18/01/2017 House of Commons


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THE SPEAKER: Order. Urgent question, Paul Scully.


Thank you, Mr Speaker, to ask if I can ask the Minster, if he can make


a statement on human rights in Burma. THE SPEAKER: Minster from the


Foreign Office. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, I know that you your Sevacare very deeply about the


situation in -- that you yourself care deeply about the situation in


Burma. I'm grateful to my honourable friend for raising this matter in


the House. He knows Burma very well and has close family connections


there. We have been deeply concerned about the flare up of violence since


the attack by unknown assailants, presumed to be militants on 9th


October. Whilst we condemned the attack, and recognise the need for


security forces to carry out security operations to route out the


perpetrators we remain concerned about the conduct of the Army in


response. Although restrictions on media, diplomatic and humanitarian


access make the facts difficult to ascertain, we have been concerned by


numerous reports alleging widespread human rights violations in the


security response. Mr Speaker n response to the escalating violence,


British ministers have directly lobbied Burmese ministers, the


Minister of State for Commonwealth affairs raised the issue with a


Minister of Defence when she visited Burma in November last year.


Specifically she called for the full and immediate resumption of aid and


called for an investigation into allegations of human rights' abuses.


I too, repeated those calls with the minister for construction, when he


visited the UK in November last year. The Government of Burma has


now committed to investigating the 9th October attacks, restoring human


rights' access and investigating allegations of human rights abuses.


However, in practice, much of the aid is still blocked by local


authorities, reporting the military, especially in the area, where


security operations continue. We will continue to monitor the


situation closely. Turning to the conflict in other areas, we are


concerned by the recent escalation of conflict in those two states.


This, too, has led to allegations of civilian casualties, widespread


displacement of civilians and human rights abuses. We also raised


concerns on the violence in north-east Burma directly with


Burmese ministers, as I said, we continue to monitor the situation


closely and I can tell the House that my right honourable friend, the


Foreign Secretary l visit Burma very soon and reiterate our concerns


across these issues Thank you, Mr Speaker and thank you to the


minister for that response. The first question I asked in this House


was about the situation faced by the community there, the Rohinga


community. It is frustrating that I return to the subject, following a


number of worrying reports of the kind. The last two, of which


reportedly involved air strikes and the use of Hovery oar tillry. Since


then, a remarkable election victory has taken place. Does the minister


agree with me, that although she has a difficult it is a income keeping


the Government together, while there is such a huge influence by the


ministry. We friends, such as the UK should continue to raise


humanitarian issues while so many suffer because of their faith?


Tomorrow, foreign ministers of the organisation for Islamic


cooperation, an inter-governmental God body of 57 states will meet to


discuss the situation there. Will the minister join me and more than


40, civil society organisations who have today called for a truly


independent, international investigation in a situation in the


state, where state-sponsored attacks on the Rohinga Muslims have


escalated. It is difficult to get accurate information for what really


is happening in the state. So in order to get to the truth, beyond


false reports, will he call for full access to indobservers and


journalists to villagers and displacement catches? . -- camps.


Elsewhere I'm informed that the United Nations special radioer pore


tour on human rights there who has been on a 12-play monitorer mission


has been denied access to the Government to conflicting areas of


the state. Will the minister agree with me that she should be allowed


to do her job and bring such issues into the open and finally, will the


Foreign Secretary, when he visits Boyer a McThis weekend, raise the


situation -- visits Burma this weekend, raise the situation and


also with Burmese MPs and the Speaker of the House when they


visit, the Burmese delegation visits the UK next week and can he also


raise the issue with Bangladesh Government, as well, to see what


more can be done on the border with Bangladesh, on a humanitarian


response for Rohingas that have been We're deeply concerned at what is


happening, and it is difficult to get access to verify the facts. Like


him, we are extremely concerned by the violations, the human rights


violations reported, and the security response itself. He asked


about UK support for an international commission, I assume a


UN type commission. A UN led commission of enquiry can be in one


of three ways, by the Secretary General, by the Security Council or


the human rights Council. Establishing this would require


broad international support, which we assessed is not exist in the


current international environment. He also asked about the visit, I


very much welcome the visit of the UN special repertoire, I'm aware of


the fact that she is currently in Burma, and for many years we have


supported the annual resolution of the human rights Council that


mandates her role. We very much hope that the authorities in Burma will


give her full and unimpeded access so she can conduct an assessment. I


look forward to reading her report. He has talked about the overall


peace process and the aid that we're particularly providing. I can


confirm that we are providing aid to refugees, not just to those in the


area but also in Bangladesh. I have urged the Bangladeshis meetings I


have had, due to the point that we should not have refugees return to a


situation where they would face harm. Finally, he made in terms of


the Foreign Secretary's visit. The Foreign Secretary will be putting


the case from a UK perspective on humanitarian issues strongly, and as


far as I'm aware, his intention is to meet the chief of the military


and the country's leader. Thank you for granting this urgent question,


and I congratulate the honourable member for securing it. All of us


including many in this house who have campaigned for years for


democracy and an to repression in Myanmar, it is troubling to see


evidence that for the progress that is being made, the suppression of


the majority Myanmar has been replaced in far too many patients


with the -- too many cases with the persecution of minorities. It was


shocking to hear of the recent disappearance of Kachin Baptist


leaders, who have disappeared. It is incumbent on the government and the


international community as a whole, to press the Myanmar authorities to


provide information on their whereabouts and secure their


immediate freedom. Also deeply concerned about the continuing


humanitarian crisis, particularly the recent reports from the United


nations and Human Rights Watch, stating that a raft of human rights


abuses have taken place including torture, rape and sexual assault.


Summary executions and the destruction of mosques and homes.


Upholding human rights should be the driving force of our foreign policy,


and recall on the government to see Britain's stand up for the rights


and freedoms that all human beings are entitled to, and raises concerns


as a matter of urgency for the authorities in Myanmar, including


the persecution that people are suffering, and a needle for


humanitarian access to all areas. I hope the Minister can tell us today


-- the need for. Particularly around the access for the UN reported


reporter, and how he's planning to make sure that the rights of its


people are protected. I think the honourable lady for those comments.


Having discussed the situation here previously, I know she cares very


deeply about the humanitarian issues in Burma, and I think there is


consensus across the house on these matters, Mr Speaker. She raised the


issue of the pastors. Many Christians live in areas where there


is active conflict, notably in that area. We are of course deeply


concerned, specifically by the disappearance of a two pastors,


Dumdaw Nawng Lat and Langjaw Gam Seng. And we do believe that there


is deep concern about their welfare, and as she noted, they disappeared


on Christmas Eve. Allegedly after talking to journalists, taking


journalists to see a recently bombed church. We upstage the urge, as does


she, the government of Burma to investigate the case immediately and


release them. She talked about what the UK Government is doing in terms


of lobbying. I noted that the Foreign Secretary will be in Burma


soon, he will of course make strong representations on behalf of the UK


Government. Apart from representations that I and other


Foreign Office ministers have made, could I also add that our ambassador


has visited in recent months, and lobbied five separate Burmese


ministers on this issue, urging restraint in terms of the security


response. Finally, she talked about humanitarian aid, as she will know


the UK Government is doing an enormous amount in terms of


providing aid in this troubled area. And certainly in terms of a


particular error, since 2012 we have provided over ?23 million in him out


and assistance -- that particular area, including sanitation and


nutrition for several hundred thousand people. When the Foreign


Secretary travels to Burma, he will know doubt wish to discuss with


leaders the role of, whether it is worthwhile as continuing running


some courses for them and the efficacy of those courses, and also


whether or not they're continuing to block aid going into some of these


errors. Can I urge my honourable friend to intern at the Foreign


Secretary that when he does go there, the Foreign Secretary travel


to that area to see for himself that situation on the ground, talk to'


and come back to his house and updaters as to whether there is now


real evidence that there are outside forces stirring up the Rohinga now


part of Burma. I think my honourable friend for those comments, and I


know that he an expert this area, having been Minister for this part


of the world when he is at the Foreign Office. In terms of the


Foreign Secretary's visit, as I said, I have set out the key


individuals that the Foreign Secretary plans to meet, and clearly


we all look forward to his response when he returns to this house. --


this House. He talked about the work we may be doing with the military.


In terms of training. Can I make clear that any training we undertake


has nothing to do with combat training, it is to do with the


humanitarian, English-language, and our assessment is that this is a


worthwhile thing to be doing in terms of building those links. As he


knows full well, the leader is of course in a position in government,


but the Army has a role to play and clearly it is the Army acting in


these areas whether I humanitarian issues. I congratulate the


honourable member for achieving the support and emergency question. The


Minister has expressed concern about the disappearance of the two Baptist


leaders who apparently forcibly disappeared over Christmas, and also


called for unfettered access for the United Nations special envoy. Can he


performance -- confirm that specifically these have already been


raised with the Burmese ambassador in London, and secondly that the


Foreign Secretary will both raise the specific matters in the talks is


having in Burma in the next week? Lastly, the minister rather


sidestepped the question of action in the UN by saying that the


government's opinion wasn't -- was that there wasn't a sufficient


consensus at the present time to take forward action. Can he go


further than that? When the special reporter returns to the UN and


reports, will be undertake on behalf of the government to use every


possible effort to build a consensus that can build an urgent and


independent United Nations enquiry, a commission which will be the


result of the special reporter's visit? Will the government committee


trying to build that consensus is exposed -- as opposed to remarking


that it doesn't exist? Mr Speaker, he talks about representations that


UK Government is and has been making to the Burmese government. As I


noted, we have made representations both at ministerial level and


ambassador level. He talks about the representations at the Foreign


Secretary will make. Clearly, I will ensure and am sure he will be aware


of what is said and this house, but I know that the Foreign Secretary


cares deeply about Burma, and the fact that he's going out there very


soon should give the gentleman a great deal of comfort. He talks


about the UN, of course I stated position in terms of UN. We support


the UN special reporter, and specifically in terms of the human


rights Council, as you know that is again an area where we have been


supported, but this is about building multilateral support for


actions, and that is where we seek to work together with other


partners. Years ago, I organised a debate from Westminster Hall about


the persecution of people, a long-standing very serious


situation. These people gave us loyalty during the Second World War,


and have been repaid with persecution ever since. I wonder


what further steps the government can raise about this persecution and


ensure their human rights are protected? Mr Speaker, we all care


very deeply about human rights wherever they may be affected. And


of course, if my right honourable friend wants to write to me, I'll be


very happy to take up that specific issue. I make the general point that


human rights absolutely happens to -- matters to this house, government


and the British people, and that'll be at the forefront everything this


office does. Undoubtedly there is reason for concern at the military


crackdown on the Rohinga Muslim minority. I understand it has been


made clear that she welcomes the international community's support


and efforts in seeking peace and stability. And building better


relations with communities. I hope that the Foreign Secretary will be


focusing on that on his visit and also I wonder what... She's on her


fifth information gathering visit, is the Foreign Secretary intending


to speak with the special reporter? With regard to the Foreign Secretary


speaking to her, I will of course make sure that the Foreign Secretary


is aware of that request that she has made. But in terms of our


ongoing dialogue, she will know that the advisory commission led by Kofi


Anand was put in place last year, and they are due to reduce a report


this year. -- due to produce. I have been in conversation with Kofi


Anand, we have had a number of conversations about the ongoing


work. In terms of what we do, in terms of engaging with the


international community and others in Burma, I hope she will appreciate


that this is a very clear example of an engagement.


Does my honourable friend gentlemen the unwelcome radicalisation of the


Rohingya was only a question of time. That time was short and needs


to be treated appropriately with a sense of urgency.


Mr Speaker, we, of course, bring a sense of urgency to all the work we


try and do, in relation to human rights. At the end of the day,


though, this is a process which has sadly been ongoing for some time, I


think this is a question of continuing to work together with


international partners and engineers and others in Burma itself and


continuing to make those representations. As I said, the


Foreign Secretary hopes to meet with the chief of the army when he is in


Burma and hopefully will have an opportunity to make our points very


clear in that case. I welcome the minister's indication


in respect of the Foreign Secretary's visit. Will the Foreign


Secretary make it clear when he is in Burma that the interests of this


House doesn't just extend to seeing continued transition in rule but to


seeing a real transformation in temples rights and the best way for


that to begin is credible investigation at an international


level, with reliable adherence to any robust recommendations and


findings that that investigation brings. Well, yes, Mr speaker, in


terms of the of the investigation, I noted the Commission that has been


established and led by Kofi Annan will hopefully come forward and set


out very clearly their thoughts, as an independent commission, and it is


one that we support. Can I talk about thetragedy last week, where


4,000 people fled for their lives, particularly women and children who


had been moved on before and need unfetterred access to humanitarian


aid but particularly again draw attention to the two bapist pastors


that surely, they must do all they can, with the UN, to get the


information that family members need and not to accept apparently the


approved response of "enforced disappearance" which is in contrary


to all international human rights. I know my great friend is a great


champion of human rights, particularly those of minorities


around the world and he puts his point eloquently in terms of the


pastors. We'll continue to make representation in terms of specific


aid, I did mention that the UK has provided this ?18 million in


essential humanitarian and health care systems and that, of course has


been in Chachin and northern states as well over the past four years.


Could the minister, confirm what discussions he and his department


have had with other governments regarding getting medical assistance


into the area and if so, could you update on that, please? Mr Speaker,


we seek to work, firstly, in terms of the discussions that we have had,


with other governments, our ambassador, of course has


discussions locally in Burma with our counterparts and in terms of the


support that we are getting, I talked about some of the numbers in


terms of the amount of money we are spending but also in terms of what


that money is being spent on, and of course we seek to work with NGOs and


indeed others, on the ground, to make sure that funds are getting


through, where they are needed, in these troubled areas.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. I'm sure the minister will agree with me that the


gross in seeing improved human rights has been painfully slow in


Burma since the election that we hoped to bring far more,


particularly with the flawed constitution that still expects. I


welcome the Foreign Secretary's visit but can he update House in


terms of what engagement we are having with regional partners to


build the consensus we need fourth action through the UN? With, Mr


Speaker, as I've said on a number of occasions already, we discussed


these matters with a range of actors. Of course, international


partners but as I said, right now, it is the Kofi Annan commission, the


independent Commission which is leading work in this area, and we


will continue to have a dialogue with Mr Annan, and look forward to


his report. Thank you, Mr Speaker, can I join


the minister in paying tribute to your interest and work on behalf of


the Burmese people over many years and we all welcome Burma moving out


of the long dark years of military dictatorship. But we hopped they put


behind them communal and religious conflict as well. So will the


minister make very clear to the Burmese authorities that their


welcome reentry into the international community will not be


helped if they fail to protect minorities and particularly the


Rohingya community? Mr Speaker, the right honourable gentleman, of


course makes a number of very important points. Can I just say to


him that firstly, in terms of the work that is going on, and in terms


of what has happened since the election, he will be aware that the


new Burmese Government released 300 political prisoners and they did


begin the abolition of laws and initiated the peace talks I talked


about and revised the committee led by Kofi Annan. I think we have to


give a huch amount of credit for Aung San Suu Kyi for the work she


has done in he had looking Burma. I agree with him, we need to keep


pressing on humanitarian issues and press so the rights of minorities


are respected but as he will know, the military does remain heavily


involved in Burmese politics and they wrote the 2008 constitution


which grants them 25% of seats in Parliament, unelected.


Thank you Mr Speaker, the minister earlier said with regards to having


an independent UN investigation, into this matter, initially there


needs to be a consensus, then the minister said we will work together


with others for a consensus but account minister go a step further


to the answer he gave to the right how many for Gordon to rather rather


than working with others, the UK will lead the way in building that


consensus as a permanent members of the United Nations Security Council?


Mr Speaker, can I give a specific example in terms of the work we are


doing and supporting in terms. U in. There are a number of UN mechanisms


already in place, including, as I said earlier the human rights


council resolution which we support. This mandates the role of the UN


Special Envoy on Burma who is presenting visiting and we look


forward to her report. And as I have said already, we call for her to


have a full and unfetterred access so she can carry on her work? Given


the range of access issues that UN staff and missions have had in


recent times, can I ask the minister what discussions the foreign and


common wealth office have had with their counterparts in the Security


Council to ensure that UN staff are given full and proper access to


areas of concern, wherever in the world they may be? Mr Speaker, we


discuss these issues in terms of access to humanitarian rights, with


count parts, both of course in the UN but on a more by lateral basis as


well. Can I give her the assurance that when it comes to these issues,


we do keep them at the forefront and we'll continue to make the


representations of the type she's asking for. Mr Speaker, Parliament


was rightly moved by the House arrest of a single exceptional lady,


but as it hasn't been mentioned in this urgent question, the situation


of the Rohingya people, hundreds are being attacked, many are being


murdered. Their villages are being systematically burnt or destroyed.


Many are being sold into slavery with the complicity of Burmese


authorities. The very authorities of which treat the Rohingya as a


non-people. Now, my honourable friend, the minister, has avoided


the challenge from the right honourable member for Gordon and my


honourable friend the member for Gillingham that it is not sufficient


for the Government to cooperate, the Government needs to lead UN support,


if these reports are true. So, for the third time, I ask the minister


-- if these reports are true, if the Foreign Secretary comes back from


Burma, validating all that has been said, will he, will the Government


take leadership of the United Nations to make sure that there is


broad support and a resolution to follow? Minister? Mr Speaker, I pray


forgiveness if I have given the impression I'm dodging the


questions. That has not been my intention at all. The point that I


have been speaking is we have to work together with partners to


achieve an outcome and that's what we speak to do in this particular


case. We continue to do that, I have given that assurance.


Mr Speaker, my honourable friend, the member for West Ham and I have


been approached by constituents who went to provide help directly to are


hingia communities who need it, both in Burma and Bangladesh. He talked


about access for NGOs, what routes are currently open for delivering


help where it is needed and what advice can he give to those who do


want to help people who are suffering such extreme problems at


the moment? Mr Speaker, I thank the right honourable gentleman for that


particular question. It is the case that this is a very troubled area.


And the humanitarian access that has been get through has also been quite


limited in some of these areas, what I would say to him if outside this


house we can have a discussion on specifics I will be happy to see


whether we can take thisser matter forward.


In response for a parliamentary committee, the Foreign Office has


revealed they have pent ?300,000 and more on training the Burmese army.


Wouldn't that be better spent on exposing and verifying human rights'


violations? Mr Speaker, I know this question has come up before, but can


I confirm once again to the honourable gentleman, that the MoD


does not provide combat training, as I said earlier, what we are doing is


providing educational training to the Burmese military in the form of


programmes delivered by the defence academy of the UK on the role of the


military in a democracy, in terms of leadership and English language


training and we really do belief this is a useful thing to do in


terms of engaging the next generation of army in Burma.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Like other members, I have been contacted by


constituents who are deeply concerned by the treatment of the ro


hingia community, often described as the world's most persecuted


religious minority. What they struggling to understand is why


having had years of this persecution taking place the brutality


continues. The minister talks about the importance of building consensus


within the United Nations, could he perhaps elaborate on what the


barriers to consensus are and in particular, what our diplomatic


efforts can do, with partners around the world, to break down the


barriers? Mr Speaker, I think it is the case that successive governments


here raised many issues which are long standing across the world when


it comes to humanitarian and other issues. Of course this is another


one we'll continue to do. I go back to the point I made earlier. At the


end of the day this is about engagement, also will Burma,


particularly with the Armed Forces and Armed Forces and I said the


Foreign Secretary will hope to meet the army chiefs. What I think we can


do is provide the humanitarian support, provide support to the


elected Government and continue to have those conversations, in Burma


itself, and also through our multilateral partners to make sure


we keep this at the forefront, not just internationally but also in


Burma. Can I commend you for the interest


in this subject and bring it to the forefront of our man's everyday --


our minds. In the last few months, the Burmese government have images


for new laws for race and religion. Unfortunately, those laws were made


to protect, but instead of protecting they have built


unsurmountable hurdles for convergence and mixed marriages.


Would the Minister agree that the disappearance of the two ministers


is an indication of the daily horrors faced, and can he outline


what representations have made on behalf of Christians? Freighter at


the very name of Jesus? Responded to -- afraid to utter. The honourable


gentleman made some powerful interventions, I know he cares very


deeply about minorities, in particular the Christian community.


We continue to make the case, both to the Burmese government, but also


in an international forum, that these matters are absolutely vital,


and that we need to make sure that there is no persecution of


minorities of Christians, of any type of minorities in that country,


and we'll keep doing that. I think it's important that we have this


kind of debate in this House now, because it shows the international


community that we care very deeply the whole House about this matter.


The Burmese government's commission to investigate human rights


violations against Rohingya found that there was insufficient evidence


of human rights violations, which quite frankly I find given that they


are continue to be one of the most persecuted communities. Can the


Minister macro tell me what direct conversations he has had with the


Burmese government to challenge the accuracy of this ridiculous report?


Mr Speaker, I agree with the honourable gentleman. We've also


noted the interim that has been produced, and as he has intimated,


it indicates that they human rights abuses have taken place. And this is


of course against the weight of testimony from a range of human


rights sources, frankly this is not credible. We call on the commission


to demonstrate the commitment made by the government to an impartial


investigation over the coming weeks. Of course, we wait to see what the


final report says, but I agree with him. The report needs to be credible


for anyone to take it seriously. Could I take this opportunity, I


went been the chamber tomorrow, I know you'll miss me, Mr Speaker. --


I won't. I know it's your birthday, so if I could wish you an early


happy birthday for tomorrow. Since the Bernie 's security forces


started their campaign in October -- the Burmese, it is estimated that


65,000 treble Muslims have fled. According to reports, there have


been subject to arson, rape and murder at the hands of the military


-- Rohingya Moslems. These allegations are incredibly serious,


and it is for that reason I ask the Minister for the fourth time I


believe, if he will continue to call for the establishment of an


independent investigation into these claims. May I also wish you a happy


birthday for tomorrow. I mean that most sincerely. Can I just respond


to the honourable lady. I hope, Mr Speaker, I have made clear today


that there are a huge number of avenues that we in the UK are


pursuing, in terms of getting humanitarian aid, making the case


for minorities, and actually making it very clear that we care very


deeply about these matters. At the end of the day, that is something we


will keep doing. Going back to this point about the approach from a UN


perspective. There are a number of errors that the UN is already


engaged, and will continue to work with those -- number of areas, to


make sure that those resolution in this very troubled area. Mr Speaker,


can he say what discussions he has had or will have with the government


of Bangladesh about the refugee status of the Rohingya people, who


have fled in many cases the most obscene violence in the state? I


have raised the issue of the Rohingya in Bangladesh with the


representatives of the Bangladeshi government before Christmas. As I


said, the point that I particularly made to the government of Bangladesh


was that they should not be seeking to return people who are seeking


refuge back into danger. That is a really important point. In terms of


aid, we're providing, the UK is the largest provider of food aid to the


34,000 Rohingya refugees already living in camps in Bangladesh, and


since 2014, the UK has provided nearly ?80 million -- ?8 million to


the refugees and the communities that support them. I apologise for


not being here in the beginning. I was meant to be in Burma this week


with the mess was -- Westminster foundation. It has been delayed


until May. They indicated 92 different parties other than the two


main parties. With the Minister look at how someone like myself from


Northern Ireland, the difficulties we've had there, we can look at how


we can help some of those parties work together and the military learn


to respect them, so that we find a way forward? Could be a great help


to the Westminster -- if the Westminster foundation for democracy


could have some help. I'm very happy to speak with a gentleman out of


this debate about the work doing with the Westminster foundation. In


terms of the discussions we are having, at the end of the day it is


someone who is effectively leading the government, and we have contact


with her. The Foreign Secretary of meat are soon on his visit to Burma


with all the actors, particularly with our ambassador. -- to meet her


soon. The key thing is engagement with military, at the end of the day


they are the ones who are leading some of the issues, we have


concerns, and I think it was vital that we engage. Order. Ten minute


rule motion, Joan Ryan. I beg to move that leave the given to bring


in a bill to require the Secretary of State to promote the


establishment of an international fund for Israeli-Palestinian peace,


to support coexistence projects and civil society programmes. Recent


weeks has seen a flurry of activity on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The UN Security Council resolution and major speech by the US Secretary


of State John Kerry and a further peace conference in Paris last


weekend. The barriers to add two state solution are well-known. As a


strong friend of Israel, I admit freely but great regret that these


include the expansion of settlements on the West Bank. Settlement


building is wrong. It threatens the viability of a future Palestinian


state. The case for which is an arguable. It does immense damage to


Israel's standing in the world, and over time it will put at risk that


which is most precious about Israel's character, its Jewish and


democratic character. As Secretary Kerry is stated clearly, settlements


are not the whole, or even the primary cause of this conflict. So


too is the incitement tolerated and in many cases perpetrated by the


Palestinian authorities. The payment of salaries to those convicted of


terrorist offences, and the naming of schools, streets and sports


tournament after so-called martyrs, thereby glorifying violence. Then


there is the greatest barrier of all, the rejectionist, anti-Semitic


ideology of high Mass, Hezbollah and Iran, which denies Israel's very


right to exist, and the terrorism which inevitably flows from it -- of


Hamas. I believe it will help to address of the pernicious


consequences arising from them. Instead, my Bill recognises that as


example of Northern Ireland taught us, any peace process needs a


political dimension, and economic dimension and a civil society to


dimension. Coexistence projects that bring together Israelis and


Palestinians to advance the cause of mutual understanding, reconciliation


trust is that civil society dimension. The world has paid too


little attention investing only around ?37 million per year in


people to people projects for Israel and Palestine. That is less than ?4


for each Israeli and Palestinian person each year. Britain


exemplifies this problem. From spending a pitiful ?150,000 on


coexistence projects in 2015 and 2016, the government despite


repeated warm words to the contrary appears to have cut this funding


altogether, in the current financial year. -- 2015-2016. I'm pleased that


the Secretary of State for International Development seems keen


to right this wrong. The absence of strong constituencies for peace in


Israel and Palestine is one of the results. Polling by the Israeli


democracy Institute and Palestinian Centre for policy and survey


research last summer underlined the scale of the problem. While 59% of


Israelis and 51% of Palestinians still support a two state solution,


these already slim majorities are fragile, threatened by fear and


distrust between the two peoples. 89% of Palestinians believe Israeli


dues are untrustworthy, feeling reciprocated by 60% of the latter --


Israeli dues. 45% of Palestinians fear Israeli dues. We should not


place our heads in the optimism of the young. After all, this is the


generation which has no memory of the optimism engendered by the Oslo


accords, but his formative years have instead been marked by suicide


bombings, and perpetual conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.


Even where the peace process in better health -- were the peace


process, these would hardly be the most solid foundations upon which to


build a lasting peace. We should recall that those seeds of the Good


Friday agreement were sown at a cinema, inauspicious moment, when


during the height of the Troubles, the International fund for Ireland


was created -- at a similar inauspicious moment. Investment in


grass-roots coexistent work has been spent in Northern Ireland. Over 5000


projects have been supported since it was established to promote


economic and social advance, and to encourage contact, dialogue and


reconciliation between nationalists and unionists throughout Ireland.


That investment helped provide popular support, which has helped


sustain the Good Friday agreement over nearly two decades. With this


example in mind, my Bill requires the government to promote the


establishment of the proposed international fund for


Israeli-Palestinian peace. This has been designed by the Alliance for


middle East peace, a coalition of over 90 organisations building


people to be a book operation, and coexistence. The fund aims to


leveraged and increase public and private contributions worldwide,


funding civil Society projects and joint economic development that


promote coexistence, peace and reconciliation. It is envisaged that


the $200 million per year fund, four times the current level of


international support, for people to people work in Israel Palestine,


would receive contributions of approximately 25% each from the


United States, Europe, the rest of the international community


including the Arab world, and the private sector. The fund is not, I


should emphasise, intended to receive support that otherwise would


be provided directly to either the Palestinian authority, or to Israel.


