital of both states. Our

:30:52.:30:56.

view on the settlements remains that they are illegal in international

:30:57.:31:02.

law and it is that which is at the heart of the United Kingdom's

:31:03.:31:09.

policy. Thank you to the honourable member for putting me right earlier.

:31:10.:31:13.

I should have realised that the honourable member would never write

:31:14.:31:19.

such an extreme speeches that. I wonder if I could ask the Leader of

:31:20.:31:24.

the House, on the matter of flood hit communities, not least mine in

:31:25.:31:29.

Cumbria after the devastating floods in December 20 15th, if there will

:31:30.:31:33.

be debate for financial support for those communities, in particular in

:31:34.:31:36.

the light of the government decision in recent days to spend the entire

:31:37.:31:41.

amount of the ?15 million we have now got, in respect of the December

:31:42.:31:45.

flooding is from the European Solidarity Fund, to spend the whole

:31:46.:31:50.

money, not giving support to the communities it was for, but to pay

:31:51.:31:57.

the historic fine incurred in 2007 by a previous government. Whoever's

:31:58.:32:02.

fault it was that the fine was incurred, for certain, it was not

:32:03.:32:05.

the fault of communities such as mining Cumbria, and will he commit

:32:06.:32:10.

at all of that money should come to those communities, or at the least

:32:11.:32:13.

whether to be a debate on that matter? I think the best way forward

:32:14.:32:23.

on this issue as it affects his constituency. In fairness, Defra

:32:24.:32:28.

ministers have tried to make sure the money has been made available

:32:29.:32:32.

more rapidly than has sometimes been the case in the past when

:32:33.:32:37.

communities have been badly hit by floods. I will look into that

:32:38.:32:43.

particular point about the European Solidarity Fund money that he has

:32:44.:32:47.

raised, since I'm not sited on that, and one of the Defra ministers will

:32:48.:32:57.

write to him on that. We have a football stadium that is still fully

:32:58.:33:03.

usable, but demolition notices have been issued. Would you join me in

:33:04.:33:06.

urging the owners to sit down with the local authority and the local

:33:07.:33:11.

football club and community, to have one last look at whether a solution

:33:12.:33:16.

can be found that retains all or parts of the stadium? Once it is

:33:17.:33:21.

gone, it is gone. Can we have a statement on this next week? This

:33:22.:33:26.

strikes me as a natural adjournment debate opportunity, but I very much

:33:27.:33:35.

hope that organisations in Corby are able to come together and find a way

:33:36.:33:39.

to maintain what is clearly a much loved community sports facility.

:33:40.:33:43.

Notwithstanding that many of us were disappointed with the result of the

:33:44.:33:47.

referendum, we recognise that the people have spoken. Nevertheless,

:33:48.:33:52.

it's not just whether government to decide the detail of that. It's very

:33:53.:34:00.

important this house gets a say. The Leader of the House has indicated

:34:01.:34:03.

there will be ample opportunity for debate, but can he be specific about

:34:04.:34:08.

how many days this House will get to debate and influence government

:34:09.:34:12.

thinking on how we progress these negotiations, so our constituencies

:34:13.:34:15.

and businesses are concerned, that they have their concerns aired in

:34:16.:34:25.

this House? There has, as she knows, been a number of debates already on

:34:26.:34:29.

aspects of our leading European union, and I fully expect there will

:34:30.:34:33.

be that such debates related to additional specific topics in the

:34:34.:34:39.

months to come. What ever happens doesn't happen next week, we will

:34:40.:34:45.

have a bill in the new parliamentary session to repeal the European

:34:46.:34:50.

communities act 1972, that will provide plenty of opportunities as

:34:51.:34:56.

well. There were also, at my last kind, more than 30 different select

:34:57.:35:00.

committee enquiries into different aspects of our leaving the European

:35:01.:35:04.

Union, being conducted by committees either in this place or the House of

:35:05.:35:08.

