13/03/2017 House of Commons

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Live coverage of Monday's proceedings in the House of Commons, including a Ten Minute Rule Bill and consideration of Lords amendments to the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.

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ayes to the right, 331, the noes to the left, 232. The ayes to the


right, 331, the noes to the left, 102, so the ayes have it, the ayes


have it. The clerk will now read the waters for the day. I should inform


the house that neither a Lords amendment engages financial


privilege. Queens consent is required in respect of the Lords


amendment number two, queens consent. We will take the government


motion to disagree with Lords amendment number one with which we


will consider a Lords amendment number two and a government motion


to disagree. To move the motion to disagree with the Lords amendment


number one I called the Secretary of State for Exiting the European


Union, David Davis. I beg to move that this House disagrees with the


Lords amendments one and two. We introduced the most straightforward


possible bill necessary to enact the referendum results and respect the


Supreme Court's judgment. This bill has a simple purpose, to allow the


Prime Minister to notify under article 50 and start the two-year


negotiation process. The House of Commons has already accepted this,


voting overwhelmingly to pass this bill on end of last month. The house


accepted that the majority of people now want the Prime Minister to get


on with the job at hand and do so without any strings attached.


Despite the simple purpose of this bill it has generated many hours of


debate across both houses and quite properly so, I should say. Over the


last five weeks we have seen Parliament at its best. Honourable


and right honourable members and peers have spoken with passion,


sincerity and conviction. However I was disappointed that the House of


Lords voted to amend this bill. This bill is just the next step in the


long democratic process surrounding our exit from the European Union. It


will continue with future legislation, there will be a range


of specific bills on immigration and customs arrangements, for example.


Parliament will be closely involved with all of these important


discussions and decisions. As we embark. IIMACRO1 second. As we


embark on the forthcoming negotiations are guiding approach is


simple. We will not do anything which will undermine the national


interest, and we will not enter the negotiations with our hands tied.


This is not to say I don't appreciate the concerns that lie


behind these amendments. It is the means we disagree on and I will try


to address these individually. The Secretary of State will have heard


many members wanting to have a meaningful vote on the government's


terms of negotiation which he defined yesterday as either accept


the governments terms or WTO terms. When does he expect this vote to


come to this place and to all the other parliaments, when roughly


within the two-year period, does he expect the house to get the vote


open on his terms? I will come to the detail of the answer to that


later. In broad terms, the form of words which I crafted before it was


we intend and inspected to be before the European Parliaments votes on


the same matters. It will fit within the ratification process at the


beginning but as soon as we get the negotiation complete. It is too soon


to know when that will be. Amendment one that seeks to require the


government to act unilaterally to bring forward plans within three


months to secure the status of European Union and EEA citizens and


family members living in the United Kingdom. On this matter the


government has been clear, we want to secure the status of EU citizens


already living in Britain and the status of British nationals living


in other member states as early as we can. There will be a time limits


and many people want to speak so I will limit the number of


interventions I take. As somebody who you is married to an EU citizen


without a British passport can I say I wholeheartedly support Discover


and's approach to it and it is rightly get reciprocity before the


go-ahead with any agreement with the rest of the EU. I thank the


honourable gentleman both for his intervention and warming the house


up. European citizens already resident in the United Kingdom neck


a vital contribution to our economy and society. Including working in


crucial public services like the national health service. Without


them we would be poorer and public services... However, the European


Union has been clear that we can't open these discussions until the


Prime Minister has given formal notification that the UK which is to


withdraw from the European Union. We must pass this bill without


delays or the Prime Minister can get to work on the negotiations and we


can secure a quick deal that secures the status of EU citizens in the UK


and UK national living in the EU of which there are 1 million. I take


very seriously our modern responsibility to all 4 million


United Kingdom and European citizens. This will be one of the


top priorities. I welcome the encouraging words from across the


Channel, Poland and Sweden, which fill me with confidence that we will


reach a swift agreement. As the Polish Prime Minister said, these


guarantees will need to be reciprocal. It is important the


guarantees of British citizens are hard. I did undertake to give way to


the honourable gentleman and I will come back. Is he aware of the survey


showing two thirds of EU doctors are thinking of leaving and EU citizens


tend to be younger, wouldn't he accept there is a need to act in


good faith to set -- to set the agenda. As I said before, these


issues are serious and important and people hold their views passionately


and with good reason but the simple truth is the government has been


very plain in what it intends. It intends to guarantee the rights of


British and European citizens and it will do that as quickly as possible.


I'm delighted to hear what he had to say about prioritising the


negotiations as far as EU citizens are concerned. He said the


negotiations could stretch out for up to two years. There's no reason


why an agreement should not come a lot earlier as far as this is


concerned. Will he give a guarantee that once an agreement is made it


will be made public in order to put out of misery the trauma these


people may be facing. He makes a good point. When it changes and is


putting law. , I would aim to get all the member states to commit an


exchange so everybody knows what the rights will be. Deal with the issue


the honourable gentleman raised, quite properly, that people are


afraid of things they should not be afraid of. This is very dependent on


the commitment of other member states as well as ourselves. The


Polish Prime Minister has made the point publicly that every single


minister of every member state I've spoken to has reinforced the point


that they want this to be top of the agenda, dealt with first. That is


what we intend to do. Forgive me, I have to make some progress. This


amendment may force the UK to set out unilateral plans. Such an


approach would only serve to undermine and what I've been talking


about. I want to reassure people Parliament will have a clear


opportunity to debate and vote on this issue before anything else


happens. We will not change the situation. Nothing will change for


any EU citizen in the UK without Parliament's explicit approval


beforehand. Given the government track record on contingency planning


is as bad as the handling of the Brexit process, I wonder if I can


ask the Secretary of State that if it is the case that they will not


protect the position of EU nationals, has the Secretary of


State given consideration as to deportation process?


The honourable lady knows me very well. I think it is incredible that


anybody would imagine I would sign up to deportation. The answer is


simple and I make the point again. I take, as a moral responsibility, the


future guarantees of the future of all four of the European citizens.


If I may move onto the next issue, let me be clear from the outset,


this amendment does not seek to put what we've promised on the face of


the bill as was suggested by some. It seeks to go further. Let me begin


with subclauses, which do seek to put our commitment on the face of


the bill. I will repeat our commitment. We will bring forward a


motion on the final agreement to be approved by both houses of


Parliament before it is concluded. We expect and intend that this will


happen before the European Parliament debates and votes on the


final issue. This commitment could not be clearer and so the subclauses


are wholly unnecessary. This is our clear intention, and intentions


stated more than once, and by far the most likely outcome that will


bring a deal back to the house of parliament for them to improve --


approve. I am grateful to the Secretary of State. If he is so


confident about this why can't he allow the rest of us to be confident


by agreeing to the second amendment from the House of Lords? It is


unnecessary. When a minister gives an undertaking at this dispatch box


in this house that is binding on the government. Understand that? I do


not. We should not. Just on the more general point of thoughts, we should


not underestimate, I say this with some personal interest, we should


not underestimate the mechanisms at Parliament's disposal to ensure that


its voice is heard. To paraphrase Lord Howard's words, this place will


have its say. We do not need to put this into legislation. He is a


member of long standing in this files and he recognises that


Parliament will find a way to have a say in whether a deal is reached or


whether no deal is reached. If he recognised that would he agree with


me that it would be better if the government officially recognised


that position? I recognise the point. That is often -- that is a


matter for Parliament. It is not for a minister to do do that. Let me get


to the point behind this. I agree with her on that but what we cannot


have is what I'm coming to about the second aspect of this motion or this


amendment, any suggestion that the votes in either house will overturn


the result of the referendum. That's the key point. I give way. It would


completely cripple the government trying to get a good deal for the


UK. This is the time for Parliament to get behind the country that made


the decision, and get the best deal. You cannot do that if they can


undermine us. That brings me to the sub-clause. Let me deal with that.