We know that coexistence projects in Israel Palestine work. After two


decades, there is now a significant body of evidence based on academic


and government evaluations, indicating the impact that


coexistence projects can have. The impact moreover has been achieved in


the face of considerable challenges. According to the USA, those


participating in people to people programmes report higher levels of


trust, co-operation, more conflict Revolution values -- resolution


values and less aggression and loneliness. Evaluation of individual


programmes and alliances impact. A truly inspiring project which brings


together young Israelis and Palestinians to learn about it


technology and entrepreneurship found a 60% increase in the number


of students who valued working with someone from the other side after


just one year on the programme. The parents circle friends for common


organisation of more than 600 Palestinian and Israeli families who


have lost a family member in the conflict found that 70% of all


participants had increased trust and empathy, and 84% were motivated to


participate in peace building activities in their communities. I


would ask if they could point anything in their current funding


that has moved the conflict closer to resolution's if coexistence work


is going to be held to a standard that demand that it demonstrates how


it helps solve the conflict, then surely other strategies that have


not by themselves moved the ball Ford should be held to the same


standard? -- the ball forward. Support is growing and Cros


international boundaries and political parties. The quaur Tote's


quartet's most recent report recommended a focus on civil society


work since the first time since its finding. The Vatican, Jewish


organisations and politicians on both left and right in Israel have


all raised their voices in support. On Capitol Hill, two US Congressman,


have worked across party lines, introducing a bill in support of the


international fund nshgts best traditions of US global leadership.


In this House, 56 of my Labour colleagues, signed an open letter to


the Secretary of State for International Development, last


month, endorsing the fund and I'm delighted today to have the support


of members from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. I'm


particularly pleased to have the right honourable member for


Brentford and Ongar, the Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel,


listed as one of the support Is of this bill. The late Shimon Peres


once said, "The way it make peace is not through government, it is


through people." He knew even in the most challenging of times, we must


never give up on the search for peace. By supporting my Bill, the


House can underline its support for that search.


Hear, hear. THE SPEAKER: Order, the question is


in fact right honourable member have leave to bring in the Bill? As many


of that opinion say aye. . Aye. To the contrary, no. The ayes have T


who will prepare and bring in the Bill? Mr Speaker, Ian Austin, Right


Honourable Alistair car mikele, Chris Davy, Mrs Lieu weighs he


willman,p Steven kinic. Right Honourable, Sir Eric Pickles, Will,


Quins, Paul Skully, Stephen Twigg and myself, Sir. -- Louise Elman,


Stephen Kinnock. Promotion of Israeli-Palestinian


peace United Kingdom participation Bill. Second reading, what day? 24th


March, Sir. 24th March. Thank you. Order. We now


come to the general debate on exiting the European Union and


security law enforcement and criminal justice.


To move the motion, I call the Minster. Minster of State, Mr


Brandon Lewis. Thank you, Mr Speaker. And I do beg


to move that this House has considered exiting the EU and


security, law enforcement and criminal justice within that. I'm


pleased to introduce today's debate on security, law enforcement and


criminal justice, which is one of a number of debates we'll be having


about our exit from the European Union. It is important that members


of this House have the opportunity to discuss and debate leaving the


EU. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of Parliament's


involvement in exit negotiations in her speech yesterday. This


afternoon, members have the chance to debate an area of our


relationship with the EU that is crucial. Not only to our


negotiations, but to continued safety of both Europe, ourselves and


the citizens across Europe and the United Kingdom. This debate will


focus on how we work with the EU on security, law enforcement and


criminal justice now, and how we will work with our EU partners in


the future. Cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism was one


of the Government's core negotiating objectives. The UK is leaving the EU


but as we have been clear, we are not leaving Europe. We are committed


to strong cooperation on security, law enforcement and criminal justice


now, and after we leave. We will work with our European partners, to


find solutions which promote security across Europe, and beyond.


The decision of the British people to leave the European Union does not


altar the duty that we and all Member States share collectively to


keep our citizens safe and to present our democratic way of life,


and the rule of law. In the face of the common threats we face from


terrorism, cyber attacks and who is Isle foreign actors, maintaining


strong EU-UK security operation is vital to our collective success in


keeping citizens safe. It is difficult to see how it would be in


anyone's interests for exit negotiations to result in a


reduction in the effectiveness of security, law enforcement and


criminal justice cooperation. I give way to the right honourable


gentleman. I'ms grateful to the minister for giving away and I have


nothing to disagree with in respect of what he said so far. On this


issue, we are leaders in Europe, as far as cooperation on security and


justice. But does he awe gree with me, one of the most important


aspects of this is information sharing and access to ECRAS should


be one of the key elements of our negotiations, to be able to to reach


those criminal records of those who committed offences in the rest of


Europe, and to share information of those who commit those offences in


our country. Well, I appreciate the right honourable gentleman's


agreement with my position, so far, in this debate. He makes an


important point. I will come very specifically to that. There is an


issue around my understanding, which we all do in this House, that we


live in a world of global work and people work in cross borders,


particularly in criminality that we need to be well-equipped to do with.


Criminality and terrorism is transnational and international


groups exploit you will have nerments such as inadequate law


enforcement and criminal justice struck you are toos. Threats we are


facing, cybercrime which is moving quickly or online child sexual


exploitation, are by definition, international in a technologically


connected world. The UK's crime agencies, most recent public


estimate suggests there are over 6,000 organised crime groups seeking


to operate in the United king do. I give way. I'm grateful. Could he


give me some reassurance on the issue of the European arrest


warrant. Because, before the last election there was a debate in this


House when the current Prime Minister, then the Home Secretary,


was fighting very hard to get that European arrest warrant through this


House in the face of some Opposition from some members. Could he give me


an independencation that he will zur the powers of that arrest warrant,


post-Brexit? -- that he will secure. I'm sure the right honourable


gentleman will be very awhich are that we are at the start of


negotiations. I can't predict the outcome of where we will end up but


I will come specifically to the European arrest warrant and the


implication it is has for us in a few moments. Criminal networks are


driving migrant struggling. Europol estimate more than 09% of migrants


travelling to the EU use facilitators, in most cases provided


by criminal groups with an estimated turnover of ?3 to 6 billion in 2015.


As I said to the honourable gentleman we are at the beginning of


a complex process to agree a new relationship with the EU. This is


new territory for both sides and it is way too early to say exactly what


that relationship will look like but I'm sure there will be many, varied


views expressed from around the chamber today and in the months


ahead but I am confident that nobody will argue against the importance of


fighting cross-border crime and depending security across Europe. I


am happy to give way. Perhaps to reinforce that point,


will he concede that what we are actually talking about is a system


of European criminal justice cooperation. Much of this is about


practical cooperation and information-sharing and does not


actually largely, touch about the substantive criminal law of the


stants sometimes extends beyond Member States of the European Union?


Doesn't that reinforce the importance of this practical point?


My honourable friend, as ever makes a really important point. He is


absolutely right in what he says. Not least of all that in some of


these organisations such as Europol, there are members and countries who


are involved with Europol who are not part of the European Union,


highlighting how they see the importance of make sure we are


scaring information in an efficient and were active way to fight crime.


It is absolutely right we work to ensure we protect that ability.


Whatever shape our future relationship se. Takes, I hope that


we can all agree it should knot compromise the safety of the people


in the UK or the rest of Europe. I'm most grateful to my honourable


friend for giving way. He will be aware that one of the consequences


of leaving the European Union, as the Prime Minister has indicated, is


that we withdraw from, as she puts it, from the jurisdiction of the


European Court of Justice. But as he will be aware, many of these justice


cooperation functions, ultimately, come under the you jurisdiction of


the European Court. And I have to say that I find it difficult to


understand what arrangement the government has in mind to address


this issue, whether it wishes to have a separate tribunal system set


up in order to apply the rules. Or what it envisages. Because,


otherwise, even for states which are outside the EU, the ECJ is in fact


very important in the rulings it gives on these key areas of security


cooperation. Well, I do appreciate the point that


my right honourable friend makes. And one of the pieces of work we are


doing as we go through the negotiations is to make sure we get


something that is bespoke for the United Kingdom. One of the things we


have to do is look at what other countries have done, and other


countries who work with Europol and the United States, are good example


who are not members of the EU but have found ways to work with us.


These are examples we can look at but we need to develop a bespoke


system for the UK. In her speech yesterday, the Prime Minister set


out what the Government's negotiation objectives are for


Brexit. She explained how this Government plans it make Britain


stronger and fair, restoring self-determination whilst becoming


more global and international in action and spirit. We do have a long


record of playing a leading role within Europe and globally to


support and drive cooperation to help protect sit zences and depend


democratic values and we have been lead programme Popents of


development of a number of law enforcement criminal justice


measures that are now in place across the European Union. Yesterday


the Prime Minister also reiterated that while June's referendum was a


vote to leave the EU, it was not a vote to leave Europe. We want to


continue to be reliable partners, willing Allies and close friends


within the European countries. On a practical level there, has been no


immediate change to how we work with the EU following the referendum. As


a recent decision, just before Christmas, to seek to opt into the


new legislative framework for Europol, the EU policing agency,


demonstrates. The UK will remain a member of the EU, with all rights


and obligations that membership entails, until we leave. The way we


work with the EU, of course, will have to change once we leave. And we


must now plan for what our new relationship will look like. The


views members express here today will be helpful in that regard and


no doubt so will the right honourable gentleman's. I'm grateful


to the minister for giving way. I want to follow up the incredibly


important question posed by the right honourable member for, because


we are the proud authors of human rights in Europe. It's a tradition


that dates back to the McIn a car ta. Will he confirm, when the


Government brings forward its proposals on a British biff rights,


there'll be nothing in that draft for discussion, that will propose us


leaving the European Convention on Human Rights, or the European Court


on human rights? Well, I appreciate that the right honourable gentleman


tempts me to give a running commentary and prejudge the outcome


of the negotiations and work in a couple of years ahead, which I will


resist but I will say to him, while we remain a member of the EU, we do


recognise the jurisdiction obviously of the European Court of Justice,


over the measures we've opted into. It is too early it spk late at this


stage on exactly what our relation with the European Court of Justice


will be after we leave the EU. -- speculate. That is work that will be


done as we go forward. I have spoken to several counts parts in Europe,


as has the Home Secretary and many colleagues across Government and I


have to say in the coveringses I have had with colleagues across


Europe, I have been encouraged by their view that it is essential to


find a way for our shared work on security to continue. But we do have


questions that we need to work through answering about how that


should happen in practice. Will th will be complex and subject to


negotiation. But we are committed to finding a way forward that works


both for the UK and the European Union. And Home Office is working


with departments, such as my honourable friend, who will be


closing the debate today, across Whitehall to analyse a full range of


options for future cooperation. We are also liaising with our


colleagues, closely in a devolved administration. It is crucial to


make sure that we have a way that goes forward, working for all of the


EU. And we are drawning on the


invaluable flooint experience of operational partners such as the


national crime agency and Crown Prosecution Service. I'm grateful to


the ongoing contributions from all those organisations. This work is


being drawn together with the support of our colleague in the


department for exiting the EU and will form part of our wider exit


negotiation strategy. I'll make progress.


A number of legal agreements. Or tools. They provide the framework


for practical cooperation arrangements and information sharing


mechanisms which were mentioned today. As well as supporting


cross-border traditional and more enforcement, they include measures


such as the European West warrant, prisoner transfer arrangements --


European arrest warrant. They are designed to protect the rights of


defendants and vulnerable across borders, facilitated major


cooperation, support, practical processes for fighting cross-border


crime and delivering justice. And yes, we have been leading proponents


of a development of a number of security measures in the EU, backed


by proportion safeguards. Leaving the EU does not mean we are walking


away from this close cooperation with our nearest neighbours. I have


to give waste of your I'm grateful to the Minister for giving way,


because I'm now looking a durable's website, which starts with phrase"


we do this by assisting European union member states in their fight


against serious organised crime" so I would like to know from the


minister, what are the negotiating terms for us to still access to pot


if we are not a member state? If he has a look further into the Europol


website, there are associate member state are ready, such as the United


States. Treble is just one example, but I'll come to it specifically in


a few moments -- Europol is. The toolkit has evolved over many years,


in response to changes both in the nature of the EU and international


security threats and the increased movement of people across borders.


The Justice and home affairs. Decision in 2014 gave us the


opportunity to re-evaluate certain measures to the UK pre-20 14. But


provides a useful reference point, it is important to be clear that the


situation following the outcome of a referendum is now different. We will


no longer be a member of the EU, to state the obvious. Unlike the 2014


decision, the question now is not whether we seek to rejoin certain


measures as a member state. Instead, we have to consider how we should


interact with the EU security law enforcement, criminal justice


toolkit from outside the EU. We are considering a full range of possible


options. We are looking at existing arrangements for third country


cooperation with the EU, which can inform discussions. But it is


important to be very clear as I said a few moments ago that we are not


looking to replicate any other nation's model. We are at a unique


starting point with a strong history of working closely with the member


states as partners and as allies. As mentioned, we will make a key


contribution to security and justice, both in Europe and


globally. We will seek an agreement with the EU that recognises that


unique position that we hold. I thank the Minister for giving way.


Further to an earlier question, further to the Prime Minister's


speech yesterday. She said we will not be hanging on to fits of the EU.


Europol is an EU agency -- on two bits. The European arrest warrant is


in EU crime and safety measure. Isn't the only interpretational of


the Prime Minister's speech about not hanging onto certain bits of the


EU that are no longer participate in either of these? As an example, I


will say that it is worth having a look at the website that his


colleague is looking at. There are members and associate members of


your poll that are not members of European Union -- of Europol.


Europol existed as a non-EU institution before the EU as an


institution was involved. These things are why important. We'll be


looking to develop a unique and bespoke position for this country.


In just a moment I will give way. I just want to make this point. I do


appreciate from comments already made today, it's clear there will be


members pen question -- who will question the benefit. I've had the


chance to see regular, real-life example of what they do and how they


matter -- why they matter, which I'll outline as soon as I have given


way. Although there are several countries that have operational and


strategic partnerships with the Europol, they don't have a say in


the overall direction of Europol and also in many cases don't have access


to all the databases, and it is access to the databases that is


critical. Can he tell us, it hearing out trying to remain a member of


Europol? -- is he ruling out. And will have access to all of


pottable's databases. Are not ruling anything out. We would bespoke deal


right of this country, no not prejudge the outcome of negotiations


over the next couple of years. Europol is a European Union agency


that is based in The Hague, the one that we are a huge contributor to.


The chief executive at the moment, an excellent leader for that


organisation is a British national. Whilst the honourable member doesn't


want to prejudge negotiations, the decision to opt in, in which he laid


out his case are doing so, show the UK is willing to be an active


participant in Europol for many years to come. Has outlined at the


time, he makes a good point in one sense but I want to be very clear.


The opt in was in the context of us being a member of the European


Union. The next couple of years, we are still a full member of the


European Union. It's important that we make sure we take the opportunity


to play a full and strong part here. And we do want to continue to play a


very, very strong part as a partner for our colleagues across Europe and


globally, particularly for law enforcement. The prime objective of


treble is to facilitate information to prevent serious crime and


terrorism -- of Europol. I have yet to meet a senior police officer


across our country who does not value our permission of Europol. By


providing a platform for members to share intelligence and information


and for a strong analysis function, it offers an parallel opportunities


to prevent serious crime and protect EU citizens, including those in the


UK. This means that some 86,629, for example, suspected criminals were


identified on Europol information system in 2015 alone, at 40% even on


the year before. 1500 plus decisions for referrals of terrorist and


extremist online content between July and December of 2016, with 1600


plus removals. Large-scale organised crime and traffic cases, the UK


starts one of the largest national desks in the organisation, where one


of the biggest contributors of information to Europol's systems.


Another mechanism we have at the moment is to Kante. It works troppo


located network -- is Eurojus. Later this year, we will start operating


the EU's system for exchange of DNA, fingerprints and vehicle


registration data. Following this has's overwhelming vote in December


2015 you join it. In 2015, we did conduct a pilot. Exchanging DNA


profiles with other member states, which gave us an impressive number


of hits. Many again suspect or lot of unidentified otherwise, and allow


the police, who are then able to arrest people for a number of


serious offences including burglary and attempted rape. Since a thousand


15, we have taken part in a second generation Schengen information


system, a system for circulating law-enforcement alerts around the EU


at the same time. This ensures that intelligence is shared


internationally to help prevent threats from across the world. We


have arrested and extradited wanted criminals, who we have would not


have otherwise even known about. I have the give way. The National


crime agency has said the team is vitally important to UK, where he


also join the Met police in that Eurojust is usually fallible and


cooperation agreements must be guaranteed as soon as we leave the


EU -- is hugely valuable. Unaware when I talked about the Association


of curb lease -- of police, wear uniform in desire to keep all the


talk is we can actively working. The work we have to do in the years


ahead must reflect the fact we have made very clear that when people


took forward their boat on the 23rd of June last year, they didn't wait


to be any less safe -- their vote. The serving of prison sentences of


existing convictions, we have managed to extradite some 7000


people for the benefit of that. The European information system provides


a secure electronic system, the exchange of information on criminal


record and convictions between authorities are participating


countries. Ensures that UK authorities are made aware when our


own nationals convicted in any EU country. Means we can secure Camilla


information on EU nationals, so when the UK courts -- criminal


information, they can take into account previous cruel behaviour.


Comicstrip -- previous criminal behaviour, I am grateful. The


government's intention is to effectively negotiate a bespoke


deal, to secure all of this into the future and to achieve that within


two years. What happens if we don't get that spoke deal within the next


two years? I say to my right honourable friend but obviously have


been very clear about this, that the country has voted to leave the EU,


and we are leaving the EU. This is in the context of working to get


that spoke deal that she referred to. I have every confidence not just


in the Home Secretary and the team at the Home Office, but also the


Prime Minister and the team across the backs of department as well to


negotiate to get that deal that is right for our country in the years


ahead. I want to touch briefly on the fight against terrorism. We are


and always have been clear in the national security remains the sole


responsibility of EU member states. That was set out in EU law. Would my


honourable friend agree that of course matters relating to the


important questions Hughes raised regarding crime, terrorism, security


-- he has raised, questions of fingerprinting, not by any means


confined to that region called the European Union. Actually apply


internationally, and therefore just as other countries such as the


United States have their arrangements, so we have hours. He


makes an important point in that the work we have done across Europe, we


have been a leading country in getting this work, it is work we are


continuing to do with countries around the world. To make sure able


to do everything we can in every context to keep our country and


citizens say. We do work bilaterally and through the counterterrorism


group for example to combat terrorism in Europe. That includes


working with European partners on information sharing, tackling


foreign fighters, law-enforcement cooperation, tackling


radicalisation. That sits outside the EU, and will continue to be a


member of it. I EU cooperation is just part of a wider landscape.


International counterterrorism work which includes cooperation through


relationships such as Interpol, and bilateral work with individual


countries and of course Nato. Might I just make one point in relation to


the integration by my honourable friend the member. It was very clear


that though there are other means of international cooperation and with


other countries outside the EU, the current mechanisms are much more


efficient than those, which very often have to be conducted on a


bilateral basis, rather than as part of a joined up system. Beverages


desirable -- therefore it is desirable that we do all it can to


stay in them. That is a good point, and there are different agreements


in different parts of the world with different partners. In important


that we work to get the benefits we have seen from some of the work we


have got in agreements across Europe. Actually more widely. There


are key partners in Europe, and they assure us they very are close


corporation in counterterrorism matters as well. We are clear and


effective cooperation with EU member states in order to combat terrorism


will continue to be a top UK priority. EU relationships will have


to change, but our shared goal in ensuring the security of our


citizens will not. It is important we can find a way forward that works


for the UK and the EU jointly, for mutual benefit. We report on


negotiations from the perspective of what's best for the safety of all


our citizens. What is worse for those who seek to cause serious harm


to all innocent people and democratic values. During


negotiations, we will look to continue the excellent levels of


cooperation that currently exist with our European partners. We are


recognising that the nature of the future relationship can only be


decided in negotiations with member states and EU institutions.


We recognise the challenges in negotiating a new relationship. We


are committed to finding new situations to allow us to continue


working together for the security of Europe and all the citizens of the


United Kingdom. The question is, this house has


considered exiting the EU and security, law enforcement and


criminal justice. Lynne Brown. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. We


welcome this afternoon's debate. In the run-up to the referendum in June


last year and the months since, we have heard much about how our


decision to leave the European Union will affect Britain's economy. We've


it means for our businesses, trading relationships, the nation's finances


and most importantly the personal finances of individuals and


households throughout our country. All of that is of very deep concern


to me and, I know, to many others in the house. Potentially of even


greater significance is the threats to our national security that could


from leaving the European Union and, in particular, the effect it will


have on the ability of our police to protect our citizens. Today, as we


turn our focus to these issues, the government needs to provide stronger


assurances that our nation's security will not be compromised by


our decision to leave the EU. Madam Deputy Speaker if I say gently to


the honourable gentleman that his speech was strong in analysis, long,


and strong on detail on what these institutions are... But we didn't


really hear anything about how we were going to do the things he wants


us to affect. I know some honourable members in this house lament the


fact that in the 40 years plus since we decided to join the common market


it became far more than simply a trading arrangement. Given the


nature of the threat we face, it's unsurprising that European countries


found it convenient to cooperate in other areas, including the field of


justice and home affairs. Quite simply, it was in our national


interest to do so. Because the security threat we face are not


confined to our national borders, whether it is to fight international


terrorist networks or track down fugitives from justice. Or obtain


crucial information on the activities of suspects abroad or


maintain border controls. It certainly makes more sense to act


together. Madam Deputy Speaker, these issues are of paramount


importance to the security of our citizens. Whatever our personal view


on the EU referendum, we urgently need reassurance from the Minister


that our national security and ability to combat crime within our


borders will not be compromised by the decision to leave. I know many


honourable members will have issues they want to race this afternoon.


Thank you very much for letting me in, would be honourable lady agree


that for us in Northern Ireland it is especially Kiwi keep our


relationships with Ireland and how we are working together there, and


improve the counterterrorism world we've got. Eight out of 110


extraditions allowed the still great work to be done. We've got to build


on it. The honourable gentleman is absolutely right, there are three


main issues that we would like to seek answers on this afternoon.


These are our ability to participate in the common arrest warrant, our


future relationship with Europe and access to a Europe-wide crime


prevention databases including the Schengen information system. I'm


going to come to each of those interned. A general point to be


made, as many in this house will remember, our optimal relationship


with the EU in the field of security and justice was comprehensively


debated in the previous parliament. Indeed we opted out of all


provisions relating to police and criminal justice in order to have a


fresh debate about which foolish proofs we wanted to be part by


opting them again. -- which initiatives. This was negotiated


with other European member states by the previous Labour government and


continued by the subsequent coalition. It consisted of two years


of debate in government and Brussels and culminated in Britain deciding


to opt back in to 35 specific measures that we considered to be in


our national interest. These measures included amongst others the


European arrest warrant, Europol, access to Schengen information


system. Three things I'm concerned with today. I know our current Prime


Minister is concerned about them, too, because it was she as Home


Secretary who put the case to the house on the 7th of April 2014, that


we should put back into them. Madam Deputy Speaker, it's so nice to have


confidence that we will have unanimity in the chamber this


afternoon on this often contentious subject. But I know the opted


inhabitant before the referendum. -- the opt in happened. The government


needs to tell us post-referendum how we ensure we still have access to


these measures we so recently decided we needed to keep our


citizens safe. We don't have time today to rehearse the two years of


debate that led to a decision to cooperate in each of these 35 areas


we decided to opt back into. I'm going to focus on our main concerns.


There is no doubt this is a crucial tool in the fight against crime in


the UK. Introduced 2004, it provides a mechanism for crime suspects who


have left the country, fugitives, to be surrendered to the UK


automatically buy in European member state, meaning suspects who have


fled can be returned in a matter of weeks or days. Crucially it means


suspects can be returned to the UK even if the crime they are suspected


of committing has a different legal basis. To the law that applies in


the country they have fled to. This is because, underpinning the


European arrest warrant, is the principal each European Union


country agreed to respect the decisions of each other's criminal


justice system, even if they differ. I think she's just made the point I


wanted to raise, which is that the principal means we have to accept


that justice systems across the rest of the EU are as good as ours. Does


she have confidence that is the case? I have confidence that the


European arrest warrant is far more powerful than any other extradition


process anywhere else in the world. And we would be so stupid if we let


it go. Since it was introduced in 2004, the UK has used it to bring


2500 individuals from outside the UK to face justice. 2500. Let's not


forget it was the mechanism that enabled Hussain Osman to be brought


to justice after he fled to Italy after a failed suicide bombing in


London in 2005. The problem that we face is that the European arrest


warrant is available exclusively to EU members. There are considerable


hurdles to overcome, were we to attempt to maintain the current


arrangements, if we're not in the European Union. As a recent briefing


from the Centre for European reform think tank states, if, having left


the EU, the UK wanted to get a similar deal, I quote, it would need


to convince some of its partners to change their constitutions. In some


cases this would trigger a referendum, do we really think they


would hold such a referendum because we have decided to leave the EU?


Some other countries from outside the European Union have attempted to


negotiate access to the current arrest warrant system. Norway and


Iceland for example have concluded a surrender agreement with the EU that


attempts to get the same benefits, though it has not yet come into


force. This agreement is weaker in two ways. First, it requires the


alleged offences are the same in both countries, so losing the


flexibility that comes from member states agreeing to respect the


decisions of each other's criminal justice systems. Second, it allows


countries to refuse to surrender their own nationals, making it


tricky, for example, if a national of another EU country commits an


offence on UK soil. On top of that, if that weren't bad enough, it took


15 years to negotiate. That is countries in Schengen and the


European economic area. Whereas, as the Prime Minister made clear


yesterday, there are no plans for us to be members of either. The


alternative is to fall back on previous extradition treaties which


are far more cumbersome and in some cases will require EU countries to


change their own laws in respect of the UK. Madam Deputy Speaker it is


hard to see how any of these options are preferable to the current


arrangement. In particular I'm finding it hard to understand how


this fits with the Prime Minister's pledge yesterday to "Work together


more" in response to threats to our common security. Because while it's


not difficult for an individual who has broken the law in Britain to hop


on a cheap flight to another European country, I fear it will be


very hard indeed without the European arrest warrant for us to


get them back again. For this reason, Labour today calls on the


government to ensure the current arrangements are maintained. I now


turn to Europol. It was only a few weeks ago that this house approved


regulations that confirmed our opt in to Europol. The reason we did


this is because it is vital to our national security. Europol, the


European police office, to give it its proper title, exists to combat


serious international organised crime by means of cooperation


between relevant authorities, member states, including those tasked with


customs, immigration services, borders and financial police. As we


know, Europol is not able to mandate national forces to undertake


investigations. But it provides information and resources that


enables these national investigations to take place. In the


words of the British director of Europe, Rob Wainwright, whose


previous career was in UK security institutions, our decision to opt


into your report is, and I quote, good for Britain's security, great


for police operation in Europe. And indeed the Minister for policing


confirmed on the 16th of December during the debate on the statutory


instrument that you report provides, again I quote, a vital tool in


helping UK law enforcement agencies to coordinate investigations


involving cross-border serious and organised crime. A vital tool. He


also said around 40% of everything Europol does is linked to work that


is either provided or requested by the United Kingdom. But when he was


pushed on whether we can maintain our membership of Europol, the


Secretary of State for exiting the European Union speaking in this


house last year was only able to say the government will seek to, and I


quote "Preserve the relationship with the European Union security


matters as best we can". When the honourable member for Holborn and St


Pancras asked the same question about Europol yesterday we got no


more information about how it could be done. I'm grateful to the


honourable lady for giving way. Is she aware of what Wainwright said


last year, that negotiating security pact from outside the block of your


report in the event of Britain leaving the EU would be a damage


limitation exercise. Does she agree with me that what we need to hear


from the government today is not a eulogy to how great you report is


because we know that already, but an indication of how they will limit


the damage caused by leaving the European Union and agencies such as


Europol. The honourable lady is absolutely right because Madam


Deputy Speaker I agree with her, it simply isn't good enough. While the


rubble has arrangements for third-party access, they raise


serious questions. The government itself, in a policy paper published


last year stated, again, I quote, there are a number of important


differences between what Europol provides to third countries with


which it has agreements. And EU members. They highlight, in


particular, the inability to directly submit data and conduct


searches within the Europol databases. The need to conclude a


separate bilateral arrangement to connect to Europol secure


information exchange network application. And the ability to sit


on Europol's management board, which sets the organisational strategy. It


tells us Mr Wainwright is highly unlikely to be staying in his post.