Lords. Mechanisms do exist are bringing those select committee

:35:09.:35:11.

reports to the House for debate as well. This week of all weeks, it is

:35:12.:35:19.

absolutely right that we see in this House of Commons that we want to

:35:20.:35:22.

proceed with the building of a Holocaust Memorial Museum. But as

:35:23.:35:26.

the Leader of the House is responsible, at least in part, for

:35:27.:35:31.

the environment of the Palace of Westminster, will he accept there

:35:32.:35:33.

may be merit in debating the siting of the new museum. There is a view

:35:34.:35:38.

among many people that the best place for this museum to be would be

:35:39.:35:45.

in or outside the Imperial War Museum, so that the many visitors to

:35:46.:35:50.

that museum can see the link between the Holocaust and war and teachers,

:35:51.:35:56.

rather than siting it in Victoria Tower Gardens, which is one of the

:35:57.:36:01.

last green spaces here, visited by many thousands of people a year. As

:36:02.:36:05.

this museum will be two stories underground, there may be a flood

:36:06.:36:09.

risk. There is a need for debate on the location.

:36:10.:36:12.

This may be a subject on which my honourable friend wants to seek a

:36:13.:36:19.

Westminster Hall debate. The previous Prime Minister gave a

:36:20.:36:24.

commitment to the site, something reactivated by the current Prime

:36:25.:36:26.

Minister. Ultimately the planning matters to which he alluded are

:36:27.:36:35.

going to be the responsibility of Westminster City Council to

:36:36.:36:38.

determine. Congratulations, as you approach the prime of life and the

:36:39.:36:45.

halfway point of your speakership. You may be surprised to know that

:36:46.:36:51.

all but two up your 54 years, the Severn Bridge users have been used

:36:52.:37:02.

as a cash cow, suffering double taxation of paying for the National

:37:03.:37:05.

road system and the local tolls. Can this rip-off now be ended as the

:37:06.:37:24.

bridge comes into public control? Mr Speaker, I sometimes heard Welsh

:37:25.:37:26.

people say that you have to pay to come to Wales because it is a

:37:27.:37:29.

privilege to come here, whereas everyone wants to get out to England

:37:30.:37:32.

in a hurry! Steady on excavation mark no, they

:37:33.:37:49.

say it in the nicest possible way! -- steady on!

:37:50.:38:06.

Mr Speaker, the point I did not make clearly enough is that if you try to

:38:07.:38:20.

charge people to get back into England, they would stay in Wales

:38:21.:38:24.

and never leave. To take the point the honourable

:38:25.:38:29.

gentleman made, I will take that up with transport ministers. Clearly

:38:30.:38:37.

the tolls help to pay for the cost of the crossings, and that is

:38:38.:38:45.

important, but I will get the Transport Minister to write to him.

:38:46.:38:50.

Could he give consideration to the time allocated to questions in

:38:51.:38:57.

DEFRA, the environment committee and the European Union. Having 30

:38:58.:39:02.

minutes for oral questions and ten for topical, particularly with the

:39:03.:39:09.

relevance of these departments, I am asking to get more time allocated to

:39:10.:39:14.

them. I am happy to discuss that proposal through the usual channels

:39:15.:39:19.

because these matters are agreed by consensus, if possible. I have two

:39:20.:39:27.

also say that if we add time to these departments, it means one of

:39:28.:39:32.

two things has to happen, either we take time off other departments or

:39:33.:39:37.

we extend the cycle of departmental question times to six weeks, rather

:39:38.:39:44.

than five, which leads a longer gap before members can question the

:39:45.:39:53.

Secretary of State. This week saw the release of the extremely damning

:39:54.:39:58.

National -- National Audit Office reports into the centric scandal,

:39:59.:40:05.

which showed neglect at the heart of all agencies in this. The vast

:40:06.:40:11.

majority of victims of the scandal have not received compensation. I

:40:12.:40:14.

have written to the Prime Minister to urgently intervene in this matter

:40:15.:40:17.

and hope that the Leader of the House will support me in this. But

:40:18.:40:21.

we really must have a debate in the House around this gamble because

:40:22.:40:25.

people receiving money back which they should have had in the first

:40:26.:40:28.

place are receiving it in instalments rather than one lump

:40:29.:40:32.

sum, affecting their ability to claim other benefits to which they

:40:33.:40:36.