This effectively seeks to prohibit the Prime Minister from walking away


from negotiations even if the Prime Minister thinks they are offering


her a very bad deal. The impact of this is unclear but even the -- the


intent goes far beyond what we could accept. The government will be


undertaking the negotiations and must have the freedom to walk away


from a deal which will punish the UK as some have suggested. We are


thinking a mutually beneficial relationship can and will work for


everyone but tying the government's hands in this way could be the worst


way to achieve that. Let's not forget in December this house passed


a moment that nothing should be done to undermine the negotiating


position of the government. I thank the Minister. He is asking us to


take him at his word. Given the record of the party opposite


recently on manifesto commitments, does the same principle of trust


apply? I said before and I will say it again, I take statements at this


dispatch box as binding. The idea that Parliament could force


government to accept a bad deal will only incentivise those on the other


side of the negotiating table to deliver that deal. As the select


committee said, the government will conduct the negotiations on behalf


of the United Kingdom and will need room to manoeuvre if it is to secure


a good outcome. I'm grateful to my right honourable friend forgiving


way. Nobody in this house wishes to fetter the government's hand in


negotiations or their right to walk away from negotiations. The issue in


sub-clause for is about the question of whether the government comes back


to this house to explain its plan on policy in the event of that


happening. I would expect that to be inevitable and yet when we've sought


assurances from the government that they would do that which seems to me


to be blinding obvious we are told they will not give that assurance. I


find that a bit awed and I wonder if you could clarify. My right


honourable friend is making a good point. The simple truth, as I've


said before is that nothing can constrain this house's right to


debate and vote on anything it sees fit. What I'm dealing with here is


sub-clause for. During the debate, the author of the house admitted he


did not know what would happen if Parliament voted against leaving the


EU without a deal. This is a strong argument against this but a


significant number of Lords supported this amendment, and they


made their intentions clear. If Parliament were to vote against


leaving without a deal the UK should seek to remain in the EU and reverse


the result of the referendum. The European Union member states and


institutions Read the proceedings of this house very closely and they


will have read that and it will have raised their interest because that


is what they would like to see happen. The reality is some would


seek to use this to overturn the result of the referendum. The


government. Good idea, comes from across the floor. That is exactly


what concerns us. The government and the Prime Minister have been crystal


clear. The people of the UK have decided to leave the European Union.


The government will seek to implement this decision in a way


that is most beneficial to both the United Kingdom and the European


Union. What we will not do is accept anything that will put the intention


to leave the UK in doubt. Will my honourable friends forgive me


because I'm coming to the end of my comments? Any prospect we might


actually decide to remain in the European Union will only serve to


encourage those on the other side to give us the worst possible deal.


I reiterate the three points, first to respect the Supreme Court, seven


days a moment or unnecessary as the government has a ready-made firm


commitments in regards to both of the two issues, third these


amendments will undermine the government position in the


negotiations to get the best deal for Britain. It is clear to the


government that we should send back to the House of Lords a clean bill.


I ask us all to repeat that support once more. The question is that this


House disagrees with the Lords in there amendment number one. I rise


to support both of the amendments passed on the other players. They


committee stage in this House. They committee stage in this House. They


will be supported by Labour MPs here today. The question is of Honourable


members opposite will listen to the arguments in favour of the


amendments which I know many are sympathetic to have concerns about.


Or will they go along with the Prime Minister's increasing obsession to


pass a clean bill on amended, even if that means ignoring amendments


that would improve the bill and provide much better protection. I


will make some progress because I know lots of members want to speak.


The government is about to embark on the most complex and challenging


undertaking of any British Government since the Second World


War. The deal is the government strikes will have profound


consequences upon almost every aspect of British life it is


therefore essential that government does not feel or take the country


down the wrong path. Starting negotiations by guaranteeing the


rights of EU nationals and ending negotiations with a meaningful vote


will help guard against that fate. On the amendment on EU nationals, my


question is, what is the problem? This is not about delay. The way to


prevent delay is to accept the Emma Pengelly on the pit. Secondly, what


is the amendment? It is to bring forth proposals within three months


of exercising the power to trigger article 50. The Secretary of State


says we want an early deal. If it is within three months, no problem with


the amendment. The amendment only affects the government's approach of


doesn't get an early deal. To convey or betrayed this as a delaying


tactic is not to read the amendment or what it says. Within three months


to bring forward proposals. I have listened carefully to the argument


he is making. 4 million people are affected by this. I would put to him


that all 4 million should be dealt with fairly and on a level playing


field and you'd only get that from reciprocity and this amendment is


not bad. Of course there is a shared concern about UK citizens living in


the EU, but this is a matter of principle. Are we prepared to use


one set of people, those that are here, as a bargaining chip to get


the right settlement for people in the EU? That is exactly what it is.


The whole argument about reciprocal rights is about bargaining, saying


we will not do what we should do until we get something in return for


it. That is a bargaining chip. The Minister seeks to persuade us that


it be because he has stated from the dispatch box that this will all be


fine and dandy but that is the end of the matter because as he said


several times quite inaccurately and ministerial statement from the


dispatch box as legally binding. Surely the truth is that it is no


more a legally binding them to say that it is legally binding from the


dispatch box. The Secretary of State said it was binding as far as he was


concerned. That is not the same as a legal commitment. Secretary of State


can change and governments can change. That is why we need a


commitments. Let me fast forward to the second Amendment on that point


because if there is really no problem with clauses one, two and


amendment to Clause four and put amendment to Clause four and put


them on the face of the bill? This is becoming an obsession with a


clean bill. Are built us not be amended even when it is right and


proper to do so. I will make progress because it is not fair...


How does he have said the Brexit Secretary's point this afternoon,


that was if and when we pass this bill and it is given Royal assent,


the first priority of the government will be to negotiate both the rights


of people here who are from Europe and also our citizens abroad? Does


he not accept that if we pass this tonight and give those rights the


European citizens here there is no incentive whatsoever for the other


European countries to conceded two hours? I think it is important to


focus on the words in the amendment which is to bring forward proposals


within three months, that doesn't tie the hands of anybody. If this is


resolved within three months, and I hope it is for the sake of EU


citizens living here, then this represents no problem. It only


presents a problem if the government doesn't succeed in an early


settlement. The Labour Party has been pushing the government to


A Labour motion was tabled back in A Labour motion was tabled back in


but the government has refused to but the government has refused to


take unilateral action. The international trade Secretary said


last year that are guaranteed these rights the EU citizens would be to


hand over one of our main cards in the negotiations. We do not believe


EU National Football Centre bargaining chips and I think many


honourable members agree. There are 3.2 EU National Football Centre who


have made their home in the United Kingdom, thousands doing vital jobs


in the NHS, our universities, our public sector. They are our friends,


colleagues and neighbours. They are also our society. This is a matter


of principle and decency and we should not bring unnecessary


uncertainty and distress. That is exactly what is happening as a


result of the government's approach. Let me read to the house an extract


from the Brexit Select Committee's report what they said they had heard


a wide range of concerns of EU nationals since the referendum


including stress and anxiety and feelings of depression, to practical


concerns about pension, health care, children being abused in school


playgrounds and worries about ability to work in the UK in the


future. What have we come to if we can't deal with that level of


anxiety and stress? Many members in this House would have seen this in


their own constituencies surgeries, I know I have. It is time for the


government to act. Increasingly, it is only the Prime Minister and


government to think otherwise. Trade unions have made a powerful and


compelling case for this to be dealt with now, as of course has the


Brexit Select Committee in its conclusions. Labour support this


amendment not only because it is the right thing to do in principle but


also because it would help of the negotiations by setting the right


to. We have to make it clear to our European partners that although we


are leaving the EU we are not severing our ties. We want to have a


cooperative future with our European partners. We want our nearest allies


to be strong and put the European Union to succeed and prosper. We


know that in the future citizens will be richer and happier if we


work together with EU partners to meet common challenges. The message


is vital. Does he agree with me that given the mixed record of our


Foreign Secretary both in terms... Both under ?350 million a week


savings promise, that it is right that we should choose leadership and


commitment by standing up for EU migrants in supporting this


amendment? I do agree and I have said a number of occasions that the


two and the government sets is very important as we go up to the


beginning of the negotiations. From my direct discussions with those


representatives in Brussels from other countries I can tell the house


that some of the jokes that have been made about the reasons why our


EU partners feel so strongly about the EU have not been well received.


Passing this amendment tonight would help sell the right tone. I will


move on to the question of the meaningful vote on the second


Amendment. I remind the house that as recently as December the Prime


Minister was refusing to guarantee that Parliament would be able to


vote on what every agreement the government reaches with the EU


Commission. Under pressure, that position changed earlier this year


but it was only when Labour tabled an amendment to the bill during


committee that the government made a set of commitments on the floor of


the house. They were set out at the member and repeated by the Secretary


of State that Parliament would be able to vote on the final draft


agreement, second that Parliament would get a vote not just on the


so-called divorce settlement, but also on a future agreement with the


European Union, and thirdly that the vote in this Parliament would take


place before any votes in the European Parliament. The Lords


amendments we are considering simply put these commitments on to the face


of the bill. That is why it is so wrong in principle for the


government to accept them. Is he aware of the poll published in the


last two hours which should a clear majority of the British public


support and meaningful vote on this, with 52% supporting it, only 27%


saying the other way? I had seen that poll. That is important but


this is a matter of principle. This is the question of whether this


House should be able to vote on the deal reached in two years before the


European Parliament votes and to have a meaningful say. That is what


it has been in principle from start to finish. This amendment does not


simply give the right to this House to vote on these matters, it gives


rights to the other place to vote on these matters. What would happen if


this House was the two except for the government wanted to do, but the


other place dug in and rejected it? What would happen then? There is a


reason that that amendment spells that I can that data because that is


precisely what was said from their last time this was debated, what was


said by the Minister should be the position. This carefully reflects


what the government says it is -- is its assurance so the question about


the membership be put to the Secretary of State who has agreed...


