09/02/2017 House of Commons


Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including backbench business debates on Israeli settlements.

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support, they are often from vulnerable areas and we ensure that


the local authorities have that. We should be proud of our response.


Before we proceed to business question, I would like to congreat


late the member from new port West on his 82nd birthday and on reaching


the mid-point of his parliamentary career.


Business question. Valerie Vaz.


Can I ask the leader of the House to tell the House the forthcoming


business? Mr Speaker, perhaps just before I


answer the lady's question, I would associate myself with your


congratulations to the honourable gentleman, the member for Newport


West. Monday the 20th fabric, remaining


stages of the conflict builds, followed by the consideration of


amendments to the high-speed rail bill. Remaining stages of the


criminal finance bill, the uprating order 2017 and the draft guaranteed


minimum pension. Wednesday the 22nd of February, motions relating to the


police grant and local government finance reports. Thursday 23rd


February, opposition day allotted half day. There will be a debate on


a motion in the name of the Democratic Unionist Party, followed


by business to be nominated by the backbench business committee. Friday


the 24th, Private member 's bills. The of the week commencing the 27th


of February will include on the Monday, estimates date, first


allotted day to be confirmed by the liaison committee. I should also


like to the House that on the 23rd and 27th of fabric, business will be


as follows. Thursday the 23rd, debate on publicly accessible


amenities for disabled people, followed by a debate on the second


report from the transport committee on the road traffic law enforcement.


Monday 27th of February, debate on and each petition relating to


attacks on NHS medical staff. Can't add that the leader of the house for


his statement and can I add my birthday wishes to the honourable


member, my predecessor, and to say that I did buy his book and I found


it very, very handy when I first came into the house. Good eye asked


the leader of the House will they be business questions on Thursday 20th


of July, or will that the allocated as a pre-recess adjournment date?


Could the leader of the House also say whether there is going to be any


progress on a debate in government time on restoration and renewal? In


absence of the member for Gateshead, I noticed the leader of the house


has appointed an opposition day on the 23rd of February. Will it be a


regular occurrence and can he ensure that the debate is listed by the


backbench committee could also have eight-day allocated to them? Mr


Speaker it was 15 years ago the Maastricht Treaty was signed this


week and in the same week in responding and respecting the


referendum we have voted to trigger Article 50 and leave the EU. In July


the Prime Minister said Brexit means Brexit. On this side we asked, what


does that mean and do you have a plan and a white paper? Seven months


later we have a speech at Lancaster house, a month later we have a White


Paper, which is the speech with a few grass. Can I ask the leader of


the house, on page nine it states that the government will afford a


White Paper on the great repeal bill. Is that a further White Paper


and can he ensure that if it is published, it won't be done on the


day of the Queen 's speech? There is a prospect of losing 32,000 jobs and


services if we leave the single market. And we have a statement on


what the government will do to secure those job and secure London's


place as the number one financial centre. The eeb budget is mentioned


twice, both times at section 8.5 one. Will the government be


revealing more words on the budget and more importantly, figures in a


statement. And can we have a definition of frictionless


negotiations which appears 12 times. And is the vote that we just had


frictionless, which really means meaningless? It was a sad day when


the government voted down all the amendments said the Prime Minister


cwah said the bill was an amended. The Prime Minister delivered for her


party, but not for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. The


government will want to take notes in negotiations because the Serious


Fraud Office has found that Rolls-Royce admitted it use


multi-million pound rights to secure export orders and received financial


support from the government's the agency in 1991 when it paid a $2


million bribe to win a contract in Indonesia. There is a review. Can we


have a statement to ensure what safeguards there will be as the


government negotiates trade deals around the world. At Prime


Minister's Questions yesterday the Leader of the Opposition asked the


Prime Minister treatise whether a special deal was offered to sorry


for social care. The Prime Minister was dismissive and did not answer


the question. If there was no special deal for Surrey, why did the


Prime Minister not confirm this? I and other members want a memorandum


of understanding to secure our libraries and social care, so could


we have a statement on sorry gates? Turning to house matters, the member


for Barnsley Central has had his child poverty Bill talked up again.


I previously raised the issue of bills been taught out. It makes


parliament look petty. How can we move forward? Another government


response on the 16th of January says they don't accept this, but how can


we move forward? There are many hard-working members who have worked


hard on the bills and the woman to hard on the bills and the woman to


come through. Could we have a debate on EDM 190, signed by 201 members,


including from the front bench. When a person refers to a senator as


poker hunters, when cries of lock her up I shouted out when no offence


has been committed, when a person has consistently questioned the


birthplace of a president, when a president talks about America first,


but took his business anywhere but America, when a person forgets there


were Native Americans before he arrived in the US, then I, born in


Yemen of Indian heritage, who may or may not be directly affected by the


travel ban, and others, welcomed the support for us and the reputation of


Parliament. So could be leader of the house confirmed that the


government will not support any attempt to act on the letter to the


Prime Minister about comments made in a point of order in this Chamber?


And also confirmed that the House of Lords will not be threatened with


abolition when dealing with Article 50 legislation. It was on Monday Her


Majesty ascended to the throne 65 years ago and this house


congratulates her on that Sapphire milestone. Could I asked the leader


of the housework abrogation who issues an invitation for a state


visit? The Prime Minister day without with anyone? -- leader of


the house tell are two issues an invitation for a state visit? Can I


associate myself wholeheartedly with the honourable Lady's words about


Her Majesty's Sapphire Jubilee. That particular anniversary is a time for


reflection as her accession was possible because of the death of a


much loved father. Anyone in this house, no matter what views they


have on our constitutional arrangements, or want to share in


the tributes to Her Majesty's selfless service to the United


Kingdom over all those years. The arrangements for state visits have


not changed under this government, they are exactly the same now as


they were on the Prime Minister 's Blair and Brown. On the subject of


restoration and renewal, I'm not in the position to announce a specific


date. I can say to the honourable lady that the government's intention


will be that there should be a debate in government time before the


Easter recess. On her question about the arrangements for business and in


particular backbench business on Thursday 23rd, I am conscious that I


owe something of an apology to the chairman of the committee. It is


always difficult to accommodate the various pressures for time and date


that had been planned for an opposition half day have been lost


as a result of the Supreme Court judgment and the bill that we have


been debating early this week. The government has therefore agreed that


we will protect the time for the remaining backbench business


committee on Thursday 23rd and I will use my best endeavours to make


sure that we reinstate the time that we have lost four backbench business


committees as soon as possible. Now, she asked me about trade deals and


of course one of the things that has changed very markedly since those


days to which she referred is that Parliament has enacted the bribery


act and that has made a very profound difference the duties that


are imposed upon the directors and managers of the United Kingdom


companies when they do any sort of business overseas and in addition to


that, the terms of the International development act mean that aid and


help for the poorest in the world cannot be used to lubricate a trade


deal in the way that once might have been the case. She asked about the


White Paper on the great repeal bill. That is indeed a separate


distinct White Paper. I can't give her an exact date, but I'm conscious


that the Secretary of State will no there will be an appetite in the


House for members to read and I this white paper before we get onto


debates about that repeal Bill. -- read and digestive. -- digester. She


asked about Surrey County Council and social care. Clearly she missed


the public statements that were made by the Department of local


communities and local government yesterday. There is no secret deal.


Surrey County Council has asked if it can participate in one of the


pilot projects for the proposed 100% return of business rates to local


government responsibility. That is not possible in the 2017-18


financial year, but they, as any other local council, including the


honourable lady's, can apply to be considered in the 2018-19 financial


year. There is no memorandum of understanding, there is no secret


documents. Now she asked me about private members bills. I mean, the


reality is that there is not and there never has been under any


government some automatic right for legislation that is proposed to


become law, and even with government bills, when a government enjoys a


small majority, governments have to think carefully about what


legislation they bring forward on how to make sure that they secure


Parliamentary support. I take note of the strong feelings that have


been expressed in the early day motion led by her honourable friend


the member for Cardiff South. Members across the house are


entitled to have strong opinions, not just of what happens in this


country, but on what happens anywhere else in the world. So far


as the government is concerned, like previous governments of different


political parties, whatever view any of us as individuals might have on


any particular leader of another country, the reality is that


governments have two deal with other governments in the world as they


exist, and particularly with elected governments who can claim a mandate


from their own people. I would just say that the results of the election


in the United States is a matter for the United States, but despite the


bitterness and the hard-fought nature of the presidential election


campaign that Presidents Carter and Clinton, as well as President George


W Bush and Secretary hill to -- secretary Hillary Clinton or


attended President Trump Ozma inauguration and there was no


challenge to the legitimacy of the constitutional process involved in


that election. On the question of the House of Lords, the House of


Lords has a valid function under our constitutional arrangements in terms


of scrutinising and reviewing legislation coming up from the House


of Commons, as I'm sure they will do on the bill we have been debating


and as they have done on every other bill. There will also bear in mind


the reality of the referendum and the popular mandate that lies behind


the Article 50 decision. Finally, she did asked me at some length


about Europe. I simply had to say this to her.


Her front bench supported the decision to have the referendum. Her


front bench supported the notion that endorsed the Prime Minister's


timetable for triggering Article 50 before the end of March this year.


Her front bench last night supported the third reading of the unamended


bill. And therefore, I have to say, it is a little bit rich then for the


opposition front bench to be giving us lectures or posting tweets to say


the real fight begins now when they have been endorsing true their --


through their voices a and approach what the Government is taking. Could


we have a debate on how local councils review school catchment


areas? Is the leader of the House appear in my area the council are


seeking to tear up the catchment areas, meaning parents who have


invested in local housing in order to access the school will have to


look elsewhere in the future and fundamentally change the way their


children get to school? Can we have an urgent debate to make sure these


children are not disenfranchised today or in the future? I think my


honourable friend may wish to seek an adjournment debate through the


usual procedures. This are always difficult decisions. I think many of


us know that from time to time, because of changes in population, to


take the most obvious example, local authorities do need to review


catchment areas and those proposals are always subject to a period of


public consultation. I am sure that my honourable friend, as always will


be extremely forceful in representing the interests of his


constituents. Can I thank the Leader of the House for announcing the next


week. Can say say happy birthday to the member. He's the third shadow


leader of the House. It has been a thoroughly miserable, frustrating,


depressing couple of weeks. I think it showed this House at its absolute


and outeder worse. The Article 50 bill, rammed through Parliament at


break-neck speed. No amendments accepted. Very few amendments


considered. No report stage programme. No third reading debate


held. It was more like a medieval course than an advanced democracy.


Why was this rushed through at such a speed when we could have taken


time to consider the many amendments tabled? Massive disrespect not just


to this House but the many constituents who paid close


attention last week. The bill now goes on its way down to a friends


down the corridor. Unelected friends have been threatened with abolition


if they dare mess with this Government's bill. I am sure they


are now quaking if they don't do their patriotic duty, as the


Secretary of State said. I offer nothing other than encouragement to


these fine tribunes who will pick up the case. For us, it is very much a


win-win, whatever an outcome is here. Can I say to their Lordships,


reach for these barricades and take on this Government. Mr Speaker, we


need a debate about respect of devolved Parliaments in the nations


of the UK. It was not just this House voting on Article 50 this


week. The Scottish Parliament also voted. The overwhelming majority of


members rejected it. Just as every single Scottish Member of


Parliament, bar one. We have to be driven off this cliff edge with a


hardest of hard Brexit even though Scotland wants nothing to do with


this madness. Time is running out for Scotland's voice to be heard. I


am sure the leader of the House saw the poll, it is gently placing here


we have options to consider, if Scotland's voice is to continue to


be ignored. The leader of the Mr Speaker, I mean I felt at times


with the honourable gentleman's praise to the house that I could


sort of visualise the core Ron nets that are descending on him there. I


felt there was some hidden ambition that was finally shining through.


Can I say to him two things in response: First of all, the


allocation of five days for a debate on this two-clause bill, that did no


more than authority the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50, was


a, seems a perfectly reasonable allocation of time. It was an


allocation of time that had certainly even this week has allowed


something like half the members of the honourable gentleman's party to


participate in proceedings, either through speeches or interventions.


My impression, listening to some of the contributions from his benches


was that the atmosphere was far from being all doom and glooj. The


honourable je -- glam. The honourable gentleman entertained us


for an hour earlier this week and seemed to be enjoying himself


immensely at that time. The reality is though, as I said


earlier, Mr Speaker, is that this bill has been brought forward, in


response to a very clear referendum decision by the electorate of the


United Kingdom. And I think that does mean that this


is a very different type of bill from the bills that the House has


debated previously, to ratify various EU amending treaties over


the years. He asked, he complained about the alleged sort of lack of


respect and attention being paid to Scotland. As the Prime Minister


said, yet again, yesterday, the United Kingdom Government is


determined to work with the Scottish Government as well as with the


Government in Cardiff and in Belfast, to ensure that the


interests of every part of the United Kingdom are represented in


the negotiations on which we are about to embark. That commitment is


sincere. It is very strongly felt by the Prime Minister herself and it is


something that she's impressed on every member of the Cabinet. Local


concerns have been raised in Cambridgeshire, not least as the


excellent forensic work of my neighbour, into funding decisions


taken by the greater Cambridgeshire Local Enterprise Partnership. May we


have a debate in Government time to ensure there's proper transparency


and aaccountability so decisions are fair, properly scrutinised and their


et think Kaysy is properly tested? I think it is important that members


who I think on the whole do a good job in providing a forum for


bringing local business and local authorities together and for trying


to leverage private sector investment to, along with public


sector investment to support infrastructure projects. The members


do also have regard to the fact they are the kos todayians of public


money. They need to make sure they have proper rules on accountability


and transparency that would be expected with anybody who is in


receipt of taxpayers' money. My honourable friend may have the


opportunity to raise these issues further at CLG questions on Monday


27th of this month. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Will the


leader of the House arrange for an urgent debate on social care


funding? As part of that, will he ensure and speak to the DCLG and ask


them to publish any contact there's been between Surrey and DCLG


ministers or aides so that debate can be informed. My local


Nottinghamshire authority is incan des send, as I am sure other


authorities are about the way it appears that Surrey has been offered


a sweet heart deal and they have been left to fend for themselves.


There's no sweet heart deal and Nottinghamshire is welcome to apply,


as Surrey wished to, to participate in the full return of business rate


finance to local authorities in the 2018/19 financial year. The, I think


the CLG statement yesterday ga if a full account of what has happened. I


think that a, there's been a lot of fuss and complaint about this, when


actually there's less of a story than the honourable gentleman


believes. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can we have a


debate on Armed Forces charities? I am very honoured to be the President


of Huddersfield Royal Air Force's association. If parliamentary


business had been different today I would have been at the crematorium


this afternoon for the funeral of tref ver Burgin. OBE. He was a


bomber pi lot in the Second World War and flew over Europe. He had a


successful 40-year career as a teacher. Last year he celebrated his


platinum wedding anniversary to Kathleen L the leader of the house


please pass on the condolences of every member of this House. He was a


very enthusiastic and popular member of the Royal Air Force Association


in Huddersfield. I thank my friend for that question.


I think that there is no-one in the future -- in the chamber who would


dissent tribute to the Trevor Burgin. It was good my honourable


friend was able to talk about his late constituent's career of service


because that does remind us that behind the statistics and behind the


generalities there are stories of true heroism and of a lifetime of


public service and commitment. I think all of us in our


constituencies are aware that Armed Forces charities do incredibly


important good work. Often quietly and unsung, in reaching out to


people who are still scarred by both the, by physical and mental


consequences to their health of their time in service.


Over 30 members are seeking to catch my eye now. May I just advise the


House that 36 members wish to speak in the first of the two backbench


business debates and 12 wish to contribute to the second. Therefore,


if I am to have any chance of accommodating that later backbench


interest, we need to be moving on close to 12. 30. Short questions and


answers, please. . Thank you. Last week I visited an


institute outside Cambridge where 1100 people are transforming our


understanding of the human genome. Over 235% of them are none EU


nationals. The senior managers impressed upon me the dwravety of


that situation. Many of those -- gravity of the situation. Many of


those are poorly played and would not work through the visa system.


Can we please have a discussion on this?


The honourable gentleman makes a point about his and other scientific


institutions. As the Prime Minister said, the Government regards the


securing of an early deal to secure the position, both of EU residents


already here and British nationals in other European countries is a


primary objective. We want that sorted as quickly as possible.


. Thank you. Would he find time in Government time for a debate should


the other place seek to delay beyond the end of March the passage of our


accession to Article 50, for this House to discuss the possibility of


either the abolition or full-scale reform of the other place?


Well, I'm, I am more optimistic than my Right Honourable friend, because


I think that there is an awareness in the House of Lords that as an


unelected chamber that there are conventions that apply to how they


scrutinise and deal with legislation and while I don't want to take


anything away from their proper constitutional role, I think members


of the House of Lords have been congis sent of the fact this is the


elected House and we voted by a huge majority. And behind that vote lay


the bigger vote of the people of the United Kingdom as a whole.


Can we have a debate on the legal definition of the word normally,


please? In the Scotland act 2016, clause two states it is recognised


that the Parliament of the United kingdom will not normally legislate


with regard to devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish


Parliament. This government continues to ignore the wishes of


the Scottish Parliament over things such as Article 50, can we find out


what else the government intends to ride roughshod over in terms of the


devolution agreement? The ears of every lawyer in the country will


have pricked if we are to have a debate I would normally. I repeat,


the government has been absolutely consistent in saying that the


interests of the entire United Kingdom, from fair Isle to the


series, will be fully represented in how we approach these negotiations.


-- to be silly islands. Last month I hosted a reception by rural England


which welcomed the report which was called the state of rural services


2016. The report considers the impact of oral challenges. For


instant, health, education, transport and broadband. Last week I


chaired a meeting on the impact of losing our services. For all


residents are becoming frustrated. -- rural. Would my honourable friend


got a debate to consider funding to rural services? We have questions on


the 27th of February and the first and 2nd of March. There will be a


review of the fair funding formula to see whether authorities


throughout the country are getting their fair share. Whilst the


Department for Work and Pensions office in my constituency will not


face immediate closure, the jobs there will be relocated to Cardiff


in the next three years. Before that happens in those jobs are lost from


my local community, can we have a debate as to whether the strategy --


as to the strategy of the Department of Works and pensions relocating


their offices. The principle behind the changes has to be the right one,


that the department stops paying out unnecessarily rent on property that


is partly empty, uses a smaller estates, particularly given the


significant fall in unemployment, and uses paving is -- savings to


help people who are finding difficulties getting back to work.


This weekend the report of the defence subcommittee chaired by my


honourable friend for Plymouth will be published. It is entitled, who


guards the guardians and sets out in detail circumstances whereby a


charlatan was able to abuse legal aid to hound British soldiers who


served bravely in Iraq and did nothing wrong. Can we at the


earliest opportunity have a statement as a result of


consultations between the MoD, the Northern Ireland Office and the


Department of Justice as to what will be done in terms of legislation


to make sure nothing like this can happen again to form a service


personnel who served in Northern Ireland. As the Prime Minister made


clear yesterday this is an issue that we take very seriously and I


can assure my right honourable friend that when the report is


published that ministers from those departments that he has mentioned


all want to study that closely and to consult with our honourable


friend for Plymouth about the potential implications on policy.


It's actually a month ago I asked about the new line on the HS2


running through Derbyshire which means there will be two HS2 lines


running through Derbyshire, a fast track and a slow track. It will


bring disruption on the village of Newton, which will result in them


losing their homes. I called upon the Secretary of State for Transport


to intervene and had no reply. Can we have a statement about this? How


far will be government take it without consulting the people of


Newton? Sort it out! Mr Speaker, I know only well the impact that the


HS2 proposals have upon those communities who live close to the


designated route. I will undertake to the honourable gentleman to


ensure that the Secretary of State for Transport is reminded about his


enquiring, about this matter. It is right that the people he represents


should get a proper response from HS2 Limited and I want to make


certain that that happens. The Leader of the House will recall last


week I spoke about the mounting excitement in Cleethorpes in


anticipation of the visit from the Northern Powerhouse Minister. You'll


appreciate that it's now at fever pitch with the visit, only 24 hours


awake, and people are talking about a parallel career path with the last


frontbencher to visit Seaview Street which was my honourable friend the


member for Maidenhead. More seriously, Mr Speaker, be Seaview


Street traders won an award in the British high street awards. Up and


down the country traders are facing difficulties. Could we have a debate


to discuss the future of our high streets? I can't offer the debate in


government time. I think this is an important issue, it affects many


communities. The growth of online sales means there are challenges


faced by small retailers and it is important that retailers are able to


learn from those high streets that are successful and innovative in


managing to keep their customers. I think that the will now be a whole


swathe of my ambitious and trusting ministerial colleagues who will be


making a beeline for Cleethorpes at the earliest opportunity. Can we


have a statement on the shock and disappointment being felt across


Scotland at the failure of former England captain David Beckham to


gain a knighthood? This is particularly the case since he had


been advised that his support for the better together campaign in 2014


would play well with the establishment and in turn-up is


nightfall. -- in turn, help his knighthood. Surely the Leader of the


House can bend one for Beckham? I wasn't quite sure whether the right


honourable gentleman was speaking on behalf of Mr Beckham, or perhaps


there was another motive there. Atherton yearning for the knighthood


himself, but I can honestly say to him that this is not a matter for


me. The Leader of the House will know I am keen to have another


debate on International women's a which is forthcoming in March, but


meanwhile it is lesbian and gay and transgender month. Can we have a


debate around Brexit as Hampshire County Council starts to slide the


rainbow flag? The United Kingdom had a very strong and proud tradition of


human rights and liberal values before we entered the European Union


and that will continue after we have left the European Union and I think


that my honourable friend only has to look at another non-EU country in


Europe, like Norway, to see that there is no bar to a liberal


approach to individual rights as a result of being apart from the


European Union. Currently it is possible for the widowed parent of a


newborn baby to receive up to ?119,000 over 20 years, but if a


partner dies after the 6th of April 2017, bereavement payments will be


limited to ?9,800 over 18 months. Can we please have a debate in


government time to discuss these reforms which will cause severe


hardship to grieving families. There will be questions to the Secretary


of State for Work and Pensions on our first day back, so I think the


honourable lady will have an opportunity then. Mr Speaker, I


don't know whether you have attended a speedway meeting, but it has


always attracted a family audience. Racing has taken place in my


constituency, but as a consequence of a disagreement, one of the local


teams will start the season 25 miles away. Can we have a debate on this?


If my honourable friend wants to draw the attention of the Minister


of sport, I'm sure she will want to know what is happening in the


Speedway world in the Midlands. This is a matter for the government is an


independent governing bodies of the sport rather than something where


Minister should be intervening. I should say to be honourable member


for Bolsover but before I came into the Chamber this morning, I did


select for the first Thursday when we return from the half term recess


his proposed subject matter for the end of Day adjournment debate.


Thursday the 23rd of February. Mr Ian Murray. I wonder if we could


have a statement from the Leader of the House himself, in fact he could


do it now, on how the government brings bills forward to this house?


It's quite clear because the government did not programme in


certain stages to the EU withdrawal bill and obviously they did not


intend to accept enquiries from members. The Ulissi intended to ride


roughshod over the process and it makes the last three days a sham.