In summary, to borrow from the words of David Armond, deputy director of


the National crime agency, any alternative arrangement to full


membership would be, and I quote, sub optimal. Not as good as what


we've currently got. And that, frankly, doesn't feel comfortable to


me. Our third concerned is around access


to pan-European databases that are important for the routine work of


our police forces. Access to the European criminal records data is


limited, exclusively to EU member states. The common European asylum


system includes fingerprint database known as Euro duck, that prevents


individuals reapplying for a silent once they have been rejected. We


have -- for asylum. To the Schengen information system, despite not


being a member of Schengen, which contains information on lost


identity documents and importantly, wanted persons. And the Minister's


own permanent secretary in his four to the most recent annual report to


the Home Office has stated that strengthening data ties with our


European allies was central to combating terrorism. I would be


grateful if the minister when he sums up confirms whether we also


have access to these databases outside the European Union. And if


so, will they come at a financial cost? I am most grateful to my


honourable friend, she is making an impressive and powerful speech on


this issue. Some of us may just not need to speak, but I'm sure that


will not stop her speaking! Can I just say to her on the issue, at the


moment someone arrested in London within three minutes, if a German


citizen, we'll be to know exactly what their previous convictions are.


We will want an arrangement that is just as good if we are no longer to


have the access that we have at the moment. The honourable gentleman, my


honourable friend, is absolutely right. But we're not getting any


guarantees from our government that this is what they're going to be


able to provide. There is still a more general problem, or that there


are even negotiating for it. There is even more general problem about


access to the data we need to combat crime and keep us safe. Even if we


have access to European databases outside the EU, we may not have too


-- be able to use them. That is because the European data protection


law is clear that no information can be handed to a third country, which


we will be, that does not Hetty evils of privacy. And while our


government has said -- adhered to EU laws of privacy. By the government


said will adhere at least until the point of Brexit, we did not know


that they intend to do so afterwards. We certainly knows what


happens if our data laws do not adhere to European privacy laws. The


European Court of Justice will simply invalidate any data sharing


agreement, as it has done for the so-called agreement between the EU


and the US. What guarantees will the government put in place to ensure


that information our police and security agencies need from the


European Union databases will not also be turned off when they leave?


In conclusion, we have some very deep concerns that our ability to


protect our citizens will be made harder when they leave the European


Union. And we need reassurance from the government that it intends to


reduce or eliminate this risk through its negotiations on Brexit.


It's one thing to have our prosperity under threat from the


complexities of maintaining access to the single market. And frankly,


that's bad enough. But it's quite another to have our security and


their very lives of our citizens under threat due to the complexities


of maintaining cross-border cooperation between our police and


security forces not been properly considered and worked out before


leaving. I quote again from the Centre for European reform. "Justice


And home affairs is not like trade, which creates winners and losers.


The only losers from increased cooperation in law enforcement are


criminals themselves". So my question to the Minister is simple:


what guarantees will he give that Britain's security will not be


compromised by us leaving the European Union? Order. I have now to


announce the result on the deferred decision, the ayes were 299, the


noes Wessex. In England, the ayes were 280, and of the noes were six


-- the noes 's work six. If I may say so to the honourable lady, whose


speech I listen to, I am for my own part completely content of these


matters should be left should be left in the safe hands of the


Minister of State, who knows exactly what needs to be done. I am most


grateful for this opportunity to say a few brief words following my right


honourable friend the Prime Minister's excellent, bold and


comprehensive speech yesterday. And to set out a few thoughts on wider


security and co-operation after Brexit. In the Brexit negotiations,


it will be necessary for us to set up the basis of our future


relationship as is described in Article 50. I believe that our


national interests in sustaining to the very highest degree and indeed


to carrying forward into the future, the highest possible degree of joint


action on Justice, home affairs, security cooperation and of


scientific research and innovation, and indeed on many other areas of


common and important interest. I congratulate my right honourable


friend the Prime Minister on the clear and concise way in which she


set up the government's position. And whilst I was a staunch Remainer,


I absolutely accept the vote of the referendum, and the need now for the


government to get on with it. As Churchill once said, if there is a


there in your bedroom, it is not a matter for speculation. At the same


time as these are difficult and conduct negotiations on trade and


all the myriad other issues take place, this is an important time for


us to set out, as the Prime Minister did in her speech, a clear case for


a very close partnership and a new relationship of cooperation between


members of the European Union and the UK. Indeed, in my view, it


should be as close as any sovereign country can be. In terms of military


affairs, free trade and security cooperation. In my view, this type


of work with our friends Germany and France and others, and in other


countries, is of the first importance. And our initiatives


which in my view would be widely welcomed in Europe, what running in


parallel with the rather more complex and tricky negotiations of


the Article 50 transaction. Here is something about which Britain can


bring something very positive and very useful and of proved worth to


the table. Thus in my judgment, we should aim to maintain our excellent


cooperation on security as it is now, and indeed to enhance it


further, including during the discussion of the new settlement. On


many of the issues, we will continue to have an important interest in


shaping EU policies after we leave. But clearly, the United Kingdom is


an important influence on European security agenda, and it will remain


considerable given our position as Nato's most capable and willing


European power. The recent deployments of Typhoon aircraft to


Remainiac Army personnel to eastern Poland, -- to Romania. And soon the


deployment of a full battalion of 800 men to Estonia. All served to


underline our profound commitment to the effort. Inevitably once the UK


exits the EU, it will become harder for us to translate this into an


important commitment into political influence. It is thus even more


imperative that our partners and friends understand that it is our


intention to continue the closest possible relationship in these areas


to our mutual interest. As the Prime Minister rightly said yesterday in


her speech, she wants Britain to be the best friend and neighbour of our


European partners. And a country that reaches out beyond the borders


of Europe, too. And my fervent hope that our European friends will


understand that it is our strongest wish that we play from the outside


what role we can in making sure that the UPN union succeeds. Yes, of


course. -- the European Union. Would he agrees me that we need to put all


the pressure we can on President come to make sure that Nato stays in


place and we build on our security -- president Trump. There is a fear


that he may not, in which case the pressures change. I very strongly


agree with the honourable gentleman, and I think it is very important. I


have high hopes that the Prime Minister when she goes to visit


President Trump will of course be making this point very clearly I


hope that he will say something in his inauguration speech which will


clarify what he meant. I'm not offended by that. Discussing with my


honourable friend the chairman of the Defence Select Committee. I


don't think he meant it as an insult. It is true there is much


about nature that is highly unsatisfactory. Not the least that


many of them don't pay their fair whack -- about Nato. Nato is not


equipped or is far advanced as Russia, for example, in the new


asymmetric hybrid versions of warfare that we are going to have to


contend with as is seen in the unbelievably bad behaviour in the


Crimea. Before he gets back to his main oration, I would like to draw


attention to the context in which President Trump was reported, where


he says that Nato, he says, is extremely important to him. When


he's talking about the word obsolete, he seems to be using it in


a sense that he's saying that Nato needs not to be abolished, but to


modernise to face new threats. I think actually, we shouldn't read


too much into the individual nuances of particular words that he speaks,


because nuance does not seem to his style. I think my right honourable


friend is spot on with that, anyway I'm sure that these matters will


play out. I look at the wonderful success of the security architecture


designed by those wise men and women after the last war, the last Great


War, one looks at how well it has served the world in peace, in good


times and bad times. It would seem to me not to be a sensible time to


do anything other than support. Therefore, with the threats to our


common security becoming even more serious, and in many ways in my view


more insidious, our response cannot surely be to cooperate with one


another less, but to work together more. As the Prime Minister said in


her speech yesterday, we are proud of the Royal Britain has prayed, and


we will continue to play in promoting Europe's security -- the


role Britain has played. Whether it is implement in sanctions against


Russia following its action in the Crimea, working for peace and


stability in the Balkans, extraordinary important piece of


work right now, or securing Europe's external borders. We will continue


to work closely with our European allies in foreign and defence


policy, even as the leave the EU itself. To conclude, I hope that the


Minister will agree with me that it is very important that we


demonstrate even during the heat of the negotiations the inevitable heat


of the negotiations, are absolute determination to be good partners


and good friends, allies and friends to Europe, and that we are as my


right honourable friend so rightly said, leaving the European Union but


most emphatically not leaving Europe. It's a pleasure and an


honour to follow the right honourable member for Mid Sussex,


I'm sure we find much about which we disagree, but his experience in


these matters shines through. I would also like to compliment the


honourable member for West Ham on her speech. I think it was a fine


speech and there was much to agree about in it. This debate takes place


against the background of the Prime Minister's speech yesterday, which


was made not to this house but to an invited audience. Although we had an


opportunity to question the minister, the Secretary of State for


exiting the European Union yesterday, this House has yet to


debate the plan for year event Defra for leaving European Union. While it


is of utmost importance we debate the implications on justice, it is


more important that we should soon be involved to debate the overall


plan for Brexit that was finally laid before us yesterday. Scotland


didn't vote for the direction of travel set out in the Prime


Minister's speech yesterday. We don't believe it's in our national


interest, but we also believe that decisions on this topic in relation


to Europe, the European Union, are not being driven by the National --


rational best interests of the whole UK, but rather by the obsessions of


the hard right of the Tory party. We strongly believe that the best way


to build a prosperous and equal, a safe and secure United Kingdom is to


be a full member of the European Union. Which failing, to be a member


of the single market and to cooperate widely on matters such as


security, law enforcement and criminal justice. That's why the


Scottish Government put a plan to the whole of the UK before


Christmas, suggesting a compromise whereby we might the whole of UK


stay in the single market and continue to cooperate on matters


such as under discussion today. It seems clear from the Prime Minister


said yesterday that she's not interested in that as an option, so


we fall back on our fallback position, whereby we ask the British


government to consider allowing Scotland to stay in the single


market allowing Scotland to continue co-operation on these matters.


But, Madam Deputy Speaker, to turn to the subject in hand, the UK


Government should not try to lull people into a false sense of


security in thinking that continued cooperation on the matter is we are


debating today will be easy in the event of a hard Brexit. It's not


just my opinion, it was the opinion of the House of Lords European Union


committee which published a report on Brexit and future EU UK security


and police co-operation. They noted the United Kingdom shares a mutual


interest in maintaining police and security cooperation after Brexit.


They warned against any suggestion that this understanding of mutual


self interest might lead to a false sense of optimism as to how


negotiations in this area might proceed. This raises questions


already alluded to about the extent to which the United Kingdom could


continue to benefit from the same level of cooperation outside the EU.


It's already been pointed out in relation to you report that


associate members do not have access to the same data sharing


information. Data sharing is very central to this debate, Madam Deputy


Speaker. There will be limits to how closely the United Kingdom and EU 27


can work together. If we in the UK are no longer accountable to an


subject to the oversight and adjudication of the same


supranational institutions, including, perhaps most importantly,


the Court of Justice of the European Union. We saw just before Christmas


that the Court of Justice of the European Union took rather dim view


of the provisions for data collection and retention in the


investigatory Powers act. Many of us had warned that would occur at the


time the bill was going through the house. If the United Kingdom does


not comply with EU law on data sharing and privacy protection then


our partners will not be able in terms of the laws by which they are


bound to share information with us. This is not about protection of


civil liberties, it's crucial to security and issues of law


enforcement. Much is often made in this general debate about the


European Union of the opportunities that lie for the United Kingdom


beyond Europe. It is sometimes suggested we should focus more on


our security arrangements with the five eyes countries, the United


States of America. It is true some countries such as the USA have shown


there is a precedent for bilateral agreements on the transfer of data.


But these presidents don't offer the quick fix some suggest. These


agreements have taken many years to negotiate and in some cases are not


enforced. Why withdraw from the system we have so painstakingly


contributed to four years to seek something else which is far from


guaranteed? As a matter of security we can't afford to have an


operational break in the access we currently have two these EU


cross-border tools, because the part of the day-to-day work of the police


force at present. We have to look at the figures on stats produced by the


Home Office and Scottish Government to see how important Europol and the


European West warrant are. It is sometimes also suggested our


partnerships with other countries such as the five eyes partnership


will somehow replace or supersede what we have in place with the


European Union. It won't work either because the five eyes partnership,


important as it is, doesn't cover all aspects of our security. For


example it doesn't cover day-to-day policing, or all aspects of it. The


National crime agency has said one of their issues of concern, an issue


of concern for their five eyes partners, is that the lack of the


United Kingdom at Europol will impact on the other five eyes


countries' relationships because often they use the United Kingdom as


a proxy for getting work done at Europol when the United Kingdom is


working with the other five eyes countries. These are the realities


of the situation and they are not just difficulties that we in the


Scottish National party are highlighting, and the Labour Party,


they are difficulties which have been highlighted by the National


crime agency, by Rob Wainwright, and by a House of Lords committee that


has looked into these matters in some detail. The need to meet EU


data protection standards in order to exchange data for law enforcement


purposes means that if we leave the UK, if the UK leaves the EU, the UK


will still need to subject itself to data protection law, which it will


have no role in shaping. I asked the people on the benches opposite, is


that what they really want? I realise they have concerns about the


way laws are made in the European Union and I realise it's pretty


obvious they don't like the Court of Justice in the European Union very


much. If we as a union of nations want to continue to operate security


and law enforcement with our European Union partners, as I said


earlier, data sharing is key. We'll have to subject ourselves to the


data sharing rules made by the other 27 member states into which we are


going to have no input. If we insist on going our separate way, as we've


done with the IP act, going beyond what European law sanctions, the


other 27 member states won't want to share information with us because,


as I said earlier, it'll be in breach of their own laws on data


sharing and data protection. Madam Deputy Speaker, these are very, very


real concerns. As I said earlier, my intervention on the honourable lady


who speaks for the Labour front bench, what we heard from the


minister earlier was a very good speech about the advantages of


Europol and other European Union institutions to the lighted kingdom.


-- United Kingdom. What we didn't hear was how he proposes to preserve


those advantages in the event of the hard Brexit which we heard about for


the first time in some detail yesterday. What we need to hear


before this afternoon is not United Kingdom government's wish list, but


the mechanics of how the United Kingdom government intends to


achieve a continuation of the level of security, protection and law


enforcement information sharing we currently enjoy with the other 27 EU


member states, if they are intent on the task which the Prime Minister


set out yesterday. We've heard nothing so far except that they want


a bespoke deal. We'll wait with bated breath to hear about more than


that when the Minister sums up. Robert Weale. Always a pleasure to


follow the honourable lady member for Edinburgh South West. She's a


distinguished practical lawyer and I agree with her on some of the


practical issues which arise and I'll come back to some of those in a


moment. Can I first of all say how much I endorse the views of my right


honourable friend the member for Mid Sussex in relation both to our


mutual situation, having forced to remain in the European Union but


lost, accepting the verdict of the people, commending the Prime


Minister upon what I think is a realistic, practical and determined


approach to taking that issue forward. And upon the importance of


our Nato relationships. He's much more of an expert on those matters


Bandai but I endorse what he says and perhaps I add this one word. Not


only must we endorse and strengthen our Nato relationships, we must


maintain the best possible relationships with our colleagues


who happen to be both members of the European Union and Nato. Not least


our nearest neighbour, France, which is the other great military power of


Europe. Nicola Power, significant military power, member of the United


Nations security council. -- nuclear power. He will gently remind other


material colleagues we have a long history with France and are on the


same side in the Second World War. -- ministerial colleagues. That


said, I'll pass to the specific issue I'd like to return to, which


is the question of law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation.


That has concerned me not only through my years at the criminal


bar, but the Justice select committee took evidence in the last


week or so, we'll be publishing our report soon. I don't expect the


Minister to reveal the mechanism by which we achieve our objectives,


because we're at the beginning of a process and the Prime Minister was


right to set out if you like, the plan, and I expect there will be a


lot more detail we have to think about. What I want to do in this


short contribution is to flag up some of the issues I hope the


Minister and his colleagues will bear in mind when we look at the


negotiations, and how we put that plan into reality. The Minister of


State for the Home Office started by talking about the importance of the


European arrest warrant. It is recognised by the Prime Minister.


She is right. We must do all that is necessary to remain within the


European arrest warrant. It involves some compromises with purity of any


break. I will be prepared to make that, as I would in relation to


other matters, to achieve the practical objective of keeping our


country safe. They are absolutely critical. As I said to the Minister


of State, much of these issues are not about our domestically


determined criminal law being over weened, supervened, by some


international system. These are matters of practical cooperation in


tracking down the rest of subjects, suspects, the exchange of


information and the enforcement of Court judgments to everybody's


mutual advantage. In all member states of the EU have varying


degrees of approach to the criminal justice system. Ours is particularly


different because of our common law system of which we are immensely


proud. It does not mean, and I hope people will never suspect it means


the systems of other European member states should automatically be


regarded as inferior to ours. Some of us occasionally in this country


are too sniffy about the quality of the justice systems of other


European member states. I have no hesitation whatever in commending


the integrity of the justice systems of France, Germany, Italy, many


others. As I would to those of Scotland, Ireland or Northern


Ireland, for that matter. Cheesemaking is a very good points


but would he not concur as a fellow member of the Council of Europe,


some of the prison systems he and I have both probably visited simply do


not come up to British standards. With Greece in particular. I thought


that might be the issue that was going to be raised and that is why I


was going to say, firstly, it doesn't alter the importance of the


criminal justice cooperation. Secondly, where that has been


relevant as a criticism of the arrest warrant in the past, for


example, it is past history, because what's not often recognised enough,


there are important amendments made to the European arrest warrant in


2014. When we had evidence from both the criminal lawyers Society and the


criminal bar Association, they concurred very strongly the


amendments in 2014 had removed the risks that got the unfortunate Mr


sinew in his position. I give way to my honourable friend. It's a great


pleasure to serve under his chairmanship. I think the point the


honourable member for Monmouth was making in his intervention on the


Minister, which is a cause for concern for me, is sometimes


countries in the EU issue their European arrest warrant for very


minor offences. The example of the individual who had a warrant issued


because he had stolen a bicycle. It's important individual countries


focus on the reason they take up their arrest warrants. I've always


regarded this as a serious thing when a European arrest warrant is


issued, not for the minor offences some countries use. The important


thing there, and I accept the issue is a significant one, those two


amendments did two things. Firstly Beirut any risk of extradition


before commencement of proceedings. Secondly, they introduced in the UK


a proportionality filter. It would be a better if other members of the


European arrest warrant had a proportionality filter. The evidence


we had from Professor Wilson of the Northumbria University criminal


Justice Centre, it seems even Poland, which has resisted


proportionality filters in the past, is moving in that direction. We're


in an improving situation. The fact we have those two important


safeguard is significant and it's important the European arrest


warrant system is a court driven system, subject to judicial


supervision, rather than being an executive act of extradition. That's


like it'll be undesirable for us to lose the advantage of the European


arrest warrant and have to fall back to the 1957 extradition convention,


a purely administrative act through diplomatic channels without the


protection of court intervention or review and was also much more


cumbersome. I'll give way. It has been a pleasure to serve


under the fine gentleman. I wonder if he will comment on some of the


comments made by my colleague, notwithstanding the clear desire of


my colic to stay within the European arrest warrant, there will be issues


with the data-sharing regimes in the European Union and the UK, and how


he thinks that could be reconciled following the UK leaving the


European Union. It is clear from the evidence we have that the government


will have to take that on board. We will have to add header not just to


European standards of data protection, -- red hair, for them to


be able to share with us, maybe in relation to other third-party


countries, that we and they have to be prepared to adhere to


international standards. That will also involve some form of


international adjudicative process, where there are disputes between


member states. Not going to try and tie the member down as to how best


we solve that, but there are serious issues that we have to have on the


board from day one in our negotiations. Equally, when they


talk about involvement with some of the other agents as we referred to,


a number of very valuable tools, there is a financial cost to the


development of those databases, and I certainly would say to the


government, do not be afraid to continue to make financial


contribution to the development and maintenance of those databases.


That'll be a very small price to pay in terms of the advantage of


protection to the British public. I think there is common ground on the


objective of the European arrest warrant. I want to just two raids


some practical issues will have to grasp if we are to succeed -- I just


want to raise. Can I just refer also to the other matters of concern.


Cooperation between the courts, that is involving the continued


membership or association of Eurojust. There is a present for


non-member states continue to cooperate with Eurojust. Norway has


a cooperation agreement, and has liaison prosecutors based at


Eurojust. We would if we leave the EU, as it stands have to move from


being National college members, but it could have that Norwegian star


status. Perhaps we should be bold though untried idea to remain --


Norwegian style status. I hear what the gentlemen are saying about


Norway, but is he aware that the Prime Minister in her former role as


Home Secretary was very disparaging about the abilities of Norway and


Switzerland outside the EU bloc, because they don't have access to


all the tools and have to do things like come under the jurisdiction of


the European Court of Justice while not having the same input into the


lawmaking processes. Prior to the referendum,... I accept the verdict


of the British people, and we must find a practical means of achieving


the objective that we want, and will be better to get something far


better than what Norway has, therefore we should start by wanting


to be National associates. We have nothing to lose from pressing flak


from the beginning. In April last, the Prime Minister's referred to the


whole system, the prisoner transfer unit, joint investigation teams and


others, she referred to all of those matters in these terms, these are


practical measures that promote effective cooperation between


different European law enforcement organisations, and if we're not part


of them, Britain would be less so. As Francis Fitzgibbons, chair of the


criminal bar Association, that'll be a good starting point to bring the


whole area into greater prominence since and a great starting point for


our objectives. Repeatedly, the witnesses that we had to just a


select committee said that this is part of a mutually reinforcing


system of justice cooperation. The information exchanges, the ability


to enforce court judgment, the ability for example to seek a


European information or to come to get evidence from abroad, these are


all part of the same process. And that is why it is critical that we


set the highest possible level of objective for seeking our continued


engagement with these matters. Madam Deputy Speaker, it is an important


debate because it is an immensely important topic. Those of us who now


do want to move on constructively from what's been a bruising


experience for this country on any view, want to do so on the basis of


an ambition to protect the country, but also to recognise that both our


judicial system and our police force is immensely highly regarding, not


just in Europe, but internationally. We have something to bring to the


table as well -- highly regarded. As I hope the Minister will take this


point on board in a bold and highly ambitious negotiation. I wish him


and his colleagues were with it. It's a pleasure to follow my select


committee chaired colleague, the rumble member for Bromley and


Chislehurst. That the honourable member. I agree with him on many


points you made about the detail of the importance of continued European


cooperation as well. Like him, I voted to trigger Article 50 by the


end of March, whilst like him I wanted us to remain, I believe we


should respect the referendum result. That means getting on with


the detailed and hard work of how we get the best possible deal for


Britain outside the EU. And I would join the member for Edinburgh South


West in putting out the caution that we should have in assuming that some


of this is going to be easy. To get the detail right particularly on the


important law enforcement issues, where if we don't have the right


kind of legal basis for the corporation that we want to see, we


simply won't be able to use the information or intelligence that we


have in order to lock people up who have committed crimes, in order to


take the action that we need to keep people safe. I had this is an error


where there is considerable consensus about the objectives that


we should have, not just across this has in terms of our objectives in


cooperating to keep Britain safe, but also across Europe -- this


House, where that cooperation between Britain and other European


countries has saved people's lives, has protected us from terror


threats, from serious crime as well. And the Prime Minister is right when


she said yesterday that with the threats to our common security


becoming more serious, our response cannot be to cooperate with one


another less, but to work together more. But so far, we have heard very


little from the Home Secretary and with the greatest respect for the


policing minister, I am disappointed that the Home Secretary has not come


to the house today the debate. Given the seriousness of these issues and


also the fact that the Prime Minister highlighted, the importance


of Parliamentary solitary as part of this debate, I do think we do need


to hear more from the Home Secretary, will be calling her to


come to the select committee -- the parliamentary sovereignty. It is a


disappointment that there is no Home Office minister here for a debate on


something which will have huge repercussions for our security


operations for very many decades to come. Obviously the work on security


will sit as part of a wider government plan for getting the best


Brexit deal and the best Brexit settlement. Yesterday the Prime


Minister talked particularly about trade and pledged to get her free


trade and a better overall deal for British people's jobs outside the


single market and Customs union. The government will know there is


considerable concern about whether ditching these long established


trade and customs deal is really going to deliver us a better deal


for jobs, employment protection and environmental standards here in


Britain. Her ministers will need to provide, considering -- Anita


provide considerably more evidence -- is a social and economic


standards that matter so not much -- so much as well. And the government


needs to say more about its approach to immigration. Among those who has


for some time believe that we needed to change free movement, and I think


there are particular concerns about unrestricted low skilled migration,


and we will need a sensible debate about how to get the best deal for


Britain on both jobs and immigration so that will benefit from


international talent and from economic trade as well. But there is


some confusion and some questions a result of mixed messages from the


government, it would be very helpful if the Minister could clarify as he


speaks from the Brexit department. With some suggesting that


immigration will not be part of the discussions and the negotiations


about trade, that these issues would be kept separate in the


negotiations. Others saying no, debate about future immigration


rules will be dealt with alongside the trade negotiations. It would be


fair important to understand whether the negotiations about customs union


and the single market are stand-alone trade negotiations, or


whether it will be a wider debate looking at options around


immigration and trade as well. Can I congratulate her on all the eggs and


watches doing as the chair of the home affairs select committee -- or


the excellent work she's doing. Especially with regards to the


rights of EU citizens, are going to have another debate? Or are we


supposed to discuss all these matters in this debate to do with


home affairs and Justice? Does she know? I think my honourable friend


and commend him for his many years of fantastic work on the home


affairs and select committee. No, I don't know what the plans are for


further debate about immigration. Maybe the Minister macro can


enlighten us, because clearly it will be one of the central issues to


be discussed. If it is included in the debate, that will affect the


kind of deal, the kind of agreement that we get, so it is important for


us to have some clarity. About what those plans are. Turning to these


crucial security issues. Shall be well aware that there are a number


of different options for immigration, from those in EU member


states and I'm sure she won't miss the opportunity to advertise the


Home Affairs Select Committee's big conversation going around the


country to discuss this issue, and indeed encourage honourable members


to contribute and their constituents to do so as well. He's exactly


right, and I'm glad that as a fellow member of the Home Affairs Select


Committee he has reminded me to say that this is something that is, I


think, going to need to involve people from right across the country


having their say. About what the right immigration options should be


for Britain, about we know that immigration is important for our


future but also needs to be controlled and managed in a way that


is fair. But people have different views about how that should happen.


My view is that there is actually rather more consensus than people


sometimes think, in the polarised debate that sometimes take place on


immigration. We do believe that all members of the House should have


their say as part of that, and we'll be holding regional hearings and


regional evidence since around the country and urging honourable


members to consult their members are not there want to see -- evidence


sessions. As part of the future arrangements. Let me turn to the


security issues. The Minister, policing Minister set out a very


broad brush approach, and my honourable friend the shadow


policing Minister set out a very forensic response, and a very


thorough and detailed set of questions that weren't really


addressed in the policing Minister's initial outlines. He talked about


the value of our relationships and of the importance of joint working.


But in these three crucial areas, Europol, the European arrest warrant


and on the databases, we do need much more reassurance from the


government that they're taking this immensely seriously, because it will


have huge implications for our security if we don't get this right.


On the Europol membership, there is no precedent for a non-EU member to


be in Europol. But I'd be grateful for confirmation from the Minister


that there is also nothing in the treaties that would rule this out.