Would he agree with me that given the high level of uncertainty this


is the only stage and proper thing to do to give us one more chance


before the European Parliament has an opportunity?


I would not put it as one last chance. What I would say is this.


These negotiations will lead to first, I hope, and Article 50


agreement. Second, I hope, transition arrangements, and third,


a final agreement between ourselves and the EU. That will define the


future of the UK for generations in Europe and beyond Europe. It is


imperative that this House has a vote on that before the end of the


two years. I will give way. I'm grateful to my honourable friend.


The discussion so far has been about the parliamentary vote in the view


of the government reaching a deal. Can I ask, is it his interpretation


of State's speech today that in the event of no deal, the government is


seeking the authority to default to WTO rules which are not rules used


by any major economy alone to trade with the EU. When it defaults to


those rules without this House having a say? I'm grateful for that


intervention. If that is the interpretation it causes me concern.


We need to be clear, Mr Speaker no deal is the worst of all possible


outcomes for Britain. The president of the CBI has described it as "The


worst case scenario" for which many firms cannot even prepared because,


"The cost of too high to even consider it". Just yesterday the


director of the CBI emphasised that no deal should not be plan B but


Plan Z. I could not agree more. Research published today by Open


Britain wants that leaving without a deal would cause great harm to trade


with the EU than with any due 20 country. And as the cross-party


committee warned on Sunday, a complete breakdown in negotiations


represent a very destructive outcome leading to mutually assured to


damage the EU and the UK. Both side could suffer economic losses and


harm to its reputation. This is why having a vote not only on a deal but


having a vote on no deal represents a check against the Prime Minister


trying to take this country down the most dangerous pass. That is why I


will ask those opposite to vote for the amendment, not against it. I


will give way. I thank the honourable member forgiving way.


Does he at least accept in principle that this Parliament made a contract


with the British people at the last referendum, a contract that we would


respect their wishes with or without a deal, and that those wishes would


be respected in this place. Does he agree with that or not? There was


one question on the ballot paper, should we stay in the EU leave.


There was no second question. It's impossible to extrapolate but I


would be staggered if most people thought this house should not have a


proper grip over the available options in two years' time and


hopefully beyond two years. I would expect that they said of course we


want Parliament to be fully involved, we expect accountability


and scrutiny and we expect a vote. Mr Speaker, I am going to conclude


because we only have to hours and other people want to come in. These


are simple amendments that would improve the Article 50 process, they


have achieved cross-party support and large majorities in the Lords,


they are vital amendments on important issues and the obsession


of an amended bill should not triumph over decency and principle.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. -- the obsession of an amended bill. Mr


Oliver Letwin. It's about amendments to that I want to speak. The


operative clause, as my right honourable friend said, is


sub-clause four. I just want to remind the house of this because


prior approval of Parliament should be required in relation to any


decision by the Prime Minister that the UK shall leave the European


Union without an agreement. I have already argued what my right


honourable friend argued today in past debates, namely if that is


sub-clause wouldn't have its intended effect it would be inimical


to the interests of this country because it would have the undoubted


effect of providing a massive incentive for our EU counterparts to


give us the worst possible agreement. I agree but I think the


situation is worse than the Secretary of State describes, far


worse. Because this operative sub-clause is deeply deficient as a


matter of law. And the reason for that is not just the one that Lord


Pannick half admitted to in the House of Lords but because under


plausible circumstances this sub-clause will have nothing like


its intended effect. I just want briefly to illustrate why that is


the case. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is for once in


treaties entirely clear in the third clause of that article, it says the


treaties shall cease to apply to the state in question. To years after


the notification, unless the European Council unanimously decides


to extend this period. Unless the European Council unanimously decides


to extend the period. Let us imagine what I help and what the Secretary


of State and the government and I suspect, and in fact why we are at


it all members opposite, all negotiations for a proper trade


agreement breakdown. We all hope that will not happen yet we cannot


exclude the possibility that it may. If it does I think all members on


either side of the house must have the emotional intelligence to


recognise that in probability that would be in circumstances of


acrimony. How likely is it, I ask, that under circumstances of the


agreement having broken down in some acrimony, that the EU council will


be able to achieve unanimous agreement to allow the UK to remain


a member beyond the two-year period? I speculate that this is very


unlikely. If we assume that that were to occur and we ask ourselves,


what would happen under those circumstances, one thing we can


predict with certainty is that there would be litigation. And the


litigation would ask the Supreme Court ultimately to decide the


question, what has happened here. As the Prime Minister made a decision


or has the Prime Minister not made a decision. The courts could decide


that in one of two ways. I think members on all sides would agree


with me that the court would either decide that the Prime Minister has


made the decision or not. Let's suppose that they decide that the


Prime Minister has not because the decision has been made instead by


the European Council. It is a plausible outcome of the court


proceedings. In that case clause four has no effect whatsoever


because what it does is to prevent the Prime Minister making a decision


without a vote. If the Prime Minister has come in the running of


the court, made no decision then it is not possible for her to have made


a decision that a vote, therefore it does not give Parliament any ability


to vote on the matter. I entirely agree with what might Wright friend


says. There is a further point which is, in relation to the competing


legislation at that point, it would be a question for the courts as to


whether or not the provisions in the Lisbon Treaty, which deal with the


question of Article 50, had somehow been amended or repealed by


subsequent enactment. I agree with my right honourable friend about


that but it seems to me that for this purpose we do not even need to


raise that question because there's only one other possibility in this


court action. And that is that the court decides that the Prime


Minister has implicitly made the decision. I don't know how the court


would get to that answer but they might speculate that had the Prime


Minister acted differently in the negotiations, the council would have


acted differently. Under those circumstances sub-clause forward


purportedly come into effect. And that is, I suppose, what its authors


intended. However, if the European Council had not, by the two-year


period made a unanimous decision, and the court decided that the Prime


Minister thereby implicitly decided, then the courts would require


Parliament to do something impossible to do. Namely, to get the


Prime Minister to reverse a decision which is a matter of ordinary


language the Prime Minister wouldn't have made, at a time when the Prime


Minister couldn't undo a decision because the European Council had


made it! I am perfectly aware, Mr Speaker, that it is of the greatest


importance that members of this house should show due deference to


the Other Place. And I also genuinely admire the skills of those


who are the authors of this amendment. But and put it to them


that even the House of Lords in all its majesty cannot compel the Prime


Minister to do something that is impossible -- I put it to them. That


is beyond the scope of any human agency! I give way to my honourable


friend. By Lord Patrick himself arguing in court that this is


irreversible. Again I agree with my right honourable friend although the


Supreme Court went to great pains not to refer that the ECJ. My point


is, this sub-clause, the important one and we are debating today,


either would have its intended effect, if it did it would be


inimical to the interests of this country because it would induce the


worst possible agreement to be offered, it will not have that


effect and the worst possible circumstances and if it doesn't it


is bad law. I put it to you Mr Speaker that there is House should


not pass legislation inimical to the interests of this country or


constituting Bradlaugh, so we should reject it. Mr Stephen Gethins. Thank


you, Mr Speaker. This is a very timely debate over these amendments


that go to the heart of the situation we find ourselves in.