There was provision for a report stage. Whether there would be


debating time will depend as always on whether amendments were carried


on maps -- or not come and also how long the house would debate the


report. The member for Newport West has been an outstanding


parliamentarian and I want to wish birthday. I was once his


constituents and his antics drove me to run for parliament, so I must


thank him. This parliament works because we have two houses and


sometimes the other place as agreed with this house and annoys the


government. That is no reason to threaten it with abolition. Can we


have a statement from the Leader of the House confirming that? That


government's position is we respect the constitutional role of the House


of Lords and as I said earlier the House of Lords itself accepts that


as an unelected house it needs to abide by certain conventions. Thank


you to you and other members for the kind comments. I'm less happy that I


will carry the burden of a life that are responsible for the honourable


member's political career. We should have a debate in this house on


procedure during division so we can enjoy the singing of the Scottish


National party choir. The only bright spot in yesterday's evening's


bleak mean-spirited chauvinism was hearing those glorious words of the


European anthem. Looking forward to the great


European ideal on which this government is trampling now, the


idea that day will come when all humanity will be one family. Hear,


hear! It rightly is awash man who highlights the importance of singing


and I think my advice to honourable ladies and gentlemen on the Scottish


National Party bench would be that we have an all-party, and staff as


well as members Parliamentary choir that the crypt every Monday evening,


and I know many SNP members will be welcome to join those who already


participate. I am not shoo how to follow that. We


have heard of the ?30 million investment, all of which is good for


jobs in Corby. We must never be complacent. Can we have a statement


from ministers on real news rather than fake news on the number of jobs


created and investment into the UK industry since 23rd June? My


honourable friend makes a very good point. I think that the additional


investment projects that have been announced in the United Kingdom


since the referendum are a tribute to the underlying strengths of the


economy of this country and that is a strength which this Government is


determined to build further. On behalf of The Right Honourable


member for Gateshead who is indisposed with a prolapsed disk, I


am sure that the whole House will wish him a speedy delivery, but on


behalf of the Backbench Business Committee we were placed in a


position on our meeting on Tuesday, I know that the chairman has writ on


the the leader about this particular issue. We believed that we had the


full day on 23rd. We allocated two debates for the 23rd. And that has


left us in a very difficult position. Can I say that the budget,


I understand, will be on 8th March and then there'll be a succession of


day's debate on that. Even if we fill every Thursday between now and


then, we will not get all of our allotted days on the business


committee. We have on 2nd March, we have prual le kated Welsh affairs


and a debate on International Women's Day which falls on the day


of the Budget. Can I ask my Right Honourable friend to ensure that we


get the second of March as a backbench business day and that on


23rd February, the protected time is sufficient for a proper debate on


theish shoo u we chosen for debate which is -- the issue we have chosen


for debate, child referees in Greece and Italy. If I may, because there


was a terrible incident in my constituency yesterday where a young


man was stabbed at Queensberry station. That meant the whole


station was closed, not only with passengers inconvenienced but this


was a gang fight. Can we therefore have a statement at some stage of


what action the Government is going to take to combat knife crime so


that no other individuals suffer this terrible fate? On the points


about the Backbench Business Committee, as I said earlier, what


has happened as regards is terrible. I am sorry that of that decision. I


can give assurance that the protected time will be allowed for a


full debate on the subject the committee continues to recommend. I


will do my best to try and ensure that the time that was lost to refer


the debate is made up as rapidly as possible. I will take into account


the remarks about March 2nd. I know how important the annual St David's


Day debate is for all members. On his point about the constituency


case, I think that the sense of shock which came through in my


honourable friend's question will have been shared right across the


House. I will make sure that the Home Secretary is alerted to this


particular case, but he will know that the pen atties for knife --


penalties for knife crime have been increased and the police are doing


their utmost to combat that kind of crime he described.


THE SPEAKER: We need one-answer questions from now on. 41 years ago


ten Protestants were murdered by the provisional IRA at king's mill. A


man was charged because his hand print was found on a vehicle


involved in that atrocity. This morning, the public prosecutor has


said to the families that is not sufficient evidence to prosecute the


alleged IRA man. At the same time of soldiers being dragged through the


courts in Northern Ireland. When we will get equity in prosecutions in


Northern Ireland? As the Secretary of State has made clear that he's


working to try and address the issue of the way in which souleder --


soldiers have been unfairly singled out. The service is independent of


directions, I cannot comment on this particular case. Anybody who knows


about Northern Ireland will know the scars of the king's mill massacre


still remain to this day. Residents in my constituency have been let


down by a house builder not completing their houses to the


standard. This week they have been let down because there was no


provision for a new houses ombudsman. Can this will raised with


the relevant Housing Minister? I will make sure the minister is


alerted. I would say on Monday 27th February there'll be questions to


local Government community ministers where she may raise this point


again. My constituent, Mr Christopher


Bronsdon is an anomaly in the civil service pensions arrangement by


which short-service employees leafing service lose their


contribution to the pension pot. People like him have lost ?100


million in recent years as a result. Can we have a debate on this issue.


The best advice is to apply for an adjournment debate. If he wants to


write to me with details I will pass it on to ministers. I was pleased


that Surrey County Council spoke out about the scandal in social care


funding. If it is bad there, think how much worse it is in Hull. The


third most deprived area in the country. Forecasting a ?45 million


shortfall in social care funding by 2020. After the revelations of


yesterday, can all the Members of Parliament outside the stock broker


belt be given the telephone phone number of Nick, so we can all text


him to get the best deal we need for our areas. Better get through to the


right Nick! That sometimes proves quite tricky! Nobody pretends there


is not a serious challenge for our country in terms of social care. It


is a serious challenge. That's why the Government has increased funding


through the better care fund and social care present. In the mead


unanimous term we need to make sure the most successful local


authorities are able to de deacceptate their through those who


are not doing so well and that health and social care work more


closely together. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The


international trade secretary told me earlier, that investors in the US


are reluctant to invest in Scotland because they fear Scottish


independence. How much money are we talking about? What projects? What


is the UK Government doing to ensure Scotland is open for business? I


think, as I said earlier to my honourable friend, the member for


Corby t track record of the United Kingdom since the referendum, has


been that we continue to attract investment here from all around the


world. If there are particular difficulties in attracting


investment to Scotland, then the honourable gentleman might look, for


example, at the recently approved budget by the Scottish Government


which has made Scots the highest taxed people anywhere in the United


Kingdom. A prison was taken to an unknown


location by agents from Iran's intelligence agency on January 4th


during a family visit in the prison. In a statement a British


parliamentary commission warned about the threat to his life and


called for international action for his release. Will the leader of the


House agree to an urgent statement in this matter because time is of


the essence? To the good fortune of the honourable gentleman, the man


with the responsibility to the Middle East, he is on the front


bench. He would have heard the remarks and will want to respond to


him. With industrial action today the


human rights commission and the chair of the economics advising the


Joint Committee on Human Rights they are at their limits of what they can


do can we have a debate about the funding of the human rights


commission, so that victims of hate crime are protected? I mean, the


honourable gentleman may wish to seek an adjournment debate. The


qualities commission is, operates at arm's length from ministers. They


have to take their own decisions about how they live within their


means in the way every public authority has to live within its


means. Can we have a debate in Government


time to allow the House to reflect on the full input of what the


supreme has said in respect of the convention so the important


questions about the future are not left to contend along with other


frictions and fictions of the great repeal bill? There'll be questions


to the Secretary of State for Scotland on Wednesday 1st March,


when there'll be opportunities for this matter to be raised. And I am


absolutely certain that when we get, after the Queen's Speech, to the EU


repeal bill, that there'll be ample opportunity then for all these


questions to be debated. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can we have a


Government statement on the intended timetable of the joint ministerial


council for European negotiations given the Brexit committee were told


recently as yesterday that committee has not begun to consider the


article of 50, that some reports suggest might be submitted four


weeks from today. While the joint ministerial committee meetings are


important, the contacts between UK ministers and their counterparts in


the three devolved administrations and between UK Government officials


in all relevant departments and officials in the devolved


administrations continue on a daily and weekly basis. So, that the


consultation, the understanding of the particular priorities of the


devolved administrations is part of the mainstream work of UK Government


departments. Mr Speaker, yesterday at the


Scottish Affairs Committee the Jobcentre closure plans were called


illogical. An aquality assessment on greater detail. On the stake closure


plans and the moratoriums and closures that members across this


House and across these island have confidence in that this Government


actually knows what it is doing? I suppose it is a forlorn hope that


the honourable lady, members of her party might actually take some


pleasure in the massive falls in unemployment and the growth of


employment that we have seen in this country, inclieding in Scot wland


and -- including in Scotland and Glasgow. It cannot be right for the


Department for Work and Pensions to be spineding money unnecessarily on


buildings that are -- on spending money unnecessarily on building that


are not occupied to give additional advice and support to people,


perhaps with disabilities or long-term unemployed, who want and


need that additional support to get back into employment.


Yesterday TSB bank announced the closure of a canvass branch line.


All three branches would have vanished. Can we have a discussion


about the Post Office to delive day-to-day banking facilities on the


capability of an? That may be a good debate for a backbench debate or for


an adjournment debate if the lady is fortunate enough in the ballot.


Thank you. Not only did the Scottish Parliament vote against Article 50.


It dealt with all votes and amendments less than five minutes.


Does he agree if we had electronic voting in this House, it would not


only would we have, not only would we have more time for debate, even


if we had less time to sign the oh to joy? Call me old fashioned. I


think it is quite a good idea that people should be present in


Parliament in order to vote. When you move to electronic voting and


you can vote remotely I think that disconnects the decisions about


voting from the debate itself. Thank you, Mr Speaker. May we have


an important debate on mobility payments to assist children who


require palliative care? There is a cutoff that children must be aged


three, that I am campaigning to change. The honourable lady makes an


interesting point. I am not aware of the details of this particular


issue. If she would like to give me some more detail I will take it up


with the appropriate minister. She may wish to seek an adjournment


debate from you, Mr Speaker. Can we have a statement on the Government


definition of a marriage-like relationship? My constituent is


under imminent threat of deportation because the Home Office do not


recognise Robert's relationship with his fiancee, Chloe. As committed


Christians that I have not cohabited before their marriage. Can this


statement be considered urgently by the Government?


Individual cases are of course subject to an independent system of


appeals under our immigration and asylum rules. And ministers do not


intervene in the way in individual cases. And those rules do provide


for tests to try and distinguish between people who are living


together as a matter of convenience, and sadly that does sometimes


happen. And those where it is a genuine and committed relationship


within marriage or without. I courage her to write to the


Immigration Minister but that particular case. Thank you, fair


trade fortnight is just around the corner, it could be marked with a


debate on how fair trade policy affects the poorest people. I think


UK support for free trade can be enormously beneficial to people


living in poor countries. Because it means that they should be able to


get ready access to customers, in our country, without tariffs will


other regulations getting in the way. And trade, and enterprise, has


shown its self again and again over the decades as the best long-term


guarantee of economic growth and prosperity for people in poorer


countries all around the world. Order. I will come to the points of


order but forgive me if I say this first. I have received a report from


the tellers in the no lobby yesterday for division number 157 on


the EU notification of withdrawal bill, in respect of amendments


number 86. They have informed me that the number of those voting no,


was erroneously reported as 327, instead of 337. The ayes were 288


and the noes were order. Point of order Louise Hage stock and I can't


quite believe that I'm having to raise concentric scare in his house


again. But after the scandal around it, HMRC revealed that they would


never again use a private group to deal with tax credits. Today the


government have written a ministerial statement to say that


they are transferring tax error and fraud to the DWP and they will be


seeking an outside provider. This is a disgrace will you turn on


government policy, is there anything you can do to ensure that they


minister comes to this hazard explains why this U-turn has


happened and ensure that they are properly held to account. Ministers


are responsible to their own statements and responsible for their


subsequence adherents, I don't seek to adjudicate. The short answer is


that it isn't for me to say that a minister must come here today, we


have scheduled business that is very heavily subscribed. The honourable


lady, with her usual persistence and indefatigability has put her concern


on the record and it would have been heard on the Treasury bench. Knowing


the honourable lady as I have come to do over the last 21 months, I


rather doubt that she will let the matter rest. She may well think


about it over a period of several days when we are in recess and if


she is dissatisfied with what is said, or as the case may be not said


by government, doubtless she will return to it when we return. Point


of order Mr Peter Grant. Thank you Mr Speaker, yesterday, the Minister


of repeatedly referred to yesterday and repeatedly said that it gave


members the opportunity to vote for or against a trade deal. The wording


of the motion on which the house divided makes no reference


whatsoever to support or opposition to the trade deal. I accept that the


Minister is acting in good faith. Can he advise me whether there are


some people, so that the record of the proceedings correctly mark what


was divided on yesterday. The honourable member has made his own


point in his own way and it is on the record for all including his


constituents to see. Moreover I understand that at the end of the


European committee be, there was a vote on an amendment moved by the


honourable member Full Squad is the West. -- for Swansea West. That vote


was 7-5 against the amendment and indeed the record shows that the


honourable member photo kill and South Persia was in demonology of


five. Thereafter the motion was passed unopposed -- and the


honourable member was in the minority of five. I'm not sure that


there was anything else that I can add, I'm not seeking to be but use,


but he can try again. Very well briefly. The motion that it was


divided on was not the same motion that we divided on on Monday


evening. The motion as described by the Minister were different to the


terms of the motion which the house actually divided, the third division


make no reference to support for or opposition to what was described by


the Minister on a number of occasions. It is fair to say that


this chair is not responsible for what I might say textual exegesis, I


have not looked at the text of the amendment, and I haven't compared


and contrast it that text with the words uttered from the Treasury


bench by the Minister this morning. Clearly the honourable gentleman has


made such a close study, and may well have profited by it. I did


there is anything further I can do today, what I will say is that the


honourable gentleman is in sense in gauging in a debating point, perhaps


a legitimate one with the Minister, and at least today it seems that he


would have had the last word. Hopefully says somebody from a


sedentary position. Even that the record has just had to be corrected


to reflect what is perhaps understandable human error in the


division lobbies last night and given the intense number of votes


that we can expect when the great repeal bill comes forward, does that


not suggest that electronic voting might actually help avoid some of


these human errors, and can you perhaps tell us Mr Speaker whose


decision ultimately would it be, to introduce electronic voting in this


house? The honourable gentleman never misses an opportunity, that


would be the decision for the house. There does be absolutely care about


that. A change could be agreed, only, by the house, and equally the


house could agree not to do so. If there are no


further points of order, and the appetite at least today has been


satisfied, we come now to the backbench motion on Israeli


settlements in the occupied Alice Tinney and territories. As things


stand, I must warn colleagues, that it would seem almost inevitable,


that there should be a five-minute limit on back bench speeches because


approximately 35 or 36 colleagues wish to contribute. The motion in


the first instance will be moved by Sir Desmond Swain. I beg to move the


motion on the order paper in my name and in the name of other honourable


members. Given the investment that we have made in a two state


solution, my question to the Minister is, aside from standing on


the touchline is, watching the players on the field and shouting


advice, what more can we do, whilst our friend and ally, pursues a


policy on settlements which is bound so proceeding, to deliver a


situation where the two state solution becomes actually


geographically and economic the unworkable. Now yesterday my right


honourable friend the member for Congo are rightly challenged the


Prime Minister on the need, for face to face negotiations. And he is also


a champion, of the case for greater investment, in strategies and


projects to bring about the integration of Palestinian and


Israeli citizens. And he's right about that as well. If we take our


diffident ploy using Jerusalem who travel in daily on a tortuous


commute, from the areas around Bethlehem. These are young people in


their mid-20s, to mid-30s. The only interaction that they ever have with


an Israeli subject, is when during the journey, they are challenged, to


show their papers under what I would call the operation of the pass laws,


which exist to ensure that their ability to live, stay and work in


their own city is restricted. Now I understand entirely, how we got to


that dreadful situation. We got there because of the obscenity of


suicide bombing. And no government, Israel could not possibly have


tolerated the wholesale slaughter of its innocent citizens in that


respect. The key question for us, having got to this dreadful


situation, how do we get back from it? It is one thing to demand quite


properly, face to face negotiations, but on the other hand, at the same


time, to pursue a policy in respect of illegal settlements, which


actually makes those negotiations so much more difficult, particularly


so, when those, when that policy is driven by an increasingly strident


ideology. I will give way when I had developed my argument. An


increasingly strident ideology. On Monday night, when the bill was


passed in the car Knesset, retrospectively, legalising 4000


homes in illegal settlements, the Minister for culture welcomes that


results saying" it was the first step towards full Israeli


sovereignty over Jude dear and Samaria. " He chose his words


carefully. And I might say Mr Deputy Speaker, when President Trump was


elected, the interior Minister no less -- Judea and Samaria. The


Interior Ministry welcomes that saying "We are witnessing the birth


pangs of the Messiah, when everything has been flipped to the


good of the Jewish people." Mr Speaker gave a rather different


gloss on the election of Mr Trump on Monday, but nevertheless, it is


clear, it is absolutely clear, that a significant proportion of the


Israeli political establishment, are in thrall to an increasingly


strident settler movement that regards Palestine as a biblical


theme park. Judea and Samaria. Now the more strident, more aggressive,


out riders of the settler movement, I'm not people that you would


necessarily welcome as your neighbour. -- are not people.


Particularly I refer to what is happening in Hebrew on. If we set


aside some of the ruses that I used to acquire property, nevertheless


when the settlers moving. It is actually the Palestinian neighbours,


who have too wrecked grills and meshes and fences over their windows


-- Haft to direct. To exclude the projectiles and the Rec use. And the


reaction of the security forces, to protect their newly resident


citizens, is to impose an exclusion zone, too cordoned off and sanitise,


the access and the areas around those properties. And sober seeding,


Palestinians find that they are excluded from the heart of their


city and indeed from the area of their own homes. It has all of the


appearance of what we used to describe has petty apartheid. Now


when Senator Kerry explained at the turn of the year, why the United


States would no longer pursue its policy of exercising the veto, in


respect of UN resolution 2334, he said that if the two state solution


was abandoned, Israel could no longer be both a democracy, and a


Jewish state. It would have to accommodate


Palestinian citizens and all the civil rights and political rights


within the state of Israel. I carefully. Didn't John Kerry also


say, and this is a direct quote, this is not to say that the


settlements are the whole or even the primary cause of the conflict,


of course they are not, nor can you say that if the settlements were


suddenly removed you'd have priest without a broad agreement, you would


not. That's what he said and the honourable gentleman could have


submitted a more balanced motion that reflect the wide-ranging...


He's sneering, but they more balanced notion to the two state


solution that I want to see. I certainly wasn't sneering. I accept


entirely that's what John Kerry said. The motion could not frankly


be more anodyne. I see my honourable friend wishes to intervene. I'm very


grateful. Is now not that I'm more than ever that the United Kingdom


government has to be entirely consistent and remind the world


without any qualification that settlements and occupied Palestinian


territory are illegal without qualification? I absolutely agree.


Does my right honourable friend still wish to intervene? In a


moment? Very well. I returned to the point that I made with respect to


John Kerry, the key question I return to is the one that I put to


the minister at the start. What do we do? What can we do? Well, I was


delighted by the activism of the United Kingdom government in respect


of the security resolution... Not yet, to 334, as a consequence of


that. I was of course this made by the subsequent inactivity of Her


Majesty 's government in respect of the Paris conference. But it comes


back to the question of what do we do every time there is some other


outrages announcement in respect of settlements? What we do, and I'd


heard the minister... I will not give way. I've heard the Minister


Sayed from the dispatch box, we make representations at the highest


level. And I've said it myself at that dispatch box. And of course we


do make those representations and I'm certain that the Prime Minister


will have made those representations on Monday to the Prime Minister. I


last made those representations to Israeli politicians in a meeting in


the Canas it with the chief negotiator with the Palestinians and


Deputy Prime Minister, and halfway through the meeting, he stormed out,


announcing that I had launched a brutal assault. Well, as you know Mr


Deputy Speaker, I am a pussy by comparison to my honourable friend


on the front bench, the member for East Bournemouth, who is a terrier.


And I am absolutely convinced that his representations will be much


more robust than mine. But so long as they remain representations,


exactly that, the government of Israel will continue to act with


absolute impunity. So the question to the Minister is, what do we do


beyond representations? What else exists in his armoury to escalate


the situation? And that, of course I accept, is an extraordinarily


difficult question because Israel is our friend, our ally, a democracy, a


nation where we have huge commercial interests is, and with which we


share vital intelligence agendas. I'm afraid he missed his


opportunity. Can I make one suggestion? One gentle suggestion as


I conclude to my honourable friend? He might consider giving effect to


this house's instruction that we should recognise the Palestinian


state. Now, I've heard, I have heard my honourable friend say that we can


only do this once, and therefore we need to choose the moment where that


will make the maximum impact, and I agree with him. But he needs to


consider this. It would be truly absurd if we were to delay that


recognition until after the point at which the reality of any such


Palestinian state could actually be delivered. The question is as on the


order paper and what I would suggest to members is, we will have to start


with a five-minute limit and if we can be tight we will get everybody


in on the same amount of time. Richard Burton. Thank you for


scheduling this debate and I congratulate the honourable


gentleman for the way he introduced it. Look, these debates always bring


out sharply differing opinions on both sides, that's inevitable. But


there is one thing on which there has always been, in my experience,


consensus in this house, across the Chambers, and that is that the best


way to peace between Israel and Palestine is a two state solution


where both peoples have equal rights to sovereignty in viable and


contiguous states. Now of course fall, lasting peace involves more of


dealing with settlements, of course it does. But the reason settlements


are the focus of today's debate, and rightly so, is because the continued


expansion of settlements, the infrastructure around, the


accompanying demolitions that precede them is creating, as the


honourable gentleman said, a new physical reality in the West Bank


that is destroying the possibility of a viable Palestinian state ever


being established. It's making physical changes to the map of the


West Bank, carving it up into different segments, separate from


each other, and in the end it resembles a Swiss cheese. It does


not resemble anything that at the end of the day could be a reliable,


contiguous state. I give way. I am grateful to my honourable friend for


giving way. Does he agree that this policy of ongoing settlement


expansion is not only an intolerable infringement on the right of the


Palestinians, it is also a long-term threat to the stability and security


of Israel postmark and people who care about the security of Israel in


the longer term and its future as a democratic and a Jewish state ought


to be opposing these policies and supporting the progressive voices in


Israel? My honourable friend is absolutely right and I am


particularly pleased that he also mentioned progressive voices that


exist in Israel, could they do exist. One of the most insidious


things happening at the moment our actions being taken by some of the


Israeli right, sadly supported by the Israeli government, to silence


those voices. Some organisations are breaking the silence, they have the


guts and integrity to stand up and say this is wrong. Now, we know that


the footprint of settlements, 6000 new unit announced in the last few


weeks, the footprint of settlements now makes up over 42% of the


landmass of the West Bank. And we know that whatever the numbers, and


the honourable gentleman made this point, whatever the numbers, the


reality is that every single settlement built on occupied land is


an awful under the Geneva Convention. This echoes the point by


the honourable gentleman, if settlement building does not stop,


the two state solution that will inevitably follow means that the de


facto annexation of the West Bank by Israel, we saw another move towards


that in the last week with the regularisation law retrospectively


declaring illegal Israeli settlements on expropriated private


Palestinian land. I commend the Attorney General of Israel for


declaring that unconstitutional. But the direction of travel is clear.


With this law and the massive expansion of settlements that is


taking place mean that whatever Israel calls it in theory,


annexation is happening in practice. Are we in his view now beyond the


point where a viable Palestinian state could be set up were there to


be agreement to do that? Or does he think there are still perhaps


grounds for some optimism? I still think that the long-standing policy


of this house to support the two state solution is right. But the


chances of it are disappearing, let's make no mistake about that.


And I'm afraid I can't give way any more as there isn't time. I'm sure


the honourable lady will have her chance a little bit later. But this


is what John Kerry was getting at, if you end up with de facto


annexation of the West Bank, that gives Israel a choice. Either it can


say that everybody living there should have a vote and equal rights


equal to its own citizens or it says that they do not. If it says they do


have those rights then the future of Israel with a Jewish majority is at


an end. If it means that they do not have those rights then Israel can no


longer claim to be a democracy. Not only that, but if you have to factor


annexation while maintaining systems of laws and controls that


discriminate against the majority of people that live there and denied


basic democratic rights, what term can you use describe what you are


left with but a form of apartheid? And if you go there today and look


at the reality of life for Palestinians on the West Bank, it is


difficult to come away with the impression that what is happening


there already is a creeping culture of apartheid. Is it any wonder,


therefore, that if you talk to Palestinians today, particularly


young Palestinians who have never experienced anything but the


grinding weight of occupation, they increasingly tell you that what they


regard as the international community constantly going on about


the two state solution is a cruel deception on them and their lives


and they say actually we are getting to the stage, we don't care how many


states they are, we just want to be ensured that we have equal rights


with everybody else. So we are left with choices, I think, about what we


do about this. The honourable gentleman is quite right to put this


to the Minister. We can either continue with the mantra that we


support a two state solution in theory all we can do something. So I


have two questions for the Minister. Firstly, what actions, not just


words, is the UK Government prepared to take to differentiate Israeli


settlements in the occupied West Bank from Israel itself? And as


settlements are illegal should there not be a clear message from the


government that any trade preferences either before Brexit or


after Brexit do not apply to settlements, and that that will be


enforced, that UK businesses should not collude with illegality through


any financial dealings with settlements or through the import of


settlement goods to the UK? And I conclude on this, and it echoes the


point made by the honourable gentleman, five years ago the then


Foreign Secretary William Hague said, we reserve the right to


recognise a Palestinian state bilaterally at the moment of our


choosing when it can best help bring about peace. In October 2014 this


house asked the government to act on that. So will the Minister agree


with me that when the two state solution that we all support is now


under threat like never before that now is the time to act on that


bilateral recognition? We have to ask ourselves if not now then when?