So if we are looking for our bespoke arrangement, perhaps he could


confirm there is nothing to prevent as asking to continue our existing


Europol membership, given the crucial role that Britain has played


in shaping Europol in the first place, and in raising the standards


of policing and cross-border policing in other countries across


Europe to meet the standards that we have here in the cave. He will know,


to -- in the UK, the UK uses Europol more than almost any other country


in the EU, we provide more intelligence and play a leading role


as well. I'd have been involved in things like operation golf,


involving the Met and Europol, which rescued 28 children which are being


exploited by a remaining -- a Romanian criminal gang network. Also


an online child abuse network, leading to 200 rest in the UK. That


kind of work between Europol is immensely important. Urging


government to pursue full membership of Europol, and if not, something


that frankly looks like it, sounds like it and smells like it so that


it delivers exactly the kind of security arrangements that we have


at the moment. Secondly on the European arrest


warrant again, we need something that looks like it, feels like it,


sounds like it, smelt like it, that pretty much is the European arrest


warrant. And the idea of reinventing something from scratch, having to


renegotiate, as other countries like Norway and Iceland have done, has


taken them many years to do so and the length of time involved in


renegotiating those sort of extradition agreements, whether it's


with the rest of the EU or individual countries, can cause huge


long delays and considerable legal uncertainty as well. The government,


I know, is well aware of the importance of the European arrest


warrant. It was part of our discussion when we discussed that


over the last few years. I hope we'll continue to make sure that we


can respond to the up to 1000 European arrest warrant is each year


which involve us being able to deport two other countries. There


are suspected criminals who would otherwise be able to find greater


sanctuary here. The most challenging one of all, the one the police who


gave test Amir and evidence to the select committee raised, was in fact


the access to information and databases. And that shared


information across Europe. Here is what the deputy director of the


National crime agency said... He said, if we are curtailed in our


ability to access intelligent Systems, our overseas partners have


put in place, we may risk people hurting children or committing harm


because we cannot put that picture together. My response to you is:


yes, it increases the risk. The member for West Ham gave on account


of the debate are bases and the challenges they present. The second


generation Schengen information system, the Europol information


system. On the Europe or information system, some of Europe or's


cooperation partners can store and query the data in the centre but


they can't have direct access, it's the direct access that is what is so


important. From the passenger name record directive, so many of these


directives. If we are outside the EU and trying to arrange a bespoke new


arrangement for the European Commission, be forced to make


adequacy assessments. Once we check article 50 and we're setting out new


arrangements from outside EU, we will expect to have to have an


adequacy assessments by the European Commission under their legal


arrangements. However, as the member for Edinburgh South West pointed


out, there are some challenges with getting that data adequacy


assessment in place. And whilst this ought to be the kind of thing that,


given our shared objectives in security and intelligence


cooperation, all of it ought to be solvable. It's another reason why


this takes time in order to get it right and why we can't simply assume


because we have the same shared objectives, therefore it'll all be


solved and all come out in the wash. And so I think if our objectives are


to stay in Europe, in the European arrest warrant, and to keep access


to those crucial databases, actually it would be helpful if the


government could say that and could say those are our objectives, rather


than simply the broadbrush statements which are simply that we


want to continue with cooperation around security. It would give


greater certainty for the police and law enforcement officers about what


they should be focusing on and what they should be planning for as well.


The Minister will know the importance of, if we're not able to


do this, having transitional arrangements in place because if we


don't people's lives will be at risk. We leave with one final


thought about the way in which the negotiations take place. I'm


worried, I've raised my concern about Home Office ministers and the


Home Secretary not being here, I'm concerned because there is shared


agreement on the objectives both in the and across Europe that somehow


this will be treated as a lower priority in the negotiations. It's


not as controversial as some of the other issues that we will all row


about. It's not going to be, therefore, one of the main thing is


the Prime Minister will keep her attention on continually. However it


has to be taken immensely seriously otherwise it'll slip between peoples


fingers and we'll end up with it not being ready in time, the details not


ready in time, and not sorted out. My other concern is this should not


be used as a bargaining chip in the wider negotiations. There will be


all kinds of rows and debates and trade-offs that will take place


across Europe around trade, around immigration rules, those sorts of


things, but we should not have trade-offs around security. It would


be better if these issues around security, corporation, could be


treated as a separate part of the negotiations and could be dealt with


as rapidly as possible to get some early security and show the


government is putting sufficient attention into it. In the end, we


will hold further evidence sessions as part of our select committee and


I'm sure other select committees and other members of the house will be


scrutinising this in detail. It is the final thought, which is that


Britain voted to leave the EU, nobody voted to make Britain less


safe. That is why safety and security, you know, will be


something the government will take seriously. It needs to be


sufficiently seriously to make sure we don't get an inadvertent gap in


that security arrangement that ends up putting lives at risk. In the end


when we are dealing with terror, security, cross-border crime, this


is about the government's first duty, to keep its citizens safe.


Madam Deputy Speaker it is a pleasure to follow the Right


Honourable member for I agree with pretty much everything


she said. During the referendum campaign one of the aspects that did


not feature particularly dominantly was security. I can understand why


that was the case, a lot of what we've been talking about today is


very complex and doesn't fit easily into a short sound bite. But also


because a lot of the security cooperation we have is done not to


our membership of the EU, our security against military threats


from other countries is protected by our membership of Nato and other


alliances and bilateral relationships. Our security in terms


of terror arrest is dealt with on a bilateral basis. Country to country


between intelligence agencies. And also through multilateral agreements


such as the five eyes intelligence alliance comprising Australia,


Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and the USA. These relationships are


entirely separate to our membership of the EU and are in no way


compromised by this country's decision to leave and to that extent


I never subscribed to the claims of some on my side of the referendum


campaign, Remain, that we would suddenly become a very dangerous


place in the event of a boat to leave or indeed a ridiculous


hyperbole that Isis would be delighted by a lever vote. -- vote


to leave. Mark Rowley the Assistant Commissioner for operations at the


Met police reported there had been an increasing cooperation between


European member state police and intelligence agencies since the vote


to leave and this cooperation on an ad hoc basis was no doubt do to and


necessitated by intelligence shortcomings before some of the


recent terrorist atrocities in Europe. To focus on military and


high-level intelligence cooperation and counterterrorism that takes


place outside the EU architecture would be to ignore the many policing


and criminal justice measures inside the EU structures that we're today.


And that makes the police's practical work keeping us safe


easier and more efficient. I've spoken to a number of police


officers in my previous work as a barrister, used to act for and


against the police regularly. I know many police officers, locally and


outside my own area, some who voted to leave, some who voted to remain.


All of them had in common a clear desire for our existing police and


criminal Justice cooperation to stay the same or be replicated as closely


as possible. Indeed just last night I was speaking to Gavin Thomas,


Chief Superintendent and president of the police superintendents


Association for England and Wales at an event which a number of


honourable and right Honourable members were present. He was giving


me the example of DNA where access to EU databases allowed checks to be


performed within 15 minutes that previously took days or weeks. He is


a full supporter, as are the needs of many other stuff associations in


the police, and senior police officers, of maintaining our current


relationships with the EU in terms of policing and criminal justice. My


honourable friend makes a very powerful point. Is he aware there is


some evidence in relation to SI, the Schengen information system where


the National crime agency said loss of access to SI as two would


seriously inhibit the UK ability to identify and arrest people who pose


a public threat and a security threat. I entirely agree with the


Right Honourable member and in fact I don't think there is a single


senior police officer or police organisation that takes a view


counter to the one that he has just outlined. Outside the police, apart


from some concerns, which I do not share, about the European arrest


warrant, I do not detect any desire in the public for there to be any


rowing back on our policing and criminal justice corporations with


the EU. Even in this place I don't detect any such appetite either.


Certainly since I've been in this place, the only pushed back,


particularly from these benches, has been the requirement to submit to


the oversight of the European Court of Justice. If that's taken out of


the equation, and I'll come back to it shortly, I doubt there would be a


voice of dissent in this place to the panoply of policing criminal


justice cooperation to be enjoy. Time doesn't permit me to go through


every one of them, I'll focus on four. Europol exists to assist law


enforcement agencies in member states tackling cross-border crime,


it focuses on gathering, organising and disseminating information rather


than on conducting investigations itself. The UK has 12 liaison


officers at Europol headquarters in the Hague and I was able to visit


with colleagues from the home affairs committee last year,


including the Right Honourable member for Leicester East. It was a


very impressive operation indeed. It's important to note Europol has


representatives from non-EU countries like Norway and the US and


we had a long conversation with representatives from the US who have


a very significant presence from the Department of Homeland Security.


From the conversation we had from them it wasn't immediately clear


they were significantly worse off from not being a member of the EU


but it is certainly the case they don't have the automatic right to


access to information on the Europol information system that members of


the EU have. There is a specific provision, that have access on a


case-by-case, supervised basis. We were also able to meet online


counter radicalisation officers from the European cybercrime Centre. An


initiative very much championed by our Prime Minister when she was Home


Secretary. I mentioned the Europe or information system, the central


database with information on suspected criminals and objects


associated with crime such as Europe. If your vehicle is suspected


of being connected with a crime in Kingston, British police officers


can search the EIF to find out if there is other information on the


vehicle or people associated with it anywhere else in the EU. In 2015, UK


sent and received 27,000 alerts to Europol channels. Half of which


related to high priority threats like child sex exploitation and


firearms. As crime and criminals respect state borders less and less,


the role of Europol in supporting cross-border cooperation will only


increase, and be more and more vital, it must be retained and


retained with British involvement. Like the EIS, it allows and


facilitate searches of each other's database for fingerprints, DNA


profiles and vehicle registration details, the UK has not implemented


it. I believe it will later this year. It ran a pilot of the DNA


profile exchange in 2015 and as already cut explain, they had from a


senior police officer just yesterday, it's allowed checks to be


performed in 15 minutes that would previously have taken hours or days.


As the chamber's resident expert on PRUM, does he agree with me it's


very important to continue to implement PRUM irrespective of our


decision to come out of the European Union, because it provides important


data sharing on DNA and fingerprints. We've made the


decision, we should continue with that, pending negotiations. Pending


negotiations we should continue down the path of integration in all these


policing and criminal justice measures, that we've already done


with respect to Europol. In a decision made and approved by this


house just last month. Moving onto another important measure, much like


the measure the Right Honourable member was just referring to, the


passenger name record directive, something we both saw and had


explained to us at Copenhagen airport. This is a common system for


collecting and processing data held by airlines including names, travel


dates, itineraries, seat numbers, baggage and means of payment. These


date is vitally important in tracking criminal and terrorist


movements to prevent and detect crime.


It is important to note that the EU has bilateral data-sharing


arrangements with the US, Australia and Canada and its negotiating


arrangements with the EU. There is no good reason why a non-EU country


cannot participate in what is clearly a system that has mutual


benefit. Finally, the European arrest warrant. This has had a


transformative effect on the police and prosecuting authorities'


abilities to get those who need to face justice in the UK, be that


prosecution or a prison sentence, back to the UK to do so. It bypasses


the fiendishly complicated extradition rules that apply with


respect to some other countries. Because countries who are members of


the European arrest warrant cannot refuse to extradite their own


citizens, and there are legally mandated time limits during which


extraditions have to take place. In 2015-16, 2102 individuals were


arrested in the UK and deported on European arrest warrant is, people


we plainly do not want in this country. We have been able to repay


trade over 2500 individuals from EU countries since we've been a member


-- repatriate. Including some well known terrorists, serious criminals,


paedophiles and there is a list of very high profile cases I don't need


to go into. I agree with the right Honourable Lady for West Ham, that


this is the most effective extradition system in the world, and


it would be madness to be in a situation where we have to leave it.


I'm very grateful, and I'm not an expert on this subject, but there is


concern that UK citizens could under the EA W find themselves extradited


to other EU countries where the just and -- justice system. To what we


would regard as adequate. Does he have any concerns about that? Am


sure we will hear his expertise in the defence field in a few moments.


I think the starting point of the EAW system is that anyone within the


system has legal system which will give a British citizen a fair


hearing in the same way citizens of that country would have a fair


hearing here. That is just starting assumption, and I think that's why


this House approved our membership of the European arrest warrant


system. I accept there are a number of people who hold the view the


Right Honourable member does, or at least that he refers to, and I did


refer to that in opening. On balance, the majority of people in


this House and this country think that being a member of the European


arrest warrant keeps us safer. Perhaps my right honourable friend


would like to know that that was the view of both the criminal solicitors


is Association who represent defendants and the criminal bar


Association. On balance it was an advantage, because it has judicial


overview, unlike the classic extradition, which is an executive


process. Thank you for that very helpful intervention. There are many


other measures that I could go through, to mention a few, but


European criminal records information system, the Schengen


information system, too. The system for providing enforcement alerts to


those wanted, including those wanted European arrest warrant, which


includes over 17 million live alerts. The European image archiving


system, a database of genuine and counterfeit ID documents and col


stumps. In all of these fields, I agree with the right honourable lady


that we should be aiming for full membership or the closest possible


approximation to full membership. So I turned to the UK's position on


these matters. Since the general election, the government has put us


in a good position to take forward policing and justice cooperation


with the EU. First in December 2015, we decided to opt into prom two,


second in December 2016, we decided to opt into new regulations


governing Europol, and I was pleased to sit on the European committee


that approved that decision unanimously. Third, yesterday the


Prime Minister set out how a global Britain will continue to


cooperate with its European partners in the fight against the common


threats of crime and terrorism. She made clear that she wanted our


future relationship with the EU to include practical arrangements on


matters of law enforcement and the sharing of intelligence material


with our EU allies. That came as no surprise, and she had personally led


a number of initiatives in her many years in the Home Office. It is up


to the European Union and to other member states whether they agree to


allow the UK to remain part of the policing and criminal justice at the


texture we are debating this afternoon. I think the case for the


EU and EU member states to do so is clear, and probably more clear in


this area of cooperation than in any other area of EU cooperation. Not


just because this affects the security of every citizen of every


EU member state, but because the UK is at the forefront of each and


every one of these criminal justice measures. Take Europol. The Europol


information system does, I understand, have 40% of its


contributions on to the shared intelligence system from the United


Kingdom. 40%, behind only one country, Germany. And the main


contributor contribute in a number of important areas. It will be in


the interest of any EU member state or the EU as a whole to shut itself


off from access to that vital intelligence: the pursuit of some


lofty principle or ideal. This is a matter of practicality. If the


tables were turned and an IDE country that contributed 40% of


intelligence to Europol, which helps British police officers fight crime


were to leave the EU, I would be the first to call on our government to


do everything possible to maintain access to that intelligence and


preserve our cooperation with that third country -- and another EU


country. It would be an act of self defeating nihilism from UK to -- for


the EU to shut the UK out of the measures we have been discussing


this afternoon. So how could we cooperate outside the EU? Plainly,


we could either be allowed to remain a member of these measures, which


would require EU legislation to be written. All we could be given


informal, or bespoke access, which the US already have Europol. It


seems to me that once any legal hurdles are overcome, the two main


sticking points will be money and judicial oversight. As to money, I'm


clear that we should pay to play. If we're going to benefit from things


like Europol, which has an office and staff in the Hague, we should


expect to pay for that, and there should be no question that we should


contribute. With respect to judicial oversight, I do understand that for


many members and honourable members, and indeed for many members of the


public who voted to the oversight of these ECJ is a sticking point.


Venice to be dealt with case-by-case looking at each of these murders to


the measures. -- with each of these measures. There is often an


international court would arbitrate in the way that we have the


international criminal court. I don't think we will immediately


become less safe because we've decided to leave the EU. These


measures we are discussing this afternoon are hugely beneficial to


law enforcement. The police and the public want us to continue with


them, and I'm pleased that the Prime Minister agrees. The litmus test for


me with this and all other EU cooperation is simple. If we were


not currently a member of the EU, is this something we would be looking


to get involved and because it benefits the British people? And


with all the measures we are debating today, the answer is a


resounding yes. Undoubtedly, there will be legal hurdles, but I hope


it's clear that there is willing from our side and I hope the EU will


respond in kind. And at the starting point for any negotiations and


discussions will not be whether we should do it, but how we should do


it. I know that members and Honourable members have come before


the house today demanding guarantees and more information, but I think


that given the consensus in this area that it falls on a running this


House, particularly those with expertise in legal training, to


contribute to the question of how we can do that so insists the


government in ensuring we maintain -- it assists the government. For


the benefit of all our constituents and citizens of Europe and Britain.


This is a very important debate, and as it comes the day after the Prime


Minister's very important speech, I want to begin briefly by reflecting


on what we learned yesterday about the government's objectives in the


forthcoming negotiations. It's now clear that ministers are going to


seek transitional arrangements, and parliament will have a vote at the


end of the process, both things which the select committee called


for in our report. I shall observe it was published on Saturday, the


Prime Minister adopted those proposals on Tuesday,


which three days, somewhat faster than the normal government response


to select committee recommendations. Having said that standard, I think


the members of the select committee in the chamber tonight will hope


that it will be continued. The most significant of the announcements was


that we will be out of the single market and partly out of the customs


union, and partly in. And in these decisions, and this is the link to


today's debate, lies the future of our economic success and our


economic security. And yet, it is an trade and our relationship with the


customs union that the greatest uncertainty still exists, despite


the Prime Minister's speech yesterday. What I say that? Because


the government's made it clear that one way or another, it wants to


secure continued tariff free and barrier free access for UK


businesses to European markets. It could not have been clearer. An


objective which incidentally the select committee and was one


supported by the vast majority of businesses who gave evidence to us.


However, there is no guarantee that this will be achieved. There is no


guarantee that the EU will be prepared to give us what they may


well regard as the best of both worlds. Free trade with Europe, the


right to set our own common external tariff and negotiate a new trade


deals. And so, I just observe that the government may be confronted


down the line with a rather uncomfortable choice between


remaining in the customs union or seeing tariffs and bureaucratic


obstacles rising once again between British business and their largest


market. Now, what would be the consequences of that? One of the


ways in which we could answer that question would be to seek the


government's workings. In his evidence to the select committee,


the Secretary of State said that the Department was, "In the midst of


carrying out 57 sets of analyses, each of which has implications for


individual parts of 85% of the economy". In our report, we


acknowledge precisely that, that the government is looking at the


different options for market access. We then said in our report and I


quote, "In the interests of transparency, these should be


published alongside the government's plan as long as it doesn't


compromise the government's negotiating hand". I would ask the


Minister in reply, now that we have the plan, with God the plan, it was


a speech yesterday, to House an assurance that these economic


assessments will be published so that Parliament, the select


committee, Parliament and the public can see for themselves the basis on


which the government reached its view, both about leaving the single


market and changing our future relationship with the customs union.


Now, turning to the broader issues of security and foreign policy. We


live in an age in which our very interdependence makes us more


vulnerable to crime, to terrorism, to threats to peace and security.


And yet, it is that very same interdependence which is the best


means we have two deal with those threats. During the referendum


campaign, I didn't come across a single person who said to me "I'm


voting leave because I object to the United Kingdom and its European


neighbours cooperating on policing or justice or security or foreign


policy, or the fight against terrorism". Therefore, continued


cooperation in all of these errors is not about trying to hold onto


bits of membership as we leave -- these areas. It is about ensuring we


continue to work together in our shared national interests at a time


when there is, let us face it, great instability and great uncertainty.


We only have to look around the world. The middle east, still


reeling from the Arab Spring and the consequences of people seeking more


security, more of a say, better government and the response of those


who work, or still are, in control. Respond in many cases that was very


violent and very brutal, think of Syria, Libya think of the flow of


refugees as a result, including those who have come to the shores of


Europe -- a response in many cases. The conflict which has dominated


global politics for 50 years, Israel Palestine, remains unresolved. In


passing, I welcome the government's support for UN Security Council


resolution 2234, which rightly had some strong things to say about the


threat from Israeli settlements to the prospects for a two state


solution, because we all want a safe and secure Israel living alongside a


Palestinian state. Given the number of countries including from Europe


who sent ministers to the conference in Paris last Sunday to discuss a


way forward, I would say I think the Foreign Secretary should been in


seven appearing to undermine the conference by not attending.


Across Europe we face an increased threat from Islamist terrorism as


the people of Germany and Turkey have recently experienced and the


families affected by the tragedy in Seuss in Tunisia whose anniversary


is just taking place. We know that China is seeking to establish a


presence on rocky outcrops in the South China Sea in response to


disputes. We know that Russia resurgent after seizing Crimea,


bombing citizens and hospitals in Aleppo and engaging in cyber


attacks, which is a strange way of trying to go about getting respect.


In the United States of America we were witness on Friday to the


inauguration of a new president who to say the least appears to be quite


sceptical about the international rules -based system. Institutions


that we have established, the EU, Nato, the United Nations, created


precisely to give the world greater security, and I have to say, Madame


Deputy Speaker, I was astonished to hear Angela Merkel's decision to


provide shelter to 1 million refugees described as, quote and


catastrophic mistake taking all these illegals, end of quote, by the


President-elect as though he was completely unaware of America, as a


country, being built on providing a welcome to those seeking shelter,


best expressed in these famous words. "Give Me your tired, your


poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free", words forever


associated with the statue of liberty. I certainly don't regard


Nato as an institution outdated, of course there are things that can be


reformed, nor do Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania who seen -- C Noto as well


as being a member of the European Union as absolutely fundamental to


their future security. We are leaving the institutions of the


European Union, we are not leaving Europe. They are all in our shared


interest. That is why it is absolutely essential that we find a


way in the forthcoming negotiations to continue to work closely together


on foreign policy, security, and defence with our neighbours,


something which I know the government supports. There are some


very practical questions. We will no longer be attending the foreign


affairs Council. How exactly is that continued cooperation going to work?


Will the government press for what I have called a common policy area, a


new structure to bring together EU and non-EU member states to discuss


shared concerns about foreign policy? On policing and security


cover operation, we already have that special deal that allowed as to


opt into certain special arrangements but we do need clarity.


The point was made by my right honourable friend about what exactly


is going to happen when we leave. A point also put very forcefully by


the member for West Ham in her speech. The Secretary of State for


exiting the European Union told the house on the 10th of October that


one of the government's main aims during exit negotiations will be


quote Micro to keep our justice and security arrangements at least as


strong as they are". At least as strong as they are. Now, that is a


very specific pledge to this house. The question is, how are we going to


achieve this? Because replicating what we have at the moment, as we


have heard in this debate, represents a very significant


challenge. We've heard about the practical benefits of the Schengen


information system. Knowing who is wanted, who is a suspected foreign


fighter, who is missing, is really important. How will we continue to


receive that information after we have left? We have learned about the


decisions. Being able to quickly search fingerprints and DNA


databases is very important in combating cross-border crime. We


have heard about how being part of Europol gives us access to those


databases and expertise and there are many other examples. And the


challenge for the government is going to be to seek to replicate


those Wan Siu-hung left. We have heard about the issue of data


sharing. As I understand it, some of the instruments make no provision


currently at all for sharing information with third countries. Or


they expressively prohibit transfer of information to non-Schengen


parties. They do not allow direct access to Europol's extensive


information systems. As I understand it, it would be helpful if the


Minister could tell others what conclusions the review reached about


the options available to the government to secure continued


participation which I think every single member who has spoken in the


debate which is to achieve. Will he also tell us whether the


government's negotiation objectives specifically include retaining


access to this data and to this information, as part of the


negotiations? Can he also confirmed to what extent the UK's data


protection laws will need broadly to replicate EU laws if information


sharing is to be able to continue to the same or similar extent, once we


leave. A point made by the Honourable member for Edinburgh


South West. How, and the point was made by the former Attorney General,


the Right Honourable member for Beaconsfield, how will we negotiate


these agreements without accepting some degree of oversight from some


court, whether it is the European Court of Justice or some other. Can


he confirm that in this area, as in others, the government will seek


transitional arrangements to make sure there is no interruption to the


flow of information? Madame Deputy Speaker, the process, in conclusion,


on which our country is now about to embark will inevitably involve


uncertainty until such time as matters are resolved by agreement.


If the government is to honour its pledge to keep our justice and


security arrangements at least as strong as they are, and that is a


very high test, then the security and safety of our communities is one


area in which we simply cannot afford their to be any certainty


whatsoever. Or afford an outcome in which there is no deal at all. The


Prime Minister said yesterday that no deal is better than a bad deal.


In the case of security, no deal is and would be a bad deal. We simply


cannot afford to allow that to happen. It's a pleasure to follow on


from the right Honourable member for Leeds Central and I commend him for


his work in the early start of the report of his committee which I read


with interest on Saturday. It showed the committee hitting the ground


running and hopefully made some impact in relation to yesterday's


speech, as well. I must profess that I am not an expert in relation to


security issues. On the NHS, I'm absolutely fine but this is a big


issue that is of great importance to my constituency and is serving a


constituency like bats there have been a number of instances where


reports have been put out in the newspapers and caused concern for my


constituents. I think it's important that I do speak in this debate


today. I'd like to take this opportunity to focus on two


particular areas. Of course, there are many areas which have been


discussed in this debate already, whether that is Europol, CCR IAS,


I'm going to pick up on a couple that relate to cross-border security


and sharing of intelligence which have been covered by a number of


Honourable friends across the house so far. As my honourable friend for


Great Yarmouth earlier said, maintaining strong security


cooperation that we currently have with the European Union will feature


heavily in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations as outlined yesterday.


They should be absolutely no doubt that many of the tools and


institutions that currently underpin security and police cooperation are


absolutely vital for the continued safety of our nation, ever more


given the current security concerns. Yesterday, I welcomed the Prime


Minister's commitment in her speech to continue to cooperate with our


European partners in areas such as crime and terrorism. Particularly


when she said with the threats becoming more serious, our response


cannot be to cooperate with one another less but to work together


more. You agree that there is a large opportunity here not just to


look at maintaining that current cooperation but extending it as


well. We shouldn't give up on those opportunities that this debate gives


us. We will face the challenge of cross-border crime and deadly


terrorist threats that do not respect borders. As the Prime


Minister outlined yesterday, with the threats becoming more serious,


our response really needs to be enhanced. On the matters of law


enforcement and sharing intelligence materials, it has never been more


important, as my right honourable friend said earlier on. I want to be


free mention and before Honourable members turn around and say, why is


he mentioning the European Convention on Human Rights and the


protection it gives, the reason why I raise this is because of the fact


that I still think personally that once we are having these debates, a


lot of constituents out there and a lot of people in the country either


confused the two issues and think one is interchangeable with the


other or all sensitively are worried that because of the debates we are


having in relation to the European Court of Justice and the exit from


the European Union that this will at some point have some sort of impact.


If Madame Deputy Speaker will indulge me on this, I think leaving


the European Union will make it much easier to bring ourselves out of the


European Convention on Human Rights. While this is a topic for another


day, I still have no doubt that this is going to be debated for quite a


serious amount of time in this place and the other place as well. I'm


concerned that our potential withdrawal will limit the rights of


those in the criminal justice system. I think those rights are


absolutely crucial. Can the Minister assure me that the government will


be putting the protection of human rights at the forefront of their


agenda when dealing both inside and outside the European Union. There is


consensus among law enforcement agencies about the tools and


capabilities we must retain in order to keep people safe and one is the


European Arrest Warrant which has been debated earlier on. Members


will know that the EAW facilitates the exchange of individuals between


EU member states to face prosecution for a crime of which they are


accused and serve a prison sentence for a existing conviction. The UK


has extradited over 7000 individuals convicted of criminal offences to


other member states and 675 suspected, convicted or wanted


individuals to Britain to face justice. That is no small number.


Ultimately, we need to think about this number and how many different


individuals in society are impacted by the number over the years. It has


been used to get terror suspects out of the country and bring terrorists


back here to face justice. One main example is in 2005 when Hussain


Osman who try to blow up the underground on the 21st of the


seventh was extradited within 56 days. Before the arrest warrant


existed, it took ten long years to extradite another terrorist from


Britain to France. If we do not ensure something is going to


continue on, I don't want to see others harking back to take years to


extradite citizens. On this issue of the European Arrest Warrant, that


was debated extensively in previous parliaments, there are a number of


instances where British citizens have been subjected to failures of


Justice under that system. It is a point that he needs to take on


board. I thank my rouble member for intervening.


Riddles about enhancing the system we have -- it's also about. I think


that debate should be had. This is a prime opportunity to do so. Mr


Speaker, lastly, can I just turn to cross-border intelligence sharing,


instrumental to the safety of our nation. In particular the mechanisms


data gathering and analysis undertaken by Europol, the agency


that supports law enforcement agencies for member states by


providing a forum in which member states can cooperate and share


information. Can I should have assurance that we will continue to


have access to this after we leave the European Union, and I have no


doubt every member will be saying that over the next few hours? Does


he agree with me that UK intelligence agencies, including


individuals working in my constituency and Cheltenham don't


just protect British lives, they protect European lives as well. And


that as part of any future arrangements, we want to ensure that


they continue to do the vital work, both within our shores and beyond. I


thank him for his intervention, and he's a great champion of the


security services, particularly those in his constituency, and his


constituents that work in places like GCHQ. Not just in the European


Union, but also to the wider world with associate members, too.


Actually, this is something that has to be at the very fora of what the


government is doing. This isn't just about British domestic interest, but


also international interest at the same time. I thank him for his


contribution. There is no doubt that the UK's participation in criminal


and policing capabilities have resulted in a safer United Kingdom.