First, the SNP have been clear that we wanted to see much more detailed


reassurance, maybe the occasional detail from the government and this


is the parliamentary scrutiny should have come in. They should also be


having a debate about the kind of country in which we want to live,


and the kind of country that Scotland and the UK becomes and that


is with the amendment on EU National 's comment. The Secretary of State


may have caught the statement by the First Minister today in which she


made it very clear that this is not the situation in which we wanted to


find ourselves. In fact the Scottish Parliament voted across political


parties, 92-0, that we should look at ways to secure our relationship


with Europe. It is a critical relationship that we have the boss,


European partners, one that impacts on and benefits each and every of


us. And yet almost nine months on from the EU referendum we still


don't have that much in the way of detail from an increasingly clueless


government. The most detailed response we have so far to the EU


referendum came in the form of a compromise from the Scottish


Government just before Christmas. This was a compromise, let's not


forget this, that when it meant Scotland leaving the EU against its


will to protect our place in the single market, that has a big


compromise, that took a lot from this side of the House to put that


Ford, especially given that Scotland voted overwhelmingly,


overwhelmingly, to remain part of the European Union. But we did that


to protect our place in the single market as a way of protecting jobs


and the economy and opportunities for young people and the environment


in the face of a hard Tory Brexit. It has been suggested that we could


lose up to 80,000 jobs in Scotland alone as a result of the plans on


the government side. We have a responsibility to protect those


jobs, to think about opportunities for young people, to think about the


rights we get from our memberships of the European Union. We have a


responsibility to protect those jobs, and not just roll over in the


face of a disastrous Tory plan. I will give weight to my honourable


friend. Last Friday met with major bus company in Scotland who said 70%


of their drivers were made of EU immigrants. He said the only reason


they won not seeing the same haemorrhaging of talents as their


counterparts down south was because of the First Minister's reasonable


and inclusive message that EU National 's are welcome. Does he


agree that the UK Government could also benefit from... My honourable


friend makes an excellent point, I will come onto EU marginals shortly.


She makes the point that it is not just Scotland where jobs are


threatened. In Parliament we have a responsibility to scrutinise, I will


give way... I thank the honourable gentleman. Perhaps he could tell us


on the same basis, how many jobs in Scotland would be lost if it left


the United Kingdom? This is an extraordinary basis... My honourable


colleague from the Foreign Affairs Committee forgets that it is his


government that is already tell the people of Ireland that they need not


to choose between the European Union and the UK, just as Scotland need


not to choose between trading and the rest of the European Union. I


want. I will make progress. -- I won't. There's a possibility that if


we pass this today we are passing this government a blank cheque. A


blank cheque on one of the most crucial issues that this parliament


has ever discussed and one that will have an impact on each and every one


of us and each and every one of our constituents. Let's not forget Mr


Speaker we are handing a blank cheque to a government forced to


deny its own tweets, correcting a White Paper not published and


bringing out yet another shambolic budget. That is a government that


you are handing a blank cheque to and this place would be handing a


blank cheque to. Frankie Mr Speaker I am not sure we can trust them to


run a bath, never mind very complex set of negotiations! The Secretary


of State said that he had seen the best of parliamentary debate in this


place and over the course of this bill. It is nice to say that he had


seen the best of debates because he's spent millions trying to


prevent us from having it in the first place! The basis of a


democracy is that we can scrutinise and not acquiesce in the face of


damaging plans which is what we will be doing by facing up to a blank


cheque. It's the House of Lords of all places who have given us another


opportunity today to save the House of Commons's blushes. We will be


voting for and meaningful vote today although of course we would also


have wanted to see a greater role for the devolved administrations as


well. The lack of respect for devolved administrations and the


promises made and subsequently broken during the independence


referendums and EU referendums have led us to where we are today. Giving


the independence referendum we were told the only way Scotland could


guarantee to remain part of the EU was to vote against independence. We


were told the only way to bring powers of immigration was to vote in


favour of leaving the European Union.


That is why the First Minister is right to be looking at the electoral


mandate that the SNP were given last year the hold another independence


referendum. The government may not be big on manifesto commitments, but


the SNP are. The SNP were returned to power with more votes, the


largest number of votes since devolution was established, with 47%


of the constituency vote, compared to a Tory government to have brought


this to the situation on a 36% of the votes, and less than 15% of the


vote in Scotland. Let me move on to EU nationals. We must not forget the


human elements of this. My honourable friend is talking about


the human element for EU nationals. On Friday afternoon a Lithuanian


attended my surgery saying the uncertainty caused by this


government and this Parliament is making her feel worse about personal


situation in Britain than she did in Lithuania under the Soviets. Does he


agree with me... It is the words of a constituent. Does he agree with me


that this Parliament should be ashamed is to be causing such


uncertainty? I would like to thank her for raising that point. Many of


us have listened to EU nationals who contribute so much financially and


culturally, who would be a loss to the whole of the UK if we were to


lose them. Therefore, I am not entirely sure why the government


cannot give us the basis. I feel very passionate about EU citizens


living in the United Kingdom being allowed to do so. The ad so much and


it would be a human tragedy if they were forced to leave, but there are


hundreds and thousands of Scottish people living in other EU countries.


Doesn't he believe that they too want to be given the same guarantee


at exactly the same time? He makes my point for me, the Scottish


Government is looking to protect Scotland's relationship with Europe.


If EU nationals are so important to them they will vote with us tonight


to give them the certainty that they need and the certainty that they


deserve and I look forward to him joining me. EU nationals who have


made Scotland or the rest of the UK there home contribute so much. It is


a better place in which to live and work. It makes our communities


better. These are people with families and jobs. To give them


certainty there is something simple that this side of the house can do,


join us for a change. This goes to the heart of the kind of country,


and normal members would do well to listen to this this time, goes to


the heart of the kind of country we want to live in. We want to live in


an open, inclusive country, or Age UK that is increasingly isolated in


Europe and abroad? It seemed that this is a choice that people in


Scotland are going to get. Today we are sitting on the edge of the abyss


with this vote. The question is whether or not Scotland is going to


be taken into the abyss with this Tory government. I'm glad that we on


this side of the house have an alternative. The alternative is


clear and respects the will of the people of Scotland, that seeks to


work with our partners on these islands and across Europe and


prosper as an equal and normal partner in the international


community of nations and therefore we will be opposing the government


tonight. Anna Sue Brie. I will keep my comments as short as possible so


as many people as possible can speak. Can I just say this, it is


surely perverse that we are in a situation whereby if there is a deal


it comes back to this place and this place can debated and voted on it.


But if there is the worse scenario, which is no deal, we are not


entitled to that say or that vote. That simply cannot be right.


actually isn't a debate about actually isn't a debate about


voted against my conscience so that voted against my conscience so that


I would honour the result and I voted for us to leave


Union. We have had that one and are Union. We have had that one and are


moving on. This is about Parliamentary sovereignty and there


are some uncomfortable truths need to be said. It took a few brave


souls, and the worst brief, to go to the High Court and Supreme Court to


establish parliamentary sophistry and that is why we have this bill,


not because we did it in this place, and history will record these


things, but because of what they did. To the credit to the government


they accepted that. I understand there is a good argument to be made


that this is a short and simple bill. The difficulty is because of


this inability to accept that in the worst case scenario this place is


not allowed to have a say. This Secretary of State, of all members


of this place, with his fine track record of establishing and fighting


at every opportunity for the sovereignty of Parliament to be


standing up and denying the stats on this particular item is ironic. Does


she not accept that this place made a contract with the British people


at that referendum, the SNP might not like it is true, therefore


whatever the deal, if there is a good deal we will take it if there


isn't the Prime Minister has made it clear we will not accept the bad


deal, we move on and be moved out of the EU. The honourable gentleman


forgets there was one question on the ballot paper, are we remaining


or leaving the EU? That people voted to leave, and that is what we are


doing. Some on the side have honoured that result and have voted


for us to leave. Now we are talking about the sovereignty of this


Parliament and what happens in the event that our Prime Minister


doesn't strike that deal? I trust our Prime Minister to do everything


that she can. Let us make no mistake about this and be under no


illusions, if she doesn't get to strike that deal there will be no


other alternative but WTO tariffs and regulation and rules and the


people in my constituency certainly did not vote for that. The


honourable gentleman from a secondary place says, so? I can


assure the honourable gentleman it is not just me but my Prime Minister


he takes the view that falling off the cliff edge is the worst possible


outcome for the people of this country and it is the one thing we


must, we must make sure doesn't happen. This place that event must


help and assist the government. What I really say to some honourable


members opposite is this, that we know that there is in the event of


no deal, and it would be a remarkable set of the gutsy agents


to get three bespoke deals within what will be an 18 month time frame,


but let us say that worst-case scenario happens and there are no


deals, what I would say to honourable members opposite


especially those in the north of Ireland is, in Northern Ireland, the


honourable gentleman is... The real danger we face is that cliff edge


and in that event the hard border that none of us wants an arrogant,


and it may well be that in two years' time things will have changed


remarkably in our country, not just politically but economically.


Economic and we could find that having had the buoyancy of the


devalued pound and people spending on the basis of their savings, that


inflation has kicked in and our economy is not in the fine fettle in


which it looks like it is now. Politically, we will find that it


had a great home of our nation that we will be facing the break-up of


this union with the possibility of the Scots going there a way with a


referendum and, tragically, for Northern Ireland, talk of a united


Ireland or a breakdown of the peace that has been left some years. In


that event, all options must remain open for us to debate and the side


because it could be we decide to restore the free movement of labour


and brief look at the benefits of the single market, which will solve


the problem for Northern Ireland and is for Scotland. Would she agreed


there is not only an issue of principle here of parliamentary


sophistry. There is also an issue of good practice and we shouldn't


swallow this incentive to offer the worst possible deal argument at all.