And if not now, aren't those Palestinians who believe that we


talk a good story but we do nothing to end their misery actually right?


Thank you, and I congratulate the two honourable gentleman who have


introduced this debate. Secretary Ceri's speech after resolution 2334


was outstanding in its depth and balance. And friends of both Israel


and Palestine must address the central charge of Kerry that the


status quo is unsustainable and is both a threat to a democratic Israel


and a viable Palestinian state. The argument that resolution 2334, John


Kerry's speech, the Paris conference and even this motion are hollow


words and simply serve to harden enchanters are self-serving


nonsense. Reiterating basic tenets of international law and ceaselessly


searching for peace cannot be dismissed in this way. I shared


Kerry's analysis that settlements are not the whole or even the


primary cause of the conflict. I welcome his work on securing


Palestinian acknowledgement that the reference in the Arab peace


initiative included the concept of land swaps, and he is right that


even if the settlements were removed you would not have peace without a


border agreement. Since Oslo, Palestinians have been betrayed by


two decades of factional eyes leadership, by the international


community and disastrous consequences of the implementation


of the Oslo process, historically by their Arab neighbours, in a


catastrophic way that they first advance their own interests ahead of


Palestinian cause and also historically by Britain. In our


failure to deliver the second half of the Balfour declaration. It is


also true that over 100 years of Palestinian leaderships they have


never missed an opportunity for missing an opportunity. Today those


encouraging violence are again betraying the opportunity to present


the Palestinian cause with legal and moral authority.


But while admitting the enormity of these issues, one shouldn't belittle


the Cirrus Miss of the settlement issue. Settlements are in legal


under international law for a reason. I'm very grateful to the


distinguished chair of the foreign affairs select committee to allow me


to intervene but I wonder if he would just comment on what message


it sends out to the international community, that UN resolution after


UN resolution has been ignored and what they can do to make sure that


we can action the one that has just been passed. I agree with the


honourable gentleman, such a distinguished addition of the


foreign affairs, has he knows we have an outstanding quarry into the


British policy towards the Middle East peace process and we will


engage in detail, over the months ahead. I thank the honourable


gentleman for giving way, having been in Gaza a Kohlschreiber century


ago when he is slow process started, are we not in a situation where if


we do not recognise and enforce international law, we send a message


to other countries in the world that if you cover something in concrete,


we will let you get away with it and we will pay the price for it. I


agree with the honourable lady, we are dealing with a catastrophe. With


its implications, of the settlements. We should not belittle


the issue. Settlements are illegal under international law for a


reason, you can't conquer someone else's territory and then colonise


it. The end of that era was codified in the Geneva convention and


-- in 1949. Our experience has been decolonisation, that it should have


happened over the last 50 years at the hands of a nation born out of


the moral authority of the appalling treatment of the dues in Europe over


centuries, that culminated in the Holocaust, is deeply troubling for


the admirers of the heroic generation that founded the state of


Israel. We rightly talk about all that should be celebrated in Israel,


which is often described as a beacon of our shared values in a troubled


region. But the truth is that Palestinians, the Arab world, the


wider international community, including R.N. Population,


increasingly see Israel through the clouded prism of settlements. I will


at the end of my honourable friend allows me at the time. Within Israel


there is no consensus on settlements and the recent regularisation law


has raised a particularly rancorous debate, it was the son of a former


Prime Minister and daily cooed member of the car Knesset who dubbed


the law as the robbery law. While the head of the Zionist union called


it a threat to Israel. And we might also remember that parliaments can't


make legal what international law prescribes. He is making good


points, does he agree with me that the expansion of illegal settlements


is the despair of many people who wish Israel well and plays precisely


into the hands of those who believe that there is a cynical intent never


to pursue a two state solution. I wholly agree with my honourable


friend. And it is stress is me, that the recent signals from the


government, briefing against the Kerry speech, not participating in


the Paris conference, receiving an Israeli premier who has just resided


over the regularisation law and is indeed domestic trouble. Despite the


formal reiteration of the British position on settlements, suggests


that it doesn't fully appreciate the seriousness of this obstacle to


peace, and the threat to the values of a nation, that how history of


personal, economic and security relationships makes a firm friend


and ally. Friends should not allow each other to make profound and


damaging mistakes. Which is why I support this motion. Thank you Mr


Deputy Speaker, before I addressed this motion I want to start by


condemning the rocket attack on Israel last night when Islamic State


fired for rockets from the Sinai peninsular into Eilat and I expect


the whole house will want to join me on to that. Three weeks ago I


produced a ten minute ruling in support of and its national funding


for Israeli - Palestinian peace and at the outset I made clear my


opposition to the continuing settlement building in the West


Bank, a policy that as I said threatens the viability of a future


Palestinian state, the case of which is an arguable, does immense damage


to Britain's standing in the world and it will put at risk that which


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


character. But I also make clear that settlements are not the only or


even the principal opposition to peace. As the former US secretary of


state John Kerry who has been much quoted said today in his final


speech on the Middle East, the core issues can be resolved, it is with


leadership on both sides, committed to finding the solution. In the end


"I believe that negotiations did not fail because the gaps are too wide


but because the level of trust was too low. I don't believe that


settlement building in the West Bank does anything to contribute to


raising those levels of trust, in fact quite the reverse but let us be


clear, trust has to be built and earned by both sides, it is


unfortunate that today's motion makes scant recognition of that


fact, so let me outline some of the factors beyond settlement building


that contribute to that lack of trust. I'm very grateful, last month


I had the privilege to be on a delegation to Israel and Palestine,


and we met a group of young Palestinians and young Israelis who


are working together, on IT and technology, and that is surely the


way forward to build the trust that she talks about. I absolutely agree


with my honourable friend, I have also visited that project and it is


inspiring and coexistence is building trust. I don't believe


trust is built, when the Palestinian Authority pumps out and unrelenting


stream of anti-Semitic incitement. Children's programmes that teach


their young audiences to dues, the naming of schools, sports


tournaments and streets after so-called martyrs and the payment of


salaries to convicted terrorists or when it suggests that as the person


is state media regularly does, that all this row is occupied territory


and when it continues to insist a right to return for the descendants


of Palestinian refugees to pre-1967 Israeli territory. I don't believe,


that trust has been built by the experience of Gaza, a territory that


Israel unilaterally withdrew from 12 years ago only to see it come under


the control of Hamas. A group that is committed to the creation of a


Palestinian Islamist state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean


Sea. Who use Gaza... I wonder whether, she has been talking about


trust, I wonder how she would assess the evacuation of settlements, of


settlers, 8000 of them from Gaza to be greeted by almost 20,000 rockets.


The honourable gentleman makes his point himself, and we all know that


to be greeted by a thousand rockets as gauge do anything but create


trust. And of course Hamas use it as a base, Gaza to indiscriminately


fire rockets into Israel, which is what I think he's referring to and


to build tunnels to carry out terrorist attacks. I would give it


away any further. And it which is treatment of women, its political


opponents, LGBT community and journalists, shows absolutely no


respect for basic human rights of Palestinian people. Nor is trust


built when those international institutions which might be expected


to foster a settlement and promote the values of peace and


reconciliation, show that they cannot act as honest brokers. The UN


General Assembly that ended its 20 16th annual legislative session with


20 resolutions against Israel. And only six resolutions on the rest of


the world combined. That included three on Syria, one each on Iran,


North Korea and Crimea. 20 on Israel. There is no balance there.


The UN human rights Council which in its first decade of existence


adopted 135 resolutions, 68 of them attacking Israel. More than half. Or


Unesco which has denied the Jewish people's deep historic connection


with Judaism's holiest sites in Jerusalem. As supporters of a two


state solution, we should commit ourselves to building with and


between histories and Palestinians. We should do that in both words and


our actions. In Dow words, we should seek to avoid emotive language which


feeds a narrative convict him and villain. We should recognise and


encourage a need for compromise and we should never fail to acknowledge


the complexities of a conflict which has endurance for decades and whose


roots run deep. In our actions we should steer clear of simplistic


solutions, such as the BDS movement. A movement which by seeking to


delegitimise and demonise the world's only Jewish state, is both


morally wrong and does nothing to further the cause that it claims to


support. We should give knowing coachman to those who denies


Israel's right to exist and refuse to announce violence. Hamas and


Hezbollah are no friends to the cause of two state solution. And we


should do all that we can to assist those in both Israel and Palestine


who are working for peace and reconciliation. That is why I


believe that the greatest contribution that Britain can make


towards building strong constituencies for peace in Israel


and Palestine, is by increasing our support for coexistence work. People


to people projects that bring together it is radius and


Palestinians at the grassroots level, and backing the establishment


of an international fund for Israeli and Palestinian peace. The absence


of such constituencies is all too apparent. While 59% of Israelis and


51% of Palestinians still support a two state solution, he's already


slim majorities are fragile and threatened by fear and distrust


between the two people. So after two decades, there is now a significant


body of evidence indicating the impact that coexistence projects can


have, despite the challenging environment in which they exist.


Those participating in such programmes report higher levels of


trust, high levels of cooperation, more conflict resolution values,


less oppression and loneliness. These are the kind of measures that


we should be supporting, I call on the government to support


international fund for history and Palestinian peace. Thank you Mr


Deputy Speaker, I have no doubt that today we would see an impassioned


debate and we have already got off to a good start and we can see quite


clearly used from both sides of this particular issue. I think it is


right however to begin by emphasising that as other members


have said, is ready settlements are not by a long stretch the main


obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The number ten


spokesman said in December, that it is far from the only problem in this


conflict. And the people of this rail deserve to live free from the


threat of terrorism, which they had to cope with for far too long. Mr


Deputy Speaker, it seems to be the narrative that the conflict we see


today started in 1967 when it's regained control of West Bank and


Gaza. And I ask these members to consider why then was the violence


in this region, why did it predates the existence of the settlement. It


is worth recalling that the West Bank and Gaza were occupied prior to


1967, not by Israel but by Jordan and Egypt respectively. During these


occupations they refused to grant citizenship to Palestinian refugees,


where is the condemnation of Jordan and Egypt? Nor did they surrender


the territory for a Palestinian state, where is that condemnation of


Egypt and Jordan? The international outcry was deferred until Israel


occupied the disputed land at which point it became unacceptable for


that occupation to take place. From that point onward it was


unacceptable, prior to that no condemnation. I wish to make the


point that legality is not subjective, it is often said that


Israeli settlements are illegal. But stating this repeatedly does not


make it true. Please bear with me, for a moment. The West Bank and Gaza


remain as they have always been, disputed territories. Under


international law. It has never been a Palestinian state. So the


territory remains odourless, that is a strong argument for some. It is


not so one that I necessarily ascribed to -- remains without an


owner. The whole point of the chamber, is that we achieve exposes


argument and discuss them and not seek merely to rehearse in trench


positions, otherwise what is the point of a debate. I will give way


to the gentleman. I was simply going to say that I


think he's making an important point. The truth is that in 1947 a


Palestinian state was proposed but not established by other Arab


countries who chose to invade Israel at the moment of the establishment.


A Palestinian state could have been established at any point in the next


20 years by Egypt who was controlling Gaza, or Jordan who were


controlling the West Bank. I think is completely right to make this


point. I am grateful for the intervention. When people criticise


Israel for demolishing tunnels and building walls and erasing


buildings, they make no comment when Egypt does exactly the same. The


international community is silent on Egypt and only vocal on Israel. And


as the honourable member for Enfield North said, where is the balance? I


made the point about the view that some people believe that settlements


are not illegal because the land is odourless, I don't subscribe to that


view, but the reason it is important to make it is because people hold


that the very firmly, it is a divisive issue. As the honourable


member for Enfield North said, it is a fundamental issue of building


trust and unless you can build trust and deal with the issue of disputed


lands then that trust deficit is going to continue. I think the


honourable member for giving way, and on the issue of trust would he


not agree with me that the issue of trust was almost ended as far as


Israel was concerned when, as a result of removing all settlements


from Gaza, the only result was a torrent, avalanche of rockets and


missiles as a result? My honourable and long-time friend makes a good


point. Everybody talks about Israel giving up land for peace, they have


given land, they did not get peace. I have to say I wholly support, I


wholeheartedly hope and support a two state solution and that it can


be established with trust on both sides, but only two parties can


decide on borders and other status issues and those two parties are


Israel and the Palestinians. Accordingly I welcome the fact that


direct peace talks remain the best way to secure a solution. Direct


talks between the two parties involved, not European conferences


excluding one of the parties. And as I said before the two state solution


we also bought should be the end -- we all support should be the end and


not the start of the process. I strongly believe that debates like


this need to focus on the whole and complex picture and not just one


particular aspect. Likewise, Mr Deputy Speaker, I do not believe


that the UN Security Council resolution 2334 helps advance peace


as it focuses on Israeli settlements and only serves to reward


Palestinian intransigence and unilateralism. On particular


concerns of my constituents, 2334 defines east Jerusalem as


Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 including the Western Wall, the


Judaea and holiest sites, and this area includes the holy sites of


Christianity where Jesus practised his ministry. This definition


implies that both dues and Christians visiting their holiest


sites are acting illegally and that is an affront to both alike. I'm


trying to reflect the concerns, I will not give way, I'm trying to


reflect the concerns of my constituents. Honourable members may


not like the views of my constituents but it is my job to


represent my constituents in balanced debate, whether or other


honourable members dislike it or not, that is the purpose of a


constituency MP and that is what I seek to do. I have already said,


Israel has given up land for peace, it has not had the piece, and it is


important that this government continues to support, nudge and


cajole our ally to take the right course. But acting unilaterally, a


premature declaration of statehood for the Palestinians would put back


peace and not pursue it. If we support the Balfour declaration we


must stand alongside our ally, Israel, and make it work. Thank you.


Ian Paisley. Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I do believe the point that


has been made and that is the best way to resolve this apparent


intractable problem is the way that peace processes have been resolved


around the world and that is by face-to-face negotiations by the


people on the ground and not by grandiose schemes which play to


certain galleries and certain outside influences. And I think that


that's an important starting point for any peace process that could


ultimately work. Settlements are a symptom of the conflict in Israel,


they are not the cause. And if anyone thinks that they are the


cause of the conflict they do not understand what has happened in that


land. History shows that the unilateral removed meant of


settlements in the past, the evacuation of settlements in the


past did not generate peace at all, but in fact inspired more rocket


attacks and the deaths of more innocents in other settlements,


that's what they actually did. And instead of being part of a peace


process, the unilateral removed meant of settlements would be a


peace by peace process, a step-by-step process towards more


attacks on innocent people. So let's stop the hand-wringing, let's stop


the pretence that it unilateral move on a settlement will make peace, it


actually work, and for some, not in this chamber, but for some it is


cover for more aggression and foremost, I believe, it is misguided


view on what is happening on the ground. You can't negotiate away


settlements in advance. I thank the honourable gentleman for giving way


and I support the point that he's making. Would he like to contrast


the failure of Israel's unilateral decisions to remove settlements from


Gaza in relation to securing peace and compared that with the agreement


that was made with Egypt in 1979 when Israel withdrew and demolished


its settlements as part of an agreement, an agreement which has


lasted to this day? The right honourable lady who has much


experience and knowledge of the area makes a vital point. In fact if you


look at the history of the area, Israel has a very good track record


of agreeing concessions on territory whenever peace is made, that was the


history in 1979, whenever they made an agreement, what did they do?


Israel gave up critical, Sinai, 91% of the territory that they won in


1967, they gave that up once peace was agreed, as part of that piece


they again moved into the settlement in Sinai and destroyed it completely


and removed it. In Jordan, what was the attitude of the Israelis?


Whenever they got a settlement they redeployed both sides to their


respective sides and agreed to the international boundaries, so I think


the point made by the honourable lady is supported by facts on the


ground at the end of a peace process. You cannot, and I have been


part of a peace process, you cannot make a major concession at the


beginning of a peace process and think it starts at that point, you


make the concessions at the end on the basis of an agreement, that's


what needs to take place. I think the honourable gentleman for giving


way. Can he just tell the house whether he agrees that Israeli


settlements are illegal and actually while it is not the only factor it


is critical to ensuring that we address that and we acknowledge


that. Second point in relation to Gaza is that 800,000 children are


living in, as the former prime ministers described it, one of the


world's biggest open prisons. These are major humanitarian issues that


we need to confront and address. To be absolutely clear I am not


dismissing any of the major humanitarian issues, I have absolute


sympathy and absolute concern and passion for the needs of Israeli and


Palestinian children, Israeli and Palestinian men and women, that they


live in a new, harmonious, peaceful countries. What we have to get to


the point of how do we get to that solution of countries? And the only


objective, the terms of reference for any negotiation should be the


starting point, and where we want to get to is a piece fell, -- peaceful


secure Israel side-by-side with a sovereign Palestine. That is a two


state solution and the only way you will achieve that is by face-to-face


negotiations by the practitioners on the ground. Most members will have


had the opportunity in the last day or so to walk through the upper


committee corridor and see the project which shows women from


across Israel and Palestine of different races, different creeds,


different backgrounds are asked to do one thing, and that is to paint


an olive tree. And all of those different women have given very


different perspectives. But they've painted the same thing in all its


glory. And the important issue of that experiment shows that if you


put the people together on the ground and allow them to negotiate


and do something face-to-face you will ultimately get to a solution.


So the message that we should send out today is very clear and


unequivocal. Only Israelis and Palestinians sitting down together


face-to-face can actually sort this out and achieve peace in a much


tortured and battled region. Due to the number of interventions we are


going to have to go down to four minutes already. Thank you. And I'd


like to give credit to everybody who has spoken, I think every speech has


added to the debate and I'm very grateful that this has cross-party


support bringing this debate forwards. I'd also like to say that


so far I don't think we've been straitjacket by polarised views. I


don't think that if you criticise Palestine that means you are an


apologist for the occupation, I don't think it means if you


criticise Israel policies you are against Israel or anti-Semitic. And


I deplore Hamas support for terrorism and I deplore the building


of settlements and outposts beyond the Green line. The motion says on


our monitors occupied Palestinian territories, Israeli settlements,


doesn't give credit to the full motion and with the two state


solution and asking for our government to take a more active


role means it it is a very important debate. Very important debate in


this year. It is a year of sad anniversaries. Anniversaries of


occupation in that area, anniversaries of a blockade. And


vitally for us and our government today the Centenary of the Balfour


declaration which did commend the establishment of a national home for


the Jewish people. As the member for Reigate said, it also says it


clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice


the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish population


in Palestine, and that's where our role is critical. It is correct that


the settlements are illegal. I know there is some dispute about the


Geneva Convention. However we do have the International Court of


justice, Red Cross and United Nations security council claiming it


is illegal. We have President Obama and of course Secretary of State


John Kerry saying in December, even Ronald Reagan claimed the


settlements were illegal. I'm grateful to the honourable lady for


giving way, she is making a good speech. Does she agree that the


government is to become rich related for supporting resolution 2334 and


will she be looking to the Minister to say what action the government is


planning to take to enforce 2334 -- element is to be, wretch related. I


appreciate the intervention and as is the problem with so many


resolutions, 2336 and also 2442 and 181, guess I would commend to the


Minister to tell us what actions, very much so. Also, as we know, the


settlements have been increasing. Over 100 settlements and worryingly


the outposts as well, over 100. Increasing in population, increasing


the number and increasing in the geographical area that they are


coming up against. I will in a moment. And of concern, as anybody


who has seen the images of settlements in the area just by


Jerusalem, even one area as it is called, which may actually split the


Palestinian West Bank north and south, already as people have said


since 1947, Gaza and the West Bank had separated. And yet this year


there is danger of even more fractionation in the area.


Does the Honourable Lady agree with me that the regularisation last


Monday by the Israeli government makes the two state solution even


more difficult. Now we have a situation where previously


settlements were illegal and now they are legal under Israeli law? I


absolutely agree with the honourable member, this is why this debate is


critical and while at you agree with the other members talking about


trust, I believe that many Israelis and Palestinians have wonderful


projects and I also have witnessed many. But there is a problem, where


settlements, and outposts are in land that is all so private


Palestinian land. I have been in the region in a conflict period, and I


have witnessed, many events, but the only time I saw and Uzi being fired


at a school was by a secular and not anybody in military uniform.


Therefore it is critical, Howard government has failed part of that


bow declaration, and I am keen to hear what the minister says in reply


to honourable members who have talked about, yes now is the time,


to recognise a Palestinian state. But also, even if all of the


settlements and outposts were dismantled today, they would not be


peace because negotiations have to proceed about matters of Borders


Andrew Samantha refugees right to return and also Israeli bases. Thank


you. And I want to say today that I oppose anything that stands in the


way of the creation of the two state solution which I believe in and have


campaigned for in all my life but it is wrong to suggest as this motion


does that settlement is the only barrier or even the biggest barrier


to this process, you have got to look at the absence of the


Palestinian Authority to. The denial, or that is troublesome right


to exist. Incitement to violence by its media and senior officials. And


by its Ministry of education. On that point would my honourable


friend agree, is that they distinguish between legitimate


criticism of this rail, Andy digitalised and novice rail which is


questioning its very right to exist? That is completely right, and that


is why the Palestinian authorities denying his rubble smack right to


exist is not something that builds trust that we have heard this


afternoon. Nor is the incentivising of terrorism through the payments of


salaries to convicted terrorists. Does anybody seriously believe Mr


Deputy Speaker that the settlements are a bigger barrier to the peace


process, and Hamas is not at the moment. They are terrorism and


extremism. Setting goals of explicit rejection of not just Israel's right


to exist but the very idea of a peace process that would involve the


surrender of Islamic land. This is an organisation that spends millions


and uses building materials, hospital schools and homes on


tunnels and terror. It pioneered suicide bombing in the Middle East,


it then celebrated murder of Israelis in bars and restaurants.


Now it is not the case, not at the moment, it is not the case as has


been suggested during this debate, that settlements make the prospect


of a two state solution impossible. It is not the case of that. I don't


defend the settlement building. The house should recognise both that


Israel has shown its willingness to evacuate before, from Sinai in 1982


as we have heard, as part of the camp David accords. And when it


withdrew from Gaza in 2005. The house should also recognise. I


wonder whether he should congratulate Israel, in the last


month they removed 50 families from some land? He's completely right to


raise it, because it has not been discussed by any of the people who


have spoken in this debate before. It is also important for the house


to recognise that 75% of the settlers are Ron 6.3% of land so


when people talk about the West Bank being concreted over, they are


factually wrong. It is not true. I am not giving away any more, I have


given way twice, so this issue can be dealt with through land swaps,


that was accepted as a principle for building a peace process, in all


recent negotiations. And a plan under which this could have been


achieved. Now I say this, because I want to argue that with compromise


with creativity, with concessions on both sides, the right of both


Israeli and Palestinian people write to determination and peace has been


secured. There are considerable other challenges, Jerusalem,


security, refugees. But it is rude important to recognise as well, as


has not been sufficiently recognised in this debate so far that the


majority is on both sides still favour a two state solution. And


that none of these issues are insurmountable. If there is a


willingness on both sides to negotiate and to compromise and to


make concessions. The truth Mr Deputy Speaker is this, there is no


alternative that will end the bloodshed so instead of one-sided


and simplistic motions, instead of calls, for grand international


jesters, unilaterally imposed, on the peoples of this run and


Palestine. Incidentally grand gestures that suggest, which are


actually counter-productive to the cause of police, what they do


suggest to the Palestinian Authority, and the leadership of the


Palestinians, that there is a reach to the Palestinian state that can be


opposed from outside that doesn't involve face to face direct talks


and negotiations which is the only way that this issue is going to be


solved. The truth is that there is no alternative, that will end the


bloodshed. Now we should be doing everything that we can to promote


direct negotiations between the two sides to build trust instead of


boycott, sanctions and other measures which tried people further


and further apart. I want Britain to support organisations and the one we


heard about early in Jerusalem, that bring


Israelis and Palestinians working together and building the


foundations for the two viable states peacefully alongside each


other. I think it would have been good if more members had been in


strangers dining room yesterday to hear about the weak side project and


what the women, Jewish, slim and Christian women in Israel and in


Palestine are doing to work together to create the building blocks for


peace. I want Britain to be doing more to promote economic developers,


trade and investment in the West Bank. Encouraging brilliant projects


like I have seen, the new city in the West Bank. And I want to see


Britain pushing internationally for Gaza. Madam Deputy Speaker these


talks have produced results in the pass, they have come close to a


breakthrough on several occasions since and they will have to do so


again because the any way in which this conflict will be resolved is by


people on both sides, negotiating, compromising and working together


towards a two state solution. Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker, it is a


great pleasure to follow the honourable member for Dudley North


on this. It cost like him and like his honourable friend, I have been


fully involved in six visits to Israel and the West Bank over the


last three years. With organisations, that encourage the


cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians. I do that here,


chairing events here, where the organisations that do that, come


forward, and describe what they are doing. And I have on several


occasions, been in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, to see safer child is out. A


print organisation goes out of its way to treat Palestinian children,


that have problems with hearts. It is fine surgery, that requires a


great deal of skill. Now why is there not, yes I will give way. I


thank my rubble friend, he mentions it, but also children and other


children are saved at St John's heart. I thank durable gentleman,


the number of people who are treated by the Israeli doctors there is


phenomenal and it sets a print example for the whole of the region.