The UK has a list taken a leading European security matters, managing


the relationship between the EU and the United States, taking the lead


in producing EU policies on counter radicalisation and the EU action


plan on terrorism was drafted during a UK presidency. Can I also press


the on the importance of this continued cooperation on after we


exit the European Union? I must tell right -- highlight that clarity is


given as much as possible on this issue. The public put security and


enforcement high on the agenda, so I'm pleased the government has


allowed this debate to take place today. We should be giving them or


conference at what ever the relationship that Britain has with


the European Union in the future maintains the highest level of


security. Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is great


pleasure to follow the honourable member. Otherwise my final


contribution before I leave to take up the post as director is the


Victoria and Albert Museum, the world's greatest museum of art and


performance. It has been a profound privilege to represent


Stoke-on-Trent in this chamber, and I'd like to put on record my thanks


to the Speaker, clerks, door staff, and perhaps best of all the library


staff, who now face a drop in demand. It seems particularly


perverse to leave the House now, and let me apologise to the political


parties and the people of Stoke-on-Trent foreign posting --


for inflicting a by-election. It seems perverse to believing just


now, not least in terms of security, law enforcement and justice. As


power and sovereignty is returned to the UK Parliament, the question we


are debating today and you will be into the future is whether we see a


Britannia unchanged, forging a new era free trade, cultural exchange


and innovation, or whether the world today as my honourable friend


suggested is so interconnected in terms of economy, security and


political power that we have in leaving the European Union expose


ourselves to international headwinds that will batter rather than benefit


us. At this stage, we have no answer to that. The Prime Minister's speech


left no doubt about the strategic direction in which the government is


heading. Let me say that I welcome the tone of it. The need to end


division and heal some of the anger surrounding our decision to exit the


European Union is of vital task of political leadership. For the


saddest and most peak-time it -- most peak-time was hearing about the


murder of Jo Cox, my friend. It remains a devastating loss for the


Labour movement and humanitarian affairs. We should not forget that


her killing took place amid some of the ugliest and most divisive


rhetoric in the lead up to the referendum. And I pay tribute today


to the enormous dignity and resilience of her widower, Brendan


Cox and close family. Amidst the Brexit debate, I continue before I


am perhaps seduced by Crown Office, to represent a constituency that


voted 70-30 to leave the European Union was too weak in and week out,


I campaigned with colleagues to remain in the year. I remember


Sundays not meeting anyone who wished to stay inside the EU. But I,


like many members in this house -- Sundays. I accept the result. This


division of opinion between the official Labour Party position and


many of our heartland voters has served only to highlight some of the


deep-seated challenges which centre-left parties are facing. From


Greece to the Netherlands, to Sweden, to France, the combination


of austerity, globalisation and EU policy has hammered social


democratic politics. The challenge which my friend Billy leader of the


Labour Party faces is not unique to him -- my friend, their leader. But


Brexit has done is exacerbated by virgins of priorities between what


the Labour voters of Cambridge want, and those of Stoke-on-Trent for


example. Keeping a metropolitan and post-industrial coalition together


is no easy task. In Stoke-on-Trent, my voters wanted to leave the


European Union for three reasons. For sovereignty and a return of


national powers to this Parliament. A reaction against globalisation and


the political economy which they thought had shut down the mines, the


steel industry and eliminated 80% of jobs in the potteries. And


immigration. This wasn't racism. This was about the effects of


large-scale migration on public services and wage levels, in an


already low wage city. I often put the case that the EU was a double


walk against the records of localisation, vital for policing and


national security, that 50% of our pottery exports went to the EU, that


EU investment had assisted regeneration in North Staffordshire,


and that our great universities of Staffordshire and Keele both


benefited from EU funding. It made a difference. Now we need a Brexit


that delivers for Stoke-on-Trent and other communities feeling left


behind by globalisation and rapid socioeconomic change. The question


is still out there. We'll judicial immigration control be in the


detrimental to economic growth? Is that the site you want probably


poorer but more equal? Sparta, rather than Rome. I continue to have


great concerns about leaving the single market and its effects on


British business and prosperity. As we leave European Union, there is


also a moment for progressive reform. My right honourable friend


the Wolverhampton South East member has made the case Marshall plan for


parts of the Midlands and the to equip them for contemporary


challenges. I think the House can think creatively about


revolutionising our skills and training with a new focus on


vocational education, and building new internationalism. The difference


between a national popular politics, Post liberal vision of government


action and which, or a vision of Britain as a low tax, more


deregulated state in the Singapore Hong Kong model. It'll be


interesting to see how these approaches play themselves out. I


will watch Mr Speaker, these developments from my new post at the


Victoria and Albert, a museum both European in its heritage, with


Prince Albert instrumental in its foundation, as he felt Britain


needed to follow the German model in design, technology and skills, but


also proudly global, with a collection drawn from across the


Empire and the wider world. It's currently exhibition exploring the


life and legacy of John Lockwood Kipling, a sculptor and Potter from


Stoke-on-Trent who went to Bombay but missed North Staffordshire so


much that he named his son after a local beauty spot just north of


Stoke. It speaks to mix of European and empirical influences. The V


and other national median stands at the hub of our national creative


sector, and if we are concerned with security, we need to reflect on the


need for economic security. The UK's creative industries and are worth


?85 billion a year to the UK economy. The creative industries are


the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy, with the capacity to


deliver further jobs and growth and a major component in soft power.


Museums are sources of inspiration, innovation, creativity and synergy.


The UK's museums are global leaders in their fields, and great drivers


of British culture and identity right around the world. At the V,


curators and introduced the brilliance of David Bowie's designs


and Alexander McQueen's fashion right around the world. When it


comes to Brexit, the V had other museums will continue to build their


connections in China, India, the golf and elsewhere. But their


success is also a European success -- the Gulf. The story of British


art and design is also a story of European culture, and our place


within it. More than that, so many who work in our control sector are


EU citizens -- cultural sector. I welcome the recognition of the


urgent need for a reciprocal arrangement with the EU on its


nationals working in the UK, and those British citizens currently


employed in the EU. Similarly, trade negotiations with the EU will need


to recognise the importance of the digital sector, to the British


economy. I think there is a broader Brexit issue for our leading


cultural institutions. It seems to me that when there is this growing


sense of disparity between the winners and losers of globalisation,


museums and other cultural institutions need to help to lessen


the division. In an age where art, design, the humanities and culture


is so important for our competitiveness and quality-of-life,


we cannot have London detaching itself from the rest of the UK. This


is a chance to think more creatively about education provision, art and


design and a real pressure in our schools. -- under real pressure. We


need to build strong connections between rational and regional


museums -- National. In short, Brexit demand stronger connection


between South Kensington and Stoke-on-Trent. And I will try as


director to do just that. Mr Speaker, the right Honourable member


for Leeds Central's father famously said he was leaving Parliament to


spend more time on politics. I'm not quite doing that, but everything


that museums have a responsibility as places of learning, discourse and


enquiry to interrogate in a nonpartisan way, the big challenges


of the day. I hope to do just that, and I hope to see many of you there.


Finally, let me place on record my thanks to my personal style. With in


this palace, their work thousands of people writing, researching, probing


and advising. For five long years, two people have helped me and my job


enormously. Let me put on record my debt to the people of Stoke-on-Trent


for sending me here, the greatest privilege of my life. I would like


to thank the Chair for their indulgence in this speech this


afternoon. Thank you. It is an enormous pleasure for me to follow


the member for Stoke-on-Trent Central. He's my next door


neighbour, pretty well. We talk regularly. We were even on a radio


four programme, which he organised only a week ago on a is a bricks and


all the matters he referred to. I regard him not only as an honourable


member, but as a good friend. He referred just now to matters which


really were rather reminiscent to what might have been a maiden


speech. In a valedictory way. I think he say to him, he's performed


great service to this house, and to his constituents. And I just simply


want to put that on the record before getting into the more


substantial questions before us today. Of course. I thank my


honourable next-door neighbour. When he agreed with me that the


soon-to-be departed member for Stoke-on-Trent Central has been a


truly class act since 2010 in North Staffordshire and the potteries, not


least his efforts to save the Wedgwood collection for the nation.


And we are indebted to him for that. We've all taken an active part in


trying to do what we can with regard to the museum, and it is marvellous


not only that it should still be there, but that it is now insecure


hands under the aegis of what is probably already under the director


of the V himself. I don't know whether he's taken up his contract


yet, but it's getting close to it! Anyway, thank you very much for


everything that you've done in that context for our area and region. The


honourable member, the right Honourable member, did refer to the


question of whether or not under Brexit there would be a Britannia


and changed. I can assure him is this will be a


Britannia unchained and that is really to me the most important


question of all for which I have devoted the best part of 30 years of


my political life and I do believe very strongly that we will benefit


enormously from this. It's been a long journey. It's been a very


interesting historical journey as people will discover one day when


they get the full measure of what has actually taken place. I do think


it will benefit, not only my constituents, who represented 65% of


the Leave vote in our area, but also the 70% in Stoke-on-Trent central


itself. The other thing I would like to add is that the real question of


the EU, which he referred to by reference to sovereignty as being


one of of the main issues before his constituents, is also connected with


the question of trust and the issue of trust is at the heart as I said


yesterday after the Prime Minister's speech on a programme on Sky, is


really at the heart of the reason why, not only for us and it is


relevant to this particular debate because I am going to go on to the


question of security, terrorism and crime. The question of trust is at


the heart of the reason why, not only in this country, but across the


whole of the European continent, which happens to be largely speaking


within the European Union. This is not against Europe. This is against


the European Union. This is what the vote is about. This is what the


discontent is about. The lack of trust between the member states


themselves, the lack of trust between the citizens and the


institutions and the elites in their member states who have implemented


these arrangements which simply have not worked, which have generated


monumental degrees of unemployment, up to 60% in some countries,


including countries such as Greece and Spain, etc. The problems that


come from an overdominating Germany, which has had a detrimental effect


on stability in terms of the progress and evolution of the


European Union, which has destabilised and created the very


insecurity, the very stability which people wanted to deal with in the


aftermath of the Second World War in which my own father was killed


fighting in 1944 and won the Military Cross of which I am very


proud. I would simply say this, I voted Yes in 1975, I wanted to see a


situation which could work, but unfortunately the manner in which


this has developed has become dysfunctional. What I am so glad


about and in fact in the debate yesterday on the statement, the


discussion that took place I noticed a sense of Realism that was bearing


in on so many members because we have to make this work. It is not


anti-European to be pro-democracy and I know there are good and honest


Remainers who are still worried about the outcome but I say to them,


have confidence. Have trust. Have trust in the people as Lord


Churchill said in the 19th century, but this is not a 19th century


problem. It's a 21st century problem. It is a fact, it is not


just a generalisation, this is not Euroscepticism in a negative sense.


It's about trying to ensure that we have proper democracy and that when


we get on to the issue of the repeal bill that we will regain the ability


to achieve the reaffirmation of Westminster jurisdiction. And what


does that actually mean? It means that we will be implementing in this


chamber the decisions that are taken by the electors in general elections


from which those very people fought and died, which is a crucial issue


for the future of Europe, as well. It doesn't just apply to us, but we


are the first to have the opportunity to do something about it


because we had a referendum for which some of us fought for so long.


The other day in the European Parliament we were discussing


matters of security and terrorism and all the rest and the chairman of


the constitutional affairs committee of the European Parliament, with


whom I have fought por the best part of 20-odd years in various forums in


the European Union, actually accused in front of about 300 people, the


chairman of various parliamentary committees from all over the


European Union, he accused the United Kingdom of cowardice in


holding a referendum, to which I replied, it was an act of courage,


it was not an act of cowardice because we have seized the


opportunity in defence of the security and the necessity to have a


proper democratic system in the United Kingdom and we are now going


to be able to implement it. I want to say that with respect to this


business of justice and home affairs and all that goes with it, of course


the decisions are taken as my European scrutiny committee reported


back in, I think it was April or May this year, last year, before the


referendum itself, and we held an inquiry into the manner in which


decisions were taken in the Council of Ministers. Now I am prepared to


bet that there are people in this chamber who do not know that there


are virtually no votes taken in the European Council of Ministers which


through the European Communities Act comes straight down into this


chamber and we are under an obligation under this 1972 Act to


implement those decisions that are taken, quite often stitched up


behind closed doors on matters of the kind that we are now discussing,


which are of direct relevance to the whole question of security,


terrorism and crime and if they don't know that that is the way in


which this system actually functions, I strongly advise them,


either to speak to me privately and I can provide them with further


information, which I am not going to go into in this chamber this


afternoon, but which are absolutely vital to the question of democracy


because these decisions are not taken on the democratic basis in the


way in which the people have imagined. And that is a reason in


itself for our getting out of the European Union and I can only say I


was absolutely delighted by what the Prime Minister said yesterday. As I


said in the statement, it was principled, it was reasonable and it


was statesmanlike. Now, on the question specifically of justice and


home affairs, this, of course, was intended to be intergovernmental.


This was never meant to be something which was going to be governed by


majority voting and the rest. This was meant to be a separate pillar.


But if I say this to the honourable gentleman and ladies opposite, they,


under Tony Blair, collapsed the pillar so that it became part of the


treaties subject to the court of justice, as well. That was never the


original intention. So what we are doing in this debate is engaging in


some element of deja-vu but also providing ourselves with the


opportunity to be able to indicate the extent to which we move forward


after Brexit into a different environment where the decisions on


all these incredibly important matters are dealt with by this House


on the basis of votes cast by the voters of the United Kingdom and


nobody else. The repeal bill I drafted in May, last year, and I


submitted it to various people and as a result of a process which I


don't need to go into in detail it was accepted by the Government, in


principle and I have no doubt that the exact wording will be slightly


changed, somewhat changed, but that doesn't matter. I set out five


principles and I am not going to go into those now, other than to say


that it meant that we would withdrew from the European Union and that we


would transpose all the legislation that was currently within the


framework of the EU jurisdiction into our own Westminster


jurisdiction specifically and thereafter we would deal with it as


we go forward and we just had - the reason I apologise for not being


here a bit earlier, I was in for the opening debates, is because I was


cross-examining with my colleague, the member for Somerset and Froome


and others, David Lidington and we had important questions to put to


him and we got some very interesting answers. But this repeal bill is


actually going to require very, very careful attention and we are going


to be able as a result of that to re-introduce into this House a


proper democratic system. There will be things we will accept as a matter


of policy and we heard some of those yesterday in what the Prime Minister


said in her brilliant speech. The fact is that we have got to absorb


some of the issues but what we can not do is to absorb the court of


justice and this particular subject matter and this particular debate


raises the Court of Justice probably as much as any other subject matter


within the framework of the European Union as a whole.


Now the Prime Minister's speech yesterday made clear that the UK


will continue to co-operate with its European partners in important areas


such as crime and terrorism once we leave the EU. Faced with common


security threats she indicated, and I quote, our response cannot be to


co-operate with one another less, but to work together more. Subject,


of course, to the question of the Court of Justice. And to ensure that


the UK's future relationship with the EU includes, and I quote,


practical arrangements on matters of law enforcement and the sharing of


intelligence material with our EU allies. She went on to make clear


that the Government, and I quote again, will take back control of our


laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court


of justice. As chairman of the European scrutiny committee, I and


my colleagues such as the member for Somerset and Froome, from which my


wife comes, I should have remembered that, I continue to see a raft of EU


initiatives in this sensitive area of law enforcement and security


co-operation. The Government tells us that while the UK remains a


member of the EU, all rights and obligations of EU membership remain


in force and tla is true and the Government will and I quote,


continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation. Although I do


say quite explicitly and I put this to Mr Lidington this afternoon as


the leader of the House, that it is absolutely essential that in the


period of time while we are engaged in these negotiations that we have


proper explaintory memoranda. We have to - where there is in a


position to vote against them to do so, and where there is a question of


qualifying majority vote, we require a vote and not this stitching-up


behind closed doors and at the same time we give reasons as my committee


recommended to increase the transparency and accountability


because some of these matters are so important to the skrurt and to the


question of terrorism and all that goes with it that we really, if we


don't believe that what they're proposing is in our national


interest we must take a stand and the Government, in my opinion, has


an absolute requirement to make sure that is there on the face of the


record so that if we don't like something that is being proposed,


although the generalisation which is that we want to try to achieve a


degree of co-operation is important, that we do not allow things to go


through by consensus in unsmoked filled rooms which are not in the


UK's interest and which we would never contemplate accepting in a


post-Brexit situation and if we had our wits about us would never have


accepted in the first place. So, there is that issue to be


considered which is a matter of European scrutiny process and my


committee is looking into that very closely.


The further point is that as the House will recall the previous


coalition Government decided that it would be in the UK's national


interest to rejoin 35 EU police and criminal justice measures which were


adopted before the Lisbon Treaty took effect and was subject to the


UK's 2014 block opt-out decision. These includure poll, euro justice,


the European arrest warrant, joint investigation teams and important


data-sharing instruments, notably the Sche in, gen information system,


the European criminal records information system and the so-called


Swedish initiative which provides a simplified mechanism for the


exchange of law enforcement information and intelligence.


The Prime Minister, then Home Secretary has rejoined the measures


which provided the exchanging of DNA profiles, fingerprinting and vehicle


registration data. United Kingdom also participates in the European


investigation order which will take effect in May this year and many


other criminal justice measures. I have to say, with regards to what is


going on in relation to the current new EU justice and home affairs


proposals, there appears to be inadequate recognition in the


context in which the UK will continue to negotiate, implement and


imply the legislation has changed profoundly because of Brexit. To


quote the Prime Minister, the UK is leaving the European Union but the


Government cannot continue with business as usual and I have to say


that I do trust that said Tim Barrow will carry on as the new UK


representative in a way that be entirely consistent with what is


required in relation to this business to which I have already


referred. We cannot continue with business as usual in the handling of


sensitive EU Justice and home affairs proposals with the European


Parliament. Given that the UK is under no obligation to participate


in most new EU Justice and home proposals, the Government must


explain in each case and put to The Record how a decision to opt in


would be in the national interest and would be considered with taking


back our laws. Control of our laws as the Prime Minister said an ending


the jurisdiction of the European Court. Since last June and the


referendum, the European scrutiny committee has pressed the Government


to clarify how these measures will be affected by the UK's decision to


leave. Under the repeal they will otherwise have to have significant


adjustments as to how that is handled. What sort of relationship


does the Government intend to establish with the Euro poll or


Eurojust. Will it seek an agreement to enable the UK to apply a new


arrangement regarding the European arrest warrant. We can't have it


both ways, you can't be out of the jurisdiction of the EU court and


have the laws interpreted by the judges in Luxembourg, it won't


happen, it can't happen so that has to be taken on board. What


assessments as the Government made on the operational value on the E U


data-sharing? Would access to these instruments require the UK to apply


with data protection laws in practice, even if it is no longer


under a legal obligation to do so. Answers to these questions are


fundamental because otherwise we would not be able to implement the


commitment to take back control of our laws and bring an end to the


jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. As I said in an


intervention at an earlier debates, what we have to take into account is


this, this business of justice home affairs, terrorism, security and all


of the problems which have accumulated in this 21st-century are


not exclusive to the European Union, they apply across the whole world.


The fact that the European Union exists and that it has developed a


body of law and this framework of law doesn't give it any absolute


value, the questionnaires we have been legislating in this house and


its predecessors for the best part of 400 years. We don't need to be


told how to do this, yes we want to cooperate with other countries but


for heaven sake, let us take on board the fact that are able to work


out what is in interest of our citizens in accordance with what


they say in general elections. We will have our own immigration bill


and it'll do what the British people want because they will have voted


for it and not simply have it imposed upon us by these deals done


behind closed doors. We are talking about very important matters and I


would simply say as a result of the decision that has been taken by the


British people and I pay tribute to them, I don't pay tribute to the


campaigns, I thought the project fear campaign was a disgrace and I


said so in this house when it was going on, and I don't think there


was any treaty change, I challenge the Prime Minister and put the


matter to the speaker as well and that was around the middle of June


and the Prime Minister was gone by the time the tee end of that month.


We didn't cover ourselves with glory on either side of the campaign and


there are things I regret so I did my own campaign in my own area and


I'm glad to say in our area we notched up anything between 65-72%


to leave and he was quite right, it was about sovereignty and the very


matters I'm talking about here. It was about whether we could run our


own country through our representation in this house. It


really is as fundamental as that. Everything else pales into


insignificance compared to democracy if it is properly conducted and is


absolutely for sure that the current European Union is undemocratic and


it is good that we are getting out. One that I want to finish on is this


that with respect to today'sbusiness, our committee have


released a press release on another matter, it is about whether UK


nationals will need authorisation to travel to the Schengen area post


Brexit. The fact is, the United Kingdom is not entitled to


participate, but the Government will have to monitor negotiations


closely. My committee is asking the following, what are main differences


the modern proposed on a full Schengen Visa regime, what access


the Government is seeking for UK nationals post Brexit and if the


Government intends to press for an exemption for the new travel


authorisation for UK nationals post Brexit or to seek instead to


minimise that cost and complexity of the application process and if the


Government is unable to secure an exemption, whether it would wish to


introduce a reciprocal travel authorisation system for EU


nationals travelling to the United Kingdom after Brexit. All of these


matters are in a press release which is being presented to the media this


afternoon. I sincerely trust that they will give it the kind of


attention it deserves. I conclude simply by saying I think this is a


vitally important debate, it is the best example of an area which


impinges directly on citizens. Elsewhere in the European Union,


there is massive resistance building up to EU proposals by the citizens,


we have had our votes, we had our referendum, the people decided that


we would get out, that is what we were doing, let's implement it and


get on with it. Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker. Before I start


speaking, I would like to place my personal tribute to my honourable


friend from stroke to the Stoke-on-Trent. I would also like to


say thank you because he wrote me a very long handwritten letter after


my maiden speech which was much appreciated. I am in danger of


breaking the rule set I will get onto the debate at hand and speak


about the issues. The problem of being so low on the pecking order is


that everything has been said and articulated very well by others


before May I thought I would speak about the worries my constituents


have. 75% voted to remain and in a surge voted on continuing security


incorporation with their European partners and many other actors which


had been raised in this debate. There is a... London residents are


obviously not alone in their experience of the devastation


inflicted by terrorism but they're particularly clear minded about the


value of EU wide security arrangements in bringing people to


justice and the honourable Member for Bath already referenced a time


when the European arrest warrant played a crucial role in allowing


police to do their jobs, help keep London are safe and bring offenders


to justice. He famously cited the example in 2005 when the failed


bomber Hussain Osman was brought to justice within just a few weeks


because of the fact that he had access to the European arrest


warrant. Other agencies and conventions such as Euro poll which


has been mentioned several times and the European criminal records


information system help combat crime across borders through international


cooperation and sharing forensics data. For a global city like London


where my constituency is based, abandoning European security could


compromise our effectiveness in confronting a number of issues


beyond terrorism including human trafficking, intellectual property


crime, money-laundering and organised crime groups. I believe my


friend the Mayor of London was right to demand that London has a seat


around the table along the devolved nations in ensuring continental


security is kept intact. It was extremely disappointing to see no


direct reference to London's additional law enforcement needs in


the Prime Minister 's statement yesterday. The Government 's


decision in December to opt into new Euro poll regulations was a welcome


one and in principle would appear to back up the Prime Minister's word on


maintaining a continental approach when gathering criminal intelligence


and producing threat assessments. Londoners will want to know not just


in my constituency but everywhere whether these regulations we have


adopted will at last the EU negotiations and whether the


Government will develop alternative framework corporations on security


matters and on the outlined matters. Only when we have such answers for


my constituents be reassured that their security needs and those of


fellow Londoners are being considered with the utmost care by


this government. Beyond information sharing with a European partners, it


is clear that Brexit will pose financial challenges to the economy.


One area that we will be scrutinising is of course the money


spent on policing and the current spend in arranging any post Brexit


settlements, the Home Office must fully recognise London's position as


a major global capital. It is a city which incurs extra security cost in


trying to keep the large population safe when major policing events take


place and protecting our famous landmarks such as the parliament we


sat in today. At present this extra needs cost, ?300 million a year,


London only receives funding for barely half of this amount. When


addressing our post Brexit security and law enforcement needs, making


sure the capital has the money to protect itself will be the utmost


importance and we would like answers from the ministers on this. There


are a few other questions I would like the Minister to answer. Will he


ensure the Home Office will give the full amount in knees through the


international capitals city 's grant. There is currently over ?100


million shortfall and threatens the police ability to protect Londoners.


Will the Minister make it clear what future is ahead with Europe. This


future is vital to access criminal records, yet we know the deputy


chairman of the EU has made it clear to Denmark that they should not be


under any illusions to create a parallel membership. Finally, the


question asked over and over again, what is our future relationship with


the European arrest warrant. The DPP was clear in November that up to 150


essential additions would not have been possible without the system and


our relationship with it and the former director-general of MI6


warned that losing abilities such as this would make the UK less safe. I


hope that the Minister will make clear in his closing statement how


we can continue to protect our citizens and to protect London.


I urge him to address these practical security questions which


would even earn some goodwill from those who will be sat on the other


side of the negotiating table today. The number one priority of any


Government which I am sure the Minister will recognise is to ensure


the security of its civilians and for me at the moment it's not


entirely clear how the Government intends to do this. Thank you. In


the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, I think there was a


recognition that something had to be done to speed up extradition


processes and reduce the amount of bureaucracy involved. That in


addition to the fact that some career criminals seemed to be using


places like Spain, the so-called Costa Del Crime as a permanent home,


meant that I was happy to give the Government at the time the benefit


of the doubt and have always supported the principle of a


European arrest warrant and we have heard many important speeches in


support of it today. I don't really disgree with the principle of what


is being said. But it cannot be denied that there have been cases


that have given rise to concern, because the European extradition


warrant makes an assumption that standards of justice are the same in


all EU countries, that standards within prisons are the same and that


bail conditions are going to be the same as well. In short, that human


rights are respected in exactly the same way across the European Union.


My honourable friend, who is the member - the chairman of the Justice


Committee and the member for Bromley and Chislehurst actually said that


he had no doubt at all that standards of justice in Germany and


France were exactly the same as they are in the UK and I don't really


have any doubt about that either. But I do have concerns about the


standards of justice overall that take place in other parts of the


European Union. Some of the cases I think have been briefly mentioned.


One case where someone spent almost a year in praise having been denied


bail because he was not a Greek resident, in other words, he was


extradited because he was a European but unable to get bail because he


wasn't actually Greek. He served time in some pretty awful places.


Now, both the member for Bromley and Chislehurst and myself are members


of the Council of Europe and I don't know what visits he has made but I


have certainly seen a Greek detention centre and having served


as a special constable I would say that the conditions were illegal


under any European rules and regulations and we were shown a room


probably not much bigger than half the size or a quarter of the size of


this chamber which contained around 30-40 people who were being held in


those conditions for up to a year for various immigration infractions


and as far as I can understand it were given little time out of those


conditions. It would have been unacceptable to hold anyone in


conditions like that for 48 hours in a UK police station and it comes to


something when people are begging to be sent to a Greek prison because


conditions there are so bad. Another case someone tried within 48 hours


of being arrested. He hadn't been involved. He was released but then


subsequently there was a demand for him to return to Portugal to serve a


two-year sentence. He wasn't given access to the sort of facilities


which we take for granted, for example, translation facilities


which are very important. There have been other cases. One which I saw on


the Fair Trials International website. I hadn't been aware of


before, but apparently he was convicted of murder in his absence,


despite the fact that at the time the murder took place he was working


or studying in the United Kingdom and on the day that it happened


there were numerous witnesses to say that he was in the United Kingdom


and nowhere near the country where this murder was supposed to have


taken place. Yet, he went through years of hell because of the strong


possibility that he would have actually been extradited to Italy to


serve I think a 19-year sentence. At least in these instances one


could say that the motivation behind them was to reduce crime and to deal


with straightforward criminality. Even if we might think that the


standards being applied here were simply not good enough. But there


are other cases now beginning to emerge which have an even more


worrying motivation. I want to pay particular attention to what the


Romanian Government are doing at the moment. They have indicated they may


serve an arrest warrant against an award-winning Sky jornlist and his


team, I believe Stuart Ramsey, who put together a documentary about


gun-running in Romania and the Government didn't like it. I don't


know whether the claims made were accurate, I have no reason to doubt


them. If governments don't like journalists stories about them they


have the right to rebut those stories. It is simply unacceptable


for governments to start issuing arrest and judicial proceedings


against journalists who have upset them T would never ever be


acceptable in this country. There is another case going on at the moment


which I find particularly worrying and that's the extradition warrant


being served against another, also by the Romanian Government. His


father runs a newspaper in Romania which has been highly critical of


the Romanian Government. The Romanian Government, the Prime


Minister at the time actually said that he was corrupt, had him


arrested. He was found guilty within a short space of time. There were


all sorts of reasons why one might question the court case but it's not


for me to do so here. The point is that when his son, who is a UK


resident and an aspiring playwrite, filed charges against the Romanian


Government, his son was served with a European arrest warrant and was


arrested on the streets of London on his way to speak to the front line


club about the importance of journalistic freedoms. There was an


attempt to kidnap his wife by masked men as well, which still hasn't been


properly dealt with and nobody has been found. These are very, very


worrying cases because it gives rise to the kerb concern that rather than


-- rise to the concern that rather than having people arrested to


resolve criminality, some governments, it looked on the basis


of those two cases, the Romanian Government is one that worries me,


seem to be using the arrest warrant to send out a message that anyone


who questions them or tries to hold them to account will face the risk


of being taken off the streets of the country in which they are


resident, arrested and sent back to Romania for trial. Of course I give


way. Another problem which the scrutiny committee has looked at in


the past and we had the Fair Trials Abroad team in to give us evidence,


and that is that some of the judges of course are politically appointed.