are entitled. We would like the opportunity to tell ministers across

:40:37.:40:41.

the House how much constituents are being affected so justice can be

:40:42.:40:44.

done, because this is embarrassing for the government which requires

:40:45.:40:49.

immediate rectification. We are clear to the response that the

:40:50.:41:05.

service provided by Concentrics was poor, and HMRC has apologised and

:41:06.:41:08.

knows that it has to learn lessons from that contract. When it became

:41:09.:41:20.

clear that their customer service could not be rectified by then, HMRC

:41:21.:41:27.

took back 100,000 incomplete cases and redeployed hundreds of its own

:41:28.:41:34.

staff to deal with this. They then also had to deal with monetary

:41:35.:41:39.

reconsideration request, of which 36,000 have been received, and

:41:40.:41:42.

allocated additional staff to this work. That means requests could be

:41:43.:41:46.

dealt with quickly and payments restored we're big claimants were

:41:47.:41:52.

entitled to them. There may be an opportunity for a Westminster Hall

:41:53.:42:00.

or backbench debate, but I think HMRC was right to give priority to

:42:01.:42:05.

the incomplete cases and deal with those first. It is now proceeding as

:42:06.:42:11.

rapidly as it can to sort out remaining monetary reconsideration

:42:12.:42:17.

requests. Could we have a debate on dementia? I am sure the Leader of

:42:18.:42:22.

the House would like to join me in congratulating the social housing

:42:23.:42:24.

provider for Bradford in my constituency for training their

:42:25.:42:29.

staff for supporting residents with dementia, and in such a debate

:42:30.:42:33.

perhaps we could encourage other organisations to do the same and

:42:34.:42:36.

find out what more the government can do to help people who suffer

:42:37.:42:43.

from dementia, estimated to be 6500 people affected in the Bradford

:42:44.:42:47.

district, and what more support can be given to their families who have

:42:48.:42:53.

a difficult job of caring for them. I hope he will have that

:42:54.:42:59.

opportunity, but I would like to add my salute to his two those groups

:43:00.:43:04.

and individuals in his constituency and many others who have been both

:43:05.:43:12.

highlighting the challenges posed by dementia, but also encouraging more

:43:13.:43:18.

people to become dementia friends, and ensure we treat people living

:43:19.:43:23.

with dementia with the respect and dignity to which they are entitled

:43:24.:43:27.

and they get the solidarity and support from their fellow citizens

:43:28.:43:31.

that they are entitled to expect. Can we have a debate on bravery? In

:43:32.:43:37.

March 1936, a young, gay conservative member of Parliament

:43:38.:43:45.

celebrated 3 million -- demilitarisation. When he visited he

:43:46.:43:49.

went to the first concentration camp, and saw such horrific violence

:43:50.:43:53.

to Jewish people and homosexuals that when he came back here he

:43:54.:43:59.

campaigned relentlessly against anti-Semitism and appeasement. He

:44:00.:44:02.

was spat at when he raised such matters in this chamber at the

:44:03.:44:07.

Carlton club last night -- that night. He was killed in the Second

:44:08.:44:22.

World War, and should -- should we not do everything we can to put an

:44:23.:44:26.

end to anti-Semitism here? I agree with every word that he said. And I

:44:27.:44:34.

think the tribute he has just paid was a most appropriate one, as we

:44:35.:44:37.

come towards the Holocaust Memorial Day. I hesitate to spoil your good

:44:38.:44:46.

humour on such a day, but you will be aware that Tottenham Hotspur are

:44:47.:44:51.

rebuilding White Hart Lane. As a result we have defined a new home.

:44:52.:44:58.

The current proposal is that Stadium will be used for them for a season,

:44:59.:45:03.

which will increase our national stadium by 60%. It is an important

:45:04.:45:08.

issue for my constituents which becomes the car park for Wembley

:45:09.:45:15.