I'm grateful for giving way, I just want to emphasise this point, the


honourable gentleman find me is laughing and steering in his usual


way. He ought to listen to this, it is an important point com you coming


to these debates and you hear this binary, mandatory Speaker they can


shout as much as they like but I am going to speak. Order, no one can


shout as much as they like, the honourable member will be heard. Mad


and empty speaker the truth is, you coming to these debates in a binary


and simplistic and polarise debate when the truth about Israel and


Palestine is that people on the ground are working together,


cooperating, talking, building the peace process that we want to see


and it is about time that people listen to that argument and it is


about time that people listen to that argument instead of laughing at


it. I do thank the honourable gentleman very kindly for his


comments because I was about to come onto that. I've given way twice, I'm


not giving way to gain. Order, we are having very short speeches, the


interventions had been longer than the speeches, let us allow Mr Hull


to make his speech top blue thank you very much, the point I was


making, here we have a wonderful example of cooperation. Between the


Israelis and the Palestinians and here we are fictional one issue. On


settlements. Settlements are not as we have heard, I would be the first


to admit that settlement expansion is counter-productive, but we have


heard from Speaker after speaker that settlements are not the cause


of conflict, they are not the cause of violence, and that long predates


the existence of settlements, in this part of the world. If that is


the case, why Pawi discussing this on picking settlements have?


Settlements are one of the five status issues, which includes


settlements, borders, the status of Jerusalem, security and includes


Palestinian sovereignty. There are a whole range of issues that need to


be addressed, if this is to be moved forward. And I was able in a recent


meeting of the Council of Europe to expand upon this for a little


longer, than I have got left now. In particular in relation to the


activities of Hamas in Gaza, where of course, the Israelis pulled out


8000 Israeli settlers, including their dead. And have been greeted by


almost 20,000 rockets, launched at them. The interesting thing about


Gaza which I think has already been mentioned by one of my rubble


friends, is that the restrictions on Gaza have been implemented by Egypt


as well as Israel. And I spoke to Anwar Sadat, the leader of the


reform and development party of Egypt who said that we are not going


to sort out the problems of Gaza, until terrorism in Egypt stops.


Settlements for example in East Jerusalem, account for 1% of the


territory. So this motion today calls for the internationalisation


of the peace process, and I do think that is very productive, what is


required, the question has been raised on a number of occasions,


what is required, what should we do. The thing that is required is direct


peace talks between Israel and Palestinians without preconditions.


Unfortunately the Palestinian side, comes up with preconditions every


time. And those preconditions usually involve the release of yet


more terrorists. But if you look at Israel's record of the settlements,


in 2010, there was a ten month moratorium, but the Palestinians


only allowed nine months to slip by, before they resumed peace talks. So


they didn't take it seriously. In 2017 with a month ago, Israel


evicted 50 families at home. In 2005, we saw the situation in Gaza.


And in 2008, we saw, a fantastic offer from Israel, to withdraw from


94% of the West Bank. The issue that needs to be discussed, is really how


this fits in, with land swaps. And that is an issue that needs to be


dealt with, face to face in negotiations between the two


parties. Because at the moment all that his role has got is a denial of


its right to exist and intensification of violence and


demands for release of yet more terrorists.


I don't think anybody should ignore the fact this is happening because


the Palestinians are scared of their own elections and that is because


polling suggests that they are going to lose whether they are the


Palestinian Authority or whether they are hammer, and sadly, sadly,


they are going to be succeeded by organisations that are in favour of


Isis. Thank you, I'd also like to thank the honourable member for


securing this important debate. This isn't the first time I have raised


this issue in Parliament and sadly I'm sure it will not be the last. In


2012 when I was the chair of Labour friends of Palestine in the Middle


East I had the privilege of visiting the West Bank for the second time


and saw first-hand the degrading and inhuman way Palestinians were


treated by the Israelis who had demolished or stolen their homes. I


also saw the effect this had on Palestinian businesses. It is


indescribable suffering experienced and the sense of loss by the


Palestinian people. This is a loss which is illegal under international


law, a theft of land which continues to be denounced by world leaders


across the globe and condemned, quite rightly, by the United


Nations. Above all else these perpetual land grabs are not only


immoral and illegal but also a barrier to peace. Whilst the


Palestinians must also provide assurances that Israel will be able


to live in peace, be Israelis must to come to peace talks in good


faith. How can Palestinians take a peace offer seriously with in the


settlements continue to be built? How can they trust Israel to


recognise a Palestinian state when their homes are being demolished?


How can Palestinians believe that there is a genuine two state


solution based on the 1967 borders when Israel continues its


encirclement of East Jerusalem? The settlements must stop in order to


give any framework for peace a chance. And Britain must be at the


forefront of this effort. We all know that Britain has a moral


responsibility to the Palestinian people given our role in the region


and our betrayal of the people who lived under our mandate after the


First World War. Given that the new president in the White House, our


country, its leadership has to provide a more important role. Many


in this house may be sceptical that the US has ever been an honest


broker in this conflict. However, despite strong ties with Israel the


US has condemned settlements and aggression previously. Trump's view


of the conflict appears to be a world apart from the former


Secretary of State, John Kerry's. I will make progress. Trump has made


potentially inflammatory remarks about moving the US Embassy to


Jerusalem and has selected a pro-settlement real estate lawyer as


the US ambassador to that country. So emboldened is the Israeli right


within days of the Trump inauguration, the Israeli government


announced its plans to build a further 2500 housing units in the


West Bank. I'm grateful to my honourable friend. Does he agree


that in order to make it clear to the Israelis how unsatisfactory the


situation is, we should adopt the same policy as we have adopted


towards the Russians over their invasion of Crimea and introduce


personal sanctions on those people who promote and benefit from the


settlements? I appreciate my honourable friend and I agree there


has to be consistency in terms of British foreign relation attitudes


towards different countries across the world. Let me start to conclude.


I am glad that Britain, alongside the EU, denounced this awful


regulation or in terms of these further housing units being built.


It allayed some fears I have that Britain is turning its back on the


safeguarding of human rights. But I worry that in this post Brexit


world, such values will be sidelined if the government seeks to secure


trade deals. I know that trade was on the agenda at the Prime


Minister's meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister and I'm sure there


are many benefits which can be brought about by this new trade


working group. Can the Minister assure me and colleagues that the UK


opposition to these new settlements in the West Bank will be made


forcefully? Can the Minister assure us that increased trade with Israel


will not benefit those making a living out of the illegal


occupation? It is small steps like this which could make a difference.


Let me conclude, Madam Deputy Speaker, Britain must live up to its


responsibilities to the Palestinians. The aid we give makes


a difference and must continue. So must our criticism of illegal


settlements. Condemnation must get louder if the United States


administration chooses to completely turn its back on the Palestinian


people. Bob Blackman. Thank you, my pleasure to follow the honourable


member for Rochdale who gave an elegant speech. This motion before


us today is a curate 's egg, good in parts but actually at the heart of


it is a false assertion. As has been said by honourable members, the only


that this crisis in the Middle East will be solved is by face-to-face


negotiations between the leaders of the Palestinians and the state of


Israel. And as we all know, this area of the world has had a long


history of being occupied by empires down through the ages. The Ottoman


Empire ruled the area until such time as the First World War, and


then the British mandate came in. The reality is that the West Bank


was annexed by Jordan in 1950. So to call this occupied territory is of


course to suggest that a country existed, but it has never existed,


and that is the real dilemma in this whole problem. I absolutely think


that the United nations resolution should not have been supported by


the United Kingdom government and it was wrong to do so, it was in the


dying days of President Obama's presidency in a deliberate swipe at


Israel and I think history will show that was the case. But I


congratulate my right honourable friend the Prime Minister for


distancing herself from John Kerry's one-sided speech. This is a unique


point in history because it is the first time a British government has


distanced itself from a serving Secretary of State to our greatest


ally in the world. I congratulate the government for not sending


individuals to the Paris conference which attempted to internationalise


the solution to the problem. And I would ask the Minister on the front


bench one particular issue, and that is, what is his view of the Oslo


accords and the agreements the Palestinians made with the Israeli


government? Because under those agreements it was quite clear that


the elements could take place in area C of the West Bank, and that


was permitted and agreed by the Palestinians. So to call this


illegal is incorrect. Equally, we've heard the United Nations resolution


2334 of course would prevent Jewish and Christian 's from celebrating at


the Western Wall and the greatest sights of Christianity. Before 1967,


the Western Wall was out of bounds to Jewish people and therefore the


same thing would happen again were this to be implemented. The Green


line was never ever an international line, there have never ever been an


international agreement on the exact borders of any state or potential


state of Palestine. And I would also just mentioned which has not been


mentioned thus far, and that is the plight of the 2.3 million Jewish


refugees who were forced out of Arab countries and have had to flee for


their lives. Some have gone to Israel, some to the United States


and others to other parts of Europe. Those people are never mentioned.


When housing developments are put out by the Israeli government to


house people who are refugees from Arab states who are Jewish, we


should not condemn them, we should congratulate them for providing


those facilities. He is making some very personal points, does he agree


that the whole point of this debate is that concessions need to be made


on both sides and it would be people Ellie unfortunate if people got the


perception that everything would be solved if Israel did this or that,


it is substantial concessions on both sides that are needed. I thank


my honourable friend. Clearly the concern I have and many honourable


members have is that the Palestinians are trying to


internationalise the issue, taking their case to the United Nations,


seeking assistance from outside, and not getting the real issue which is


face-to-face talks with Israel to resolve the problems are so that we


come to a conclusion and a secure state of Palestine. We should always


remember that the green line represents an area which will be


indefensible from the state of Israel in the case of a war. And


would... The honourable member is making a powerful speech and giving


a historical analysis that has been somewhat lacking. Would he agree in


trying to internationalise the process rather than accepting it has


to be face-to-face talks. We missed with the Palestinians into believing


that peace can be found for them without them having to make any


comment rise whereas the honourable gentleman has just said and many of


us agree, comp ice and trust building on both sides is required?


I think the honourable lady for the intervention and clearly we have to


build trust and experience between all sides. One of the concerns I


have, and I had the experience of going to Israel on six occasions, I


have also had the opportunity of visiting the West Bank and Jordan


with the Palestinian return centre. The reality is that the Jordanians


actually did not build trust amongst the Palestinians at the time, they


refuse to give them status, refused to give them title to their land.


The issue that remains therefore, one of difficulty in resolving those


particular land issues. What we have to do is build trust by joint


projects, the honourable lady has outlined, by bringing people


together so that they negotiate and build trust between the peoples


rather than separating them. It is quite clear that the security


barrier around Jerusalem, everyone would like to see removed. But it


can only be removed, for example, when there is trust between the


Israelis and Palestinians. And once that is achieved we can all achieve


that dream a two state solution with proper viable borders, proper


security for both states. Thank you. It is extremely important that we


recognise and reaffirm the importance of two states, Israel and


Palestine in resolving this tragic conflict between two peoples both


legitimately seeking self-determination. And together


with that must be a very clear understanding from the Palestinians


that Israel, has a majority Jewish state, is there to stay as part of


the Middle East. It is not, as they too often suggest, an imposition


from outside the area. The origins of the settlement which I do not


support are often not known about or misunderstood. In 1967, Israel


survived a defensive war and found it was then ruling Gaza, previously


under the control of digit, and the West Bank, previously under control


of Jordan. There were strong government in Israel at the time to


trade that land for peace, for recognition. And it is tragic that


the Arab league cartoon conference held in 1967 stridently declared to


Israel, no recognition, no peace, no negotiation. And that gave the green


light to the movement that followed. It is a really important point she


is making and she is showing why comparisons between Israel and


Russia are utterly fatuous. Because what happened in 1967 is that Israel


was invaded, Israel managed to deal with that invasion and that's when


the West Bank and Gaza came under Israel's control and that has been


the issue that both sides ought to be sitting down and trying to


resolve. I agree with the comments of my honourable friend. Settlements


are the problem, but they are not the only problem and they are most


certainly not the only barrier to peace. In Sinai in 1979 in an


agreement with Egypt which survives to this day, Israel withdrew not


just from Sinai but also from its settlements there. In Gaza in 2005,


Israel unilaterally withdrew 8000 settlers and soldiers from Gaza,


demolishing its settlements and tragically that has not led to


peace. In every attempt to make peace with Palestinians and others,


a solution has been found to settlements, whether to do with land


swaps or settlements becoming part of the Palestinian state.


The key issue about settlements on the West Bank is


But the key issues changing the physical barrier, rather than the


policy barrier. And the scale of the challenge on the West Bank, it is


not just 8000 settlements, it is 400000 and therefore the vast


political investment and it is difficult for Israel to deliver it


and becomes more difficult every day as the settler interest becomes


greater. I agree that the settlement policy is certainly not helpful, it


has developed because of the intransigence of the Palestinians


and failure to reach an agreement until now. While I except that


settlements are a problem, they are not an insoluble problem. And they


are most certainly not the only problem. Can I comment I think is a


critical problem and a critical barrier to resolving the situation,


and Alison Simon. And that is deliberate incitement that comes


from the Palestinian Authority, from Hamas, and of course, that itself is


explicitly anti-Semitic and talks about people ruling the world, and


statements, that they will kill every Jew around the bush. And I


draw the honourable member 's attention to the power seeing


campaign of incitement to violence and if we look simpler what has


happened in the 12 months after October 2015 had not finished yet.


On terrorism basis, and 69 stabbings and shootings, 54 car ramming is, 46


Israeli civilians killed and 650 injured. That is on the streets of


this rail. Terrorism, individuals sometimes young, sometimes as young


as 12 and 13, fired up with hatred, not included, pulling a 30 rod boy


off his bike and stabbing him, but another teenage boy. Dad since


Teichmann tanned that comes from the creation of hatred. And there are


also by the Palestinian authorities.


Namely schools after terrorists. For example, after one, who was the


organiser of the 1978 coastal Rd massacre. Attacking a school bus


where 37 people were killed including 12 children. That is just


one example, of the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas, the


Palestinian Authority honouring terrorists. Calling them martyrs and


encouraging others to do the same. Or I could talk about the case of


Daphne Maier, who was murdered in her home. 30 rod Noah was stabbed


and critically injured, when he was riding his bike in the north of


Jerusalem. Three other people who were killed as they rode on a bus,


in southern Jerusalem. And victims, of what President Abbasi himself


actually called, a peaceful uprising. If that does not make the


point enough. I remind honourable member is that just last month,


effect on board the martyrdom of something, the first Palestinian


female suicide bomber. Who use the cover as a volunteer of the Red


Crescent, to enter, Israel and she used an explosive belt so that her


her pure body would explodes into pieces in her Zionists faces. She


did indeed kill an Israeli and murdered over a hundred other


people. I'm sorry that time is running out, these acts are


horrendous, and I would ask every candle honourable members to


consider the role of incitement and the stirring up of hatred, creating


a massive barrier to peace. The solution to all of this is for both


peoples Israelis and Palestinians to sit together in direct talks and


agree a compromise, he negotiated agreement so that there is a secure


Israel and a secure Palestine, a homeland for Israelis, for dues and


for Palestinians. It is a great pleasure to follow the ladies for


Liverpool Riverside, she clearly knows a huge amount about this


subject and I believe that she's right about the level of disgusting


incitement that takes place from the Palestinian side. On the other side


however I would have to say that some of the language and behaviour


of the extremist Jewish settlers, particularly in places like Hebron


is equally vile, and were never going to find a resolution to use


conflict unless we deal with both sides of the argument. Madam Deputy


Speaker, I have been to Israel, West Bank and Gaza several times. I have


had the peculiar privilege standing in Gaza, looking out over to Israel


and standing in this role looking out over to Gaza. My late uncle


served, with British forces, in mandate Palestine after the end of


the Second World War. And the Northamptonshire Regiment was


instrumental in liberating Palestine, now Israel, from the


Ottoman Empire, in the First World War. There were three huge battles


in Gaza, six men from the town of Bessbrook in my constituency were


all killed on the same day, in the First World War, in the third Battle


of Gaza. I had a privilege of laying a wreath on their behalf in the


Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in the middle of Gaza city. I thank the


honourable member, does the honourable member agree with me that


it is extraordinary that during all of the conflicts and intifada is,


that the British cemeteries in Gaza had been well maintained? Yes and


the elderly gentleman who maintains the Commonwealth War Graves was


awarded the MBE which he was extraordinarily proud of. I believe


he has been looking after the grateful something like 60 years. My


point in saying that is that Britain's connection with this


region goes back an awfully long way. And for the best part of 30


years after the First World War, we did our best, to try to come to a


reconciled solution between Arabs and dues. As a nation, we failed and


that is why we pulled out in 1948. We're not going to solve a problem


of Israel and the Palestinians this afternoon. What we are being asked


to do is to agree or to oppose a motion on Israeli settlements. Yes


it is not the only issue, but it is the only issue on the order paper


before us this afternoon. And I support Her Majesty 's government 's


opposition, to Israeli settlements. I wonder if he agrees that it would


be helpful if the British government made it clear, that British folks


should not be trading with those illegal settlements? I certainly


agree that Her Majesty 's government sand her minister will address this


to the very pertinent question asked by my right honourable friend the


member for new Forest. What more is her mashed is government going to


do, to let the Israeli government know that we are actually opposed to


settlements. And we mean it. What more are we going to do than just


shout on the touchline. What evidence is there that sanctions and


boycotts that right people further apart is going to achieve anything


at all? Surely what we should be arguing for is trade and investment?


Personally I'm not in favour of boycotts whatever the issue is,


although investment but I'm in favour of Her Majesty 's government


having a robust method of action against the Israeli government to


make sure that they are clear what our policy is. I voted for the


recognition Palestine, and I would do that every day of the week. I am


a friend of Israel, I think Israel is a fantastic country, it has


brought many benefits to the world, we heard about saving child's heart,


the work that Israeli surgeons are doing to help honourable children


who come from all nations including Muslim nations from around the


world, Israel is a leader in the high-tech industry, in medicine.


Many NHS medicines come from Israel and it is a key ally for us in a


very rough and dangerous part of the world. But our friend and ally


Israel finds itself now in the 50th year of a military occupation of two


and a half million people. And speaking as a candid friend, surely


it is our duty to say to Israel, you cannot go on like this. And


honourable ladies and gentlemen who has spoken this afternoon in favour


of international talks and in favour of bilateral talks, I don't mind


particularly what the talks are so long as they start talking to each


other. Clearly, ultimately we have to end up with bilateral talks. But


it is wrong to say that international talks is a diversion,


which the State of Israel is established as a result of


international action through the United Nations. So I think we have


to be realistic, as friends of both the Israelis and the Palestinians,


we had to say for goodness sake, how long does this have to go on.


Nowhere in the history of the world has there been 50 years of military


occupation. And both Israel and Palestine could have a fantastic


future, both are very entrepreneurial countries, both have


got a lot of get up and go. Both have very civilised and educated


peoples and they could be leaders to the world in how two conflicting


peoples come together in reconciliation, and develop a


wonderful future for themselves. I think Her Majesty 's government, in


the hundredth year of the Balfour declaration actually has a bigger


role to play in this than it might realise and it should seize this


opportunity to knock heads together and say, how can we Britain help


kudos our friends to come together. -- help our friends. It would be


obvious to the house that every speech so far would be well in


excess of four minutes, so now we have two reduce the time limit to


three minutes. Thank you for that. I want to put on record my declaration


of interest, in the register of members interests. I went to the


West Bank last year, it was paid for by factor UK, and organised by


travel to Palestine. It is very clear that the settlements are in


breach of international law, -- Fatah UK. The international guys, we


shouldn't have any argued about that, that the settlements are


illegal and work from there. The honourable member for Kettering is


actually right, the resolution before us is about the settlements


and we should concentrate, on that that is what we are talking about


today. I wouldn't say they are the only barriers to peace but they are


a barrier. Removing the settlements would not create a peaceful


agreement but nevertheless while the settlements are there, you're not


going to get a peace agreement. And certainly, while settlements are


continuing to be built. Israelis say they want the talks to begin without


preconditions. But they don't, they want the preconditions that they can


carry on building settlements while negotiations take place, that is


fundamental, until the Israelis say they will stop building settlements


and then we will negotiate while those settlements are being built,


would at least be an important settlement forward. That is an


important point to make. The problem of the settlements being a barrier,


they actually fragment the land which Palestine will form as a


state. They make it possible to four major practical entity, when you


have got settlements dotted around it. That is the problem, you can


partially deal with it by land swaps and the Palestinian Authority does


not explicitly rule out land swaps. But the more settlements that


happen, on the ground, the hard and eventual peace agreement will be to


formulate. That is the reality. I will give way once. I wonder if he


agrees with me, that given that settlements in the West Bank are


illegal, there will be no peace unless Israel starts to recognise


and adhere to international law. You can't have a peace agreement with


one side not recognising international law and that goes


without saying. The impact of settlements on the economy of


Palestine, also has to be understood. Talking to Palestinian


people, who described their journeys to work, a distance of six or seven


miles, taking two or three hours, because of the checkpoints which


exist, by and large to protect the settlements and Israeli interests,


that is the reality of everyday life for Palestinian citizens, and damage


to the economy. Talking to the Mayor of Hebron, who explains that their


city wants to expand and needs to expand. It can't because the area


outside Hebron, is in area C. Which is controlled by the Israelis and


the Israelis do not allow the Palestinians to building area C.


Go to the checkpoint and see the hatred between young Palestinians


held up at gunpoint, strip-searched in the street, and Young Israeli


soldiers of the same age, it actually brutalises both sides and


so is the seed of hatred for years to come. And look at the racism. I'm


sorry, it is racism. When people are treated differently about whether


they can build on a piece of land because of their race, whether they


can get through a checkpoint easily or have to go to a different


checkpoint because of their race, or whether, most fundamentally, they


can have access to water, because Israeli settlements have access to


water seven days a week in the summer but Palestinians have to put


water tanks on their roof because they don't get the same axis. What


could be more discreet in a tree? I say to the government, yes, you


supported the resolution, what are you going to do it? Tommy Sheppard.


Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker. This is the longest-running conflict in


the modern era and its solution seems further away than ever, but I


think it's very intricate ability is a reason why we should commit


ourselves to moving forward. Every time the international community has


considered competing claims from this region they have arrived at the


same conclusion, and that is two states living side-by-side, one


Jewish and character, one Arab in character, in peaceful coexistence


is the solution to aim for. That was true 100 years ago, it was true when


the fledgling UN decided what to do after the mandate in the late 40s


and it was true when the Palestinians and Israelis met in


Oslo under international support in the last round of peace talks. There


are two fundamental truths for people who believe in that two state


solution. The first is that one state exists and one state does not.


So trying to create and bring into existence the state of Palestinian


is the world's unfinished business and that is something we should


support. The second fundamental truth is this, you cannot have a two


state solution whilst one state is in military occupation of the lands


designated the other. So at some stage the occupation will have to


end if there is to be a two state solution. In Oslo it was agreed that


the occupied territories, as everybody knows, would be divided


into zones, the new Palestinian Authority taking responsibility for


urban areas, the Israeli occupying force responsible for 62% of landing


area C. But that was envisaged as a transitional arrangement. People


thought when we had the Oslo accord that by the end of the decade, by


the end of the century, that land and that responsibility which


transferred to the Palestinian Authority as it emerged and become a


fully fledged Palestinian state. Not only has that not happened, but the


actions of the Israeli government since have made it even further away


than it was 25 years ago. I wonder if he will agree there is an


enormous power imbalance between Israel, a state with the fourth


largest and strongest army in the world and Palestine which is not a


state and does not have an army. Palestinians have already conceded


78% of their land, international pressure is needed now ignoring


resolution 2334 is not the way forward. I do agree with that which


is why people who talk about face-to-face talks really ought to


consider that this is something of a David and Goliath situation, and any


conflict where that exists and peace has been achieved it has been with


an international framework and that was true with the Good Friday


agreement in Northern Ireland as well. So we need to listen to the


Palestinians when they appeal for our help and support to try to


achieve a resolution. The Oslo agreement, the fact is that the


Israeli government of the last 25 years have, in contravention of the


fourth Geneva Convention, moved half a million of their own civilian


population into an area in which they are in military occupation.