Well, I think my honourable friend makes a very important point. I just


really want to say that I have listened with great interest to what


has been said. I was a supporter of Brexit but that in no way mean that


is I am opposing the European arrest warrant or the principle behind it


because of that. Of course I give way. I thank my honourable friend


for giving way. Does he agree with me that actually the European arrest


warrant has benefitted some of our constituents. Four days before


Christmas a father in my constituency was reunited with his


son that had been abducted and taken to Poland and he was recovered on


the issuing of the European arrest warrant. Absolutely. I don't deny


for one minute it's led to some very important results for us where we


have had terrorists and other serious criminals either extradited


out of the UK or extradited back to the United Kingdom. I don't doubt


this for one moment. As the honourable lady knows I served as a


special constable for eight or nine years, there is no question I will


always support any Government in wanting to bring about stricter


measures against criminality. But the issue here is this, that there


is a price to be paid and we pay it in the human rights of citizens in


our own country, if we are prepared to allow countries which apply a


lower standard of justice or a lower standard of fairness within courts


or a lower standard of access to bail, if we are prepared to allow


those countries to extradite our citizens or residents of this


country in order to keep the bureaucracy running smoothly, then


everyone who is living in this country is paying a price in terms


of their human rights in order to reduce bureaucracy and improve an


extradition procedure and we need to think carefully about that price.


Brexit does offer us an opportunity here. I have no problem with the


countries the honourable gentleman from Bromley mentioned with Germany


or France or many of the other European countries, but if it


becomes the case that some countries are not giving people bail, holding


them in pretrial detention for an unacceptable length of time or using


the European arrest warrant as a means to silence criticism of them


through the press, then it's absolutely right that we use Brexit


as an opportunity to renegotiate the whole system to work with countries


that apply our systems of justice but to say with the utmost respect


we are unwilling to sacrifice the human rights of some people in order


to maintain membership of the European arrest warrant and I hope


the Minister will meet me to discuss this case on a subsequent occasion.


It's a pleasure to follow the honourable member, even if I don't


always agree on everything he has to say. Can I extend my best wishes to


the member for Stoke-on-Trent as he starts a new chapter in his career,


as well. I am pleased to take part in this important debate where there


is probably an unusually wide degree of consensus, participation in EU


schemes does bring value and Government should be doing it can to


keep the UK as closely involved as possible and certainly on these


benches, if Brexit is to happen we believe it is utterly essential that


we do everything open to us to preserve our involvement to the


maximum degree achievable in these negotiations. Success in that


ambition cannot be taken for granted. As the Minister said it is


in the interests of the other EU member states to see the UK involved


and yes it is undoubtedly true that the UK contribution to these


institutions is very much valued and is very significant. Indeed it is no


doubt a matter of huge regret that a member state has been hugely


influential in shaping initiatives such as the European arrest


warrants, has now ongoing participation in these schemes at


risk. However, nobody should be complacent that securing meaningful


ongoing participation will be straightforward. All evidence shows


there are significant political and legal hurdles to overcome, a point


that was well made by the Shadow Minister in her opening remarks. The


justice and home affairs issues are areas of shared competence and so


agreements on participation, it may well need approval from both EU


institutions and individual member states and in some of these states


that will involve either parliamentary ratification or even


referenda, if necessary. All that will be made more complex still if


the Government is going to go about setting out clear red lines which


make those hurdles even more difficult to overcome. That would


include the Prime Minister's obsession with escaping any aspect


of the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice and that was a point that


the honourable member was right to raise at the start of this debate.


So let me turn first of all to just a couple of the schemes and


institutions that I believe it is vital we seek to preserve a refor


the UK in. The European arrest warrant as others have said has seen


a step change in how quickly suspects and criminals can be


repatriated to face justice and I won't go through the benefits


highlighted so far. Last May the then Home Secretary told the home


affairs committee that if we are not in the European Union we would


almost certainly not have access to the European arrest warrant. And on


the basis of evidence submitted to the home affairs Select Committee so


far, that seems almost certainly to be correct, creating one of the


biggest headaches for a Government. She also noted the length of time it


had taken for Norway and Iceland to negotiate access to something not


even as comprehensive as a European arrest warrant system. 16 years on


from the start of negotiations and eventual agreement is not yet even


in force. As the then Home Secretary also noted, such deals often contain


massive loop-holes that the arrest warrant does not, for example, some


states will simply not extradite their own nationals and will insist


on any trial taking place in their courts. So, the question for the


Government, does the Government accept that it is not going to be to


be to negotiate a single deal for one procedure with the European


Union as a whole or is it still going to make that attempt? Or is it


resigned to negotiating 27 different agreements as Lord Carlile, the


former independent reviewer of trim legislation suggested is required. ?


In the likely event work on either of those options can't be completed


within two years will it be seeking some transitional arrangement


because otherwise as I understand it I think the chair of the justice


Select Committee will be - we will be reverting back to the Council of


Europe convention. What planning on this will of interest to police


officers everywhere, what planning will be done so that law enforcement


can cope with a more expensive and complicated procedure? Euro poll,


which the home affairs Select Committee visited last year, and we


are all impressed by the work undertaken there and the leadership


of Rob Wayne write and we already heard about some of the benefits


that institution brings. On that visit as one of my legs colleagues


highlighted we noted the presence of US liaison officers and 14 third


countries have negotiated operational partnerships with euro


poll. Although some such arrangement could probably be agreed within two


years that stat subs not as good as what the UK enjoys now as a full


member. Before the referendum MrBrain white warned the UK would


become a second tier member of our club if it left the EU and like


Iceland and Norway would be denied direct access to euro poll data. Of


course we no longer have direct influence on the overall direction


of that agency which has proved so beneficial in recent years. These


are not trivial matters, that could mean a request for information on


missing or wanted persons taking days rather than hours which could


be crucial for the people involved. That is why David garment has called


for more than operational partnership enjoyed by other states.


They could be problems with our relationship with Europe whole and


in particular the all-important access to data if the Government


moves away from data protection standards. We had already the EEE US


safe harbour agreement has been struck down, one now under the


Europe whole directive will need to seek agreement from the European


directive which in the past has turned down finances for similar


reasons. Whilst it is good that there is not going to be a


settlement for operational partnership and be a bespoke


agreement, we need more detail on what will be envisaged or the


Government undertake that data protection standards will not


jeopardise our our relationship and what if that involves some sort of


influence of the European court of justice. On the European sorry on


the showing in information system, UK enjoys partial access but the


evidence so far has been that system has been a game changer for police,


it facilitates real-time alerts for the police National computer linked


into the system. Access from non-EU countries is limited, countries such


as Australia must ask institutions like Europol, Norway and Iceland to


have to make payments without seeing any policy development and they must


implement the European Court of Justice decisions or face losing


that access. On these benches would have no hesitation saying those


commitments are worth it if we secure similar access but the


question is, does the Government believe they are acceptable as well


or does the Prime Minister's obsession with the European Court of


Justice take precedence. On similar issues, financial contributions and


jurisdiction have secured Iceland and Norway access but according to


David Armond, the Interpol agreements which we would have tuque


fall back on would be a time-consuming bureaucratic


arrangement. We could go through the police College, the European network


of information Security agency, passenger names records and each


similar area where the efforts in securing membership must be very


close is free to nice. I welcome the commitment to work with devolved


criminal justice organisations, sadly the governments will not be at


the table in these negotiations occur. In conclusion, if anything


illustrates the idea that the European Union and power states, it


is surely in the field of policing and security because if we fight


organised crime in our own then we are not so much taking back control


but we risk time one arm behind our backs. We all benefit from a more --


operating. I hope the Government can assure is today the priorities are


in that order. Following on from my colleague, I note there is a degree


of consensus, in the vote on the summer on the opposite benches,


nonetheless I would say that we have found a certain solace of .11 in the


plan to commit to fight crime and terrorism and inherently these are


just words at the moment and the Government now must demonstrate with


actions have the evident need for international corporation will be


realised. I would like to have my voice mentioned by many people


better qualified than myself to detail those aspects of cooperation.


We certainly have a fair amount of work on our hands to the


coordinating and working in Concord and all of those things. I would


like to raise a few issues regarding Wales and the western seaboard. As


we know the Common travel area allows Ireland and UK citizens the


ability to travel without passports and we welcome the announcement that


this will remain but I would like to explain from the point of view of


Wales and the security of Wales, this warrants consideration. Key


Welsh ports such as Holyhead, Fishguard deal with thousands of


passengers and huge amounts of freight coming in from Ireland each


and every day. Haven is a major port from fuel arriving by sea, Holyhead


is second only to Dover in terms of passenger numbers with 1.9 million


passengers in 2015. I wonder under present circumstances if the


security status of Holyhead as a ports might be revisited. The Police


Commissioner has warned where the border to become more tangible that


there would likely be a rise of an criminality in Holyhead and even the


possibility of terrorist violence focusing on the manifestations of


the border, this of course must be avoided at all costs. I would like


to make one particular point, David Anderson QC highlighted in his


December 2016 report that ports on the Western front could be a soft


underbelly when it comes to the silent's security. With over the


1680 miles of coast and relatively small lease forces covering vast


rural areas, the vast difficulty of policing the coastline is enormous.


Ports and police services in Wales are already facing immense pressure


as public service cuts have seen their capacity slashed. This is a


domestic issue as much as an international issue and there are


concerns that posts may be lost at ports if these cuts are to continue


and border forces we are aware would struggle to close these gaps. The


senior police officer has warned me we will miss people coming in. There


are concerns that the unresolved police funding formula and a high


priority accorded to urban adversity it will affect rural police forces


such as North Wales disproportionally and I would urge


the Minister of policing to consider the risks of oversimplifying the


number of funding indicators if it is evident that they take into


account the variation in policing needs and policing environment


across forces. Indeed I would like specifically to request the Minister


of policing with the future funding of North Wales Police and that in


the light of that which we are discussing today. From stopping the


smuggling of goods to outright acts of terrorism, if the Government is


serious on the continued security of this country then it must recognise


and address the unique issues faced by Wells police services. Brexit


must might mean more cut and more uncertainty for the forces that work


day in and day out to protect us. As the honourable Member for Hampstead


and Kilburn observed, one of the disadvantages of taking part so late


in a debate is that many of the things you might want to say have


been covered. The other disadvantage is that there are very few people


left to hear what he wanted to say but I wanted to take part in this


debate principally to make the case for differential arrangements to


take place in Scotland in a post-Brexit world. I do believe the


areas we are discussing here very much exemplify why that ought to be


the case. Policing and law enforcement in Scotland has long


been quite separate, both the structure and the administration,


the budget and of course the legislative framework and the


mandate from the criminal justice system which the police have


predates devolution. Devolution that the Scottish Government transferred


to a parliament elected in Scotland which didn't set up a separate


arrangement for policing and it didn't establish a separate criminal


justice system. No one has suggested that these matters should change


post-Brexit. At the same time I do hope the Minister in his reply will


have some acknowledgement of this and discuss how these arrangements


will be different and the process that needs to take place between now


and then in order to make that a reality. I want to talk about the


general political context within which this debate takes place. Some


of the criteria which informs public opinion and dialogue in Scotland,


members indeed in this house including members not represented in


Scotland will know only too well that the politics of Scotland is


very largely influenced by the legacy of the 2014 independence


referendum. I don't want to go into that in any detail but I think there


are two aspects which took place which ended in September 2014 which


are very relevant to the debate which we are having today. The first


is about the relationship that people in Scotland would have with


the European Union. We were told in the that not only is the prospectus


for an independent Scotland a bad one because the position within the


EU could not be guaranteed that actually on the contrary that people


in Scotland wish to retain the European passports and the best way


they could do that was the vote to stay within the United Kingdom


because only that would guarantee that they would maintain their


relationship which they have with other European nations. The second


thing said was about the concept of respect. We were told that if people


voted to renew the union between Scotland and England and Wales and


Northern Ireland then this would not be a matter of opinions and views


being subsumed into a much larger neighbour but a partnership where


the dues of the people of Scotland would be respected and they would be


treated equally albeit in an asymmetrical relationship of power.


What has just happened with Brexit severely tests both of those


propositions. Clearly and we have yet to see what type of United


Kingdom emerges in a post-Brexit world, but many fear for a dystopian


future in which this country turns its back on the rest of the world


and becomes isolated and riven by sectarian and ethnic division. That


might not come to pass and I very much hope that it doesn't. What is


absolutely clear is that the United Kingdom of the future is going to be


manifestly different from the United Kingdom that was on the ballot paper


on the 18th of September 20 14. The other thing is about respect. That


is a notion sorely tested. Why because the public opinion as


expressed on the 23rd of June 20 16th on the matter of relationships


to other European nations is manifestly and palpably different in


Scotland than it is in England and Wales. That presents all of us with


something of a dilemma and I do hope given the muted tones and more


thoughtful nature of the atmosphere this afternoon that some of the


exchanges we have had on Brexit debate in recent weeks that we might


be able to actually confront these paradoxes and decide that together


we should do something positive about this. That is what the


Government has attempted to do. If you haven't read the Scottish paper


I would commend it to members of the House. It is a document which sets


out a prospectus for a deferential relationship that Scotland would


have in a post-Brexit world. It suggests that Scotland should be


given the authority and the competence to actually be an


associate Member of the European economic area because attitudes in


Scotland are different than they are in England and Wales. In particular


with regard to the freedom of movement of people across borders. I


want to make it absolutely clear and I would encourage people to


recognise this that the document that the Scottish Government has put


forward and with which it now campaigning for is not to say


Scotland should be an independent country and it is not to say that


any part of the United Kingdom should remain part of the European


Union and in that sense, its respects both the 2014 decision and


the 2016 decision and is trying to square the circle of opinion being


manifested differently north of the border than it is in the south.


Therefore it is a document I would commend and I think we should


explore. Will my honourable friend confirm that polling released this


afternoon shows that there is widespread support in Scotland for


the Scottish Government's plan to stay in the single market and indeed


in the early days after the EU Referendum, by the Secretary of


State for Scotland and the leader of the Conservative Unionist party Ruth


Davidson, were demanding Scotland should remain part of the single


market. Indeed so. Members will think we


have prepared this interchange. It is worth quoting the Secretary of


State for Scotland, when he said in June of this year, just after the


vote on Brexit, he said my role is to ensure Scotland gets the best


possible deal and that deal involves clearly being part of the single


market. Not my words, but the words of the Conservative Secretary of


State for Scotland. He may of course have changed his mind in the few


months in between. The Scottish Government dom suggests that there


are three levels of legislation that should be looked at in terms of how


we manage Brexit within these Islands and I hope no one would


suggest that such - that a decision, a constitutional decision of such


magnitude as to withdraw this country from its main international


association can be done without having any effect on the


constitutional arrangements within the country, it is clearly obvious


that's going to be the case. And there will have to be either as part


of the great repeal bill or as a separate bill, there will have to be


a new Scottish bill that gives new powers to the Scottish parliament.


The Scottish Government believes they fall into three areas. One is


that there are some areas which are going to be straight repatriated


from Brussels in which the Scottish Government already has competence


and they should go straight to Holyrood by making sure that they do


not stop on the way at Westminster. Secondly, there are areas of


additional legislative competence that should be given to the Scottish


Government as they are devolved from Brussels, particularly in the field


of employment legislation, and indeed to do with some immigration


matters, as well. Thirdly, if we can persuade the United Kingdom


Government to consent and support the idea of arrangements being


different in Scotland, but still consistent with leaving the European


Union, then there will need to be a legislative competence bill that


allows the Scottish Government to form those relationships in the


future. Now I think the debate that we are having today and the matters


we are discussing very much fall into category one. They are areas in


which the Scottish Government already will, with the exception


perhaps of security, but certainly in terms of criminal justice, and in


terms of law enforcement, these are areas in which the Scottish


Government already has competence and where the repatriation of powers


from Brussels should see that competence expanded. I therefore


want to finish by asking the Secretary of State - by asking the


ministers in their response to explain how and in what way the


dialogue is taking place between ministers of the Crown here at


Westminster and their Scottish counterparts about how these


arrangements should be made because I think there is matters of great


detail and expertise required here and it would seem to me a rather


ridiculous situation to simply say this is all a matter for the


department for exiting the EU. I think we need to explore in some


detail criminal justice, law enforcement and the relationship for


those aspects of the Scotland in terms of the security system, how


they will work post-Brexit and that shouldn't be just left to the Brexit


department, that should properly be a matter for the home department and


I hope that when they respond ministers will set out both an


intention to have that dialogue and suggest how it might take place.


Thank you. The Prime Minister in her speech yesterday made clear that one


of her objectives in exiting the European Union would be to release


the United Kingdom from the jurisdiction of the European Court


of justice. Questions to the Secretary of State for exiting the


European Union yesterday, the issue arose of how cross-border trade


disputes were to be settled if the UK refuses to be bound by the


rulings of the ECJ. The Secretary of State for exiting the European Union


did not give a comprehensive answer to how these disputes will be


arbitrated once the UK is outside the EU which raises the possibility


that he does not yet know. It gives me enormous concern that


the department for exiting the European Union does not yet have a


clear idea of how the role of the ECJ will replaced once we leave the


EU, whilst it might be possible to cobble together a compromise for


trade deals as the Secretary of State airily declared yesterday, the


ECJ has a greater role to play in our national life than just as the


arbiter of trade deals. As members of the EU we benefit from a range of


different schemes for sharing data and resources across borders. These


include the Schengen information system, Europol, the European


criminal records information system amongst many others. We collaborate


with our European neighbours on matters relating to family law,


asylum and the freezing of assets. The Prime Minister has of herself


argued passionately in favour of these measures as Home Secretary and


when leading the Government's case for opting into 35 justice and home


affairs measures in 2014, in this very House the Prime Minister argued


that without such measures we would risk harmful individuals walking


free and escaping justice and would seriously harm the capability of our


law enforcement agencies to keep the public safe.


Our membership of the EU gives us an automatic right to the co-operation


of our EU neighbours in all of these measures. Once we exit the European


Union we will lose this automatic right. As we have seen with the


single market, the Prime Minister and her Cabinet are failing to


support measures they have spent their whole careers championing as


fundamental to our security and public life. It is entirely possible


that we can negotiate a new agreement to maintain access to data


and resources. The UK has been instrumental in setting up many of


the cross-border police and crime systems that the EU has adopted and


our contribution will be missed when we leave. It is to be hoped that


this will provide a powerful negotiating tool when we come to


strike a new deal. However, so much of this cross-border co-operation


and data-sharing depends upon all parties accepting the jurisdiction


of the ECJ. There are several reasons for this. First, the EU can


only act in compliance with the charter of fundamental rights. The


ECJ is the ultimate arbiter of this. It is therefore impossible for the


EU to sign an agreement with the UK that conflicts with either the


charter or with ECJ case law. Second, any agreement needs to be


policed. If the UK acted in way that is breached the terms of this


agreement it would be open to an EU citizen to take a case to the ECJ


and have the EU's decision concluding the agreement annulled.


Third, the developing jur is prudence of the ECJ is binding on EU


member states. If the UK failed to keep pace with legal developments on


the continent or diverged from EU law in any significant matter, then


a gap would open up. The international deals that the EU


signs with third countries tend to include a mechanism for discussing


legal divergence, including the ability to allow the agreement to be


terminated if the differences cannot be reconciled. The UK would have to


stick closely to the rulings of the ECJ in order to avoid the agreement


being annulled one of the most valuable contributions that


membership of the European Union makes to the UK's continuing


security is the sharing of data between national police and


intelligence agencies. But the sharing of personal data must be


subject to the stricter safeguards to prevent misuse. Within the EU,


all countries have signed up to data protection legislation that governs


the sharing of this data. Once the UK has left the jurisdiction of the


ECJ which oversees the legislation that governs this data-sharing any


bespoke agreement will have to be continued to be governed by similar


levels of protection. Should UK law diverge from EU law on data


protection, then any agreement will become void if the ECJ deems that UK


law is insufficient to protect European citizens data. This would


result in the flow of data from the EU to the UK being immediately


stopped, putting at risk the ability of British police and security


forces to investigate and prosecute potential threats. Given the Prime


Minister's determination as expressed yesterday to cut all ties


with the European Court of justice, I urge the Secretary of State for


exiting the European Union to form with the utmost urgency a proposal


for the future of information-sharing and co-operation


on security matters between the UK and the European Union. He needs to


set out detailed plans for how this collaboration can be continued. If


the UK will not accept the jurisdiction of the ECJ. He also


needs to state how the risks of any bespoke arrangement will be


addressed, especially the risk that UK and ECJ case law diverge in the


future making negotiated arrangements untenable. I hope that


members on all sides of this debate will acknowledge that the full


implications of rejecting the ECJ were not put to voters in the


referendum campaign and that had they been so the Prime Minister


might not now be so determined to remove the UK from its jurisdiction.


I hope that the very real risks to our future security are being


properly considered by the Secretary of State and look forward to hearing


greater detail of his proposals in due course.


It is a great pleasure to follow the honourable lady, the member for


Richmond Park. The constituency is very close to my heart because I


fought my first parliamentary election as the Labour candidate in


Richmond Park. I lost by I think 26,000 votes. However, it was enough


to ensure the election of a Conservative member, Jeremy Handily


and I know the Liberal Democrats were very angry with me because Alan


Watson, now in other place, lost by a very small margin. So at least I


have the comfort of knowing that she has been elected as the member for


Richmond Park and I wish her well in her career which I am sure will be


long and distinguished. I have to say I was very fond of the former


member for Richmond Park, who was always extremely courtups and who


had great respect for the House and I know great respect and affection


for you. I am sorry I missed the speech of my honourable friend the


member for Stoke-on-Trent Central. Because I was very, very sad indeed


to hear that he was to leave this House to take up an appointment


outside. I feel I was there at the birth, the political birth of my


honourable friend because I sat on the panel where he was interviewed


for the Stoke-on-Trent Central seat. I have to say that was, I think we


had interviewed 25 people and the honourable gentleman came in. He was


so stunning in his interview and we were so impressed that we


immediately put him on the shortlips and he was selected by a large


majority by the members in Stoke-on-Trent. I remember a comment


made by one of the panelists who said that one day the honourable


member would become the leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister


of this country. Instead, he has gone for a better paid job, probably


with much better influence and less stress as the director of the V


and his amazing career outside this House has been matched by his


complete devotion and dedication to the people of Stoke-on-Trent


Central. I know because I went up over the last five years, I have


been up twice in fact, and I know the great affection that local


people have for him. He's debt indicated, hard-working, he will be


-- he is dedicated, hard-working, but we wish him well. He is going to


keep those museums free and we are all going to visit him at his first


exhibition. We wish him well. What was good about this debate, was the


fact that the passion of both front benches, an extraordinarily good


speech from the member for West Ham, and another good speech from the


Policing Minister, both supported the immensely important role that we


play in terms of justice and security in the EU. In fact, I don't


think that there was any difference between what the front benches said


on this particular subject. They all realised how important it was that


we should remain at the forefront of this agenda in the European Union,


even though we are leaving the European Union. The Minister spoke


with all the passion of someone who supported the Remain campaign during


the referendum. He reminded us about the importance of these


institutions, how vital it is that we remain part of them in some way


or another. What is significant, of course, is that we lead the rest of


Europe as far as justice and security is concerned. We need the


European Union, but they also need us in a whole variety of


organisations and institutions and in a whole variety of ways. I know a


number of honourable members and right honourable members on the


front bench mentioned Europol. I am a great fan of Europol as is the


Shadow Minister and I want to pay tribute to the excellent work that


Rob Wayne write does, how rare it has been in all the years that we


have been members of the EU that we have a Brit at the head of an EU


agency or organisation and what an incredibly good job Rob Wainwright


hasz done as the drek for of Europol and I hope in discussions and


negotiations we have, I know the Prime Minister is keen we don't just


have bits of the EU, but this is a bit that we desperately need. We


desperately need to be part of this organisation that has a proven


record in dealing with organised and serious crime. As far as the


migration crisis is concerned, this terrible crisis that's gripped the


EU over the last few years, it is the involvement and the support of


Europol from the Hague that has been so vital to the hot spots that have


been created. I give way. I thank my honourable way for giving way. Many


years ago when I was a member of the home affairs Select Committee we had


a dem stranges, we actually went to Holland and had a demonstration of


Europol. Through that organisation it helps the British police forces


to do the very same thing through getting information from Interpol


and its connections. Indeed. My honourable friend is right. He knew


about it then and I remind him now, I know the Minister is busy tweeting


parts of my speech on his Twitter account! But if I can occupy his


time for just one moment, and tell him that it is possible for us to


get an arrangement with Europol that will not mean we are sitting on the


management board of Europol but we are very near that position and we


know from watching what the United States has done that it is possible


to be there. It's not as good as running the organisation, but it is


near the centre of power. That's where we need to be as far as it is


concerned. I'm sure the policing minister has


had officers saying this to him how important it is that we stay a part


of that so at the very least we should be up to negotiate something


equivalent to what the United States has. Where we have a room, we have a


desk and we have access to the kind of information that we so


desperately need. As far as the criminal records situation is


concerned, and the minister responded to on Icarus but we don't


have details. I spoke to Ian redhead yesterday who of course runs the


system from Hampshire and he told me about the absolutely vital


importance of our country having access to this system. That means we


know exactly where people are and if they have committed an offence we


are able to go back to their countries and within minutes, they


will give us results of whether or not a person has a criminal


conviction. We have had 200,000 foreign national offenders arrested


in our country last year, 100,000 of these are EU nationals which is why


it is extremely important that we have access to this database. This


is not extended to any non-EU members. They are the rules.


Switzerland and Norway have access to this database simply because they


are members of the Schengen agreement. We have no prospect of


joining this so we have to be careful in negotiations that we are


involved and to ensure that we have this information and the ability to


get the data from the rest of the European Union. We heard from the


Member of Kingston and Surbiton who is the House resident expert, after


some delay the Government has opted in but have not seen any of the data


until later this year to the DNA fingerprinting expertise that we


need will not come to us until later this year. I hope the Minister will


ensure that we can and if it -- and can benefit up until we leave and


when we leave we have an agreement which allows us access to the


important information. I don't think anyone so far has mentioned the


issue foreign national offenders. The latest figures show us over 4000


EU national offenders are in the United Kingdom costing 169 million


pounds a year. Top of the list is Poland, nitrogen and 83 prisoners,


700 from Ireland and 635 from Romania. The committee will remember


us questioning the Minister of prisons on this issue and we could


not understand why since we have a prisoner transfer arrangement with


Poland that both Poland and the United Kingdom remain in the


European Union and why we are not able to transfer Polish prisoners


back to Poland. Of course the answer came back to us from a senior


official that they probably could have been transferred. I think it is


important that we look at this area, especially if we can try to do the


prisoner swap before we leave the European Union, otherwise once we


come out of the union, Poland will be in exactly the same situation as


any other country as far as prisoner transfer arrangements are concerned.