Stadium on such event days. Worse still, Chelsea football club are

:45:16.:45:19.

intending to come to Wembley for three years hereafter. So can we

:45:20.:45:23.

have a debate on the use of our national stadium and the uses to

:45:24.:45:28.

which it has been put so we can put on record our concerns about

:45:29.:45:31.

potential abuse of our national treasure? I think he has put his

:45:32.:45:38.

constituents' concerns on the record effectively, but there might be an

:45:39.:45:46.

opportunity to voice this further. The Emirates is a very, very special

:45:47.:45:51.

place in London, if I could put that on record. It seems appropriate that

:45:52.:45:57.

we not only have an amazing exhibition of photographs on Syria

:45:58.:46:06.

by William Winter cross, a brilliant photographer, and hope people will

:46:07.:46:10.

be able to see it, but also having a debate on Holocaust Memorial Day.

:46:11.:46:16.

Could we also think about a debate on a report that came out in July

:46:17.:46:25.

2008, I believe, and it was called the Bercow report on children and

:46:26.:46:29.

young people. Because of cuts by the government, young people are in

:46:30.:46:33.

dreadful ginger. Child protection is becoming very difficult to maintain.

:46:34.:46:39.

-- in dreadful danger. Could we see what progress has been made since

:46:40.:46:43.

those recommendations? I cannot promise a debate in government time,

:46:44.:46:48.

but the backbench committee time as they are for the honourable

:46:49.:46:58.

gentleman. As it is a double birthday today, may we have a pair

:46:59.:47:03.

of statements, one on the long-term future of HMS Albion and Bull work,

:47:04.:47:09.

two of the most versatile and essential ships in the Navy, whose

:47:10.:47:20.

future is threatened by a shortfall in the budget, and another offering

:47:21.:47:24.

the same legislation protection to our veterans sue -- who served in an

:47:25.:47:32.

order in Ireland, that is currently offer two terrorists who fought

:47:33.:47:35.

against the welfare of the community that the veterans fought to defend?

:47:36.:47:45.

-- HMS Bulwark. On his second point, the Northern Ireland Secretary has

:47:46.:47:50.

already said he feels disquiet at some of the reports of proposed

:47:51.:47:54.

prosecutions, and he is working actively to try to secure an

:47:55.:47:58.

agreement in Northern Ireland to legislate on the legacy of the

:47:59.:48:01.

troubles in a way that settle this issue as well as a number of others.

:48:02.:48:09.

On his point about the two naval vessels, I will ask the relevant

:48:10.:48:12.

defence minister to contact him about the detail. The UK's last

:48:13.:48:23.

independent savings bank is to end all business activities after 182

:48:24.:48:31.

years and the loss of 70 jobs. Secured loans and mortgages will be

:48:32.:48:33.

transferred to the TSB, and customers will be helped to find

:48:34.:48:40.

alternative banking providers. Unite, the trade union, has said the

:48:41.:48:43.

Airdrie savings bank has become yet another innocent victim of casino

:48:44.:48:48.

bankers. Can we have a debate in government time to discuss the state

:48:49.:48:59.

of UK banking? While I completely understand the concern of the

:49:00.:49:02.

honourable lady and those constituents who have accounts at

:49:03.:49:06.

the bank at the loss of this historic institution, I think most

:49:07.:49:11.

important thing -- the most important thing is their savings are

:49:12.:49:18.

protected and that a banking service that is accessible to them remains

:49:19.:49:24.

in being. We have seen over the years a number of mergers of

:49:25.:49:29.

different banks and building societies, we have also seen a shift

:49:30.:49:36.

towards many more customers making use of online banking. Those are

:49:37.:49:40.

going to drive change, but it is having the service available that is

:49:41.:49:47.

the key thing we have to preserve. Can I thank my right honourable

:49:48.:49:53.

friend for providing time for the approval of the name for the

:49:54.:49:56.

candidate of the new parliamentary and health service ombudsman which

:49:57.:50:01.

was approved by the health -- health select committee yesterday. Can I

:50:02.:50:07.

also point out that this is the day, Tuesday the 24th, that the Supreme

:50:08.:50:14.