That is why people call the settlements illegal. At some stage


they will have to be dealt with and yes there will need to be land swaps


and yes some of the settlers may wish to choose to be Palestinian


citizens and some may wish to choose to take advantage of relocation


schemes to go into Israel proper, but it's going to have to be dealt


with. And the fact is that every brick that is late, every new


apartment built puts a solution further away. This is why this


resolution calls upon the Israeli government to review its policy to


put a cessation on settlement building so that peace talks can


begin. If you want peace talks you have to have a ceasefire. Stopping


building settlements would be the equivalent. The first of my point is


that we implement the resolution particularly with regard to


differentiation of the occupied territories and Israel proper. The


second is that... I'm out of time. The honourable gentleman will have


to find another way of making his other points. Thank you Madam Deputy


Speaker. My support for resolution 2334 which calls for peace,


denounces violence in all its forms and crucially condemns the building


of illegal settlements by the Israeli government. Although I


recognise there are many issues, I will concentrate my remarks on the


illegal settlements which are being constructed by the Israeli


government and which are clearly obstructing the peace process, a


process that I'm sure all members will agree we need to resume


urgently. Madam Deputy Speaker, surprisingly one or two members have


cast doubt on a very clear position here which is whether or not the


settlements are actually illegal. So for the sake of clarity let me stand


some authority. Settlements are declared as illegal under


international law by numerous UN resolutions, by the Geneva


Convention, by the International Court of Justice, the US State


Department, the Royal statute, article two of the UN Charter, by


the Hague regulations and indeed, most importantly, by this house and


ministers from all parties. There illegality was also reaffirmed by


the current resolution 2334 which let us run and also faced no


opposition at the vote. I could go on and cite other examples but I am


limited with time. However we look at this, what cannot be contended is


that the settlements are illegal. The second point is the ongoing


construction of illegal settlements where that obstructs the peace


process. The two state solution is the only viable option for the


region but if we continue to see Palestinian land is appear under


illegal settlements the two state solution will be dead and the hopes


for Palestinians and Israelis alike will be dead with it. The solution,


Madam Deputy Speaker, is a two state solution, not a one and a bit state


solution. And Palestinians will not negotiate, this is not what they


were promised under UN agreements, nor will they negotiate a deal of


who gets the land while at the same time Israel is taking chunks after


chunk of the very same land away. Madam Deputy Speaker, time not


permitting, what is paramount for the region and its peace is peace


between Israel and Palestine. What I want to see as I hope do we all, but


illegal settlements have to stop before we can reach that point or


even get back to the path to it. So can I ask the Minister to condemn


the further illegal settlements announced since resolution 2334 and


could he tell me what concrete steps this covenant is doing to move


forward? Thank you. Like many in this house who are determined to see


a peaceful resolution in the Middle East, I welcome this timely debate


to reaffirm our support for lasting peace and to commend the government


on signing resolution 2334 last year. Like the Palestinians have


done since 1993I also recognise Israel's existence. However, these


last two weeks have seen this vision placed in further risk by acts of


the Israeli government, a democracy that does not live up to the values


it espouses. The passing of a regulation Bill was described as the


robbery law flies in the face of this resolution. The UN resolution


could not set out more clearly the international view of settlements


and settlement expansion in occupied Palestine. Madam Deputy Speaker, we


as a country have been very clear that settlements are an obstacle to


peace. They have no legality and are against international law. We have


tolerated Israel changing physical reality on the ground, we must never


tolerate any attempt to change legal positions. We have committed


ourselves to a number of essential positions that we call on both sides


to act on the basis of international law. We reiterate the position that


settlements are a flagrant dilation of international law and an obstacle


to peace, and we accept no change to the 1957 border that is not agreed


by both sides and will do everything to encourage peace. By passing a


regulation Bill that flies in the face of everything we declared at


the UN, for a government to legislate in a land not under their


rule of their parliament, where people of that land have no


representation is a travesty. It is a signal that the UN and


international efforts have no impact on the current government. Many have


spoken in condemnation of this law which the UN special envoy to the


Middle East described as crossing a thick red light, and by a former


Israel the Minister as evil and dangerous, against the basic


principles of democracy and Israeli law. Even the Attorney General will


likely argue against it. Finally, whilst icon graduate the honourable


member for New Forest West for declaring this debate, I support the


motion put forward. It is high time that we move beyond combination and


hollow words of support. We must support movements towards


accountability and demonstrate commitment to the rule of law. Only


then can we shake the different future for these children and


generations to come. Celebrating at the moment is disheartening, that is


celebrating Israel because it was legally asked to remove occupants


from the order, that was not to be celebrated. Andy Slaughter. May I


refer, I visited the West Bank last year, I disagree with members who


have criticised the motion today because it does not deal with


settlements. I do believe that settlements are not the only issue


but they are the most important issue. It is a relatively anodyne


motion in that sense which I hope everybody can support. Firstly, the


tragedy of Palestine is the occupation. The length of the


occupation. And the settlements are the embodiment of occupation. And


everything else which is run the occupied territories flows from the


settlements. So the barrier, 85% of which is in occupied territory and


is there to protect the settlements and it has been said settlements


only occupy 1.5% of the land, they control 42.7% of the land. 60% of


the land is land that Palestinians themselves are not allowed to build,


the checkpoints, the detention without trial, the appalling settler


violence, there are more attacks by settlers on Palestinians than there


are by Palestinians on settlers in the West Bank. It has been described


as petty apartheid, separate legal systems and military law for


Palestinians controlled by the defence Minister, a settler himself,


somebody who is on record as having said that Palestinian citizens of


Israel should have their heads chopped off, that is the person in


charge of the West Bank. We are at a crucial point here. 6000 new settler


units declared since Donald Trump went into the White House and as


we've heard the burglary law as it was described, 4000 illegal outposts


now legitimised. So in the very short time I have, let me make one


point if I may, we know that despite the alternative facts we have heard


this afternoon, we know settlements are illegal. What is the government


going to do about the settlements? Why can we not stop trading with


settlements if they are illegal? Let's not confuse that with that


issue. Why can we not insured there are clearer guidelines for business


to stop them doing that? Why can we not prevent a transaction as was


done with Crimea and why can we not have a database on all of those


issues? I would be grateful for specific answers from the Minister


today. Of course we are looking for condemnation of this, but we are


also looking for action from the British government. I apologise,


when I spoke I permitted touring attention to my entry in the


register of interests concerning a recent trip to Israel, I would like


to correct that I also, went with the delegation


last year to is throne and Palestine. I thank the honourable


gentleman. Any other points? I also wish to draw attention to the


register of interests, I went on a trip to Israel and the West Bank


last year as a guest of Fatah UK. Is it required Madam Deputy Speaker if


you have visited Israel or Palestine, in the last year and have


registered that in the Registry, is it required that we make that


declaration here? It is a matter for individual members as to how and in


what manner they declare matters where they may have personally


benefited, financially or otherwise from an outside organisation, who


might have an interest in the current debate. But it is very much


a matter for individual members as to whether they wish to make these


points or not. Of course the rules are very strict as to what is the


register of members interests as the honourable lady has said. Hearing


your guidance, I would declare that I have is to Israel and Palestine on


a number of occasions, over the last year. All of which have been


supported and financed by the Labour friends of Israel, from which I have


made no personal gain whatsoever. I thank the old lady. -- the


honourable lady. Can I draw your attention to my register of members


interests, regarding visiting the West Bank last year, co-organised by


the Council for British understanding and paid for by a


foundation. Is there anybody else who would like to register their


travel experiences? Having heard what you said, I didn't realise we


were required to do this, I did say my speech that I have been doosra


recently, given everybody else is this. I I should draw attention, I


visited Israel recently, met politicians in Israel and Palestine,


that trip was funded by Labour friends of Israel stop by the


honourable gentleman did mention that, I remember him saying it. We


have taken up and in tyre speech time, it is right that honourable


member should behave honourably in these matters. Mark Kendrick. Madam


Deputy Speaker, as has become the fashion, I would like to declare my


visits to Palestine and Israel over the last 15 years financed by


various organisations. Madam Deputy Speaker it is clear that this debate


is quite narrow in terms of focus but very important nevertheless,


that is that it is on the idea settlements. The number of


honourable gentleman have tried to trivialise settlements. But while it


may not be the most important issue they are a very important issue


indeed. We only need to draw ourselves, our attention, two


resolutions 242 and 338, from the United Nations, dated 67 and 73. The


key phrases, basically the withdrawal of Israeli Armed Forces


from territories occupied in the recent conflict. And clearly, I


would like to make some progress if you don't mind. So clearly, by


making reference, two Israeli Armed Forces, it is clear that they will


not be withdrawn as long as settlements exist, in the West Bank.


So it goes without saying that settlements in body, as a crucial


part of the problem in this respect. When I first visited Palestine,


something like 14 or 15 years ago, there was something like 15,000


settlers in the West Bank. When I last visited, that increase to about


half a million. And I understand the latest figures are about 600,000. So


we can see that the situation is changing on the ground extremely


quickly. And because it is changing extremely quickly on the ground,


then the longer that this dispute and conflict continues. And clearly


the situation on the ground will get to the point, where it will be a two


state solution, will be out of reach, because obviously, so much


land will have been taken, there will be very little land left great


contiguous state and I would hope that this government would


recognise. Settlements, were the main focus as we know of resolutions


to 334, passed on December the 23rd. And we also know that the policy of


the US, the UN, and UK Government repeated endlessly by ministers in


this house, is settlements are illegal, under international law,


and an obstacle to peace. How anybody can say, that settlements


are not part and parcel of the solution to this problem, I do not


know. As for no preconditions before there are talks, clearly, they're


right UN resolutions, those UN resolutions are not preconditions,


those UN resolutions referred to international law. And the


discussions and direct talks would take place on that basis. I urge the


government to recognise Palestine and apply pressure where it can to


the United States and elsewhere to see that a two state solution is


still viable. Thank you Mr Speaker, I thought it was further down there,


my apologies. As I have reflected, settlements are actually a legal


international law and they are a physical barrier to the peace


process. Through the settlement, Palestinians Rashid and I'd access


to 50% of the land, and many others, I have visited Palestine. For the


register of men's interests. I have seen a systemic development in our


post and settlements, which are intended to control the Palestinians


and at worst it is a process for complete annexation of the West


Bank. The network settlements, outposts and checkpoints, associated


security buffer zones, patrol by the IDF means that Israel can control


access to natural resources including Grace and grounds, water


supplies and movement of animals. The settlement, is settled up nice


and bright at the top of the hill which is possible due to the water


supplies. Meanwhile, there is a Bedouin village, connected. The


water supply for the settlement runs through the Bedouin village. They


have not had access to the water supplies and the school in the


village is part funded, but it has got a demolition order. That is the


intimidation by Israel. Forced movements of people is illegal,


sometimes it gets dressed up as moving people for a better


lifestyle. We have seen examples of that in history and it is a false


premise, we have seen by Native Americans and Scottish highlanders.


That is is getting done two people and not for people. Also others that


had been subjected demolitions, I was able to see the water system


ruined by debris, including cardboard forced into it. I saw


caves and inhabits, forced into it. And the subsistence crops, and no


longer can access it. The water for the animals and spending 30% of


their income on water that is they used to access for free. I mention


the school and the demolition order, handing it over. As you know, there


is the impunity in terms of demolition because international


committee has not acted, the UK has never asked for redress for


demolitions, it is time that it changed, 180 structures have been


part funded for EU funding which the UK contributes to, and there has


been owed redress. And the connection yesterday, I got a letter


that said a ?5 million project in Hebron, suffered demolitions I want


to ask the Minister, when it asked that ?5 million back and when we get


to take action against on demolition. -- against Israel. Thank


you Mr Deputy Speaker, I thank the members, and hand ported this is.


These are fateful times and as we move into a centenary year in the


Balfour declaration, it is chilling to see the president of the United


States openly promote those with hideous anti-Semitic views or in


France to watch the rise of a presidential candidate whose party


has for decades traded in the despicable sewers of anti-Jewish


sentiment. This makes it all the more important that we in Britain


uphold our principles and speak out with a clear voice when our allies


threaten them. So the departure from our stead fast commitment to a


peaceful two state solution in recent months, has sent dangerous


signals to the rest of the world. As the UN human rights Council found,


while fenced areas of settlement cover only 3% of the West Bank, in


reality 43% of the territory is allocated to local and regional


settlement councils, if that control is legalised, legitimised and


expanded, it represents one of the most grievous blows to the prospects


for peace for decades. It was therefore frankly astonishing, when


our Prime Minister chose to use a balanced speech by the outgoing US


Secretary of State, to signal a divergence with the position of our


closest ally. Senator Kerry spoke of a government more committed to


settlements that ever before. And the systematic consolidation of


control, over the West Bank, that is leading towards the inevitability of


one state, and the near extinction of the prospects for peace. The


outgoing Obama administration reacted with a understandable shock,


to the criticism that stems not from the Foreign Office but from the


Prime Minister herself. They said we are surprised by the UK Prime


Minister's office statement given that Secretary Ceri's remarks were


in line with UK's: standing policy and its vote at the United Nations.


This criticism and the warm embrace of a new president in the US


determined to support existing settlements, I have no doubt


emboldened the Israeli government, which has announced for the first


time in decades, thousands of new buildings in the occupied


territories. Our absence from The European Council in Malta when the


decision was taken to postpone a scheduled summit in late February


with a Prime Minister of Israel underscored our diminishing


influence. I can ready have been a time in the postwar world, when our


moral voice has been quite so weak. So I urge the government today, not


to jettison our historic role and credibility as a partner to peace


for the sake of a quick trade deal, I urge the Minister to do what the


Prime Minister could not, and condemned the land regularisation


hack that seeks to legitimise the illegitimate and will do untold


damage in the long search for peace. Mr Speaker I'm grateful to be called


and to speak and I'm grateful to follow the Honourable Lady, the


member for New Forest West, made most of the points that needed to be


made on the settlements, and those who have followed have added


significantly from both perspectives, on this conflict. I


have had nearly a hundred e-mails from constituents asking me to


support this event, so on the half of them I would like to send my


thanks to the backbench business committee for affording the


opportunity, and for the sponsors for securing this debate. Like other


colleagues who have contributed, we all want to see eight state


solution, but that seems more a mote than ever. I do look for to


listening to the minister, not only outlining or rather repeating the


UK's government support for peace, but more than that, explaining how


it intends to contribute, to the task of helping to bring the two


sides together. As the Honourable gentleman, from North Antrim and


others have said, face-to-face talks have got to be the only way forward.


Settlement building by the Israeli governor does seem to be totally


contrary to any peace process, and is outlined with a briefing


circulated, by the all-party group for Britain and Palestine chaired by


my honourable friend from Birmingham Northfield, it says the influx of


settlers into the West Bank and East Jerusalem significantly increases


tensions in the region which includes violence, perpetrated by


and against settlers, freedom of movement restrictions, detention or


prosecution of Palestinian adults and children in military courts.


House demolitions, age appropriation, restrictions on


agriculture and the economic activity. All matters, in this


debate. These decisions by the Israeli government, not only do not


help the desperate situation there, but I do believe make it worse.


However I do recognise, the provocation and it is important to


emphasise that provocation is not one-sided. As has been said, 2017 is


a very significant year historically, anniversaries of Bal


four, and other events. Is it too much to hope that history will come


to bear down on those involved to restart talks. I don't overestimate


our role, but the UK is a significant player both historically


and diplomatically, as eloquently articulated by the Honourable


gentleman from Kettering. I look forward to the Minister and our


colleague, outlining how best UK will play its part. In conclusion,


we all want Tusi Pisi. But as many have said, it seems far, far-away.


And in my view, the settlement building is not helping.


at a time when we have seen rising anti-Semitism in Europe and rising


hate crime post Brexit even in this country, this debate should not be


an excuse for Israel bashing or demonising all Palestinians as


terrorists. Israelis are in a small country surrounded by hostile


neighbours, its people should live free from fear of rocket attacks in


peace and security. Crucially, as we said to PMQs yesterday, as part of a


two state solution alongside a viable Palestinian state. We are


talking specifically today about settlements and even since I spotted


the title of this debate, the issue seems to be settlements popping up


everywhere. We had 400,000 dwellers at the time of the recognition


debate. Even on homeland, the US still on Sunday, there was a


storyline where Saul went to visit his sister he grew up alongside in


America, she is now living in a West Bank settlement and he says to her,


how can you live knowing that you're very presence here makes peace less


possible? Mr Speaker, my interest in speaking in this debate was spurred


by the fact that I was on a cross-party delegation with people


on both sides who are here today to the holy land last month to see for


myself, I wanted to share some of the observations. While we were


there we went to the Connecticut. We met with Israeli think tank 's,


we met with Palestinians including Christians, this is not just a


Moslem Jewish issue. Some had lived elsewhere. One came from Argentina


to meet us. Some of them had lived in Salford, one in America, they all


moved, these people came back in the late 90s thinking peace was around


the corner, and now it feels to them that there has been stalemate since


those Oslo accords. We went to places like Hebron, places I have


known about as long as I can remember, a little town of


Bethlehem, whenever I hear that him I will not be able to get out of my


mind the separation barrier with the Banksy graffiti on it. William


Blake's Jerusalem. We saw the armed guards there, it is a very


militarised place. Those are images I will never be able to see. I was


getting e-mails from constituents who were worried about the UN 2334


delegitimising Israel but I was also getting them from constituents angry


at the destruction of two Bedouin villages. And we spoke, and this was


happening just down the road. It was an eye opening experience like


nothing I had seen before. While we were there, there were calls to


pardon an Israeli soldier who shot and injured Palestinian teenager in


the head. When we got back we saw on the news... Now reached her time,


I'm afraid to say. The honourable lady may have other opportunities.


I'm sorry but that is the situation. The honourable lady is not required


to stand, I know she was interested in speaking from a sedentary


position? I am grateful, thank you. According to the UN a quarter of


households in occupied territories have insecure access to food with an


estimated 1 million in need of health and nutrition assistance.


Overall the UN estimate that 2 million people in the occupied


territories will need some form of humanitarian help in 2017. They


summarise the situation as a systematic style of Palestinian


rights and man-made humanitarian crisis that has gone on for too


long. The government confirmed that in the past year 1010 Palestinian


homes were destroyed, dismantled, skated in area C and East Jerusalem


last year. The highest in East Jerusalem since 2000. Leaving 1476


people, including 696 children displaced and vulnerable. These


figures are, I'm sure we'd all agree, very disturbing, and speak to


the pain and trauma of many, many families. But in addition to


dismantling Palestinian homes, the Israeli authorities also demolished


274 humanitarian structures which effectively our tents, shelters,


Goldings that our housing the homeless. A situation the UN said


was unprecedented. It is unprecedented, but it is also


intolerable and inhumane. The disregard for human rights does not


apply in just the Gaza and the West Bank. Recently I asked a series of


questions about the Bedouin amenities in Israel, in particular


one specific village. It appears a forced demolition is taking place,


condemned as an ugly episode of discrimination mirroring Israel's


unlawful settlements. As we've heard the Australian Parliament passed a


law that legalised 1000 Israeli settlement building is in direct


contravention of both international law and previous decisions. The


Minister knows that the US president has expressed strong support for


Israel, even going so far as to suggest the United Nations


resolution 2334, a clear and straightforward reaffirmation of


intervals would not have been passed if it had been put after his


inauguration. Does the Minister think that Israel's recent


acceleration of it illegal settlement policy is in anyway


linked to the new United States president? Is their geopolitical


cover for settlement expansion provided by the US? If so what can


he do about it? Today the government response has been to express


concern. They have expressed concern for a long time about the continued


settlement policy. In answer to my question about the forced demolition


of Bedouin homes, just this week they expressed their official


concern about the land regularisation bill that passed


through the Israeli parliament. Stephen Kinnock. Thank you, I'd like


to thank and congratulate honourable members for securing today's debate.


Little did we know when this debate was granted quite how prescient it


would be. Just as the Israeli Prime Minister was flying back, but unless


it was passing the so-called regularisation bill which legalises


over 50 illegal units, and the expropriation of almost 2000 acres


of private Palestinian land, in short it legalises the illegal. I


guess after alternative factor in Washington we now have alternative


facts on the ground as defined by the government of Israel. Mr


Speaker, this debate isn't about being pro-Israel of pro-Palestine,


it's about standing up for the values and norms that we hold dear.


It is about upholding the rule of law and not shirking our


responsibilities. Settlements fanned the flames of discontent and


grievance, driving us further from peace, they undermine the legal


authority of Israel, destroying the trust required to reach any


meaningful peace agreement and they undermined the territorial integrity


of a future Palestinian state and the prospect of a viable two state


solution. The continued expansion of illegal settlements doesn't just


hurt Palestinian people, it hurt Israel as well because there can be


no security for Israel without peace and there can be no peace without


I think of the father I met in a hospital in the wake of the 2014


Gaza for nursing his four-year-old son who just lost both his legs in a


rocket attack. I think of the Bedouin unity, the residents living


in perpetual fear of military demolition and harassment. I think


of the 13,000 children from the refugee camp in East Jerusalem


crossing multiple checkpoints, facing harassment just get to school


each day. I think of the quarter of a million children across


Palestinian territories who the UN identifies as in need of


psychosocial support and child protection interventions. I think of


a ten-year-old Gaza and child who will have already witnessed three


wars. What does the future hold for these children? What hope can we


offer them? When you boil the issues down to their essence, the presence


of almost 600,000 Israeli settlers on land internationally recognised


as occupied is what drives this conflict. And it should be stepping


up as a critical friend, that means ending direct support for


settlement. In line with the UK guidelines we should prohibit trade


with companies and financial communities composite with


settlements and prohibit dealings with charities involved in


settlement projects. We must be consistent in our alignment with the


universal principle of prohibiting trade with illegally annexed


territories. This is why we must do all in our power to halt and reverse


settlements and that is why we must support this notion. I must say that


the windups need to begin no later than caught a pass three and I think


there are eight people still wanting to contribute. I am grateful for the


backbench committee allowing this debate. I visited Israel and


Palestine three years ago and saw the construction of settlements


first-hand. I also want to thank my constituents who wrote to me on this


issue and supported this debate. I believe fundamentally in the two


state solution, this is what we must give as the international community


to progress in efforts to secure long-term peace. But we know that


Israeli settlements are illegal, contrary to international law and


indeed undermine the prospect of the viability of the state of Palestine.


Settlements are a barrier to trust and they are a barrier to peace. I


want to make two brief points today. Firstly on the need for renewed


international talks and the need to focus on the issue of children and


education in Palestine as well. Secondly to recognise the


contribution of associations like the Britain Palestine twinning


Association, those organisations here and in the Middle East do good


work. Vista speaker, Palestinians and Israel must know that with so


many other security issues in the world that they are not forgotten.


Political solutions remain a distant hope, the prospect and welfare of


children are of great concern. In Gaza there is an alarming rise in


malnutrition amongst children because they cannot get food they


need. A rise of kidney disease amongst children because water is


not drinkable. Because there are not enough schools for children, many


schools are operating double or triple shifts, starting at 6am and


finishing at 6pm. Parents worried about children going to school in


the dark are making them stay in the dark, particularly in the education


of girls. From the West Bank I have heard that children cannot get to


school safely. Around 30,000 children in Jerusalem cross a


checkpoint every day just to get to school. The increase in demolition


is of course affecting whole communities and is particularly


traumatic for children who have seen homes destroyed and schools, too.


The children of Palestine and Israel will be the leaders of tomorrow we


will need to work with solutions for how they live side-by-side. I also


want to recognise the work of associations like the Britain


Palestinian twinning Association in the UK who recently held their


annual meeting in Hounslow, whose work forms an important connection


between young people here and in Palestine, building those cultural


and education links that keep positive contact with the outside


world. I want to close my remarks with questions for the minister, on


the basis of the UK Government condemnation of Israeli illegal


settlement building is unchanged, what steps will Her Majesty 's


government take to ensure that action is taken to stop settlements


with the Prime Minister's stated determination to expand them, and


strengthen advice to British business is about engaging with


other businesses that support settlements so that we do everything


we can to stop settlements in the illegal enterprise that comes from


them. Thank you Mr Speaker, I would like to start by saying I have


absolutely nothing to declare but my recent trip to Israel and Palestine


territories. Countries I've been visiting since the first Gulf War.