That is why we should ensure this happens as quickly as possible. A


number of members mentioned the issue of the European arrest warrant


and my honourable friend for West Ham made an impressive speech on


this particular point. I have concerns about the European arrest


warrant, simply because I think the warrants are being issued by other


countries on the basis of their law and therefore their constitutions


and in some cases the warrants are being issued for minor offences and


our system is being clogged up with a number of arrest warrants are been


issued against nationals of other EU countries. Would like to think we


are much more careful for we issue these arrest warrants. It should be


for serious and important issues and offences, not for someone stealing a


bicycle in another part of the EU which has been the case. As he


negotiates with the rest of the EU, here is an opportunity to be able to


look at this issue in new whilst accepting the importance of the


principle of the European arrest warrant. Also looking at the defects


that are inherent in the European arrest warrant because it is a great


scheme but has its flaws and this is an opportunity to ensure that the


floors are dealt with. My final point relates to EU nationals who


are living in this country. As I said to the chairman of the Home


Affairs Select Commitee, issued by the answer, I don't know the answer


and I don't know if we are having another debate on leaving the E and


home affairs issues. Other than the ones we are having today. I would've


thought it is essential that we clarify the position of EU nationals


living in this country. The Prime Minister gave a guarantee in her


speech yesterday that they would be allowed to remain here in tandem


with British citizens being allowed to remain in the EU. That is short


of an absolute commitment which I think everyone in this house,


members on all sides have said this is what the Government should do,


give a commitment that EU citizen should stay because now we have even


more uncertainty. What is the cut-off date for the EU citizens who


are residents in this country? Is the 23rd of June, everybody here on


the 23rd of June will be allowed to remain as residents, is it the date


which triggered Brexit or is it the date we leave the European Union? I


realised the difficulty, they don't want to set a date in future because


they will be fearful lots of people will suddenly arrived in order to


claim residents that there is going to be huge problem in processing


these 3.5 EU residents. He don't require a passport to enter some


countries, Italians come on an Italian identity card, that isn't


stamped, you cannot stump an identity card and because you are


allowed in, no matter what the Government say, if you present your


EU passport or your identity card, they would he knows when you have


arrived so how are you going to process 3.5 million people in the


space of two years? That is why the best course of action is to make


that commitment Bell, to say we will allow EU citizens to remain here and


to set the date so that there is no uncertainty all rush in the future.


This is something that we can get clarified at a very early stage


rather than waiting until the end of the process. There are still EU


nationals seeking employment in this country who have been told by


employers that they will not be able to stay, they may not be given jobs,


who may not appeal to rent accommodation regarding landlords


and tenants because you have too no show your passport if you're going


to rent property in the United Kingdom. It is essential we have


this clarified. Whatever the detail, it's good to see the former


Immigration Minister here as I talk about these matters. Whatever the


detail, these are going to be very complicated negotiations. They are


not going to be easy. As far as the issue of enforcement and criminal


justice is concerned, we need regular reports back to this house


on how this is going because it affects the safety and security of


our citizens. And the primary task of any government is to protect its


citizens and that is why it's important that we get as much


information as possible. Thank you Mr Speaker. This has been an


important debate if a somewhat select affair. There have been many


excellent contributions from colleagues. The safety and security


of citizens is the first responsibility of any government.


Given the needs of the UK and EU Member states to collaborate and to


coordinate intelligence and share information, this debate matters. It


is a good signal of the Government intentions to maintain close


relationships on security, law enforcement and criminal justice.


But there are other important issues to debate urgently. Freedom of


movement, principles for negotiating new trade deals, change to single


market membership, associate membership of the customs union,


while come the general debates we have had so far, I cannot help but


wonder if the Government is avoiding to debate some of the most important


and crucial issues. The minister has said he wants a future relationship


on Security and law enforcement and we welcome this. Maintaining a close


relationship and security is vital, our security must not be compromised


by the departure from the EU. As the Member for Leicester East said, it


is good to hear both frontbenchers agree on this important point. It is


in our national interest to continue the closest collaboration with these


issues, we must maintain an ability to participate in the European


arrest warrant, Europol membership and information sharing, especially


via the Schengen information system. We need these to stay so. Justice


and security were barely mentioned drink the referendum campaign and


the Government has no mandate to water down such measures. The


European arrest warrant is strong and the Prime Minister in particular


has favoured the European arrest warrant participation previously and


the current arrangements must be maintained and the Minister must


outline not just his commitment to the arrest warrant but signal how he


ensures the arrest warrant is maintained to the UK benefit. The


similarity Europol benefit is vital. Anything less has been described as


damage limitation. Will we still have access to the same databases


and sources of information afterward have left? Howell ministers ensure


that privacy laws to not encumber our access? The Government needs to


ensure and explain how it will ensure that Britain's security and


safety is in no way diminished. And this is not trade, vital as it is,


this is the most fundamental of duties of any government. Our


security and safety are not to be weakened. Our partners need to know


that we intend to work together more closely than ever as threats emerge


we must work with allies as good partners, more, not less closely.


The right Honourable Member for Mid Sussex spoke with great care and


authority of the need to sustain our involvement with international


bodies, like many who campaign to remain in the EU, he accepts that we


are leaving. But he like the rest of us sees the danger of departing


without resolving the very serious and vital issues of security. The UK


recently opted in the adopted regulation of Europol and the


Government passed the test of its resolve. Good intentions are not


sufficient. The Member for Edinburgh South West spoke of the need for


ministers to explain how the UK can remain part of existing structures


on equivalent terms. The detail counts. This house will hold the


Government to its stated objective of maintaining our current


beneficial relationship. The chairman of the justice select


committee urged the Government not to rule out making financial


contributions that may be required so that we can continue to benefit


in particular from intelligence databases. This is a most reasonable


request. Will ministers confirmed that they will not dogmatically


declined to make such contributions for domestic and political reasons,


thereby putting our information sharing processes at risk. We have


all agreed this evening how important security and cooperation


is to the safety of our citizens. This is the closest to consensus we


are ever likely to succeed in this chamber.


That is as the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee this


agreement in this house doesn't mean achieving the right outcome will be


easy. It won't. Hence her call for an explanation of how the Government


intends to proceed. The member the Pontefract and Castleford gave the


example of Europe all's success in achieving arrest since child sexual


exploitation cases. We want to identify and detain individuals


responsible for such crimes that capacity is in no way diminished.


This ought to be possible, but it does require consistent and


unwavering resolve from the Government. These matters must not


be up for negotiation. There can be no trading these issues away. The


Prime Minister spoke of not wanting to retain bits of membership, but as


the chairman of the exiting the EU select committee said, collaborating


on justice and security is not a bit, it is a vital tool in securing


safety in this country. With this in mind, will the Minister commit to


ensuring a transitional agreement, which protects us from any


interruption in access to data and intelligence? The member for


Hampstead and Kilburn made an excellent speech detailing their


specific concerns of her London constituents. She wants reassurance,


as do we all, that cooperation, security and law enforcement


measures outlast our EU membership. Lastly, Mr Speaker, I want to


finally turn to the contribution of the member for Stoke Central. It was


a privilege to sit by him as he made his maiden speech almost seven years


ago, and I'm pleased, although I didn't know he was going to be


speaking for the final time in this house today, to be able to take this


chance to wish him well in his new and exciting role. He has always


conducted himself with the utmost courtesy, speaking on issues as


important as social mobility and those niche as the management of


British waterways. I will miss him and I know others will, too. I know


he's found opposition frustrating, banging your head against a brick


wall isn't for everyone! I feel confident that he will use his new


role to make a difference on inclusion, in broadening opportunity


and I wish him every success. May I say what an excellent debate


this has been. And the debate a very high calibre, attended by no fewer


than five chairs of select committees. The issue of security,


law enforcement and criminal justice is, of course, of significant


importance in the context of Britain's withdrawal from the


European Union. I'm sure honourable members can acknowledge the value of


this debate, the fourth in the series promised by the Secretary of


State, and which have proven to be of real assistance to the


Government, not least this particular debate, as might


honourable friend pointed out, is about an issue that impinges


directly on all of our citizens. As the Prime Minister made clear


yesterday, a global Britain will wish to continue to cooperate with


its European allies on tackling crime and terrorism, and this is in


the interest not only of the United Kingdom, but also of the continuing


European Union, given the significant strength that we can


bring to the table. One of the 12 objectives that the


Prime Minister outlined yesterday for the negotiations ahead will be


to establish a new relationship, which enables the United Kingdom and


the European Union to continue practical cooperation, to tackle


cross-border crime and to keep all our people say.


My right honourable friend the Secretary of State reiterated this


to the House yesterday and made clear during his appearance before


the select committee in December that a future relationship on


security, law enforcement and criminal Justice cooperation will be


one of the Government's priorities when the negotiations commence.


Whilst the UK is leading leaving the European Union it is self-evidently


not leaving Europe. The reality of cross-border crime and the threats


to security will remain. In December, as referred to by the


honourable member for Edinburgh South West, the House of Lords EU


Home Affairs Select Committee report on this subject concluded there was


a shed, strong mutual interest between the United Kingdom on the 27


continuing EU member states, to make sure cooperation in tackling these


threats continues. To this end, the United Kingdom already has strong


bilateral relationships with member states in other countries across the


globe that help address security threats and serious organised crime,


as well as facilitating the delivery of effective justice.


We intend to continue that close cooperation with our European and


global allies on promoting security and justice across Europe after we


leave. Mr Speaker, our position... Yes, I


will give way. In my remarks I did refer to, and in


fact when he came before my European scrutiny committee a few weeks ago,


to the question of the attitude to be adopted in relation to the count


of votes of ministers. Will we give an indication towards the trend to


make sure where we stand on Brexit matters, within the framework of the


decision-making process? Yes, well, clearly as my honourable


friend has pointed out, there is now a change in the staffing, so far as


the United Kingdom is concerned. As we move closer to Brexit,


particularly after we have triggered Article 50, it is inevitable that


that position will develop and change.


Mr Speaker, there were a number of points made by honourable members


during the course of the debate. In the short time available to me I


would like to comment on as many of them as I possibly can. The


honourable member for West Ham asked what guarantees can be given that


security and law enforcement will not be compromised as a consequence


of our departure from the European Union.


Well, of course, we haven't yet started the process of negotiation,


we haven't even yet triggered Article 50. We are leaving the EU,


which as I've previously indicated, cooperation on law enforcement and


security with our European and global allies will remain a priority


for the Government. The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary have


both spoken with several EU partners, who have been clear about


their wish to maintain strong cooperation with the United Kingdom,


and that is a good basis for starting that negotiation. But


clearly we are very early days. My right honourable friend, the


honourable member for Mid Sussex made what I thought was an excellent


speech. He referred to the Prime Minister's on speech and made it


clear that it is important that the United Kingdom continues to be a


close friend of the continuing EU. That is certainly the spirit in


which the Government intends to approach these negotiations.


The honourable member for Edinburgh South West and a number of other


members raised the issue of data protection is, data protection in


the continuing EU, and the extent to which the continuing EU would wish


to share data or would be able to share data with the United Kingdom.


What I would point out that regard is of course that on the day of


departure, the United Kingdom's data protection arrangements will be in


perfect alignment with those of the continuing EU. Forgive me, I have


very little time. But that again will be a good basis


for continuing those negotiations. LAUGHTER


My honourable friend, the member for Bromley and Chislehurst, the


chairman of the Justice select committee, raised the issue of the


European Arrest Warrant. He said that the United Kingdom


should seek to remain within the arrangements of the arrest warrant


and said effectively that we should be seeking to be pragmatic in the


future negotiations. That is certainly the case, so far as the


United Kingdom government is concerned, similarly we look for


pragmatism from our continuing EU colleagues.


A number of Honourable members, those for West Ham, Bath, Hampstead


in Kilburn, Richmond Park and Leicester East raised the issue of


what access we would have 2 euros poll. Again, we are clearly at a


very early stage in the negotiations. The negotiations


clearly will take some time to progress, but the Prime Minister has


stated law enforcement cooperation will certainly continue once the


United Kingdom has left the EU, and we are exploring options for


cooperation arrangements with Eurpol once the United Kingdom has left the


EU. To repeat, these are very early days. The right honourable... Yes, I


will briefly. I will be very brief, I know he has a limited amount of


time. 30 just clarify this point... He said negotiations are at an early


stage. I understood that there are no negotiations until Article 50 has


been triggered. Is he telling the House that negotiations in this area


have actually begun, even though they are at an early stage?


He is absolutely right. The negotiations are at such an early


stage that they haven't yet commenced! So to that extent, he is


quite right and he has chastised me and I am pleased to stand corrected.


The right honourable member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford


asked whether there was anything in the European, the new treaties to


prevent us becoming, continuing to be a member of Europol. I understand


that the EU treaties do not allow for non-EU members to join Europol


as full members, but we, of course, as has already been indicated are


seeking bespoke arrangements with the European Union in this regard


and access to Europol on as enhanced basis as possible is something we


would wish to pursue. Yes, I will way.


Given evidence to the select committee that suggested although


the treaties did not provide for it, they also did not rule it out. So it


would be helpful to accept the Government's interpretation.


Certainly the position as I understand it, as I have just


stated. But this is a matter that I shall pursue and investigate. But


the position as I understand it, I have just set out.


My honourable friend the member for Bath asked whether the United


Kingdom would be putting human rights at the forefront of our


negotiating agenda. Certainly the United Kingdom has, of course, a


very long-standing tradition of ensuring that our rights, traditions


and liberties are protected and we see no reason to depart from that. I


will give way. Thank you for giving way. There is a


responsibility over the Crown dependencies, I just spent two days


with the select committee talking to the Government on the Isle of Man.


They have a simple message, will the Minister come to the dispatch box


and say the Crown dependencies will not be forgotten throughout this


process of any agreement reached with the rest of the European Union?


I can give the honourable gentleman that assurance. There have been many


meetings with representatives of the Crown dependencies and this will


continue all the way through the process of exit from the European


Union. The honourable member for Kingston


and Surbiton rightly reminded us that many security arrangements are


done largely on a bilateral basis. And that the United Kingdom has


significant strengths in this regard and he is quite right. Of course,


those arrangements will continue and will not be disturbed by our


departure from the European Union. The right honourable member for


Leeds Central, who chairs the select committee, congratulated my


department for its speedy response to his most recent report, at least


in two respects. I'm glad to see that we are giving satisfaction.


He asked whether the department would be publishing and when its


economic analysis that underpins the plan that was outlined by the Prime


Minister yesterday. I can assure him that the analysis that he refers to


is one that is continuing, and it will continue for some time. But he


must understand that I am sure he does understand, that to go into too


much detail about that analysis at this particular stage could


compromise our negotiating position, but again, I give him the assurance


he sat before, that as time passes, we will consider and reconsider the


issue of how much information should be passed to his committee.


Can I seek an assurance that he says the analysis is continuing. Can he


tell the House that it's not going to continue for another two and a


half years so as to avoid the need to publish anything before the


negotiations are considered? It does seem to the select committee


perfectly reasonable without comprising the Government's


negotiating hand to reveal to the House and to the public what is the


analysis of the different options. Because it will help to inform a


view that people want to reach about the plan of the Government has set


out. I have no doubt that analysis will continue for some considerable


time. Whether it continues for two and a half years, I doubt. But I've


heard of the right Honourable gentleman had to say and we will


continue to consider the position. But at this particular stage, I


believe that it would compromise the negotiation. We heard from the


honourable member for Stoke-on-Trent Central in his valedictory


contribution to the House. Could I, on behalf of members of the side of


the House, wishing very well in his future endeavours. -- wish him very


well. He reminded us quite correctly that Britain, the United Kingdom, is


part of the greater European culture. I'm sure that under his


direction, the Victoria and Albert Museum will continue to reflect


that. I do wish you well. My honourable friend the member for


Stone made a contribution in which she expressed concern of the use for


the European arrest warrant for crimes that he regarded as trivial.


The European arrest warrant was radically reformed by the previous


coalition government to offer better protection for British citizens and


others are subject to extradition proceedings. British citizens can no


longer be extradited where a case is not try already, where the conduct


that took place is within the United Kingdom, or where it is simply not


proportionate to do so. And these protections are set out in United


Kingdom legislation. Concerns about the European arrest warrant were


also expressed by my honourable friend, the member for stroke, who


raised a specific case. -- the member for Stoke. My right


honourable friend has attended to the points made. His concerns about


the use of the European arrest warrant were also expressed by the


Right Honourable member for Leicester East. The honourable


member raised the issue of the Common travel area. That is a matter


of concern. The Common travel area is something that long predates our


membership, our island's membership of the European Union. It goes back


to 1923 and the Government has made it very clear that preserving those


arrangements are something that we regard as at the forefront of our


mind as we approach the negotiations. The honourable member


for Edinburgh East raised the issue of respect for Scotland in the


United Kingdom. And he referred to what he described as the spectre of


a dystopian future in which the United Kingdom turns in on itself.


This is not the future which the Government sees for the United


Kingdom outside of the European Union. In fact, we see a more


global, outward looking Britain. A Britain that is not confined by the


limits of the European Union. You also raised the issue of respect for


Scotland and the paper that got and has recently issued. He will be


aware that the Government, in order to address the issue of the impact


of Brexit upon the devolved administrations, established the


joint ministerial committee for exiting the European Union. This is


the forum in which these issues are raised and discussed and debated.


There is one such this week. I do not believe that any suggestion that


there is a lack of respect for Scotland, or for any of the other


devolved administrations. I'm grateful to the minister, but would


it not enhance the discussions taking place if there were


discussions between ministers in his department and their counterparts in


Scotland in order to prepare some of the detail of these particular


matters? Discussions will certainly continue. But I have to say that I


do regard it as highly unfair for the honourable gentleman to suggest


that there is any lack of respect for Scotland. I believe the


Government could have done hardly any more to accommodate the concerns


of the devolved administrations. Mr Speaker, in closing, I'd like to say


what a useful, genuinely useful debate we have had today. As I end


my right honourable friend have made it clear, this is an issue that is


the utmost importance to the Government as we prepare to


negotiate our exit from the European Union. This was reinforced by my


right honourable friend the Prime Minister, who has said that


cooperation with the EU in the fight against crime and terrorism will be


one of government's principal priorities were negotiations begin.


We are determined that the United Kingdom will continue to be a


leading contributor in the fight against crime and the promotion of


security and justice. Not only in the United Kingdom and European


Union, but indeed throughout the world. The question is that this


house has considered exiting the EU and security law enforcement and


criminal justice. As many say aye, to the contrary, no. I beg to move


this house do now adjourn. The question is that this house do now


adjourn. Mr Nigel Evans. Thank you, Mr Speaker. It's a great delight for


me to have this opportunity one year Ron to reflect on what happened in


the Ribble Valley during those floods. But also to look at what


progress has been made as far as resilience and protection is


concerned, and prevention. And indeed to thank some people who were


beyond the call of duty who came to help those in distress. I remember


on Boxing Day 2015 hrs that my sister's house. -- I was at my


sister's house. I received a text message from a friend of mine who


has been elevated to the House of Lords, Robert Hayward, Lord Hayward.


He said what is happening in your constituency. I sent a message back


saying, what do you mean? He said, floods. There have been a flood in


the Ribble Valley just over a week earlier. I thought perhaps they were


showing historic footage of what has happened several days before. So I


didn't think too much of it, but went and switched the television on.


Sky News was coming live from one of my villages. The reporter was


several feet underwater, and I watched live footage of one of my


constituents being carried from a small cottage, an elderly lady,


manhandled out of her property in order to be taken to a safe place


where the floods hadn't happened further up the road. My eyes were


wide open and I was aghast to see the condition of the main Street


through the village. What I hadn't realised was that the flooding was


much more extensive than that. I called to my sister and I said, I'm


going. This was Boxing Day. I was due to be there about four days. She


said, what do you mean? I said, I'm going to be Ribble Valley. She asked


why. I taught to look at the television and she would understand.


What can you do? It's a great question. The fact is being there,


and that was the answer. I had to be there, there was no other place that


I could be on that day. So I got in the car, drove four and a bit hours


towards the Ribble Valley. As I came off the motorway, off the M6, I


normally would turn right immediately. But I couldn't do that


because the main road off the motorway junction was flooded. So I


had to go round. Then I used my local knowledge to work out another


route through which was quite extensive through Preston. Then what


I did was I dropped into Longridge, first of all, whether was an


emergency centre in one of the village halls, and spoke to four


people there. Nobody had reported there because it was several miles


away from the main village. I think it was just too far away. People


were making their own arrangements in many ways, some going to the


Clitheroe golf club a bit further out, and the local school further


Oppo said that they were available to take anybody. And of course


neighbours were coming to the assistance of those in distress.


When I drove into Ribchester, because that is an area that gets


flooded from time to time, I went to have a look at the river Ribble, not


far from Saint Wilfrid's Church, which is my local church. And it's


an extensive area. I have to say, my mouth dropped open. I have never,


ever seen that river is so high. If it had gone just another few inches,


it would have broken its banks into the Main Street in Ribchester. I've


never seen anything like it and I spoke to one of the residents there


who said he was waiting for it to go one step further before he started


moving his furniture and possessions from the bottom floor to the top


floor. I then went around to where the Ribchester Arms pub was. It's


Boxing Day. They were ready to take in all the bookings that they had


during that day. Of course, they couldn't open at school. They were


completely flooded. The landlord and landlady were on the top floor. The


firemen were already there pumping water away from one electrical


substation to make sure that that was still operational so that there


were still like on at the top of the pub. That pub was closed for several


weeks. -- so that there were still lights on. Never mind be colossal


cost of the waste of all of the food, the equipment that was


damaged, and indeed the loss of trade during that period of time.


Thank you for making a heartfelt, passionate beach. It reminds me of


exactly what happened in my constituency one year ago. --


passionate speech. On the subject of businesses being affected, many of


the businesses in my constituency now the excesses of ?50,000 or more


and cannot get cost-effective insurance. Would he agree with me


enjoy my calls to persuade the flood scheme to small businesses to be


re-extended, because at the moment it is no solace to those businesses


that stand on the precipice. By than happy to do that. In fact, I spoke


with Mark Hogan who is in charge of the Flood Re Scheme. It is for us to


extend that out to businesses as well. I've got no doubt that will


that the premiums for a lot of small to medium-sized enterprises that are


prone to flooding or have made claims will go through the roof. And


if we think it's a good idea to spread the risk with domestic


premises, which we have done by the Flood Re Scheme, which is very good


indeed, then I can't see any good reason whatsoever not to extend that


to businesses as well. In fact, I will come on later to talk about one


of businesses which have been doubly hit in more ways than one. I'm


delighted to see you in your seat, Mr Deputy Speaker, because I know


you yourself experience in your constituency about flooding also. It


affected a number of areas and my honourable friend, the member for


South Ribble, is in her seat also. Looking at this river and talking to


some of the locals, I have today absolutely brilliant praise to the


emergency services for all the work that they did. If you think about


it, in the early hours of Christmas or the late hours of Christmas


night, early hours of Boxing Day, the army were knocking on doors.


They already knew what was going to happen and they were alerting people


to either get out or secure their promises. Get their possessions


upstairs if they could. But they weren't working during the time when


other people were celebrating with their families. -- they were


working. Absolute praise everything that they did and the early flood


warning system that clearly was working. I then went down into the


village itself, which was featured on the television most of Friday. --


most of that day. A lot of the water had subsided by that time because it


was several hours on. But, my goodness me, the damage that had


been done during those hours was absolutely phenomenal. It wasn't


just the main road, it was several streets back. On both sides.


I went to chat to the landlord of the Dog Inn and he was able to tell


meal the things that had gone up on that day. Then I went towards


another village, on the other side of the constituency, and I had to


actually turn my car around there because I couldn't distinguish the


road from the river, it was so high. I thought, if I go any further I


will be adding to the problems because my car will be stuck and


it's 04 by four. I reversed back and then got back home. The next morning


I got up and then went back into Worley, and there the salvage


operation had begun. And my goodness me, to see the volunteers, the


people who are giving up their Christmases, to help their


neighbours, was heart-warming beyond belief.


There was one story of a group of four men who were travelling up to


Scotland for Hogmanay, going pretty early by the sounds of it, but


nonetheless, they heard what happened in Morley and drove off the


M6 and turned up in the village and picked on some house at random and


helps them clear their possessions from the House onto the streets,


into skips and then they got back in the car and continued their holiday.


What fantastic people, to do that. Other people had the good sense to


get money and drive into the Ribble Valley, actually handing money out


to families. When you think about it, there are some people who


wouldn't have any money. They'd lost all their food, they may live alone,


they may have spent all their money on Christmas and they just didn't


get access to money. So actually giving some money out to them gave


them a bit of a lifeline. They didn't need to do that, but they


did. Then people came from all over the area, to come and help, from


some charities in Blackburn who came to give assistance. It was a


colossal operation, to help people get all their possessions out of


their front living rooms and their kitchens, get the food out, and I


pay tribute to the skip operators who managed to get skips in on a


regular basis. The police, who managed to get a one-way system


through the village, as well. I've got to say, I learn something as


well. Talking about all the great things, but afraid now and then we


had flood tourists, who decided they wanted to come in just have a look.


They thought it was rather clever to drive through some of the water that


was there and then splashing the water into the businesses that had


already suffered greatly. I thought that was really thoughtless and


careless of some people to do that. I remember talking to one chap,


Andrew Ronan, who is done so much tremendous work as a volunteer, who


said, I didn't know what I expected to do the day after Boxing Day but


it wasn't a manhandle a piano into a skip, and that's what he was doing.


The volunteers, and I've got to say, absolutely superb, led by Gillian 's


barbershop, president of Worley Lyons, and with some of her friends,


Kelly Hughes, who runs the hairdresser shop. Her shop with hit


badly and still being repaired. She didn't cut for a few days because


she went straight across to the village hall, which they


requisitioned, where people turned up to give electrical goods,


blankets, food, hot coffee was served there, other food was served


there, it was quite amazing. Politicians had given up their time


to come in and test all the goods to make sure they weren't handing out


faulty electrical items. And other volunteers like Max and Katie... I'm


afraid I'm going to forget people on this one, but even the Dog Inn were


giving out coffee and damages to volunteers who were coming in to


help. There was another electrician who was going around, helping to go


to people's houses. And then of course the electricity board


themselves were coming in, to switch people off and making sure


everything was safe to get people switch back on. There was one


volunteer who came in and he'd had some training on mental health


issues, because we did have people where this flood actually turned


them over the edge. You can understand why an Boxing Day, when


they saw their houses destroyed, how this person was able to talk


somebody out of his bedroom, to try and get him downstairs, in order he


could get the assistance that he finally got. And that's one area


where I think we need to pay some attention to, as far as future flood


actions are concerned. And so... I've also got to pay


tribute to Marshall Scott, the chief executive of Ribble Valley Council.


He was there from boxing night onwards. They basically moved a lot


of the offices from Ribble Valley Council into Worley and they were


operating in that particular village hall. He was there every day, giving


assistance to people who badly needed it. Part of the problem was,


some of these businesses and homes were hit a week ago when the water


came rushing down. Andrew Ronan had already called some of the locals


together to say, what are we going to do about this? All we need is for


the river to break its banks and we could have real problems. Well, we


had real problems. What it did, it brought the


community together. Now I mentioned Gillian Darbyshire. One of the roads


that was badly damaged, one of the areas, was the houses in called


avail. It is a rough road, and if you look at it now, if you go and


visit that road, the Worley Lions raised ?100,000, got a match by


donations from the Freemasons and they have put a proper surface, it's


one of the best roads in the Ribble Valley now! It's absolutely superb.


I couldn't believe it when I went down there the other day and I


thought, wow, look at that, that's what can happen when the community


gets together and work together. I pay tribute to her for leading the


volunteers that are there. And there's one chap called Alan


Elliott, whose house was at the back of Calder Vale his had half his


garden washed away and his car was all right. I went to see Alan just


the other day. One would rather have hoped that the Environment Agency


would have looked at his damage and would have given a bit more


assistance than they did, to be honest. He's had to spend thousands


of pounds of his own money, to be able to shore up the garden, to make


sure that it is going to be resilient against any further rises


in the river flow... Yes, of course I will.


I thank my honourable friend for giving way and securing this debate,


because it is very important in our area collectively in Lancashire.


Would my right honourable friend agree with me Lancashire Council


didn't apply for any future funding for flood defences until at least


April, after the floods in December, meaning they missed out in the


budget in 2016? Wasn't that a little short of them?