Court is delivering its judgment. Can I suggest to my right honourable

:50:15.:50:19.

friend that it would be expedient of a government to a statement

:50:20.:50:26.

immediately on the future implications for business, even if a

:50:27.:50:33.

substantive statement on the implications of such a judgment

:50:34.:50:41.

needs to be made at a later date? Clearly I and other ministers will

:50:42.:50:45.

want to come forward and brief parliament on the substance and

:50:46.:50:48.

implications of the judgment, once we know what that is. We do not yet

:50:49.:50:53.

know its content or complexity. We are unlikely to get, or at most a

:50:54.:51:02.

very brief prior knowledge of what the judgment contains.

:51:03.:51:09.

I can't make a promise about specific timing, but the principle

:51:10.:51:14.

he has at the heart of his question is one I completely endorse. Can we

:51:15.:51:22.

have a debate on the future of the Crown Post Office network? Crown

:51:23.:51:27.

Post offices break even, unlike the post office network as a whole, but

:51:28.:51:33.

the government is forcing through a programme that will put scores of

:51:34.:51:38.

post offices across the country, including one in my constituency, at

:51:39.:51:43.

risk of closure. We need a guarantee that those services will stay. Can

:51:44.:51:48.

we have a debate about it? The key point is that the services remain,

:51:49.:51:53.

whether they are carried out in a Crown Post Office or whether they

:51:54.:51:58.

are continued in a sub post office, and of course the sub post office

:51:59.:52:02.

network provides post office services to the overwhelming

:52:03.:52:06.

majority of our constituents throughout the country. So I would

:52:07.:52:10.

certainly hope that his constituents will continue to get better

:52:11.:52:15.

services. In my own constituency where the Crown Post Office closed,

:52:16.:52:18.

those services continued but at a different location. Many happy

:52:19.:52:28.

returns for today. As chair of the disability all-party Parliamentary

:52:29.:52:33.

committee, I am extremely concerned by a report that disabled people are

:52:34.:52:38.

much less likely to be able to access affordable credit and that

:52:39.:52:41.

therefore been plunged into the hands of payday loans and loan

:52:42.:52:46.

sharks. Can we have a debate on equitable access to affordable

:52:47.:52:50.

credit, so that the most vulnerable in our society are not left open to

:52:51.:53:01.

financial exploitation? I can't offer an immediate debate. I think

:53:02.:53:08.

she makes a reasonable point. I think the banking industry has a

:53:09.:53:13.

social responsibility to make sure that its services are accessible to

:53:14.:53:17.

people with disabilities, to people on low incomes and others who do

:53:18.:53:22.

quite often find in the experience that it is quite difficult for them

:53:23.:53:26.

to get access to conventional banking. That does need something of

:53:27.:53:33.

a cultural shift. Could the Leader of the House arrange for an urgent

:53:34.:53:37.

debate before the Budget on school funding? Across the country, many

:53:38.:53:41.

schools over the next two years faced a crisis in their budget.

:53:42.:53:46.

Teachers will be sacked, and spending per pupil is going to go

:53:47.:53:51.

down. Nottingham county council by 2019 will lose ?40 million. It's not

:53:52.:53:56.

good enough, schools deserve better and so do the children of this

:53:57.:54:01.

country. Of course, the government had to take some very difficult

:54:02.:54:05.

spending decisions as a result of the need to continue to reduce the

:54:06.:54:13.

inherited deficit, but I am pleased that the government has, despite

:54:14.:54:16.

that difficult fiscal environments, been able to protect the core

:54:17.:54:23.

schools budget. When you look at the money that is going to be paid to

:54:24.:54:29.

schools, coupled with rising pupil numbers that we are expecting, that

:54:30.:54:34.

should make sure that most schools, depending on whether they are

:54:35.:54:41.

gaining or losing pupils, that the overall core schools budget should

:54:42.:54:49.

be protected in cash terms. Can I declare an interest as a crofter on

:54:50.:54:53.

the Isle of Skye? On the 23rd of November last year, the farming

:54:54.:54:59.