Back then Palestinian Democrats warned of the rise of fundamentalist


Hamas. They argued that Israel failed to support an independent


Palestinian state, extremism would rise. The centre ground would lose


and peace would be harder to attain. In my previous role as a journalist


I interviewed the late, great Edward sighed and they had a series of


reasonable demands. He spoke of reconciliation and renounced the use


of violent rhetoric. They wanted to see a homeland for Palestinian


people and acknowledgement of the great injustices committed towards


them as we know so many driven from their homes and into refugee camps


when Israel was created. And crucially both wanted reassurance


that Israeli territorial expansion would end. When I first visited


Israel and Palestine, the separate populations was around 200,000.


Today, 20 years later, there are more than 600,000 settlers. Now,


people come from all across the world to live in Israel, for lots of


reasons. Those seeking a better life in illegal settlements, the


appropriation of Palestinian land and homes and while Palestinian


farmland is barren and dry, many settlements have swimming pools with


illegally funnelled water. They consume six to ten times more water


per head than the Palestinians. Israel's policy of creating facts on


the ground is brutal and determined to establish so many settlements on


the West Bank that a contiguous Palestinian state becomes


impossible. We must consider the consequences of this for Israel


itself. If a viable two state solution dies and Palestine is


subsumed into greater Israel stretching from the Mediterranean to


the dead Sea, what happens to the five to 6 million Palestinians in


the Jewish state with no government of their own? An abiding memory of


my first trip to Israel and Palestine was taking tea in a


refugee camp. Some of the eldest brought out there British mandate of


Palestine, and keys to long appropriated house is. They told me


they trusted British honour and British law and asked why we remain


so silent in the face of injustice. Can you explain to me, he asked,


when the evil committed against innocents in Europe 60 years ago,


you turned a blind eye to the injustice of my family's expulsion


from our home to provide compensation for people in whose


oppression we played no part? This goes to the heart of the issue, we


cannot turn a blind eye to theft any longer. We cannot allow bitterness


to pass to another generation. I visited the West Bank in Jerusalem


in January and a draw attention to what will soon appear on my register


of interest to the support and thanks to the Britain and Palestine


communication centre, the President's office, and the


Palestinian mission. Can I say every Palestinian we met, authority


member, elected city leader, political activist, young people,


all subscribe to the two state solution and wanted help in the


ensuing this can happen. When I saw as other colleagues all settlements


marching over hills, over expert both visited land, usually


illegally, -- expropriated land. The march of the fence on the wall


through fields, the destruction and the occupation of the old city of


the brawn, and closed businesses there. -- of Hebron. Settlements are


the issue, but if you want to address stonethrowing and violence


by posting in children, you want to look at the brutalisation they and


their families have been subjected to for decades. Mr Speaker, we


visited the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian


affairs, who showed us their accurate, factual information,


showing that 43% of the West Bank is out of bounds to Palestinians, a


Swiss cheese of disjointed errors of Palestinian land and they are


effectively excluded from the rest, even if they have historic ownership


over any of that land. Hours after meeting with Theresa May on Monday,


recently, the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu returned to Israel to vote


on the law that allows the Israeli state to seize land privately owned


by Palestinians in the West Bank and grant the properties to be used


exclusively by Jewish settlements. Whilst the decision on 24th of


January did indeed order 40 or 50 families to be moved from the


outpost, in the same week and was given the 2500 new dwellings inside


the West Bank and 566 new settlement dwellings inside Jerusalem, taking


over thousands of acres of Palestinian land.


As a the Israelis living there do have the right to vote. Israeli


civil law applies to settlers Palestinians should not be made to


go they should be an international


negotiation, and this government Kello our government should play a


major part. I was privileged to visit the West Bank for the first


and only time last year with the council for Arab British


understanding and the award-winning charity, human appeal. As the


honourable member feeling central said earlier it was a real


eye-opener. I had no idea of the size and scale of the settlement of


the West Bank. When you go there and see for yourself how big they are


and how well service they are and how well entrenched they are, the


reality of how difficult it is going to be move them becomes very plain.


As a lawyer I was particularly struck about the abuses of human


rights in the West Bank. And no problem. I want to take that little


time I have to make it quite clear that under international law these


settlements are illegal. The international community continue --


considers the establishments of the settlements as a legal under


international law because the fourth Geneva Convention prohibits


countries from moving population in the territories occupied in a wall.


That is a legal fact. I am aware that the state of Israel maintains


that the settlements are consistent with international law because it


doesn't agree that the forthcoming June -- Geneva Convention applies.


However the weight of international opinion is against them on that. The


following organisations have all affirmed that the fourth Geneva


Convention does apply, and therefore the settlements are legal. United


stations security -- new nation Asian school together, the General


Assembly, International Committee of the Red Cross the international


court of justice and the high contracting parties. This is a


matter of the rule of law. I have been to the Israeli Embassy and as a


lesbian woman they have come at how fantastic Israel is on gay rights,


and it is on LGBT rights, but the point of view on right is that they


are universal. Palestinians have the same rights as Israelis and


international law, or at least they should have, but at present they


don't. And no matter how important it is that there should be a state


of Israel, and I believe it is important, and no matter how much of


a good friend Israel may be to the United Kingdom, it is imperative


that as Democrats and people who believe in the rule of law that we


speak the truth in these issues, and we don't let the Israeli government


get away with distorted facts, when it comes to the fact and matter of


the Lou -- the rule of law. I have very little time but I


two additional asks he did not get to mention, firstly to the Minister


give us a timetable for recognition of the state of Palestine by the


United Kingdom, and could he also say what the British government will


do to support peace groups within the state of Israel that are


striving to achieve peace? The settlements are illegal and they


must be central to any talks. A number of members have suggested


direct negotiations should take place. I would question whether that


is something that is feasible now. There is no trust whatsoever between


the two partners, and those would be very unequal tasks, unequal talks


something the Israelis themselves acknowledge that they have many of


the Trump cards in those negotiations. What is the UK


contribution to this peace process? I'm voters of pointed by the Prime


Minister's position taken on John Kerry's speech, a depressing bold


farce, I found. Particularly confusing given that the Foreign


Secretary had said about the Paris conference that his intention was


that we should go the to be reinforcing our message. The


government intended that as -- attended that as an observer, so


unless our message was we had nothing to say it is very hard to


see how the government were in a position as an observer to reinforce


our message. The Liberal Democrat support a two state solution and we


believe it will be achieved partly through international corporation,


like the Paris conference. There are unilateral actions that should be


taken, something John Kerry has underlined. For the Palestinians,


yes, we do want them to clamp down on violent and any glorification of


violence, but equally there must be unilateral actions from the


Israelis, and I'm afraid you are full actions were soon from the


Israelis so far have a negative nature and many members have...


Happy to give way. On the question of unilateral actions and the


significance, do we understand, can my right honourable friend imagine


any sustainable settlements existing as they do? Indeed, I thank him for


that intervention and I am just sorry that he won't have an


opportunity to make a greater contribution today. As I said, the


land registration Bill is a example of the very counter-productive


initiative, as is the expansion in a silly. I hope we'll hear from the


Minister of concrete -- in area C. So far the tone down press releases


that we have had from the government I'm afraid have made no difference


Mr Speaker, it is clear that whilst the illegal settlements are not the


only problem, every attempt to legitimise their illegality is


rightly seen as a slap in the face to the Palestinians and a della --


demonstration of bad faith by the Israeli government, as is any


instance of Palestinian violence against Israel, that will clearly


also be seen as a demonstration of bad faith. But the fact is each


illegal settlement expansion strengthens Israel's hand and makes


a two state solution, which many senior Israeli politicians clearly


dismiss, increasingly impossible. Ministers say that Palestinian


recognition will be appropriate at a time when it will have the most


impact. That time is now. If ministers wait any longer, posting


in recognition will be pointless as a one state solution will have been


imposed. As other people have been declaring interests, I spent two


weeks last Easter with medical aid for Palestinians as a breast surgeon


working in east Jerusalem and working in teaching in Gaza. As many


people in the chamber now, I worked for 18 months in 91 and 92 as a


surgeon in Gaza, and so I still know the place quite well. I would echo


the honourable member for Henley's comment about Israeli doctors


treating people from all communities. That is absolutely true


but often we could not get patients to Israeli doctors in the Havasu


hospital because of curfews. I had patients dying in Amazon says


because of curfews, it can-year-old boy turned back fast to try to look


at how to get through the night, even though we did not have the


equipment. When I was there last Easter, having worked there during


the start of the Oslo accord I was relieved pressed to see that a


quarter of the Centurion we are further from peace than we were. By


the end of the Madrid peace conference, despite the violence


that had happened on the day, I saw young men on armoured cars with


olive branches. They believe their lives were going to change, and a


quarter of a century later, the international community have let


them down. There are 1.8 million people living in the tiny strip of


Gaza. It is becoming unviable. It is pouring sewage into the sea, the


water is undrinkable, and it is described that it will be non-viable


by the mid-20s. The West Bank has been turned into the same situation


by the expansion of settlements. It isn't just the settlements, it is


the walls separating people from their farmland or the source of


water. Set of rules that don't allow them to cross the road even to get


to their olive groves or their water source. So what is the vision for


the West Bank, is it that Palestinians will simply live on


reservations, as happened to Native Americans centuries ago? What is the


vision for that outcome that even the Israeli government want? The


only thing we have is international law, and if we do not stick to


international law, we will have no position of right for other people


that do the wrong thing. It has been said there should not be


international players, aged just be the Palestinians and Israelis. This


is a totally unbalanced conversation. Northern Ireland have


the UK Government, the Irish government and the American


government to bring it to success, and we need to be involved. Everyone


has stood up and said they believed in a two state solution, so how


bizarre is it that we only recognise one of those states. If we do not


take action to avoid profit from settlement and avoid annexation by


concrete, we will be answerable. As joint vice-chair of the APPG on


human rights I approached today buzz back to bed with human rights at the


forefront of my mind. I and my party supporter EU solution of a two state


solution to reach its sustainable negotiated settlement under


international law. There can be no justification for any impediment to


progress and the peace versus such as indiscriminate rocket attacks on


Israel or the continued expansion of illegal settlement of the occupied


territories. Israeli settlements have been established in clear


violation of this law. The UN human rights Council rubbish and an


independent fact-finding commission and edits 2013 report stated that


the impact of settlement on the human rights of the Palestinians as


manifested in various forms and ways. The illegal settlements also


critically interfere with the ability of the Palestinian people to


exercise their fundamental right to self-determination, and it is not


just the settlements, it is the associated infrastructure built on a


expropriated Palestinian land that has a substantial impact. The SNP


have time and time again called on the UK Government to use its


influence to help to revitalise the peace process, and find a way to


break through the political deadlock. So I asked the minister


today, and I know the Minister has a keen personal interest in the area:


Will the UK Government recognise a state of Palestine on the basis of


the pre-1967 borders, affirming the equal rights of both people to live


in sovereign independent and secure states? The situation worsens over


territory and as it does the likelihood of a peaceful resolution


fades. The time is right for the UK to recognise Palestine, and their


right to self-determination. The UK has not only amoral but a legal


duty. Due to the fact that the


Palestinians are prohibited from exercising their fundamental right


to self-determination. Please, such action has to be taken, a tougher


stance needs to be taken today, and I hope that the minister will take


all views expressed on board. I am well known as a friend of Israel and


as a friend you are honest, open and truthful. With that in mind there


must be fairness to all. I think 2334 has adversely affected the


Jewish right to freedom. We all know that the matter of settlements and


peace in the Middle East is a complex issue. Hailing from Northern


Ireland I have been involved in a peace process and having gone


through that we know the complex issues. Appeasement cannot be the


answer for Israel or Palestine, working together is the only answer


and that is hard to do in the situation and I speak from


experience. It is clear that Jewish negotiators have tried to bring


about some semblance of peace. For some people their description of the


negotiation is to demand things their way or no way and that leads


back to violence. I have a very real fear that we are pushing Israel into


a place that they don't want to be and where we do not want them to be


either. I remember seeing Israeli women and children on the streets


defending their historic homeland. I do not wish to see Israel again


pushed into place where there is no option or where their options are


restricted. I know the heart of the Israeli people is simple, they wish


to be allowed to return home and peace. There is no doubt in my mind


there is a historic right. I fully understand the concern that the


UNESCO vote seemed to disregard Jewish heritage and we seem to be


going through a similar issue in Northern Ireland as well. We want


peace in the Middle East but it must be fair. There can never be peace


with our recognition that the Wailing Wall and the Temple Mount at


Jewish sites. They must underpin the negotiations and not the presumption


that the dues themselves are the ones to blame. I cannot support this


motion. There can only be peace in the Middle East by encouragement and


not division. Start today with the right message, Israel is a friend of


this nation and we will do the right thing by them. Three front bench


windups of no more than eight minutes each followed by a brief


conclusion by the honourable gentleman for New Forest West. I


congratulate all the members that worked to secure this debate and the


many who have spoken and recognise the passion on display. It is a


complex and sensitive issue and we all agree nobody has a monopoly of


wisdom. And that line mentioned, all people will become brethren if only


we can allow joy and freedom to rain is an important consideration. The


SNP position has been the peace depends on two prosperous states


living side-by-side. Israel and Palestine should be encouraged to


reach a sustainable negotiated settlement under the international


law which has mutual risk ignition and the determination to coexist


peacefully. Whether in discriminant rocket attacks on Israel, or illegal


expansion in the occupied territories. I had the privilege of


visiting the holy land in a personal capacity, and it was impossible not


to be aware of the tensions, the legacy and the impact of the ongoing


conflict. That being said it is worth stressing the journey itself


was safe and secure and brought home to me the massive potential for the


economies of Israel and Palestine if a peaceful settlement can be


reached. But we did pass through the border between Bethlehem and


Jerusalem several times, and Christmas carols were never quite


the same once you have done that. I saw young Palestinians stopped and


subjected to security searches. I pay tribute to the ongoing


ecumenical accompaniment programme which witnesses monstrous incidents


that those checkpoints. It is not hard to see why these threaten the


contiguity of the Palestinian state. On one side, dusty streets, on the


other manicure lawns, and that is unjust, in a land of such plenty


nobody should need to go hungry or thirsty. We have had powerful


testimony about the impact of the conflict across communities. The


motion and the debate has focused on the UN Security Council resolution


2334, something of a milestone and welcomed as a demonstration of the


potential role paid by the United Nations. For 70 years the UN has


broad countries together to work for peace and human rights and it must


be supported to continue its mission. The resolution makes clear


the settlements constitute a flagrant violation of international


law and that remains the case in the light of retrospective legitimacy.


As the member for Reigate said there is no political consensus within


Israel on the law. It is a provocative gesture but the response


must be one of Dublin diplomatic efforts. It does not compel Israel


to concede any sovereign territory, nor any further territorial


moderations. It confirmed the point of international law that the


settlements are illegal and should stop. The destruction of Palestinian


villages, it must also stop. I have heard powerfully and loudly from my


own constituents concerned about this practice and the effect it has


on communities. This raises several questions for the Minister and to


his credit this is one of the ministers that does respond even if


we don't always agree with his responses he does a good job of


responding. It would be helpful to hear what representations have been


made to the government Israel about the legislation. Is it satisfied


with the discussions are Prime Minister had with the Israeli Prime


Minister were sufficient? What steps is the government taking to ensure


the UK adheres to the Security Council demands distinguishing


between Israel and the occupied territories? After leaving the EU


will the UK continue to meet this differentiation? As has been


repeatedly said, a peaceful solution must be based on recognition on both


sides which applies not only to people of the State of Israel and


Palestine but also to their supporters and allies in the


international community. Under no circumstances are attacks or abuse


on Jewish people or any manifestation of anti-Semitism


acceptable? And that also applies to violence and extremism in any form,


whether Palestinian, Jewish, Israeli communities. In the SNP we are also


clear that trade and investment in illegal settlements should be


discouraged and the Scottish Government has published Kirmond


guidance reflecting that position. My visit to the holy land given new


appreciation for the deep history and spirituality of the people and


places and never have I felt more keenly or urgently these words, for


the peace of Jerusalem, pray, peace be to your homes, made peace reign


in your walls and in your palaces, peace. Thank you. May I start by


thanking members on both sides of the house for securing this debate?


People in the public gallery watching this will see the house at


its best when it comes to debates like this and many people who are


very well-informed indeed. I was expecting an excellent speech from


the member for Birmingham Northfield and excellent speeches from the


honourable member from Reigate and many other members. If I could pick


one favourite speech I would pick the speech of the honourable member


from Twickenham who spoke without notes and spoke with passion and was


very articulate and I commend her for it. It may be that other people


watching will have other favourites but in the time available I won't


try and summarise all contributions, but I thought the contribution was


an excellent one. I believe that the carefully drafted motion does


represent a consensus shared across this house. There are many


differences and we had them today but what unites us is so much more


than divides us on this and I think it is important we speak clearly and


loudly about settlements. This is clearly an important anniversary


year and this debate is very timely. When we look at the great sweep of


history, the Six Day War and its aftermath to the UN partition plan


all the way back to the Balfour declaration, it is quite clear that


in many ways we seem to have come to a halt. The last few years have been


very dark and depressing with very little movement. I fear we have


almost been slipping backwards and a two state solution is moving further


away from us. Clearly settlements are a major part of this problem but


we must recognise them for what they are. Settlements are a threat to


peace and a violation of international law. At the same time


we cannot pretend this conflict can be reduced to that issue as that is


simply not the case. There must be an unequivocal end to violence and


incitement on both sides as the honourable member for Liverpool


Riverside put so well. In dark and difficult times the question is, do


we give up hope and walk away? We must be honest that the road out of


us is very hard. And the question that I asked today is, has the


government decided that what with Brexit and the crisis in the NHS and


the collapse of social care and the challenge of the Trump presidency


and wars all over the Middle East, that continuing to be involved in


such a bitter and long-standing dispute is just one challenge too


many? In many ways that was the message ministers sent to the Paris


conference last month when 36 countries sent a Foreign Minister


but not the United Kingdom, where our presence was downgraded to


observer status. And it really didn't make any sense because the


objectives of the conference and the content of the communiqu were so


closely aligned to the sentiments expressed in the UN security


resolution 2334 which I'm told that UK had a key role in drafting last


December, so it's as if we've been blowing hot and cold. What is going


on? Is the government losing its nerve? The official explanation was


that they chose not to attend because no Israeli Palestinian


representatives were present but that doesn't make sense because the


Paris conference wasn't some sort of quick slot it attempts to the need


for bilateral negotiations but rather to affirm support for them.


In resolution 2334 it showed the international community has aways


had a role to play in helping to facilitate bilateral talks. For


Labour, as internationalists, friends of Israel and friends of the


Palestinians, that understanding is crucial. As my honourable friend the


member for Wrexham who was Shadow Minister for the Middle East put it


a few years ago, we have made it very clear that we will always work


multilaterally to advance the two state solution. I hope the Minister


could explain why the government seems to lack the same cooperative


spirit, or at least it does sometimes. Whatever the official


reason, the clear subtext to the decision not to go to Paris was the


election of President Trump in the United States and many have


suggested his election was bad news for the peace process and that we


should give up hope, and I can understand why. Consider the words


of one of the most influential Netanyahu members of cabinet who


said following the election of Donald Trump that the era of the


Palestinian state is over. Mr Bennett's regulation Bill seeks to


legalise settlements retrospectively and it should be condemned. The fact


is that a one state solution would not enjoy the support of the people


of Israel or the majority of the people of Palestine and following


the settler agenda by doing so the Israeli government is not acting in


the interests of the people of the region and certainly not in the


interests of the people of Israel because a single state stretching


from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River can be one of two things, it


can either be Jewish or it can be democratic, as the member for


Enfield North so rightly said, it cannot be both. As friends of Israel


and friends of Palestine there is no time for the UK to sit on the


sidelines. I understand that the regulation Bill was pushed, I can


understand why it was pushed forward at this time. After all the man who


had just taken office as the President of the United States has


expressed some fairly unorthodox views to put it mildly. He's made


statements in favour of more settlements, moving to Jerusalem,


and has said a two state solution is not a priority. Many of us worry


that this rhetoric is divisive but at times we have heard positive


words from Mr Trump as well. He has said, for example, he would love to


be able to be the one who makes peace with Israel and Palestinians


and that he has reason to believe he can do that.


The difficulty is that I am far convinced he knows exactly how to do


that. That is where we come in, because I think that the expertise


at the Foreign Office is very important and the advice we can give


to the Americans is very important. It is incumbent on us who wish to


look for a two state solution to do everything we can to push on the


path to peace. For the government it means making the case to Washington


and Tel Aviv, and convincing them a two state solution is both


achievable and necessary, so I hope that the Minister can assure us that


his government remains committed to a two state solution and opposed


anything that stands in the way of that. I am deeply disappointed this


government continues to fail to recognise the Palestinian state. Now


is the time, and I would ask him to give some comment on that. Secondly,


what thought has the government put into how it can be that settlement


goods can be separated from other Israeli goods? There are many people


who do not wish to buy settlement goods, and as the government doing a


further work on that, and how can we persuade British companies not to


invest in settlement areas? But most importantly I hope that when


President Trump and the Prime Minister Netanyahu visit London


later this year, our Prime Minister will have the courage to set out


those views in no uncertain terms. I look forward to hearing what the


Minister has to say. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. It has been a


constructive, informative and at times passionate debate, and an


important one and I congratulate my honourable friend and others who


have brought this to the house today. I make a very small point


that I am responding in just eight minutes, the numbers are people who


have wanted to speak today, I hope the business committee will


recognise that and I hope we will have a further opportunity, where we


will have more time and I will have more time to respond. I will do my


best as I always do to write the honourable members of a dead cover


the points today. The focus on Israeli settlements is the subject


today's debate, but if I can just begin as others have done in firmly


underlining our deep friendship with Israel, its people and it's absolute


right to exist and indeed defend itself. As has been said, it is a


democratic state in a difficult neighbourhood, and in the year where


we mark the hundredth anniversary, we continue to have an interest as a


nation, a regional Pata and as a permanent


including securing a two state solution, which we continue to


support that we are discussing here today. I will not be giving way


because I only have a low shot at a time. The debate has focused on a


number of themes and I will try to cover them to the best of my


ability. First on the importance of a two state solution, this is the


only wait to secure a just and lasting peace between Israelis and


Palestinians, that two state solution, that we must work through,


no matter how big the challenges are. This is an objective that has


been repeated not just by ourselves or American presidents but also by


successive Israeli Prime ministers as well. And the international


community. It has also been confirmed through a series of UN


Security Council communities, and indeed the camp David talks as well.