An amendment number two would instead -- would instil


accountability to the government. Interventions must be brief. ID find


that absolutely the idea that if we do the right thing, which is the


lies to have a say in the event of no deal, that somehow we weakened


Prime Minister's because the hand. All the divisions that still exist


in our country, they are not being reported throughout the whole of


Europe, as if that isn't happening. They know how divided our nation is.


They know about the deliberations in this place and the other place and


the also know that of those who voted, it was only 52% that voted


for us to leave the European Union. I would urge the government for the


sake of bringing unity, not just in these benches, but also to the


country at large, that they allow Parliament sovereignty to rain and


in the event of no deal we have a boat and a say. I declare an


interest because on the issue of EU citizens in the United Kingdom for


me the political is personal, as I expected this from any other


members. The two most important women in my life, my mother who is


Dutch are my Spanish wife are affected by this. Whilst there are


special to me I think that their and the uncertainty which which they


have endured is typical for many of our constituents. My mother has


lived here for more than 50 years, raised four children, work as a


teacher, Peter taxes, my wife loves this country, not the weather but


she loves this country, is raising children here, pay taxes and works


here. It simply beggars belief that people like them and millions like


him have had a question placed over their status, their peace of mind,


there well-being in our great country because of the action or the


shameful inaction of this government.


The? Is placed there by the EU not by the Government. If the EU said


our citizens abroad I received some or all of the EU citizens here. And


honourable member would stop blaming the back traffic on the EU, it is


absurd. We picked a fight, not the EU. One observation to be Secretary


of State, even if he gets the deal, which I by the way believe he wishes


to seek on this issue EU citizens here and EU citizens there, even if


that goes smoothly and quickly, I would press him on this point, there


is no earthly way that this Government can separate the 3


million EU citizens which are already here from the millions who


may after a certain cut-off date want to come and live and study and


work in the future without creating in mountainous volume of red tape.


Reminds me, that wasn't one of the principal reasons we were told by


the honourable member and so many others that we should leave the


European Union to free ourselves from red tape, yet this Government


is going to create tsunami wave of red tape which EU citizens,


including my mum and my wife in the future, will rightly resent just as


much as the always resented red tape in Brussels. In particular irony is


that the Right honourable member and myself worked very closely together


as an opposition party spokespeople 12 years ago in this chamber against


the then Government's attempt of opposing ID cards and I predict he


and his Government will have to introduce something not identical


but strikingly similar to trailer behind ID cards. And finally, Mr


Speaker, to the other and perhaps more meaningful amendment, Mr


Speaker, the double standards we have just heard on red tape is


duplicated several times over by the double standards of Brexit he was


saying we should free ourselves from the lack of Deco dad-mac Democratic


accountability, the first thing they do is undermined and weaken the


principle of democratic accountability in this House. I


listened closely to the Government's is projecting an amendment,


including today, there is no first principal argument against it


because we didn't concede the principle of a vote, they just don't


like us to have the freedom to decide what that vote should be on.


They have come up with some laughable argument we have heard


repeated here today, but if we have just the bog-standard plain vanilla


accountability exerted by the House of Commons and the other planes to


any announcement made by the Prime Minister in two years, it will serve


an incentive for the EU to give us a bad deal. By that logic, Mr Speaker,


the only Government that can successfully negotiate international


agreements are dictatorships. They are democracies, democracy can


coexist with a good international agreements. Mr Speaker, I have come


to the conclusion that the reason why the Government is digging its


heels in as stubbornly as it is it because it think it's going to strut


its stuff and impress our soon EU negotiating partners by indulging in


this Parliamentary and procedural machismo here. You didn't think


there are kidding? Doublethink angler Michael has put everything a


fight to look at the debate this afternoon? Look at the week number


ten is unceremoniously evicted Lord Heseltine. We better give them a


good deal! Does the Secretary of State think that a hard EU


negotiator, we better lower the price tag because they are being


sold half with their own people. It is a ludicrous assertion. I simply


cede to the Government benches at this last 59 seconds of the 11th


hour of this debate on this amendment is this, stubbornness can


be a sign of suspicion and weakness, not strength. Rejecting the rightful


conventional role of the House of Commons and the other place to apply


democratic accountability to the actions and decisions of the


executive can be a sign of weakness, not strength. And this specious


argument that condemns the lack of democratic accountability in


Brussels, whilst undermining it in here, in the mother of all


parliaments, is a slight of hand, which should not be lightly


forgotten! I am grateful, it is a particular pleasure to follow the


right honourable gentleman as he and I spent a number of years working


together in coalition Government, which I know it wasn't enormously


fruitful for all on my site and I think for his remarks. Mr Speaker,


let me just deal with the one opening point and then I will refer


to these specific amendments. Rather than making a general speech. One


observation would be that we said to be House of Lords, coming back to


the right honourable gentleman's point about process, in the short


and well drafted and tightly focused villa. The House of Lords's usual


argument and criticism of this House is that we send long, badly draft


did legislation which they have to be improved. It seems to me in this


case that we sent them a short tightly focused well drafted Bill


does one very specific thing and they made the Bill longer, poorly


drafted and reduced the quality of the legislation and he should help


them out this afternoon by getting rid of their poorly drafted


amendments and sending it back to them in the same expertly drafted


form it started. The simple truth is best, Deal or no Deal, vote or no


vote, positive vote or negative vote, this process is irreversible,


we are leaving the EU and that's what the people want. I am grateful


to my honourable friend. Let me deal now, Mr Speaker, with the two


amendments before us, which my right honourable friend the Secretary of


State is inviting the House to disagree with lordships. The first


one on EU nationals, I listen very carefully to the debate that we have


just had on this and I think I heard while the debate was underway the


member for pressure suggesting to the Secretary of State he could put


people's mind at rest by accepting the amendment. I disagree with that.