Minister and Defra stated we would have a review of the allocations of

:55:00.:55:04.

funding before the end of the year. I put down a written statement which

:55:05.:55:09.

had a reply to yesterday, which indicated that an update will be

:55:10.:55:15.

provided shortly. Mr Speaker, this is unacceptable. Can the leader of

:55:16.:55:18.

the host make sure that the Minister makes a statement on the urgent

:55:19.:55:23.

review of the convergence funding? This is an important matter for a

:55:24.:55:26.

and farmers throughout the and Islands. Over 200 million of Euro

:55:27.:55:33.

funding was given to the government on the understanding that I could go

:55:34.:55:36.

to those in most need of it. That has not happened. He has raised

:55:37.:55:44.

exactly this point during the debate on their rural economy on Tuesday

:55:45.:55:51.

this week. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State

:55:52.:55:58.

replied to him that he -- she recognise this point and that she

:55:59.:56:02.

would keep up-to-date on progress. I think it had a very clear

:56:03.:56:07.

undertaking from the Secretary of State. Twice this week, I have

:56:08.:56:11.

raised the issue of the concerns of my constituents on cuts to council

:56:12.:56:19.

services and ministers have swatted. Can he take this opportunity to

:56:20.:56:23.

address those concerns and to demonstrate the impact these Tory

:56:24.:56:26.

cuts are having on local people, that it's been taken seriously by

:56:27.:56:33.

this government? We have confirmed a settlement for local councils that

:56:34.:56:37.

his flat in cash terms, I completely accept that. But we have also

:56:38.:56:41.

delivered what local authorities are asking for in terms of certainty

:56:42.:56:47.

over a four-year period of funding. We are planning legislation now

:56:48.:56:55.

being before Parliament very soon, that will enable local government to

:56:56.:56:59.

keep all of the business rates that it collects by the end of this

:57:00.:57:06.

Parliament. And we have provided the power of local councils to levy a

:57:07.:57:12.

social Keo precept in order to help them with the challenges they face

:57:13.:57:18.

in dealing with social care. The terms of your earlier statement mean

:57:19.:57:23.

that happy birthday isn't your wish, but obviously an observation of

:57:24.:57:28.

fact. Can I also in passing mention yesterday's 80th landmark birthday

:57:29.:57:33.

of landmark statesman John Hume, co-founder of our peace process. Can

:57:34.:57:38.

the leader tell us if he will Doctor the National Audit Office and

:57:39.:57:54.

Treasury ministers to confirm that there is an investigation about the

:57:55.:58:00.

tobacco scheme in Northern Ireland? There is also concern about the

:58:01.:58:04.

period were regulations ran out and spending continued, not covered by

:58:05.:58:07.

the Northern Ireland budget. Did the Treasury budget funded during that

:58:08.:58:18.

period? Can I first joined her in sending belated birthday wishes to

:58:19.:58:23.

John Hume? And I think we would all salute the heroic role he played in

:58:24.:58:29.

helping to start and then drive through the peace process in

:58:30.:58:35.

Northern Ireland. On his point about food renewable heat incentive

:58:36.:58:40.

scheme, the Northern Ireland scheme is fully devolved to the Northern

:58:41.:58:44.

Ireland Executive and is now the subject of an opening quietly by the

:58:45.:58:49.

Northern Ireland Public Accounts Committee and therefore, it is

:58:50.:58:54.

within their re-meet to investigate. -- we met. If the honourable

:58:55.:59:04.

gentleman has evidence that Treasury money was in some way involved in

:59:05.:59:08.

supporting the Northern Ireland scheme, and that money was

:59:09.:59:14.

misplaced, I would urge him to write with the detail of that to Treasury

:59:15.:59:18.

ministers, and I am sure they will respond. Like many members and like

:59:19.:59:24.

the Leader of the House himself, I have been quite appalled by the

:59:25.:59:30.

comments of the Foreign Secretary. The Prime Minister has three

:59:31.:59:33.

options. She can either sack him, she can gag him or she can educate

:59:34.:59:39.

him. If she decides to educate Kemp, can we be involved in that process?

:59:40.:59:48.