To be clear, Mr Speaker, the solution cannot be imposed on the


Israelis or the Palestinians but the international community has an


important role to play. As has been said, the issue of settlements


itself is not the only issue, but as one of a number, and it is


important. The immediate removal of settlements will not immediately


lead to peace, but trends on the ground, including violence,


terrorism, incitement, as well as settlement expansion, are leading to


a steady drift from peace and the prospect of a two state solution


looking very much impossible. It is in no one's interest to see that


drift. That is not in Israel's interest, or in the region's


interest. Specifically on settlements, if we look at the map,


there are around 600 people living in about 140 settlements built there


since 1967. If you look at the map itself you can see that the West


Bank is being divided into three. The area of anyone


so the concept of a continuous Palestinian state is being eroded,


and that it was a huge concern. And the West Bank now is a complex


network of checkpoints, broken up, as has been said, and making it go


difficult for people to move and enjoy in life. Since 2011, Israel


has only approved three urban development lands in Area C. We


encourage Israel to recognise that we want to see land transferred from


it should come as no surprise that we voted in favour of this


resolution in December, because we have long supported the two state


solution and the notion of Israel as the Jewish homeland. We should also


recognise what the resolution said. It proposed three important and


balanced steps to support these in the region, including a call for


both parties to create conditions for peace and for parties to -- that


is based on historical resolutions, and going back to 1947. On the


virtualisation bill as well that has been mentioned by other honourable


members, there is a new dangers threshold crossed with that bill. I


am pleased to see was very close, 60-52. The Attorney General has made


it very clear he will not support this if it goes to appeal, which I


think it would, and that is good because he sees this as


constitutionally unviable and I hope that message is heard loud and


clear. Running out of time. I will do my best to cover the remaining


points. The recognition of Palestine, we need the Palestinians


to do more to prevent the incitement of violence. President Abbas


condemns certain aspects of it but we're still seeing schools and


squares being named after terrorists. This is not the


confidence building measures we need to see. There is no relationship


with Thammasack Bouahom. These are the steps that will allow to move


forward so there can be a recognition in the long term of the


state of Palestine, but they are not there yet. The generation have given


up on their own leadership, instead choosing a fast step to Paradise by


killing an Israeli soldier. In conclusion, the British and


continues to believe that the anyway is a two state solution. But there


are a number of obstacles to peace we are committed, including the new


US administration to promote an administration conducive to peace


and we continue to support both parties to stake steps towards a


negotiated settlement that brings peace, security and prosperity to


the Israelis and indeed Palestinians, as well. Everyone has


the right to call somewhere their home. Everyone has the right to be


safe at home and no one should live in fear of their neighbours. We


strongly believe the Middle East peace process is the best way to


deliver these hopes of a question is whether we want a new generation of


Israelis and Palestinians nurturing the seeds of hate or moving to a


place of lasting friendship. Thank you. My fear is that a sufficient


number of Israeli politicians have drawn precisely the opposite


conclusion to John Kerry and believe that they can indeed build to the


exclusion of a Palestinian state and yet withhold civil rights within


Israel on the grounds that the Palestinians must seek those civil


rights in Jordan or in some state bantustans. This is the 50th year of


the occupation, so I am grateful to the bishops, fresh from their visit


to the region, and their communiqu , in which they have drawn to my


attention where they" -- where they quote Leviticus, "You will declare


this 50th year to be sacred, and you will proclaim the liberation of all


the countries's inhabitants". The question is on the order paper. I


think the ayes have it, the ayes have it. We now come to the


backbench debate of the football Association and move the motion


Michael Buerk chair of the culture media and sport select committee. Mr


Damian Collins. A previous minister said when addressing the subject of


FA reform, we are making progress, albeit slowly. That was Denis Howell


in 1968, speaking in a debate regarding the Chester report,


commissioned in 1966 looking at the governance of football in England.


Since that time and more recently there have been numerous reviews


into the governments and necessary reform of the football Association.


There was the Burns review in 2005, the court remedial and sport select


committee published two football governments reports, one in 2011 and


a further one in 2013, which set out a series of detailed measures, where


we believe the governments of football in this country needed to


dramatically improve. A previous sports minister, to Robinson, said


he was going to prepare a bill to legislate to reform the focal


Association if the FA refused to look deliver the necessary reforms.


He referred to the FA and football in this country as being the worst


governed sport in Britain. So the government is also consulting on its


sports governance code that will apply to all national governing


bodies of sport, and Mr Bate falls a few weeks before that review will be


concluded at the talks between the government and the FA will be


concluded. There maybe some people who will suggest this debate may be


a few weeks early. Others may say it is 50 years too late. This is an


issue we have been talking about for a very time. Some people have


questioned as well is it the responsibility of Parliament to seek


to legislate on a private matter like football and sport, but I think


it is the right of the national parliament of this country to take a


view on the penetration and welfare of our national game, as we have


sought to do, and we do that because this is a matter that the people we


represent care greatly about. I am most grateful to the honourable


gentleman forgiving way, from the home of the English Premier League


champions, Leicester, the city of diversity. Does he agree with me


that Parliament sends out a message on diversity? A quarter of all


professional footballers are black, however only 17 of the 92 top clubs


have an ethnic minority person in a senior coaching role. So in a debate


like this, even though the FA has committed 1.4 million four


diversity, it is important we send out that message that diversity


should be an important part of any reform. The honourable gentleman


makes an important point, and I will come on to address the issue of


diversity. There are people that would say if the FA was a more


diverse body itself, that man truly reflected the modern world and game,


then there would be more progress made on supporting diversity,


including encouraging and supporting more former players from minority


ethnic backgrounds into coaching and the courage more people from


minority communities in the coaching through the coaching system and in


the management of professional clubs and that is that we want to see. But


our constituents who are supporters of their clubs make continuous


representations about the effects of bad governance, teams they love, the


teams that have been driven into administration through financial


mismanagement. I am not going to rehearse all of the arguments in


relationship to Coventry City football club but I think there


should be some form of regulation, after all the football league is the


only organisation I know that doesn't have certain rules in a way


that affects Parliament. More importantly with the honourable


gentleman not continue to find out exactly what has gone on? All sorts


of problems in Coventry. He has been a champion to Coventry City football


club and the people of Coventry with regard to the maladministration of


their club. It is tragic that a club that was in the top-flight so long


has been run into the ground in the way that it has, and football


Bledman straighteners have stood back and watch that happen it cannot


be allowed to continue to happen. This is certainly an issue that the


committee has spoken about strongly in the past and may do so in the


future too. We speak out for supporters who are in that position


where their clubs are being run into the ground. We ourselves, as a


parent, I see what some grassroots football facilities are like. We


have representations about that as well, at this to -- this time of


year too many girls and boys are playing on heavily waterlogged


pitches where there are now changing facilities at all. They look of the


great wealth within the game and they say how can that be true?


In football that is a tiny amount of money. ?20 million would not buy you


a quarter share in Paul Pogba, against a huge wealth that existing


football, we all believe that football could do a lot more. We


have seen financial scandals that have affected the game, as well,


amid concern they have not been properly investigated. Lord Stevens


led a review into the allegations of scandals and misappropriated


payments in the football transfer market, 17 transfers he


investigated, he couldn't sign off on to say there hadn't been any


suspicious payments made in relation to them. One of those, some of those


transfers involved a future England manager. People will say, why aren't


they properly investigated? What is wrong with the administration of


financial conduct and ethics within football? As a person of ethnicity


and gender and not in the first flush of my youth, I'm reluctant to


intervene in this area from an area which has been so widely criticised,


but four years ago we had the football creditors rule, which


seemed one of the rotten things at the heart of football, has there


been any indication whatsoever that the FA are taking this issue


seriously and even though they might be short-term pain, the long-term


gain would be immeasurable? That is a very important point, and I


believe now the creditors rule should have been abolished, it means


that when a club is insolvent it has to pay all its creditors but the


other creditors, the local community and businesses, they don't get any


money, but I believe football should have abolished the role and the


current chairman of the FA said there was no moral argument that


could be made in favour of the creditors rule but nevertheless.


Football has made progress in putting a greater obligation on


clubs to settle non-football creditors on much better terms than


was the case a few years ago, but I welcome that and I would like them


to go further than they have done. And of course, football receives as


other sports do, considerable amount of funding from the public purse and


there's another reason why we are right to take an interest in how


public money is being spent on our national game. In the brief time I


have I want to set out how I believe and why the FA needs to be reformed,


the FA Council, the parliament of football, that should represent


football across the community, is not representative of the modern


society today. Of 122 members of the Council, 92 of those members are


over the age of 60, 12 of them are over the age of 80 and there are


eight women, and there are four people from minority ethnic


backgrounds. There are more men over 80 than there are women on the FA


Council and that is not sustainable and does not reflect modern society.


Whilst there are people on the FA Council that do understand the need


for change, there are some that don't. Barry Taylor in his letter,


he is the life vice president of the FA, and the vice president of


Barnsley, he sent a letter to his colleagues on the council and easily


would be great to have women on the council, but not just for its own


safe. I don't think he has any series commitment to the idea of


more women are or even understands why it is necessary -- serious


commitment to the idea of more women or even. The FA board itself needs


to be stronger and more independent and more executive body. There is


only one woman member and there are only two independent directors. The


last three chairman of the FA, have written to the select committee


saying that reform is necessary to strengthen the board, to have a


balance of power held by the independent directors on the board,


and this was a recommendation of the culture media and select committee's


report, as well, that is needed to give the FA the power to resist


powerful forces and vested interests in the game, especially the power


and strength of the Premier League. Their job is to promote its


competition and it does so brilliantly around the world but it


certainly enormous amount of influence around football because of


the vast amount of money it raises and funds back into the game.


Therefore we need a strong Premier League, but we need a strong


national governing body that is ultimately responsible for many of


the sporting an ethical decisions that football has to take. He is


making a really important but, it is not just about who sits on what


bores, but where the money is and the power it exercises. Is there


room for a further look on the power and money of the Primeira Liga and


what governments changes could be brought in to get more control over


that for the good of the game as a whole? -- Premier League. The FA


board has been recommended to have a 6-4 ratio over independent directors


save their voice is stronger than any other component part including


the Premier League and I think that is a necessary reform. I could speak


for longer but I want other members to have the chance to make their


speeches. It is necessary to reform the structure of the FA board to


make the FA more independent and to give it the power to act we have


been calling this for hours. We believe now that legislation is the


only way in which this can be delivered, that was the


recommendation of the last three chairman of the FA to the select


committee. They said turkeys won't vote for Christmas and they have to


have external pressure and action through legislation to achieve it.


What I'm asking, if the gap is not is excess on getting reform from the


FA, a bill is prepared to be introduced to deliver the reform


they badly need -- if the bill is not successful in getting reform


from the FA. In today's debate, one of the members from Bradford has


been working to save one of our most historical sporting institutions,


Bradford Bulls Rugby football league club, and I'm pleased after many


months that they have risen a new from Administration and liquidation


and I'm sure the House will join me in wishing the club well under its


new ownership. The Bradford Bulls is not a member of the FA, but another


governing body, the Rugby football league. I believe most members would


agree that as a country we faced not only a crisis of governance in


football, but also across many of our sports. Much of what has been


said in this chamber and will be said in this chamber is relevant not


just a football but right across sport. Through the events of recent


months and my consistency, I've not much about governance and the role


of governing bodies and much about the weaknesses in the roles and


regulations in British sporting life and stop Bradford is home to


Bradford city and Bradford park Avenue, the latter of which is my


constituency, and I dared to suggest that these clubs are good role


models but they are the sort of clubs the FA should be encouraging


others to emigrate. Bradford city has had difficulties over the years


-- others to emulate. The club knows about entering administration, they


have learned the hard way, as so many clubs have done. Today the club


operates within its means and financial security is the foundation


for their ambition. Not the first thing to be sacrificed in the search


for glory. In addition they maintain a policy of financial openness with


their supporters and they are right to do so. It strengthens the bond


between the club and their fans and the local community and make sure


that everyone feels part of the common endeavour. Bradford city has


been rewarded with increase in Port, and Bradford park avenue in the


non-league have moved from a private ownership model to a community


model. -- rewarded with increased support. I'm looking forward to


becoming a member of their community football club at half-time. There


are many objectives that club members commit to and what I'm


struck by is the commitment to provide sporting facilities and


opportunities to everyone. I hope the FA will support and applaud


clubs at this level, to develop the sort of approach Bradford park


avenue is taking to engage with their local communities. This type


of approach is strongly reflected in the plans they present to the


government, and that is so, I will be heartened by the FA, and as a


country we deserve strong governance in all of our sports and today's


debate will identify a raft of failings in the governance of the


FA. What is most shocking is my view is not that the governance of the FA


is in need of reform, that is a subtle point, but that the


leadership of the FA has been so grossly ineffective in bringing


forward these reforms in the face of criticism, at best they dragging


their feet, at worst they are wilfully failing to act. As a


governing body of a major British sport the FA is arguably above all


else a public institution, that is true and in my mind, although they


are a private registered company, is a public in situ sheen, they receive


public funding -- as a public institution. It is only right that


we hold them to high standards. Strong accountability is critical,


not only for the sake of strong governance, but because the sport 's


governing body has an important role in forcing rules. I must admit that


sport has to be competitive on the field and off, in the search for


success, and the lines can often become blurred. Can I say what a


pleasure it is to follow the member for Bradford South. In a previous


life I reported on both Bradford city and their run in the inter-Toto


cup, we had a trip to see Zenit St Petersburg and also the Bradford


Bulls in their successful time with Grand Final victories and world club


challenge is an Challenge Cup victories. -- and. I welcome her


passion. I refer to my entry and I also must declare that as I


Huddersfield Town fan I'm delighted that my team is still in the FA Cup


but perplexed that the television companies have not picked our


mouthwatering fifth round match at home to Manchester City for live


broadcast will stop maybe they will cover us in the quarterfinals when


we might be playing Sutton United. I must also put on record my thanks to


the FA's delivery partner the football foundation who have


invested almost ?600,000 worth of grants in my column Valley


constituency. --: Valley. Including money for Hepworth United for a new


changing pavilion and a grant of ?52,000 for a cricket club and a


junior football club for the refer Vishnu and extension of existing


changing pavilion facilities -- for the refurbishment. I've supported


both of those community projects. As we've heard, the chairman has


covered much of the ground in this debate, but I want to focus on the


phone. I'm lucky to support a club with a wonderful owner who is a


genuine fan -- I want to focus on the fans. He has brought in many


initiatives including season tickets for just ?179 and on Boxing Day, to


parents and two kids could see Huddersfield Town play for just ?12.


And we were victorious, as well. The town foundation provides healthy


breakfast clubs at schools and the keep it up campaign organisers bike


rides which have raised over ?1 million for the Yorkshire ambulance


and the town Academy, but not all fans are so lucky. Blackball, black


burn, commentary, they will testify to that -- Blackpool, Blackburn.


Commentary. There should be more representation


from supporters groups on the FA Council? Absolutely. You perhaps


have read my next comment. There should be a minimum of five


supporters representatives of the FA Council and more crucially a


supporter representative on the board itself. It might just be,


hopefully, that that supporter representation could then help


increase the diversity of the top decision-making levels in English


rock. -- English football. The committee has been looking at this


issue of FA governments for many years now, and I welcome Greg Clark


with some of his early comments, he took over as chairman of the FA last


August, following his successful six-year spell at the football


league. The committee report of 2011 highlighted key concerns which over


the years have got worse. Most are degree the disproportionate


influence exerted by the Premier League over the FA because of its


wealth. The increased lack of clarity over the ownership of clubs,


and as I just said, the lack of progress in getting supporters more


involved in the influence in of their clubs and as has been said,


from the opposition benches, the lack of women and other


representations. In coaching roles. As well. I have been involved in a


small FA committee which has been working at St George's Park on


increasing the AME representation in football clubs, coaching, but much


more needs to be done. I want a successful England team, as well and


I want it to give us the feel-good factor that the Olympics and


Paralympics has given us. Just like the lottery millions have


been well distributed to nurture talent and medal success, it is


important the FA should be to do the same with some of the Premier League


billions to do the same in football. Club ownership, kick-off times,


disabled access, tackling homophobia are all issues that need to be


addressed by reformed FA, and with more supported input. I hope this


debate will show that we are Susan about reform, the fans are is time


for the FA exec board and the council to crack on and these


reforms. I congratulate... The honourable member for Folkestone and


the highs on securing this debate and I welcome this opportunity to


try and influence the Minister. I except that the FA needs to be


reformed. It has proven itself to be extraordinarily weak at times, and


as the letter from the previous three chairman and the two chief


execs of the FA has said, unable to wield any power over the influence


of the Premier League and the football league, but we have to be


clear about what we are trying to achieve here, because many of the


problems we are highlighting not caused by the unwieldy construction


of the council, by the really weak and feeble nature of the Premier


League. What we want them to achieve? Per head of population we


have one qualified football coach for every 42,000 population. In a


country like Germany once every 20 2000. In terms of the facilities we


have, we have, in terms of coaches, one per population of 38,000, in


Germany it is one per 11,000, in Spain one per 3000. In the year


since 1992 when the Premier League came into being, Germany has won the


European Championships and the World Cup and Spain has won the World Cup


and the European Championships twice and it is not the council that is at


fault in that lack of investment. The enormous wealth that has come


into this country through the Premier League has not been


reflected in investment in grassroots football and developing


coaches and the facilities that will develop our game. So when we are


looking at reform of the FA, we have to be clear what we want to achieve.


It is not acceptable to have an ancient body like the FA council


that has ripped sensitives from the army and Cambridge University and


independent schools and Oxford University and the air force and the


Royal Navy. The historic construction of this organisation


clearly needs reform. I favour the recommendations that have come from


the fullbore supporters Federation, and I think we should have fans reps


on the board of the FA. It is certainly time, the time has come


for fans reps -- reps to be on the boards of the book clubs. They are


an early warning system of the problems that exist in our game and


it is the fans that we turn to when we are looking to save clubs that


fall into difficulties. They are of the communities from which those


clubs have sprung in the first place, so we have to be absolutely


clear, who is it we are seeking to in power here, what are the problems


we are seeking to solve, and by just saying any reconstruction of the FA


is going to be the right thing, I think, could be wrong. Because the


FA board, as it is constructive at the moment, clearly is too week to


deal with the English football league and the Premier League. It


was the people on the council that stood up to clubs that wanted to


change their colours against the will of the fans. It stood up to


clubs that wanted to move grounds and change the names of grounds. It


is those people, yes I will give way to my honourable friend. I am


grateful to my honourable friend the giving way. He is making a really


powerful case. I think the point my honourable friend from Sheffield


made earlier that although I accept it is not just a question of


structure, it certainly is a question of power, and empowering


fans to have some saying the situation has to be part of way


forward? Absolutely. Many fans would like the FA to have a number of


home-grown players. It is woefully inadequate. We have far too many of


these put Oporto players imported on the fact -- these pret a porter


players. Rather than develop and take a chance on a youngster, they


buy someone off-the-peg and bring them in and we don't oppose the


rules that should be implied, in terms of how those players


contribute and add to this game. Many fans would like to see an FA


that can deal with issues like that. I don't see that just changing the


council is going to change that. I do support there should be more


independence on the board but my concern about them and I will finish


on this point, right across sport there is a small gene pool of people


who move about different sports who become involved in governing bodies.


I do think we need to look beyond that group of people for some real


independence at the top of the game, and other sports as well, but


particularly at the top of football. Inform and it is, let me be clear at


the outset, I want the FA to succeed and for them to be held up as an


exemplary governments across this country and be on. I am not saying


everything the FA does is wrong and they do many good things and I will


touch on those. The wording of the motion today is strong and robust


and I believe it challenges the FA in the strongest terms. But it in


many ways echoes the frustrations felt by football fans have written


to me and colleagues both in the High Peak and beyond. I was going to


talk at Grove -- great length about my history as a football supporter


but we haven't got time, I'm too old. As a member of the culture


media and sport select committee I too was a recipient of the letter


from three FA chairman, and ex-executive and a previous director


and chairman, in which they collectively delivered a withering


review of the FA and its inability to change its governance. These are


men who have worked within the FA and it seems they have become


disillusioned and frustrated I have just walked away. In their words,


the FA's decision-making structure has become arcane and, looted,


leading to a lack of clarity about the role and purposes of these


structures. They also claim those examples of short-term is, vested


interest in veils and -- veiled and unveiled references to the FA's


relationship with the Premier League. The letter reeks of


frustration and all of the senior figures ability to get the FA to


reform. During the time when the sportsman is to herself as a member


both in 2011 and 2013 concluded that the FA did need reform, yet it has


not been done. So I think it is right we have tabled this for debate


and I pay tribute to my honourable friend the chairman of the select


committee for leading this and as the select committee putting this


board. I won't deny that the FA do some good work, some good community


work through the football foundation and in my constituency we have


benefited from significant funds across the High Peak, so I


acknowledge that. They also acknowledge there is need for reform


and government and the present chairman Greg Clark acknowledges


this in his statement published on Tuesday evening. I respect and have


a lot of faith in Mr Clark. He is combative in his defence of the FA


and I don't blame him for that. He says they have a set of proposals,


and I would be interested to hear from her in her response what she is


looking for. As a firm football supporter, I hope that Mr Clarke can


resolve this matter without us having to get too heavily involved.


I would urge to do so and so quickly. Football is the people's


game, in recent years it has had an influx of cash, players earning eye


watering amounts of money but it is still a game with 22 men were indeed


women cooking a football around and try to get into the opposition's


net. The FA is the organisation that oversees this. It has all of this


growth we have seen in the football family to deal with. On the 20th of


this month they will be the 25th anniversary of the finding of the


Premier League. -- the founding. So the game is in seemingly rude health


but why is it being called into question today? Very quickly I think


the support for the lower league, Glossop North end in my constituency


have been in two FA vase final is on 2009 and 2015. In 2015 they could


not sell the tickets are wrecked and get a commission like they did in


2009, it was done by the FA. Glossop North end got less money. The gates


were less because of the FA. Sam Allardyce, one game, walks away with


allegedly around ?1 million, it is destroying people's faith in


football. The FA are the governing body, they need to address this


quickly. For clubs are more than just private assets, those are the


words of the vote football campaign and have been echoed by many


Blackpool supporters. Blackpool has always had a proud history, from the


clubs 1953 FA Cup final with Stanley Matthews, the Jimmy Arfield,


recognised internationally for his ability as a footballer and


commentator, and our Cinderella story of promotion to the


premiership in 2010, if very proud moment when I was privileged with


tens of thousands of people on the prompt a welcome home that team, but


also sadly over the last four years, the strife between the club's fans


and owners is only too well a matter of knowledge, and that has was


altered in thousands of people looking to boycott Bloomfield Road


in protest of the clubs running. That is why I backed the bill that


my horrible friend, the member for Eltham, introduced which would have


given accredited groups such as the Blackpool supporters trust greater


powers and influence in how their club is run. It is a melancholy set


of circumstances but not simply for Blackpool but elsewhere, and


particularly here in the north-west, the issues around Blackburn and some


would argue Bolton, that is why I signed with other members from the


Northwest on this. It is interesting to note what the Blackpool


supporters club have said on this about the governance issues.


I want to just quote what the chair of the supporters trust has said,


that the FA was supposed to be the overarching guardian of the


Association of football game in this country, but too often it has become


simply a money spinning business venture. If this debate can take


this forward, serious attention can be focused on reform, a fairer


representation of supporters right and the way that clubs are run and a


more stringent set of rules for owners and electors. That is why I


also support the plans to have supporter representation on the


executive board but also on the council. These are issues that


ordinary football fans in Blackpool. The about, just a quote from two of


the levels I have had from Fiona Cook, they say they are not just


businesses like any other, but company or law makes no such


distinction and the FA rules no longer do either -- to have the


letters. And from my constituent Steve Bull and who has said that I


strongly believe clubs should be run in the best interests of the


community. The FA however has committed ?260 million in grassroots


football over a four-year period, but is that really enough and will


it get the grassroots that we need? Supporters have nothing but the game


's health at heart but they are dramatically underrepresented within


the FA board, as we have heard. And as the football supporters


Association have said, the governance, if it is to be Chouly


reflective, needs to value the role of consumers and not other less


traditional producers. By now the sports minister is anxious to move,


and frustrated by a lack of progress and I have talked to her about the


particular problems of Blackpool FC and the chasm that has opened


between the owners of the fans and how this illustrates in a stark way


why there needs to be a much more proactive set of government and she


responded with a set of proposals but they are not far-reaching


enough, not least in their failure to contemplate government action. So


I have to ask why it has taken the government almost six years to act.


The letter from the five FA executive sums it up, and that is


why it is reasonable to think over the chairman of the DC MS committee,


the prospect of hanging concentrates the mind wonderfully. I wish the new


Chief Executive well in his attempts to prove the committee wrong but


there will be no harm to press this motion in the process. Three minutes


each from now on. A foreign observer could be forgiven for looking at


football in this country and wondering whether it can really be


the case that the sport is being poorly governed. After all we have


the most watched, admired and financially lucrative top division


in world football with attendance of over 90% every week at Premier


League stadiums. The FA performs great work across the country,


investing more than six to ?5 million in grassroots football each


year and of course my constituency is one of many that benefits.


We should act not the work that the new chairman is doing, he is given


encouraging signals regarding the direction he would like to take the


FA in coming years. The problem is we've heard again at the game from


the FA that they recognise the division sees -- deficiencies and


savages, and intend to change, but have been talking about this change


for 40 years. Change has not come and time is running out. I get the


feeling that Greg Clark's hands are tied. The culture media and sport


select committee has produced reports in 2011 and 2013 on football


governance, finance and has highlighted the problems with


diversity. You are mentioning the good aspects of the FA, and it is


easy to criticise, but every day of the week there are things like the


fixtures committee, the disciplinary committee, a vast amount of tedious


boring administrative work they undertake and without that none of


us would be able to enjoy the game that we love. Indeed. The tone we


are getting is that we don't want to hinder the progress of football and


we want to help, so I agree with that. A great deal of work is done.