If you read what the amendment says, as opposed to what people have


asserted it says, all it says is that the Government should bring


forward proposals within three months to deal with people who are


legally resident in Britain. Here is why I think this is faulty. First of


all, three months pits an arbitrary time limit which will be decided by


judges, if people challenge it. Which may be in the middle of the


negotiation process that the Secretary of State will carry out to


secure the rights of British citizens and could well disrupt that


process. Second and more importantly, it talks about those


who are legally resident in the country today and there are two


groups, one I would like to be more generous to, and one would like to


be less generous two. The first group, those we have discovered


perhaps didn't understand European Union legislation which says you are


legally resident here if are a student by self-sufficient, only if


you have comprehensive health insurance. Many people fail that


test. I think it would be sensible for us to take a generous approach


when we are legislating for people to be able to stay here. The


amendment, as drafted, does not suggest that we do that. I think the


Government could be more generous to EU nationals who are here making


their lives here and that amendment suggests. I think that would be


welcome. Does my right honourable friend agree with me that if we get


to the point where all our proceedings have to be put into


legislation on the subject we cannot proceed, we will cease to be


sovereign? That point is very well made. It leads me onto my second


point. There is another group of EU nationals, unlike the EU nationals


we have already been talking about who we all want to protect, those


who has here working and contributing, there are a


significant number, a small percentage, but a significant number


of EU nationals in Britain who have broken the criminal law. There are


four and a half thousand EU nationals in prison. They are


legally resident in this country. That amendment, as drafted, would


mean that when they are released from prison after serving their


sentence it would be very difficult for my right honourable friend the


Home Secretary, very difficult for her to remove their right to stay in


this country and deport them back to their home country, which frankly is


what I want to see us do. What I would like us to do as a country is


the more generous to those who come here to work and to contribute and


to study but I would like is to be less generous to those who come here


to break our laws, violate the welcoming trust we gave them. I


don't want to fetter the hands of ministers in doing that. The


amendment is poorly drafted, doesn't provide that reassurance and I ask


the House to rejected. The final thing on EU nationals referring to


the point the honourable and loaded lady from Edinburgh 's south-west,


all I would say, I listened very carefully to what she said about her


Lithuanian constituent, I hope your constituents will forgive me that I


didn't catch her name. I hope the honourable Leonard lady when she was


talking to her constituent was able to reassure her by explaining to her


the very clear assurances that a Prime Minister of her country has


placed on the record about wanting to make sure that constituent, I


hope she is able to confirm to the home she did say. I am happy to


confirm exactly what my constituents said. She cannot apply for permanent


residency because she does not have comprehensive sickness insurance. I


advised her the committee of which I am part, the exiting EU select


committee, has asked the Government to rectify that matter and they have


not as yet done so. I am very pleased actually the honourable lady


made that point because if she'd listened any remark that I need I


said there were constituents who thought they were here legally but


because they don't have comprehensive health insurance are


not actually legally resident. The amendment, as drafted, wouldn't


provide them with reassurance. But I actually said is a former


Immigration Minister I would be generous to constituents like her,


which is why I want that deal and I want my right honourable friend the


Home Secretary to bring forward that immigration legislation to sort that


out. This amendment doesn't do any such thing and people shouldn't


mislead people by telling people it does. I would say to my honourable


friend is that they should reject it. Let me just move on to the


second point. I am conscious there are others who want to speak. The


second amendment about a meaningful vote, it falls into two parts. There


are those parts where the Government has already said it would bring


forward decisions before the house if the Prime Minister strikes a good


deal. Both on our article 50 divorce negotiations but also on our future


trade relationships. There is a very good reason for not putting it in


statute. As soon as you put it in statute, you enable people to


challenge the process, to go to quoits, and to frustrate the ability


of this House and our Government to conclude those negotiations. The


final point, Mr Speaker, I would make reference to the final part of


that second amendment which my right honourable friend the member for


West Dorset set out very carefully. There are two parts to my


objections. The first part is I don't agree with the party opposite.


I do think if we say that either the House of Commons or the House of


Lords is able to frustrate us leaving the European Union by


getting a deal which we do not think is a good one, then I think they


will absolutely do so. I listened carefully to what my honourable


friend, the member for Broxton said, I couldn't help think that the


conclusion to her remarks, if we got a bad deal, was that she wanted us


to stay in the European Union. That seems to be the conclusion of what


she said. What I am seeing as if we don't get a deal, we should come


back here, consider all options, given the circumstances that we


would get ourselves in and it may well... I am so sorry. I thought we


lived in a democracy. It is unlikely to see how we would go back on our


decision to leave the EU. I listened carefully to what my honourable


friend says. It seems to me if I consider the question that was paid,


I have said this before in this House in a referendum, it was an


unconditional question about whether we should remain on whether we


should leave. We didn't see to the public, some people think maybe we


should have done, but we didn't. We didn't say if we get a fabulous


deal, and we should leave. It said, should we leave remain? I was on the


remaining side of the argument. But I accept that the people of the


United Kingdom made a different decision and it behoves us all,


balloons us to support the Prime Minister in getting the best


possible deal given that we are leaving, even if there is a bad deal


that we can't accept, we are still leaving the European Union, that is


why and would urge my honourable friend to disagree with the Lloyd's,


both of the amendments before us today. Only 40 minutes to remain. I


do need members to help each other. All all the arguments of supporting


these amendment be suggesting we should not do because they are got


back on that basis everything we put the legislation we might as well


pack up and go home. Mr Speaker I rise to support the two amendments.


I wish to draw the house's attention to the unanimous recommendation of


the select committee which I chaired, which said the Government


should now make a unilateral decision to safeguard the rights of


EU National is in the United Kingdom and I say to the Secretary of State,


the only argument for not doing that, is if someone is prepared to


put the status of those 3 million EU citizens into play in the


negotiations. That is the only argument because it raises the


question how would that be done and to what purpose? It is precisely


because the Minister and the Prime Minister have been so clear in


saying to the house, we intend to ensure the status and their rights,


but nobody in this chamber believes the Government would be prepared to


do that. If you are not prepared to put their status into play in


negotiations why not now do the right thing and tell them they can


stay? I will give way briefly. Is it not the case the Government's


position on EU citizens is based on a fiction because if they were not


to grant status to stay, presumably they would remove those who cannot


stay from the UK but the current Immigration Minister has said they


do not know where EU citizens are in order to remove them from the UK. It


is an empty threat so why cause all this stress? I agree with my friend


back entirely. It cannot be contemplated, the whole house knows


it cannot be contemplated under for the Government should follow the


advice of the select committee. Or the second Amendment, I listen


carefully to the arguments the Secretary of State advanced, but I


gently say to them I don't think they would have persuaded the right


honourable gentlemen himself in his previous incarnation before he


became the Secretary of State. On this point that the honourable


member for Sheffield, Hallam raised about incentive to offer a bad deal,


just pause for a moment. If that argument holds any sway whatsoever


it holds sway when ministers got up to the dispatch box and said, we


will give you a vote on a draft deal. It cannot be the case that if


the Government offers a vote on the draft of it does not raise the


possibility of a bad deal being offered, whereas in this house if we


choose to put back vote on the statute book it does raise the


possibility of there being a bad deal offered. The two are wholly


inconsistent as arguments and the house, I think, is not persuaded. My


final point, I listened so carefully to the language used by the


Secretary of State who I see is engaged in earnest conversations,


and talk about being able to act with out our hands being tied. The


top about being able to pass the bill without any strings attached. I


just say to them, this house, we are not strings, we are part of our


democracy and we are very attached to that democracy. And this


amendment, the second one, is not about seeking to reverse a decision


of the referendum. I and many others who voted, as the honourable member


for Broxtowe did, for this legislation because we respect the


outcome of the referendum, but it is about Parliament deciding how we


leave the EU. There is a terrible irony in hearing voices of those who


are in the course of the referendum used as one of the principal


argument we should vote to leave to restore sovereignty, for them now to


see their enthusiasm for that sovereignty disappear in a puff of


smoke, when the house is asked to put that sovereignty on the statute


book. Finally, I say to the right honourable gentlemen, it is now time


to put behind without we voted leave or remain in the referendum, come


together and put aside division, including resisting the division


that is now being urged upon us by others in this chamber. I say to


him, having Parliament behind you in these negotiations and knowing in


the end the Government was to come to Parliament for what they are able


to achieve in negotiations, is not a weakness for this country, it is a


strength and the sooner the Government recognises this the


better. I campaign for remain in the


referendum last year, believing it was in the best medium-term economic


interests of my constituents. I did this having stood in a manifesto


that promised the British people they can vote on membership of the


EU and which would honour the result of the referendum what about the


outcome. We must remember in this place a record number of people


turned out to vote, bottling of recent electoral trends. There were


a massive 72% of electors who turns out, many of my constituents who had


never ever voted before because they thought until then there are voices


and votes did not count. They did so for the first time. Contrary to what


commentators on both the left and the right may say, these people are


not simpletons, they are not children, they are adults would have


much right to vote as you and I. They knew the risks of voting to


leave and did so anyway and we must respect that decision not undermine


it. The bill before us... I will not give way because so many members


wish to speak. The bill before us is the legal mechanism to begin


negotiations. All members, which ever side of the house they sit on


and which information they represent, must wish these


negotiations are successful. There is no doubt there will be protracted


and they will be difficult. It is only in the best interests of all


others and the best interests of our constituents, we must give the Prime


Minister and her team of ministers the whole negotiating team the


strongest hand possible. The noble lord's second amendment hampers


this. The precondition... If the honourable Regulus and I will


elucidate. The preconditions mean whatever the negotiating team were


to say, our EU counterparts would think they could frustrate, delay or


even veto. Certainty was the number one priority and the Prime


Minister's Lancaster house speech and how can there be any certainty


for businesses, constituents or our European partners if there is the


prospect for endless review by this place. I will not give way. As the


noble lord Hill said on the debate on this bill, a man of great


experience, he said this of all European counterparts. They need to


know what our negotiators say they can deliver. I therefore urge all


members to reject the Lord' amendment and give the Prime


Minister the strongest possible hand.


The I have only three points to make in terms of the time available. I


thought early and missed the bit when my friend from South Perthshire


asked the secretary of state whether he would be prepared to deport these


European national in our midst, he said of course not. Somebody... Of


course that is the case and that would be the case for every member


with perhaps one or two exceptions. But the vast majority would not


countenance ever doing that which is exactly why they cease to be any


sort of bargaining chip, even if we thought the international trade


Secretary was right to say they were an important card we must play, even


if that were acceptable language, it is not a card. It is like nuclear


deterrent, if you're not going to press the button it is not a


deterrent and if you're not prepared to follow through or to use people


in that way then it cannot be a bargaining chip or a card to play.