When I think about our relationship with France, I think about how we

:59:49.:59:56.

stood with France, with the Free French Forces and the Resistance

:59:57.:00:01.

fighters against Nazism. I think about how we in France did together

:00:02.:00:06.

against Soviet tyranny. I think about the very act of work we carry

:00:07.:00:12.

out with France today against international terrorism. And we look

:00:13.:00:18.

for a relationship after we leave the European Union that enables us

:00:19.:00:24.

to build on those historic strengths and enables us and France to

:00:25.:00:28.

continue to work as very active, complimentary partners on a whole

:00:29.:00:35.

range of issues. In yesterday's Scottish questions, I counted 13

:00:36.:00:43.

non-Scottish MPs answering. It was a humiliating exercise, could we have

:00:44.:00:56.

a debate to ask the secretaries of state for Scotland to answer to

:00:57.:01:00.

Scotland? The Secretary of State for Scotland, like every other Secretary

:01:01.:01:05.

of State, answers to the House of Commons. It has always been the case

:01:06.:01:11.

that it is open to members from any part of the United Kingdom to

:01:12.:01:15.

participating questions to any Secretary of State. It is the

:01:16.:01:23.

honourable gentleman's party who are frequently complaining about any

:01:24.:01:27.

arrangements for English votes for English laws. It strikes me as a bit

:01:28.:01:32.

bored by him to come now complaining that members from other parts of the

:01:33.:01:36.

UK want to aspirations of the Scottish Secretary. On the 16th of

:01:37.:01:41.

December, a post office in my constituency closed without warning.

:01:42.:01:47.

It is a rural village and it's not easy for residents to travel

:01:48.:01:51.

elsewhere. I understand the closure was unavoidable, but we have no real

:01:52.:01:54.

timetable for the opening. Can we have a debate on what can be done to

:01:55.:02:02.

speed up this process? I can see this may be an adjournment debate

:02:03.:02:06.

opportunity for the gentleman. The reasons for delay vary, I know from

:02:07.:02:10.

my own experience, it is sometimes not easy to get a new manager who

:02:11.:02:15.

wants to take over the franchise to operate that sub post office. I hope

:02:16.:02:19.

very much for his constituents' sake, that the Post Office is able

:02:20.:02:27.

to open as swiftly as possible. A Christian convert from Islam was

:02:28.:02:33.

accused of publishing pictures and comments on Facebook and arrested in

:02:34.:02:39.

Algeria. He was given the maximum punishment for blasphemy of five

:02:40.:02:45.

years imprisonment and a large fine. On the 8th of January a Court of

:02:46.:02:49.

Appeal upheld his conviction, sentenced him to one year in prison.

:02:50.:02:54.

Can I ask if we can have a statement on how we can encourage Algeria and

:02:55.:02:59.

other nations to repeal blasphemy laws? While I don't know the details

:03:00.:03:06.

of the particular case, it is my view and the government's view, that

:03:07.:03:11.

we should champion religious freedom everywhere in the world. We pride

:03:12.:03:16.

ourselves on being a plural society that respects people of different

:03:17.:03:22.

faiths and people of no faith. And that view of the world, those values

:03:23.:03:27.

influence our foreign policy and will continue to do so. Every

:03:28.:03:33.

weekend, Parkland volunteers make it possible for thousands of people to

:03:34.:03:40.

take part in five kilometre runs. I myself completed a run on Christmas

:03:41.:03:46.

Eve. Can we have a debate on that contribution that part run makes to

:03:47.:03:55.

our communities? I am happy to join him in paying tribute to those who

:03:56.:03:59.

organise the part run. I have completed the Aylesbury one myself.

:04:00.:04:05.

I think it's remarkable as a demonstration of how voluntary

:04:06.:04:10.

grassroots initiative is helping not just to get people more active, but

:04:11.:04:16.

to change attitudes towards activity, by making people, who been

:04:17.:04:22.

shy about getting involved in organised sports, feel that they are

:04:23.:04:25.

welcome to come along and participate. Debating with this

:04:26.:04:32.

government that has forsaken all reason Re: Brexit is proving to be a

:04:33.:04:36.

bit like administering medicine to the dead. Nonetheless, can we have a

:04:37.:04:40.

debate in government time on Scotland's place in Europe? I think

:04:41.:04:50.

that Scotland's place in Europe is going to be prosperous and secure

:04:51.:04:59.

through its continued membership of the United Kingdom, which while it

:05:00.:05:03.

leaves the European union, will be forging a new partnership on trade,

:05:04.:05:11.

on security, on cooperation against crime, that will work to the benefit

:05:12.:05:15.

of everyone in Scotland, as well as everyone else in the United Kingdom.