I'm hoping a lot of lessons are now going to be learnt. That any funding


that is made available to be claimed, and remember the big


argument we had about claiming that European flood money, which of


course we all pay into, so it's only getting our own money back. It was


ages before we did that and I thought that was a huge mistake. We


should have done it from the very beginning. And I was told how


complicated it was to claim the money, that has to be sorted out, it


shouldn't be complicated when one is paying into an insurance, when


there's so much time that has to go in, so many pages have to be filled


in to claim our own money back. I think there are a lot of lessons


that need to be learned by Lancashire County Council and by the


Government generally, as to what needs to be done in order that the


tragedy that is awarded there is an added to by their own action or


inaction. I also want to praise the rescues


collection people as well. One wouldn't expect to see them the next


day after Boxing Day. -- refuse collection. There's very few


pictures in my mind more sad than seeing the refuse people backing up


into a street and Christmas trees the day after Boxing Day being


loaded on because they were clearing the whole of the houses. It was a


very sad picture to see that, never mind the fact that people who were


already under stress, there was one lady whose husband was dying, had


all the problems added onto the fact that then she was having to clear


out her house as well. There are still some people not back in their


homes a year on. And so big questions have to be asked about the


resilience of some of the properties. I know my honourable


friend is going to answer this debate, has done her own report into


this and I hope a lot can be learned from that.


I also praise the councillors stereo, Joyce Holgate, Jed Merson


and others. Councillors came from all over the area, even if their


areas weren't flooded. They came in and gave assistance as well.


And also for James Bevan and the deaf for a minister, who turned up


the day after Boxing Day. I couldn't leave it, there they were in


Wellington boots, walking through the village. I was able to show them


some of the damage that was there. So James looked into the river


Calder... One farmhouse was totally underwater. And also those insurance


companies that were prompt and others, who weren't. Where the


answer phones were on saying, please phone us, we are on holiday, please


get in touch on the 28th 29th of December, whenever it was, when


there is the flooding that took place on such a colossal scale that


affected so many thousands of people, one would have thought that


all the insurance companies would have been fair to have helped.


-- been fair. I mentioned Andrew Ronan. He has managed to create a


group called the Worley and Billington flood action group. He's


managed to draw expertise that one would find in any sort of large


village and surrounding areas of people who are civil engineers,


people who have knowledge of flood prevention, and they have regular


meetings, in order to liaise with the flood authority, Lancashire


County Council, Ribble Valley county council, and the Environment Agency


as well. Looking at the long-term plan, because we've got to do that


and we have to make sure that these once-in-a-lifetime events, which are


happening now quite regularly, certainly in my lifetime, that


anything that is preventable, that leads to the misery that I saw that


day, needs to be taken. There are some that relate to the river and


there are others that relate to the housing as well, that's being built,


particularly in Worley, on rather a large scale.


I think it might just be useful if I talk about that now, because there


one that section called Lawson rise which is being developed, in part,


by Redrow. As part of that scheme that there should be drainage and


ponds as part of that, so water retention in their place. They've


been building houses but as far as those ponds are concerned, that has


a map. They themselves said it needed to happen, and it hasn't


happened. I understand there may be problems, as far as the design and


where those ponds go but the reality is they are now in breach of the


conditions that the Local Authority have set, but they still think it's


OK to build the houses get people moving in. Well, it's not. They have


a responsibility to the people who are going to live on that estate,


but also to the people who may be affected by the building of those


houses. Not just those houses, but other houses that would be built on


the same plot. It is their responsibility to ensure that all


that area is going to be properly drained and the water that will run


off is going to be retained. How dare they not take the action that


they should, at this moment in time, and that they think it's OK to carry


on building those houses. Without putting in that proper attenuation.


My honourable friend is making an incredibly important speech and he


has mentioned the question of a building company. And I want to know


that all over the country, many on both sides of the House have the


same experience with building companies who bang on until the cows


come home about their corporate social responsibility, and being


good neighbours, and all that, but with many of them, although not all


of them, it is complete and utter toss. They need to honour their


obligations and we seem to do so. I can only agree. Indeed, in one of


the reports they talk about them being a shining light member of the


considerate construction scheme. Also, Steve Morgan, the chairman,


talks about Redgrave as being in great shape and looking forward to


another year of significant progress. I've got an idea - that


significant progress can be going into the things that need to be


happening. There's another plot of land which one can see from the road


which rather famously had a sign saying that it's a development site


with permission for 39 dwellings. You can just see it above the water.


This is absolutely famous and this did the rounds of social networking


- for a single house. You should put any houses on an area susceptible to


that sort of flooding. But what sort of attenuation would that need to


make sure that the water didn't flood the houses going on there, and


wasn't then push to flood the houses? And though I would now say


to read Row on that particular site that notice has been served to say


that they are in breach of the conditions that they were agreed to.


When are they going to do it? When are they going to provide the


attenuation that they said they would? Everybody is waiting. They


have a social responsibility, in moral responsibility to do it. I


know, as my right honourable friend would know, that these companies


have got some great experts working for them and they know some tricks


will stop they would know that there are certain things they can do to


delay taking the action that they need. They've got very expensive


lawyers who no doubt listening to every word I'm saying. But get on


with it. Absolutely get on with it. We don't want to see any delay. We


don't want to see any deferment. They know what they want to do and


they need to do it now. It's not just an - it's every other developer


who are building houses, who have conditions put upon them. They


shouldn't see it as burdensome. They should see it as playing their part


in a Kenya to say that they're not making other people'slives a misery.


It may be a mile down the road, it may be two miles. The honourable


member is making a powerful and moving each and he's touched by a


number of good points. I would like to remind the House of Witney in


2007 when there was serious flooding which affected a great deal of the


town. I spoke in the House yesterday about blood attenuation schemes that


the minister came to visit. -- about blood attenuation schemes. I ask the


member whether he would agree to me that when it comes to making


people'slives a misery, that is absolutely right. This is not just a


matter of damage to property which, in due course, when the company 's


pale, can be rectified. When I spoke to my constituencies affected by


flooding, the fear and worry of that happening again lives on ten years


or more after the event. Misery is just the right word. I thank you for


the contribution. I think it's a key to mental torture. -- I think it's


akin. Once you've gone through that misery, all of a sudden people have


got one eye on the computer to see if there's a flood warning coming


up. And they've had a few of since December 26 2015 and indeed they've


had water coming through King street. The fact is that one has to


recognise the impact that it has on people'slives once the properties


have been swollen that way. This happened was, it can happen again,


unless something has been done about it. -- once their properties have


been soiled in that way. Once these things have happened, and it did


happen on a high skill, as you know, don't we just had to wait and see


what action needs to be taken. -- on a high scale. I know the Environment


Agency is talking about ending ?2.3 billion over the next six years in


doing a lot of the major works but need to be done. Whether that's


going to be sufficient money, who knows. When one starts talking about


2.3 billion, were talking about spending 3.5 billion on display. So


I suppose that puts it in context, doesn't it? -- spending 3.5 billion


on this place. We are looking at ensuring that the right sort of


money is put in place to help alleviate the problem. We have


companies like Network Rail who are doing a great deal of work in Morley


on the aqueduct there and ensuring that the water that was flowing in


an area that got badly flooded, their spending a lot of money and I


sure -- I saw it for myself and I pay to be to them. And some


companies like Axa Insurers are spending money on resilience because


they've worked out that it in their interest to spend money on


resilience measures that mean that when people sadly do get flooded,


the cost to them will be a lot less. And there's a lot of sensible


measures that people can take if they have got the means to do it. I


remember going into one house in Ribchester and the lady had been


flooded a bit before. I walked on her sodden carpet and she said the


last time that this happened, she asked the insurance company if they


could have lighting instead of carpets. And they said, oh, no,


like-for-like, madam. And they wouldn't move. They moved this time.


They've now got the message and of course the flagging means that if it


happens in the future, at least something more easily can be done


about it. I thought I would just quickly go through, because I know


whether people would like to contribute, things that I believe


ought to be done as far as looking forward to resilience in the future.


As far as Morley is concerned, I know the Environment Agency are


looking at proposals. They're looking at the action that can be


taken, I'm told that the study will take about six months and then they


will be putting a bid into government may be towards the autumn


of 2017. I do hope that the Environment Agency can bring that


forward as quickly as possible because of the mental torture that


my honourable friend was talking about. Most people can't see


anything substantial being done, they think it could happen again.


And of course it can. I hope the Environment Agency will look at that


area and a number of others to see what can be done, and working very


closely with the local Flood action group, Andrew Bingham and his


friends, the flood authority -- and lead Flood authorities and the local


authorities as well. Not associated with the river Calder, but the


surface water coming through, heavy rain, blocked culvert where Morley


had a week earlier than 2015 been damaged. We've had water running


through sense. It shouldn't be beyond the wit of the local


authority to look at those culverts and to make absolutely certain that


they're not blocked. There's enough sensors now that can be made


available in order for them to be able to do that. And I would say to


Lancashire County Council, pull your finger out, have a look at these


areas that are prone to flooding, and get it alters. And the drains as


well. Kelly, who was the lady from the hairdressers, was cleaning the


drains it well. This was after December the 26th when they were


expecting more floods and she saw some of the drains were blocked. So


there are simple things that can be done and I hope that they will be


doing it. As far as planning is concerned as well, local authorities


ought to be able, if it's a flood plain, to say no housing should be


put on there. And that should be sufficient. So when they go to


appeal, as they do, and use their expensive lawyers to dance rings


around some local authorities who are rather structured -- rather


strapped for cash, they should be able to say, no, this is a flood


plain. Even with attenuation is still means that huge amounts of


water that may be retained by those fields, like the one I've just shown


the House, it's got to be made available for the future. And


builders have got to take the responsibility that when conditions


are put on them, they've got to comply. They have got to comply. I'd


like to pay tribute to the Woodland Trust, who are planting trees all


over the place. I don't think we pay enough regard for the usefulness of


trees - particularly in ensuring the prevention of soil erosion which can


easily happen. They've already planted thousands of trees in our


area and this is something that we need to do more of. Insurance


resilience measures have got to come in as well. The early payment of


money and insurance is important to people so that they can get on with


the job. We've got to pay regard for this end of getting three quotes,


and all that sort of thing, which some insurance companies say.


They're lucky to get one quote! When an area have been blighted by


flooding on Boxing Day, you can imagine how difficult it was to even


get one quote. Certainly, some are just not interested. So there has to


be different measures put in place for reasonable costs that people are


just able to get on with the job and do it. One person came to see me


last week. So we're talking one year one. They put a claimant, part


business. ?110,000 claim. They used a broker. The broker then insured


with one company. The company then part insured with another company.


That company went bust. They paid out ?35,000 per claim. They were


going to get another 20,000 before that company went bust. He doesn't


know when he's going to get paid. Even under the financial


compensation balls but keep in place when you get 90%. -- financial


compensation balls. I think it has to be fair that when one goes to the


insurance company, the responsibility lies there. This


person is now running around the House witless that he will not get


the money that he needs. The person paying the premium, which in this


case is just under ?5,000 a year, shouldn't have to suffer because of


that. The emergency services have learned a lot by that day. By the


fact that they had to come in and institute is one. That needs to be


best practice that is spread around the country. Because what's happened


in the Ribble Valley will happen in other areas, sadly, in the future.


Best practice I think is something that can be done. The local Flood


action group have done their own resilience programme telling people


of the simple things, including phone numbers that they can use,


when flooding does happen. These sorts of things are absolutely


superb. And I do hope that local authorities can learn from one


another as to the action that they need to take, including the advice


that they can give to people now. We are in the winter now. Sadly, some


villages may well get flooded between now and the time when summer


kicks off. Thank you. Thank you to my friend for allowing me to


intervene. We have floods in my area, as I fix it. The hospital,


locally, ran an emergency generators. But apparently, from


what I could gather, for a state of emergency to be declared, the army


came in to help in the end, the Environment Agency had to have, I


believe, two separate sources to verify there was a state of


emergency. Do you think that it should be once a source that context


the Environment Agency to enact with their doesn't get any worse for the


army to be called in to rescue patients that need electricity for


dialysis and other life-saving treatments? Of course. Common-sense


kicking in building it. Once common-sense kicks in, people know


when there's an emergency on and why act to it with unnecessary


bureaucracy and rules? I do hope lessons can be learned from that. I


think proper planning on flood areas is essential. For instance, and I


were a lot of sandbags in local authority depot under lock and key.


People couldn't get access to it until, eventually, calls went


through to the county council and said, openly depot! Eventually be


sandbags were released. -- open the depot. It shouldn't be beyond the


wit of planning to ensure that sandbags back, irrespective of


whether they may be used for somewhere else at another time.


They're released immediately to the local community in order that


they're able to prevent any further damage that done. In is one of these


known not what's where I was having to go into Benedict pars


delicatessen to latch onto their Wi-Fi. -- is known as one of these


not spots. Using the pub thrown in the Dog Inn because my friends


simply wouldn't work. In areas of high susceptibility to flooding, a


lot more attention needs to be put into the telecommunications there


that cost a bit more money. But it needs to be done in order that


people in an emergency, because they've had it before I may have it


again, that people are able to use their mobile telephone. Particularly


if the flooding has wiped out some of the landlines.


I said earlier on about the drainage on the main road that prevented me


from getting to the area that I needed. Again, if an area floods


from time to time, these certain roads, the Environment Agency, the


Local Authorities, the flood authority, needs to look at extra


drainage that needs to be put in, so people can get where they need to


get to. Mr Deputy Speaker, I will never


forget the 26th of December 2015 for as long as I can live. It taught me


a lot of things, and most of them were good, thank goodness. On New


Year's Eve that night I expected to be in sunnier climes, but I wasn't.


And I stood in the square of Whalley with all the local residents as new


year rang in. And we all held hands and sang auld lang syne together.


The community spirit was alive and well and still is in that particular


community. As far as I'm concerned, you know when gongs are handed out,


when we look at worthy people to get them, I could give a list. Sadly,


from what I remember, none of them have, and that's sad. I think


recognition ought to be given in communities up and down the country,


where people go that extra mile, when they don't need to but they do,


when they help people in their own community because it is the right


thing to do. I do hope 12 months on, and the


minister listening very carefully to what I've had to say, that she will


be able to give us some good news today about the action that the


Environment Agency and all the other agencies working together can do to


ensure that the misery and torture that so many people have suffered in


the past because of flooding, will be a thing of the past.


Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. It's a great pleasure to speak in this


debate this evening and I do so for two main reasons. The first of which


is to pay tribute to my honourable friend. He was my first ever MP, and


I remember his election back in the early 90s. I was there in the Ribble


Valley on Boxing Day 2015, at my parents house, which is about four


miles away from Whalley. I've seen Ribchester flood in the past. We got


up Boxing Day, we were supposed to be going out and I looked across the


hill and I said, what's that? Because the new river had grown up.


I grew up in Lancashire and know what wet weather is but I've never


seen anything like it. My Marin friend said, what could I do? What


he did was remarkable and my friends and family in the Ribble Valley, and


my auntie Pauline, who was with you in the square, people were really


touched. He's been a fantastic constituency MP, a fantastic


parliamentarian for more years than we know, because he looks very


useful... He's done great things and I thank him for bringing this


debate. -- he looks very youthful. The river Ribble, the historic


border between north and south flows from Yorkshire, and into God 's own


County, Lancashire. The flood plain is in my constituency of South


Ribble. We share this great river and I, like you, Mr Deputy Speaker,


we all had bad flooding on Boxing Day 2015, when storm Eva struck. I


think it was more Storm Desmond... But Yorkshire and other parts of the


country were affected. I would like to pay tribute, really,


to the local groups, because we had flooding in Leyland, where there was


work by my constituent Celia and the Leyland flood action group. In


Ecclestone, and Gillian Jamieson and other members of the parish council


have done sterling work to rebuild the parish hall, which they did back


in November. Particularly in Croston, and it was the views of the


Chinook flying over Croston, because Croston has three rivers, but there


was a bridge at the River Douglas, and the Charnock came to assess. I


believe it was actually thrown by one of your constituents, a member


of the Tory Air Cadets, of which you are president.


Correct. He's not in the RAF, by the way.


There are also flooding issues in West Lancashire in my constituency,


and I know the minister is very aware of what's happening about the


flooding pumps, the villages of Rufford, Banks, which are affected


by this. But in relation to the River Ribble, trying to stay on


topic, there is concern in South Ribble about the progress of the


Preston and South Ribble flood scheme. The Ribble as it leaves


urban areas, the last bridge across the Ribble is in my constituency. We


are hoping to have another bridge across the Ribble, but at the moment


it is in Pemberton. When it leaves the area there is pressed on one


side and Pemberton the other. There were flood defences built up in the


early 1980s, but they would be, they are not ideal if there were a high


tide and rain like we saw on Boxing Day in 2015. I've walked the area


many times and walked it in the summer with representatives from the


Environment Agency. I know there is funding there, but we are hoping to


have it matched by the Department and I would be very grateful if my


honourable friend were able to say anything on the progress with that.


I want to pay tribute to the Croston flood action group, to the parish


council in particular, who manned their own pump. To Cathal McShane


and and Pete, who came down to number ten when there was a


reception for flood he rose in the spring of last year. I'd like to


mention particularly businesses in Croston, were very Brazilian. In


fact, I went to Croston on Boxing Day this year. -- who were very


resilient. I wanted to go round and see how people were. The publican,


John Lilly, from the Wheatsheaf was in. He said things were very


difficult but the village really came together, and I think that they


have weathered it very well, but I met another constituent who has been


badly affected, in terms of not only damage to his property, but to the


mental health of his family, as well. This really is, as honourable


members know, it doesn't just affect your possessions, but the sense of


watching out for every flood warning and thinking, is it going to happen


again? I will wind up by saying, we can


only do... Flooding is a very complicated issue because rivers are


and waterways are very complicated things. There needs to be creativity


in how we deal with water upstream. I know what happens in Whalley


effects other places. I pay tribute to my honourable friend for the


great work he has done on this, for the wonderful champion he is from


Ribble Valley and I look forward to the Minister's response.


Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. It is a pleasure to talk in this debate. I


want to congratulate my honourable friend for securing this debate on


flooding in the Ribble Valley. He has spoken passionately. I think he


painted a vivid picture of Boxing Day in 2015 and paid tribute to many


of the neighbours in the community. Gillian Derbyshire from the local


lions and other business people and local councillors. And indeed


strangers. I'm aware of the impact flooding can have on the community.


I've supported my own constituents in Suffolk over recent years than


just over the weekend we had our own severe flood warnings, where I was


able to visit local communities, who have also formed the flood action


groups, to which have been referred. I think it is important to pay


tribute to those people who have taken charge of actions in their


local community, in order to help their friends. This isn't in my


speech, and a slight bit of personal disclosure, but I will always


particularly welcome the contributions strangers have. In


1998I was heading home to Liverpool rather than Lancashire, although


historically was in Lancashire, of course. But nevertheless, the point


is, I encountered my own flooding trouble, had to climb out of my car


which was filling with water, in the middle of nowhere. I knocked on a


house and I will always be grateful to the McDermott's who took me in


for two days. And then I was able to make my way home, having done that.


I'm very conscious of how this can be very frightening for people, and


the warm, loving presence of friends and strangers is something that


never goes out of one's mind. It is right to point out that the


Government continues to play a key role in improving protection to


those that flood risk. We are spending ?2.5 billion on flood


defence schemes to better protect 300,000 homes by 2021. We have also


been increasing maintenance spending in real terms over this Parliament.


As the honourable member said, there is a history of flooding in the


Ribble Valley, and I note the communities previously affected in


his constituency, he spoke extensively about Whalley and


Ribchester, among others. It is fair to say that the month of December


2015 was the wettest on record, and the highest flows on record were


also observed in the River Ribble and River Calder. Temporary flood


defences were deployed on in the Ribble Valley constituency he will


be aware 432 properties were flooded, with around 2600 right


across Lancashire. I am aware that the communities he describes of


Whalley and Ribchester were among the worst affected and Billington


also flooded from the River Calder for the first time. Thankfully he


will be aware other places did not flood on local communities expressed


their gratitude for the flood defence work undertaken by the


Environment Agency to stop them experiencing flooding at that time.


Since that flooding incident the Environment Agency has given advice


to 100 residents in the Ribble Valley. As part of the works to


repair structures at the bridge, they have removed gravel from the


river channel. Writer 2010 the Environment Agency completed flood


defence schemes, spending a total of ?1.5 million in those areas. Since


2010 the Environment Agency invested more than ?200,000, making


properties in Whalley and Ribchester more resilient. Including working


closely with the local council, to offer grants to homeowners,


including flood doors and ebb recovers. These properties that were


flooded were eligible for the 5000 have recovery grants and some of the


homes that flooded had not been previously eligible as they had not


been recently eligible for flooding. I am grateful for the contribution


she is making. Could she also asked the Environment Agency to look again


at the Arches by Alan Elliot's house, where there is a lot of silt


being built up. The Environment Agency are aware of this. That silt


should have been removed so the free flow of the water can more easily


pass through. It hasn't been done and I don't know why it's not been


done, but it's giving grave concern to people around that area. If it's


not done, if the river rises, there could be severe problems.


My honourable friend will be aware that I don't know the details of


that but he will be pleased to know the Environment Agency manager is in


the box today and will have taken careful note of that. A future


scheme to protect Whalley from the flooding from the river is in the


development stage. It would cost approximately ?1.4 million and


considerable work is going on with the Whalley and Billington flood


action group and the local community to optimise the design of the scheme


and to develop partnership options prior to the bid for funding. I


think this is a project he referred to. Currently a review is ongoing


flood risks across the River Calder which will provide additional


information to measures to look at that. We hope to do a flood risk


report in Ribchester this year. It will cost ?4.8 million and work is


taking place to develop partnership funding options prior to submitting


a bid for funding. Lancashire County Council is also developing a ?2


million scheme to address surface water flooding in Whalley and


Billington. We change the funding policy to give


every scheme that has a positive benefit cost ratio a channel to


secure some grant funding, rather than the old system of all or


nothing. My honourable friend has referred to planning, and he should


be aware that the national MPPF is very specific in regards to planning


in flood areas. And he should be aware, also, that the Environment


Agency's advice has been accepted in over 98% of all applications. And I


have looked carefully at the bonds that were rejected by local


councils, and that information is publicly available. He specifically


referred to Redrow Developments, a housing development that he is


concerned that housing development in the area is designed to reduce


flood risk. As he has indicated, I would expect the issue to be dealt


with robust day. The Environment Agency doesn't have the powers, but


if there was more that my honourable friend 's can do, then we will do


that. I will just say on The Record it is the second time today that


Redrow has been raised with me as a developer not particularly


fulfilling their conditions. Or in this case, fulfilling a condition


that simply doesn't work. So I will certainly be following up with my


honourable friends in planning on that matter. In terms of drainage,


the Environment Agency lead on flood risk is associated with culverts.


When they are present, they will be inspected. Authorities in Lancashire


lead the flood risk associated. Within the village of Walley, the


county council has been investigating the issue of the


culverts which carries water underneath King Street which you


refer to. It has surcharged in the past and lead to flooding most


recently on the 21st of November. For any work deemed necessary to the


culverts and infrastructure, bids for Defra structure will be


submitted via the Environment Agency. My honourable friend also


spoke eloquently on behalf of her constituents and I thought it might


be worth sharing where we are in the Preston and South Ribble flood


alleviation scheme, to which she referred. At the moment, the cost


for this is about ?32 million and it would better protect many homes. It


would also decrease flood risk at Bolton in the Vale. And further work


is currently ongoing to assess whether the scheme could be extended


to benefit high water. As it stands, the scheme benefits from 74 million


pounds in government aim and requires more. There are many local


businesses in the catchment area that will benefit the scheme. I


think if there's a way that the honourable members may be in a


position to assist with attaining further partnership funding, it


would go a long way to securing the viability of the scheme. In this, I


would say that I understand that there has been heavy involvement to


secure programmes for funding and Burley and Lancashire. I would work


my honourable friend Stu work together to consider potential


forward movement. It's worth working out what we're doing on a broader


level to be better prepared this winter for whatever arises. No


government can promise that whatever -- we will never be flooded again.


But we can learn and acting that is what would it would be national


flood resilience review. If you are undertaking to discover the country


can be better protected from flooding and extreme weather


results. -- weather events. Considerable progress has been made.


We invested in Mobile flood defences which now means the Environment


Agency has 25 miles of new temporary defensive located across seven key


areas. Compared to just five miles available last year. There are half


a million sandbags and as the Prime Minister announced a 1200 troops on


stand-by if councils needed their house. -- needed the help. In all


three cases they were deployed at the weekend. The Environment Agency


has taken a robust assessment of the practical implications to places


that may need temporary barriers, including ensuring that they do not


make flooding worse elsewhere. There are plans in place to use temporary


barristers at Rochester and Billington, but unfortunately these


are not fulfilled Walley despite being used in 2015. Infrastructure


provided has been reviewing the resilience of key assets for


communities of 25,000 people and above. They've been identifying


where they can also protect these assets with temporary defences this


winter, where long-term solutions are implemented. I been leading the


debris of weekly ministerial phone calls to ensure that we are in a


good place and in particular my honourable friend referred to mobile


phones. That's been a key part of ensuring that we are more resilient.


This means the country have been better protected this winter. Of


course, it's not over yet. Services to our communities will be more


resilient to flood events. The next age of the review will focus on


surface water flooding which are significant, particularly in cities


and urban areas. It will involve much collaboration between


authorities and stakeholders with a keen interest in managing this risk.


We've also worked in the private sector to develop a new property


flood resilient action plan and I would like to thank Peter Bonfield


for leading that work. It demonstrates some straightforward


measures that homeowners and business owners can take to


resilient their property to flooding, as well as enable them to


get back in four more quickly if unfortunately there flooded. These


could be simple measures like in-built covers to more substantial


works like installing pumps, having solid floors or rewiring is a plug


sockets are higher up the ball. In regards to assurance, he may be


point about the presents, quotes and the issues or availability of


assessors. And also the challenge about the risk and passed on and not


being able to get to the end. I will raise these issues and I will also


share some of this with my honourable friends as they are


primarily responsible for the recovery. With regards to Flood Re


Scheme, I would like to thank my honourable friend. And for those at


high risk, I recognise the matter is very important. Flood Re Scheme is


also underway. It's providing relief for thousands of Passover- risk you


can now access affordable insurance. I recognise that will bring


practical and emotional comfort to many. 50 insurance companies, over


90% of the market coming offer access to Flood Re Scheme and 53,000


households benefited in the first six months. It's important to stress


that this is a project that is time-limited. It's there for 25


years and it is funded, in effect, by every other household paying


towards that and the principle of taxation exist with us that we


support our community. In regard to business, just last month the


British insurers brokers Association launched a project designed to help


high flood risk properties access affordable insurance. Using postcode


data and recognising the benefit of resilience measures it should with a


welcome solution to many businesses. This has previously been raised as


an issue. I want to give this a chance to work, but I do welcome


evidence to see if it is working. As I pointed out, on the basis of Flood


Re Scheme, there is a significant principle that we have that taxation


helps. If we were to move to the stage where we were asking


businesses to start adding insurance to their premiums, in order to help


businesses in other parts of the country, that would be unprecedented


in mutual business support. I think it would take a lot of evidence in


order to say that was the next necessary stop. But ironically to


the evidence and I want to hear from people. Should that prove to be a


need for additional action, I remain open. -- but I am open to the


evidence. My friend referred to the European Union and I want to draw


his attention to a written statement that was made this Monday where my


honourable friend laid out in quite considerable detail what has


happened about that. All I will say is that ultimately we were going to


get a payment of ?50 million. We have now had to offset that by


paying back ?14.5 million due to an application made in 2007 which turns


out the expenditure was ineligible. It looks like we will end up by


about half ?1 million, I will leave it to him to read the written


statement in detail to explain that further. My honourable friend for


Morecambe wanted to give me more details on some of the issues that


he raises that I can look into it. You should be aware that the ?9.7


million allocated to Morecambe, due to be completed by 2019 and will


protect many properties, in terms of my honourable friend for Mid Sussex


you had already referred to building issues, and I agree that we need to


follow up on those. Then, I will involve my honourable friends on


that matter. It's been ages for to consider the particular situation in


this very special part of Lancashire. I was born in the County


of Lancashire and it will always be in my heart. I hope I been able to


show my honourable friend that there are plans underway to try and


address these funding issues. We've also seen the benefit of the


additional investment, including the use of the mobile barriers. I have


the House will join me in thanking the Environment Agency, the


emergency services, and many volunteers involved in responding to


the east coast tidal surge this weekend. -- tidal surge. I'm sure


that we are relieved that -- we are grateful to the work ensuring the


potential impacts were minimised. The Environment Agency will continue


to grow my honourable friend for the Ribble Valley work collaboratively


to help deliver projects locally. I assure you and the House that I will


listen to all the comments made here today and the Government will


continue to try and assure that we all of us protected from flooding


possible. The question is this house do now adjourned. As many of that


opinions they aye. The ayes have it. Order, order.


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