Therefore, the correct course of action for the Government has


unilaterally to accept and to secure the position of our fellow citizens


working and contributing among others, there is no possibility of


them being effectively used as a bargaining chip in negotiations. Do


the right thing. Accept the Lord' amendments. Yesterday the nation was


transfixed as we tried to interpret the latest Government policy on a


Brexit. Should we follow in one channel that the advice of the


Foreign Secretary when he said there will be no problem if we resort to


WTO terms, or should it be the advice of the international trade


secretary who admitted on another channel indeed it would be a


problem. We were all watching the wrong people. We should have been


watching the Brexit secretary on the Andrew Marr show when he was getting


to the guts of the problem we have. Andrew Marr, so what happens if they


do not accept it? Meaning if we vote down the deal the Government brings


to us in our meaningful vote. And so, well, then, that is what is


called the most favoured deal, what the World Trade Organisation. When


we had the committee stage of this debate they were trying to tempt out


of the Minister of State when he appeared at the dispatch box in a


flourish, or as much as a flourish of the minister does, then told us


the Government would have a meaningful vote. Member after member


said what happens in this vote if we reject the Government's terms?


Yesterday we had the answer from the Brexit secretary. Then it is WTO


terms. Our Deal or no Deal. Other way or the highway. It is absolutely


clear and no fault can be asked back no vote can be described as


meaningful if the alternative is the damage of WTO terms. Lastly,


thinking about the injunction of different with us to be brief, that


is we are asked why should we not just accept the words of the Brexit


secretary and these other chaps in the Government when they tell us


things and we do not need to put things into legislation. Can I quote


a bit of the history of the assurances we have been given in


Scotland in terms of this legislation? Telegraph, Theresa May


indicated and said she will not trigger the formal process for


leaving the EU until there is an entry to UK approach backed by


Scotland. 15th of July last year. I admit, that is not an answer but


surely the Daily Telegraph is the nearest the Tories can carve to an


official report? That promise has been swept away and that commitment


are broken. As indeed was the reaction to the Scottish


Government's action to keep us all in the single market. Not even


regarded seriously or consulted before the Prime Minister dismissed


that as an alternative. Then the compromise, that Scotland stay


within the single market place even if this Government is determined to


drag the rest of the UK out. Not even given serious consideration.


Over the last three months no substantive reply because in their


arrogance this Government believes the 48% across the UK, the members


of the House of Lords, the people of doubts on the own backbenchers, the


nations in this country, two of which voted for remain, our view


does not matter. It can be swept aside as we proceed headlong to be


heard Brexit cliff edge. Today in Scotland is perhaps the Government


were disabused of that notion because there might not be a real


vote in meaningful vote in this chamber but there shall be a


meaningful vote in Scotland to protect our millennium long history


as a European nation. With extreme brevity is now on both sides of the


house. This is a very simple bill, it is as


simple as triggering. The second thing as far as the question of


judicial review is concerned, the plain fact is this will be a gift to


the courts and the gift to the lawyers. It is completely


inappropriate. The third point regarding the question of


sovereignty of Parliament, the fact is that this is not this issue today


about parliamentary sovereignty, in fact, it is about undermining a


decision made by a referendum of the British people which was itself


confirmed by sovereign act of Parliament. That is the distinction


and what we need to concentrate on. The next point and the last point I


wanted to make this simply this, we cannot tie the Prime Minister's


hands. It is inconceivable we would actually legislate and make it


judicially reviewable and that the same time passed amendments to the


effect that introduce committee of Parliament deciding questions which


have to be decided by Government. We are it constitutional constitution


that works by governments, not by committee of Parliament or otherwise


we would go back to the 17th century and I invite people to look at the


bare-bones Parliament. How these two make two brief points.


The first is if we don't deal with the issue of EU nationals here or UK


nationals in the EU 27 now in the next three months, they will get


caught up in the negotiations because the council is due to


respond to the trigger an Article 50 in May or June after we have the


French elections on the 7th of May. We are expecting the council to give


a mandate around that time. If the Government continues to drag its


heels on this important issue and it is important for not only EU


nationals here but for our National is elsewhere, if they continue to


drag their heels, these people, their livelihoods, the certainty and


uncertainty this will provoke will cause them for two years. What is


the Government going to do once the formal negotiations and article 50


on the money and all the things that is going to be so much acrimony


about, how is the Government going to avoid EU nationals here and UK


nationals in the EU being part of that negotiation. I don't think the


Secretary of State provided an answer to that question. We have a


short window and it will probably start tomorrow and end sometime in


May or June. The second point I wanted to make was to reiterate


something be right honourable lady for Broxton said in her very


eloquent speech. I find it difficult actually impossible to concede and I


knows of the honourable member is benches want us to leave without a


deal, but what is the deal that is worse than no Deal? There isn't a


deal that is worse than no deal. She said it very clearly. Falling out on


WTO rules, with all the tariffs, with the obstructions to trade, is


that worse than, sorry better, than some other deal they can conceive


of? What is this weird deal they are talking about? There isn't one. This


hounds needs to have the same whether there is a deal or not a


deal. House. The Government has given clarity as to what happens if


and I have been to the are preparing for this eventuality, but what if


there isn't a deal that between the UK and our European partners cosmic


that would be the very worse still, I think, and I think in terms of


Parliamentary scrutiny, something the Secretary of State has spent his


political career espousing and promoting, used to before his


current position, in terms of Parliamentary sovereignty, could we


really leave the EU without a deal, without this parliament having a


say? Of course we couldn't. Why doesn't the Government admit this


includes new phase of the Bill? Aye easily minute limit on the back


bench will now apply. I want to support the Government in carrying


out an official and effective Brexit. Listening to some of the


contributions this afternoon, I do think I am living in Wonderland. The


first point and I want to focus solely on the second amendment and


Queloz four. The first thing to understand is that as matters stand


at the moment, there is to be not resolutions from this house but


primary legislation to complete the process. There is going to be a need


for primary legislation, even I suggest to the House, if we have no


deal at all. I don't know when the Government wants to deal with that,


it could conceivably try and do it during the course of the great


repeal bill but it hasn't suggested that the great repeal Bill, and


intended Bill, is all about. In those circumstances, it seems to me


at the end of the process, if there is no deal, there is going to have


to be primary legislation by this house of this hasn't already been


done. Fire from the Lloyds trying to lead to great litigation, the


amendment, if the Government bothers to read Lord Hope's speech, was of


the view that by tabling this amendment to providing for a


resolution mechanism at the end, litigation could be avoided. My


right honourable friend is to think that there is some way of getting


round litigation, I can promise them, they don't follow proper


constitutional process, there will be litigation and that litigation


will hold matters up. I am not go so concerned about these amendments,


the second Amendment, I am concerned about getting an assurance that at


the end of the process that there is no deal, which will be a very


significant moment in this country's history, Parliament has an


opportunity to debate and vote on that. - that being an obstruction to


the process, I would expect it to be part of the normal constitutional


process and the Government to be seeking the endorsement of the House


for that very significant act. I worry that my right honourable


friend who I think personally may well agree with me, has been


prevented from seeing that in the dispatch box. I am not prepared to


follow processes which appear to need to be frankly deranged. There


is a clear way of doing things, and if we follow them up with the right


decisions at each point, and if we don't, we're going to mire


ourselves... Very reluctantly, because I want to support the


Government, if we persist with this, I am going to have to say on the


second Amendment I cannot support the Government this evening. I am


very sorry about that. I would like to be able to do so because the


critique raised of the Lords amendment has some flaws, but


somebody has got to put down a marker that we have to follow a


proper process in the way in which we carry it on the Mac. I commend


him on his speech, notwithstanding my support for the Lords amendment


about EU nationals. I would urge honourable member is opposite to


think very carefully about what they are being asked to do by ministers.


In the bill, the Lords have inserted this amendment to give Parliament


the meaningful vote and ministers are asking them to avenge that out


of the Bill, to delete it. So the bill as it stands provides that


Parliamentary scrutiny and authority and I think they should ask


themselves, do they really want to actively go through the lobbies and


delete that from the text as the bill currently stands? Ministers


opposite has asked honourable member is to do a number of things. They


have said, don't tie the hands of the Prime Minister. Whatever you do,


it gave her unfettered power to negotiate in whatever way she likes.


I would save only to those ministers urge honourable members but we


shouldn't be doing is putting power entirely in the hands of one person


in the Prime Minister without any insurance policy whatsoever, because


with the greatest respect to ministers, prime ministers decide


who are on her front bench and Parliamentary democracy is the


insurance policy that we need throughout this process, something


we shouldn't be frightened of, we shouldn't be shy and that, we should


welcome it, it is a strengthened part of the process. They say take


back control, Mr Speaker, and yet at the same time they are asking us to


muzzle Parliament for the next two year period to say, well, even if we


have no deal, whatever happens, Parliament may not have a say on


that. We could find ourselves in a circumstance where the European


Union offer a really good deal, but the Prime Minister, on her own,


singularly, or his home, depend that is in years' time, could see


absolutely no deal. And we in this Parliament have no choice but to


accept it, no say. The ministers say they accept our verbal assurances.