On the subject of diversity, some commentators have said that it is a


bit rich of a pale Male and stale select committee to be lecturing


another organisation about diversity and it is true there are more


gentleman called Niger men on the -- called Nigel on the committee than


women. We deal with a female PBS who reports into a female sports


minister who reports to a female Secretary of State who reports to a


female Prime Minister. The last two >> STUDIO:


From my own perspective, the main purpose of this motion today is it


is a warning shot across the warning -- across the boughs of the FA. The


fact we're having this debate will hopefully communicate in no


uncertain terms just how important the issue is to and our constituents


and instil a sense of urgency within the FA board and the council. I'm


well aware that the FA is coming up with its own proposals for reform


and I look forward to seeing them. My intention is to not hinder the


FA's reform agenda, but to help. As a Tory MP have no great enthusiasm


for government getting involved in anything unless it absolutely has


to. Let us be clear, if we have to intervene, we will, and talk without


action is no longer an option. Private companies running 16 - 18


football and sports academies funded by the DfEE, there is a company in


my area, which is behind a football academy in Worksop and we were told,


the public was told it was run by Doncaster college, when it collapsed


we found it was run by West Anglia college 100 miles away, and they


claim the operation took place for five months in Nottingham. I can


find no evidence that anyone ever went to Nottingham for five months


and that involves 23 different students, but I do know that zero


qualified in English, zero qualified in maths and the FA safeguarding


policies in schools were being broken. I'm offering to the FA that


we in my area with the local authority and with the schools and


the local FA, we can provide best practice in going forward. In


safeguarding in football. Because the systems at the moment at the


grassroots are shambolic. I must be overhauled. But a word of defence in


relation to the FA, they took an action -- they took action. It is


not the FA who are responsible for four but clubs not employing black


and Asian coaches it is the premier clubs and the other clubs who are


failing to do that. The FA have been training people and they have led to


the development of women's football and the power and insidious power of


the Premier League and the other professional clubs in running the FA


for their own purpose, is a fundamental weakness. Do not forget


those people, who draw up the fixtures that means there are more


people playing football in school than any other part of Britain. If


we had simply the police taxpayer bill for one Premier League fixture


of major consequence put into facilities in my area, the six other


people that watch Redford against Worksop last Saturday at where


neither club and get investment to allow facilities to development,


give us the chance to do that. These problems run deeper in football


where the money runs very thick. With safeguarding, use the money as


leveraged, use the money on diversity and bringing women and


girls into football, we are delivering the youths, give us the


chance to deliver the sport. That is the real challenge for the FA. The


structure is outdated, of course, but let's have some of the money


from the professional game into the grassroots. I grew up in the shadow


of Wembley Stadium and the twin towers. I followed by local club and


I ran a Sunday football team and of course I'm a fanatical football fan


and my father helped set up much of the day, so I can speak as a true


football fanatic, season ticket holder home and away of my favourite


team. The Verratti is, in this country, football is in the hands of


the Premier League -- reality is. They have the power and the finance


and they have sold out to the TV companies who now dictate when games


are played and which days they are played and what time they kick-off


and of course huge buzz of money coming in as a result. -- huge


amounts. The grassroots football across this country at the same time


is not seeing that money transferred down to it. Because Premier League


clubs are keeping the money to themselves and what we have is the


FA not doing its job representing what I would say is grassroots


football and controlling the game and making sure that the money flows


from the top to the bottom, so we can develop the young players, male


or female, right across this country, that we all want to see


playing the game, the beautiful game, in the right way. The reality


is, without that change from what we face is stagnation in our national


game and our inability to actually win as an England football team, to


win trophies, and to see the quality of football we would like to see.


What we then have at the moment, and I know, growing up at Wembley,


Wembley Stadium has always been the National Stadium, it is the shrine


to which we go for FA Cup finals, the cup finals, internationals and


other events, but it is now being transformed, not only for Tottenham


to play their for a year over Chelsea to play there for three


years for their home matches. That is wrong because it is abusing our


national stadium. It should be kept for those all-important matches that


fans want to come and see. If it is turned into a stadium which clubs


will use potentially for four years or longer, I think that is an abuse


of our national stadium and we should not be allowing it. However,


we have the FA who was in charge of the national stadium, who seem to be


amateurs in dealing with the high finance in football, and we should


encourage the professionalism to come in to the FA and reform the FA


so we don't have that position growing ever stronger. I will sit


down on this. I think it's important that the FA understands that if it


doesn't transform itself, government action is going to be required. The


Parliamentary football club grip, we both get administered support from


the FA, it is important to put that on the record -- group. In 2005 we


have the Billings report and I met Lord Burns after that report. I have


also spoken to Richard cable, because the report was commissioned


jointly by the government and the FA. The tragedy is that over the


years it has taken a long time to do very little. The FA Council is


virtually on reformed from when Lord Burns spoke about it. Some progress


has been made, but more needs to be done in that regard and I think the


comments about having a fans representative on the board is


something that ought to be taken seriously. The problem with the FA


board, it doesn't run football as a whole, there is so much power


because of the money involved from the Premier League and we still have


the professional game board which has powers which are taken away from


the FA board as a whole, and if we're going to have a reformed FA


has to be responsible for the whole of football and it has to be the


governing body for every aspect of the game. I don't want to belittle


the Premier League, that is a global brand, it has done some great


things, ?30 maximum charge for way fans, but in the end, you look at a


situation where an ordinarily Premier League player can earn more


in two months than Sheffield City Council can spend on local football


pitches in the year. If we're going to have that reformed board, it


needs to divert more money into grassroots football and stopped the


cliff edge between the Premier League and the English football


league. The FA have done well with the women's game and it has tackled


racism. It needs to do more with homophobia but it has started. We


had Graeme Le Saux come to speak about tackling homophobia, they are


starting to address the issue of coaches from all diverse


backgrounds. In Sheffield we have the largest junior football league


in Europe, under the banner of Sheffield Hallam FA, and they are


partnering the project, in one >> STUDIO: -- in my constituency, very


good initiatives taken despite the problems, but with regards to its


governance, there has been too much delay. The FA chairman says he would


like to see reform and I simply say we ought to back Greg Clark now, but


make it clear, if they and other bodies don't back in, we will ask


the government to act instead. -- back him. I don't want to go down


the route of legislation to reform for poor governments but it seems


very much that we are in the last chance alone with the FA and they


have been for a long time. -- Simone this is a man who has a clarity of


purpose, Greg Clark, and he wants to make a difference, he has asked for


time to be able to do that we should be willing to give him but only a


little. The football campaign, grassroots organisation,


parliamentarians and constituents, they all want change, and reform, so


why does my friend think that the FA believes otherwise? Are they so out


of touch there is no need external imposition? I don't think Greg Clark


is out of touch and I don't think he believes otherwise. He has a clarity


of purpose, but the structure is inflexible and not budge in, so we


have the juggernaut of the Premier League described by the chairman of


the subcommittee that is a success with the best players. Wasn't it


magnificent to be a Goodison Park at the weekend to see Lukaku score for


-- four, but I digress. LAUGHTER But on the other side can we have


the elderly gentleman, 25 life presidents, described by the


committee chairman as the blazes, as opposed to the Glazers where any


Manchester United fans. And it reminded me, of Will Carling's


famous description of the RFU from 1995, 57 old Fat. A phrase which


moved things on and the RFU brought its governance up-to-date -- a


course phrase. My view is that it is the


combination of the two, it is both of them, and at which point it is


clear that legislation might well be the only course forward to break the


logjam. If I might digress, the one area where I disagree with my


friend, where the structures at the top are not right, the management


below does not fall into place either. We know the FA after failing


to regulate the power of football agents, and they have a football


agent zigzag which can be passed by an 11-year-old, I've been told. --


football agent's exam. There is still the potential for the bung


culture because the structures aren't right and so the management


below is not right and the Forstmann below is not right. -- the


enforcement. We have talked about the problems at


Coventry City, Greg Clark trouble is that while they have tests were


draped as an officer as a dozen test to see whether there is no test in


place to see whether the person can actually have the ability to run a


club. So those management structures aren't good enough either during the


select committee I talk about the tentacles of offshore ownership and


untraceable money that the Football Association is unable to manage. The


case of fibre Corporation which between 2011 and 2013 used its base


in the British Virgin Islands to loan millions of pounds to Everton,


West Ham, Fulham, Reading and Southampton, despite there being no


clarity about who actually owns it. The further problem about the effort


-- FA having very little control over financial matters, therefore


the FA allows the FA to avoid responsibility, that good governance


depends on the Reg tractors at the top, and allowing of the management


to enforce rules which are put incorrectly. Greg Clark is a good


man. I think he will fight hard to achieve his reform, he has won


friends in the the game by visiting every county FA but he needs the


support and at the moment are not quite clear he has got it. I will


speak very briefly, Mr Speaker. Probably about Leicester. I thank my


honourable friend from the home of the English Premier champions, Mr


Speaker, my message today is one of support for the reform package that


has been put forward but acknowledging the excellent work


that has been done by the chairman of the select committee and those


other members over the last few years. Of course this is an


organisation that needs to be reformed, and I think that Greg


Clark, who I know personally and on the last occasion I was at the King


Power Stadium, Greg Clark was there, a former chairman of Leicester City


football club, I believe he really is genuine in his desire to reform


this organisation. And he has made it very clear if these reforms do


not go through then he will link Russia's position. I think what is


very important, given the impressive contributions that we have heard


from members on all sides of the house, that we acknowledge that


reform has to come sooner rather than later. But I want to


specifically talk about the importance of diversity. 25% of the


professional footballers happen to be of Afro-Caribbean origin. Only 17


of the 92 top clubs have got a B a M a coach in their senior positions. I


think it is really important when you look at the way in which


football has developed -- be AMD. That we acknowledge the lack of


diversity in football and I hope that when the reform package is put


to ministers, and I understand that Mr Clarke warns the government to


back those proposals first before they are implement it, that that


will include a recognition of the importance of diversity. Not just at


club level but at local level. I am delighted that in Leicester we have


local football teams that are developing the skills of young


people, who I hope will draw notched a playful Leicester City at the King


Power stadium, to help us retain the Premier League this season, Mr


Speaker, and to go on to beat Sevilla and win the Champions League


this season, but also to build up that foundation for the future. And


it is through these young people, through our schools and local


football clubs, that we find players for the future. So I hope that the


government recognises that these are serious issues, and I'm sure the


Minister for sport does. I invite her to come to the King Power


stadium for the end of the season to have a look and see diversity in


action, not just as far as the football players are concerned that


Leicester, but the ownership and the way in which the management has


developed. It has been 50 years of hurt in meaningless game and we are


all suffering, at least we are not Scotland, that is all I can say, Mr


Speaker. But it has not just been all of the issues raised by members


that appear to show a structure and fit for purpose, but what we have


seen is not just a sequence of managers but a sequence of chairman


who have not been credible or led the FA. That is time for a root and


branch reform of this organisation, and some sense of the British or the


English game being managed for the benefit of all. Those at the top and


at the bottom. I want to touch in a line or two on some of the issues,


the coaching problems which my honourable friend for Leicester East


touch on, they're all sorts of problems in the coaching, and we


have had the recent scandal. When we talk about root and branch reform


can't just be about the FA and the senior structures and picking the


England manager, although they are dreadful at that, but it has to be


some of the other issues at grassroots, as my honourable friend


the Chester said about funding grassroots football, all of that has


to be part of root and branch reform. In my own area I have three


clubs, two that are well-run, Accrington Stanley and a shout for


Andy Hodd, who has to be the best chairman in the football league and


Burnley. Moving on. One of the issues is my club Blackburn Rovers


and how poorly they are run. Touching on the FA before I go to


the fit and proper person's test, one of the issues is for instance


three or four years ago and my honourable friend the Chester


mention this, the involvement of agents in the game. This root and


branch reform has to involve, we had Jerome Anderson, agent 001, who went


on the television and said he was working for Blackburn Rovers. He was


acting as a advert -- an adviser for players will stop it was also an


agent providing players, and his son was on the books at the time among


some of the other players he represented, and the FA said this


was not in breach. I think everybody looked at this and thought we have


just had half an hour's rant from Jerome Anderson on Sky Sports, this


is clearly wrong, and the FA did nothing about it. It brings the game


into disrepute. But my final point is about the owners. I think people


know what I will say. We talk about some of the people who perhaps


should not be running for financial reasons. Then the case of backbone


rovers it is just sheer incompetence, only one UK director,


they have no interest of the fans, and no interest in the club. I do


know if the Minister will be able to be on her feet by 4:50pm but that is


what you would like an she has a fair bit to say but we'll see how we


get on. I am grateful for the opportunity to speak in today's


debate. As the chair of the select committee set out a powerful case,


we have also had a number of fantastic contributions from members


across the house, with perhaps the honourable member find Byrne who has


just spoke and taken the Mick out of the Scottish game. The emotion I say


before as is damning enough, and have little sympathy for the FA.


They had been given early warning of the concerns that the select


committee have had. The first report outlined, and I thought it was


stated that the football authorities had not done enough in government


policies published in 2013. We are six years into the process and


questions are being asked about why Enner has not been done. The


somewhat squeeze debate I want to focus on the arc of perversity at


the top of the FA and across the game in general and primarily focus


in the lack of women involved in the running of it. There was only one


woman that currently sits on the 14 person board. This is not only an


issue that affects the English FA. There is room for improvement for


the SFA. The Scotland goalkeeper claims that women Le Notre Paddon to


the enough at board level and has called on various governing boards


to diversify. A recent survey has found only three out of 70 directors


are women in Scotland and this exists in boardrooms across the


game. The Brendan Rogers the SFA have been going through...


The creation of the Congress has meant that clubs and affiliate is


our joint directive nosed bodies such as PFA Scotland, Scottish


football writers and sport Scotland. The Congress deals with many issues


in the game and looks at ways of increasing the numbers and influence


of women in the game. For a long time and many moons ago the founder


of Scottish women spot was the only woman involved at any senior level


within the SFA. She sat on the SFA, and is the only one to have achieved


a long service medal from the Scottish FA council is the only


woman in the council for 14 years, and casual sexism was rampant in


those days. She herself gives an example, one of the first she went


to was for the opening of the South stand at Hampden. I was at a table


with all of council wives were my work colleagues were sitting


elsewhere. I wrote to the then SFA Chief Executive said I am not a wife


I am actually a worker. I then became the first woman is to sit at


a man's table at one of the dinners. To be fair I was always treated well


within the council but they never knew how to address make it was


always good morning and Maureen. Despite the welcome progress I have


outlined, it still has no female members of its professional board,


the SFA, and it is fair to say that a dramatic increase in the pace of


change is required. That is also fed to say that two of the most


impressive people currently operating in the Scottish game on


women. Ann Budge has spearheaded a change of fortune for Hearts.


Meanwhile Edinburgh arrivals Hibernian have in my view an


inspirational Chief Exec in Leanne Ben Stow, I was lucky enough to be a


guest of hers at Easter Road a few months ago and she was eager to


discuss a community programme they had embarked upon. Most clubs these


days have a community trust, some more effective than others.


Leanne has strong opinions in that there are still not enough women


involved in the game at decision-making level. The FA always


talk about how sport should be for everyone, but how can that be the


case when at senior level that is a glass ceiling for those who are not


white and male. The recent comments made, they are advised not to come


out because the FA could not protect them was inherently wrong and an


application of leadership on a hugely important issue. Instead of


urging people to remain silent the FHM and should be doing all he can


to ensure that football is a place for anyone and anyone who dares to


abuse a player for anything is not welcome at football matches. If a


particular club has repeat offenders than in my opinion they should be


punished with larger fines and point deductions. This would have been the


correct approach to take and underlines the faults that exist


within the FA. The FA is a governing body and has written to Richard


Woods clubs, and managers and supporters to set out standards fall


of those involved in the game. Football is massively important to


all home nations. Over 12 million people play the game and that is


woven into the very fabric of our society. Despite all of this


football has to change and adapt. This is not about government


interfering in the affairs of the game but ensuring that the FA meets


its slogan about winning the game for everyone. Ready to open the


boardroom to people of all backgrounds.


It is clear from speeches made from honourable members on both sides of


the bench that football really is close to wall of our hearts. Like


the honourable member across from me, football is a game I grew up


playing and I like all of us should have gone through the highs and lows


watching my team throw away a game in the final minutes or winning


spectacularly on the world stage. For that one it would depend who you


support. I would also like to put on a record that in the spirit of


diversity I am very glad that me and my friend opposite are both women.


But today's debate has been called unfortunately not to debate these


highs and lows of football but to debate confidence in the focal


Association. Rigorous governments and following proper and due process


is important in order to work in the best interest of its players,


coaches, match stadium staff and fans. Rigorous governments allows us


to the build trust, not only towards the governing body itself but


amongst those who make up the game. With rigorous governments comes


positive outcomes, which insures a port at a grassroots level to


increase participation of women and girls in a sport currently dominated


by the men's game. Perhaps one of the most important


being the supporters themselves. I would be delighted to give way.


Converting graduate my friend on her appointment as the Shadow Minister


for sport -- can I congratulate my friend. And as a supporter of


Leicester City, like myself. Can I mention, she said diversity, does


she believe a target should be put on in terms of ethnic and gender


representation or would she leave it to the FA itself? That's a very good


question. I have met with Greg Clark and representatives from the FA and


I do believe that he understands deeply the importance of diversity


at every level, I truly believe he feels that. Putting quotas perhaps


adds value but we need to make sure that women and people from ethnic


minority groups also feel empowered to apply for jobs, not just on the


field, but also in the boardroom, and it is important to have role


models. The FA has a duty, one of these being governing the game with


integrity. It can't fulfil its duty unless it has strong governance and


at present the FA is not performing well enough. This needs to change


your stop there is no cushioning around this point. The FA must do


more. In 2011, Lord Burns said the council at 180 members was too large


and today we have 122 members. This is a council made up of only eight


women and four representatives from black and minority ethnic groups.


Not only is diversity not in the heart of the FA, it isn't in the


body or indeed in its soul. My friend spoke about the importance of


nurturing more home-grown talent. The FA has accepted these and other


failings but now it must move on from the criticism and make a clear


path forward to a road of good governance, and if it doesn't it


will only have a detrimental effect for the game. Despite this we must


not sidelined the hard work and determination for many at the FA,


and my friend made a point about the extra work to tackle racism and the


aim to double female participation in 2030. We must acknowledge this as


positive. ?22 million he is invested into the grassroots game and with


more flexibility with five side and a larger portion of the population


have the opportunity to get involved. These ambitious steps.


This should not be taken away from the FA. Just as the FA has agility,


so do we this chamber, we have a duty to follow the process -- just


as the FA has a duty. If this is not adhere to we will be moving the


goalposts, as it were, and it will be a detrimental affect on the game.


This is not something I wish to do. All national governing bodies have


been given unto able to lay their plans before the government and to


show their reforms. -- until April. We cannot single out individual


governing bodies, Parliament must live up to its own duty and we


cannot shift the goalposts the summer and leave them cemented for


others. We must make the FA aware this is the last opportunity. In


December the minister stated that she believed financial penalties,


that of removing ?30 million of funding, as well as withholding


support for a World Cup bid, would be severe enough for the FA to take


notice and make reforms. Respectively I would like to


disagree. In the evidence session the minister said funding would


still be given to football, but through different means. This does


not have a significant effect on the game, therefore. The member for


Folkestone quoted a lifetime peer, and today the same peer has said the


governing body is rich enough to stand alone and should resist change


that would see a more independent board and an end to the current


council structure, this makes it clear that finds cutting are not and


will never be a driving factor for a formal. -- funds cutting are not and


will never be a driving factor for reform. I asked the minister after


these covers, does she still stand by these comments? It must be made


known to the FA that this will take place if in April plans presented to


the government are not of a sufficient major and reform can't be


seen. Does the Minister agree that if in April the plans are not


sufficient, the only next step is legislation? Will the Minister


commit that if the NAR FA are not able to show accountability, and not


meeting the mandatory aspect of the greater diversity, she will take


action against the FA. What I want to highlight is that we can't and


should not jump the gun. It is for this reason that at this time I


can't stand by a motion of no confidence. I will stand extremely


firm in April, though. My message today, reform is this is very,


progress must be seen, if this is not the case, the time for self


reform is up reform is necessary. I would like to thank all of these


members for securing this backbench debate this afternoon. Members have


spoken with passion and insight on a subject we care deeply about. I do


think that well this debate is important it is nonetheless a few


weeks premature, for reasons I will explain. I also think we need to be


careful that we don't tarnish the success of in this football and to


do so would denigrate the hard work and commitment of the thousands of


volunteers at grassroots level to the professionalism of the majority


of coaches and players and labs at elite level. When I sat in front of


the committee, members were sceptical about the removal of


funding, and this was reaffirmed this morning in the letter from


Barry Taylor. To 120 members of the council, he ", we have the power and


the money, let them stop the funding". The government bail out


the FA would ?160 million of public money to build when the stadium and


we gave them ?6 million to help them complete St George's Park and we


gave them guarantees for the World Cup bid and a similar underwriting


for staging the Champions League at Wembley and the European


Championship semifinals and final in 2020. ?10 million is given each year


to the football foundation charity that we partner with the FA and


Premier League, which is built and has upgraded thousands of grassroots


facilities across the country. This is on top of the ?30 million the FA


have had to grow the game in other areas in the last four years. Mr


Taylor and others might not see the threat of removing public money as a


seriously one, but we should reflect this is not just about not giving


them the money, but about the other aspects, as well. Mr Taylor's view


is not the view of the FA executive, though. They know without the


support of government we would not have a national foot will stadium


and we would not be able to host the prestigious European matches --


national football stadium. We recognise the ambition the FA has


for football in this country and government shares in the FA's future


ambitions. When they told us of a lack of facilities in coaching, to


produce better players in grassroots, without hesitation we


backed thereby committing a further ?50 million over the course of this


Parliament. This -- we backed them by committing. Mr Speaker, the


government intention is clear, we want to support the grassroots


amateur and professional games as a whole. In my discussions with the FA


sex did they say they helping them to live important


initiatives on the ground. However, the public money which many members


of the public don't think a wealthy sport like football should have,


comes with conditions. UK code for governance published in October was


not written specifically for the FA, but nor are they exempt from it. The


code will help make sure that all sports governing bodies are moving


in the right direction. And are creating the most effective


environment for their thoughts that it -- for their sports to thriving.


It challenges sports bodies to reflect on whether their current


structures are affected. I genuinely don't think that we are asking


sporting bodies to do more than what you would expect in good corporate


governance. Frankly what right do we have to criticise the governance of


Fifa if the nation's FA is not transparent in its own


decision-making process. Good governance it was better


decision-making and reform of the governance structure at the FA will


undoubtedly permeate through football at all levels. We have


heard how the FA has lagged behind at times and is unrepresentative of


the people that play and support the game, and is unable or unwilling to


unlock the stranglehold of vested interests. I don't disagree with


most of that sentiment, the FA concentrated its grassroots efforts


on a traditional 11 aside parks game and the results or participation


stagnate and decline at times. The FA were slow to mechanise that


people's playing habits were changing along with their lifestyles


-- slow to recognise. The FA fail to recognise the potential of girls and


women's football in this country for too long. And I, and FA call five


coach, and sports Minister, set two seats away from him on a platform,


it is little wonder there are folk -- they are so few women on the


board of the FA. Mr Speaker, members will yesterday


the open letter that the German Greg Clark sent to the council. He knows


that by the end of the march -- the chairman Greg Clark. We will see the


timescale for achieving its target and he says it bit doesn't comply he


would have failed and he will resign. It's true, he would have


failed, but it will be as a consequence of its own board and


council failing him and not because the government has set them in


unreasonably challenging target of governance. By except the FA has not


delivered -- I accept. But where we are with the mandatory code is


different where we have been before, the coat acts as a yardstick where


we can benchmark our sporting governing body -- the code. In


conclusion, we should be proud of what football has achieved. We must


also reflect else it can needs to improve, we can make sure that sport


goes into grassroots football without going through the FA. Only


30% of grassroots football is delivered through the FA. It's up to


the FA if they wish to play Russian roulette with public money, and I


think it's fair to say given the debate, and a number of


representations we've received, that they will lose. The FA's current


model does not in my opinion stand up to scrutiny. Reform is required.


But I repeat, the governing body has every opportunity to bring that


about themselves. I believe a vote of no-confidence is six weeks


premature, but they and other governing body should be aware that


the clock is ticking and to reform will lead to the withdrawal of


public money on further consideration of legislative regular


JM financial options to bring about this change -- regular tree.


Everyone to see this change, letter begin here.


The message in this debate is clear, no changes no option, this debate


has been running for a long time, for too long, and the FA is not only


in extra time, they are in Fergie time, they are 1-0 down, and if they


don't reform, reform will be delivered to them if they won't


reform themselves. The question is on the order paper. I think the ayes


have it.


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