:05:16.:05:22.

The Leader of the House has previously told me and this Carries

:05:23.:05:26.

that the reason the boundaries Bill couldn't proceed to committee stage

:05:27.:05:30.

was because it didn't have a money belt attached. But I've just

:05:31.:05:34.

finished serving on the homelessness reduction committee, which went

:05:35.:05:39.

through without such a resolution. So why is it one rule for one bill

:05:40.:05:44.

and one rule for another? When is the boundaries Bill going to go

:05:45.:05:45.

through to committee stage? I am not in a position to announce

:05:46.:05:58.

anything further on that. Clydesdale bank's latest closures includes gift

:05:59.:06:05.

Mac in my constituency, and as well as causing difficulty for causing

:06:06.:06:12.

problems and high streets, it is difficult for people who have

:06:13.:06:16.

trouble getting about. -- Giffnock. Can we have our debate about these

:06:17.:06:23.

latest closures and the roles and responsibilities of high-street

:06:24.:06:30.

banks? I think it is right that the banks do stick to their own code,

:06:31.:06:35.

which requires particular attention to be paid when the last banking

:06:36.:06:41.

outlet in a community is scheduled for closure. But it is also the case

:06:42.:06:45.

that these are independent businesses and that they are facing

:06:46.:06:52.

a future in which many more of their customers are choosing to bank

:06:53.:06:58.

online, rather than in person at a local branch. So it is a challenge

:06:59.:07:04.

on them to get the balance right and ensure that everyone in her

:07:05.:07:07.

constituency has the access to banking services they need. Happy

:07:08.:07:16.

birthday. This government commissioned a report on electoral

:07:17.:07:21.

fraud, but what is needed is a review into the behaviour of

:07:22.:07:25.

political parties in election periods and the punishments

:07:26.:07:30.

available. The Lib Dems were fined ?20,000 for non-declaration of

:07:31.:07:34.

?200,000 of spending, which is money down the drain. But Labour was also

:07:35.:07:41.

fined and an investigation went on into its own party. The electoral

:07:42.:07:45.

committee have said a fine of ?20,000 alone -- no longer enough of

:07:46.:07:50.

a deterrent to ensure the rules are followed. Can we have a debate about

:07:51.:08:00.

this? We have an independent investigators and legal system that

:08:01.:08:07.

can look into political parties that can ensure expenses are checked, but

:08:08.:08:13.

I have to say, for members of the Scottish National Party to give

:08:14.:08:17.

lectures about good practice during election campaigning is a little bit

:08:18.:08:25.

rich, and I think there are plenty independent journalists who objected

:08:26.:08:30.

to the kind of bullying they were subjected to during the last

:08:31.:08:37.

campaign and referendum. Prior to the Christmas tree service I served

:08:38.:08:41.

in a European committee on asylum with two glaring problems. Firstly

:08:42.:08:44.

all of the deadlines involved had passed already, and eyes had already

:08:45.:08:49.

decided the motion the previous week. Can the leader tell us what

:08:50.:08:53.

steps he is taking to make sure this does not happen again? I dealt with

:08:54.:09:04.

this to some extent yesterday, but there was an error on the part of

:09:05.:09:07.

the government in the handling of that business, for which an apology

:09:08.:09:14.

was given to Mr Speaker and the European scrutiny committee

:09:15.:09:19.

chairman, and steps have been taken to ensure we do not get repetition.

:09:20.:09:27.

Point of order, very briefly, Mr Ian Blackford. I will be brief. I am

:09:28.:09:39.

seeking your guidance on the response I had from the Leader of

:09:40.:09:44.

the House on the question I put. If I can quote from Hansard, on the

:09:45.:09:48.

23rd of November, when the farming minister said, we will provide an

:09:49.:09:52.

update on the review of cap allocations before the end of this

:09:53.:09:56.

year. We have not had an announcement from the government on

:09:57.:09:58.

this. If

:09:59.:10:00.

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