Ministers are here today and can be gone tomorrow. Might I even


speculate, Mr Speaker, that we could even have a different by Minister,


who goes by the time we get to spring 2009, the Foreign Secretary


nonetheless, it is possible he could be by Minister one day. He said on


the weekend, it would be perfectly OK if we weren't able to get an


agreement. It would be perfectly OK if we weren't able to get an


agreement. He could be Prime Minister. The honourable members


don't know opposite and would be the situation we would have to face, no


vote, no right for Parliament, verbal assurances are not


sufficient. I am going to be brief under your instructions. I rise to


deal with specifically the first Amendment. I thought the second


Amendment was well dealt with by my right honourable friend, member of


the Dorset side, and also for Forest of Dean. We have heard a lot in this


debate and we have heard a lot in the other place of the emotional end


of what it was to give EU citizens some kind of reassurance. I have


been on record saying I would like to have done that by this particular


point. Can I remind people that we also have UK to citizens and I for


one Soviet leader of the Liberal Democrats going on about his own


family, but I have a sister who has lived and worked in Italy all her


life and she remains there and has retired there. I don't think it is


on this place to dismiss their concerns and worries quite so


lightly as dismissed in the other place and have been dismissed here


today. I heard the reason why we shouldn't, from the other side


today, be so concerned about them is because many of them are older and


therefore pensioners and less important. That is wrong. Therefore,


I encourage the Government to stick to their plans to try and deal with


this together. The thing about this amendment, it's not actually what


all the regional -- emotional argument is for. People who want to


guarantee these rights, this is not the amendment. This amendment does


the opposite. For two reasons, first, actually it doesn't reassure


EU nationals over here. I have had conversations with various EU


nationals who don't feel the slightest bit reassured by the idea


you are going to call the Government back in three months' time at the


triggered Article 52 ask them what they planned to do. That is no


reassurance. -- Article 50. You are not voting to reassure them. The


second point is that it damages the Government's position in the


negotiation. There has been no agreement about what to do with UK


citizens. Now the Government on the three month mark, the EU commission


knows full well, they would be dragged back to the House, no


dramatic claim publicly what their plans are, regardless of what those


discussions and negotiations are. I can think of nothing worse than to


bind their hands in the worst way and make sure that UK nationals do


not get reciprocal arrangements. My point here is that whatever the


realities of what people want, both amendment, neither of them, satisfy


the requirement to protect either EU nationals or to give this Parliament


a vote that is made up without damaging the prospects of the


Government's negotiations. I would urge the house not to vote for


these. I remind those in the other place to talk endlessly about


parliamentary sovereignty for 25 years, I have sat in this place, and


have had all the arguments about EU dismissed on the bases we were not


allowed to amend a single European treaty. Thank you. I wish to speak


particularly to amendment number two, very similar to the new clauses


99 and 110, which we debated a month ago. Honourable member 's opposite


have complained about the drafting by Lloyds panic. I feel that when


ministers meet back complaints, it can be disingenuous because they had


the opportunity to amend the amendment. If they really felt that


the other place shouldn't be involved, we could have changed the


drafting to say not both Houses of Parliament but the houses of


comments only. They could have taken a subsection for Mac, which provides


for what we do if there isn't an agreement with the EU. We haven't


done that and therefore making the bar more difficult, I suspect, for


their colleagues sitting behind them. Either it is a problem that


the house of Lloyds has a veto because they are unelected chamber


or it is not a problem. It seems the Prime Minister made a promise that


the vote would come to both houses. She doesn't seem to think that is a


problem, I don't know why this is being put up as a problem now. The


honourable member for Dorset west took us on a long perambulation


about what might or might not happen. That was completely


unnecessary. If we were to put this on the face of the bill, we would be


making this part of the constitutional arrangements, which


under article 50, has to be respected by the EU counterparties


in the negotiations. She makes a very good point, because it seems to


me in the last debate we had we discuss the possibility of being up


against the wire. It seems to me on reflection if our own constitutional


processes are not finished, then in those circumstances we couldn't


simply fall off the edge of the cliff until we've done so. I believe


that a DVD of the lawyers in the European Commission as well.


I am grateful for that intervention and my point was it is obviously


reasonable for us in this house to have a vote, not just because we all


believe in democracy or just because the campaigners for leaving argued


on the basis of parliamentary sovereignty, but also because the EU


parliament will have a vote. How can ministers stand at the dispatch box


and say it is all right to have constitutional arrangements which


give MVP is a vote and do not give us a vote? There is one final thing


I want to see about leaving without an agreement. The honourable member


for Broxtowe set out what the problems are. I think they could be


even worse and I think it would be even worse than leaving on WTO


terms. For us to have an agreement with the WTO requires ever the


member of the WTO to agree we should have that. After everything that has


happened does the Minister really think the president of Russia is


going to do is that favour? It is not compulsory to speak for


the three full minutes and there is a prize for anyone who can do it in


one minute. Until the member for Gordon spoke I


was afraid I was only one who was having a flashback to the endless


nuclear arms control negotiations of the 1980s and there are indeed a


couple of parallels to which I will briefly alluded. The first is on


Amendment one, the question we are asking is should we make it one side


the gesture regardless of the fact it would leave our own citizens


exposed? We made it clear from the outset we would agree to guarantee


the rights of EU citizens here if other countries would do the same


for other citizens in other countries. Why is it that suggestion


has not been seized with both hands? The answer one has to say is that


indicates to us there are some problems with the way in which the


EU intends to go about the process of negotiations because the way


forwards would have been for them to say straightaway, yes, you are


making this offer, we accept that, no problem. The second point on the


second Amendment is the more important one. We have repeatedly


heard it said the opposition front bench and elsewhere in the chamber


no deal is the worst possible outcome for Britain. Put another


way, that is like saying any deal is better than no deal and I would just


like to draw a parallel to those arms negotiations in the 1980s


because the most successful negotiations were the ones that led


to the treaty in 1987 when we got rid of all the cruise missiles on


our side and the Russians got rid of their missiles. How that happens was


this, we carried out our threat in the negotiations, the other side


walked away from the negotiating table when they saw what we meant


that they came back and they gave us a better deal. So what we have to


remember is this, no deal may lead to a better deal one or two years


down the road. If you are determined to take any deal rather than no deal


you will end up with a much worse deal than you might otherwise have.


I shall vote against all the amendments on the simple bases this


bill has one purpose only, that is to give legal effect to the decision


of the people on the 23rd of June. Any amendments beyond that are


inappropriate for that bill. However, I would like to say to the


Secretary of State I look to him to give the firm assurances his first


priority will be the rights of EU citizens and he acknowledges it will


require a bespoke right to remain to accommodate such problems like


health insurance and we will do that as our opening gesture as we open


negotiations to set the right tone. Two speeches of two minute speech.


I will vote against the amendment and want to address the second one.


As others said it is quite wrong for the noble lords to abrogate for the


other place a right of unelected peers to veto Brexit at the 11th


hour but more than that I think it would be entirely counter-productive


as a matter of diplomatic practice. With Jean-Claude Jahnke are talking


about the possibility of the UK rejoining the EU, to start


negotiations are signalling a poor deal might lead us to the best


decision and that would be the surest way to elicit the worst


terms. I want to say I understand the legitimate concerns on all sides


of the house at this very delicate moment. The truth is, we cannot


legislate away legitimate concerns we have whether you voted leave


remain and we cannot legislate for every permutation of these


negotiations and we have to trust the Government, supported the


Government, yes, scrutinise it but do not weaken it, for heaven's sake,


at the outset of these negotiations. Mr Speaker, we have debated the one


clause bill for six weeks and I want to draw approvingly on the view from


the other place of the noble lord who headed up the remain campaign,


Lord act-mac Rose, who made it clear in his view the Government should be


given the flexibility it needs and deserves to get the best deal for


the country and it is incumbent on all politicians of all sides to


rally behind the Government to get the best deal for the whole country.


I commend the noble lord and will vote against the amendments tonight.


The secretary of state would like one minute wind up. Caroline Lucas.


We live in a very strange times. The campaign to leave the EU was based


on great extent on the idea of restoring sovereignty to Parliament


and the White Paper reassert the sovereignty of Parliament is a


fundamental principle of the UK constitution yet ministers seems set


on opposing any attempt to guarantee a meaningful role for Parliament in


the process of EU withdrawal. We have asked instead to write a blank


cheque and give ministers power to withdraw the country from the EU on


whatever terms they liked or worse, no terms at all. Ministers seem to


regard the colleagues as little better than lemmings, faced with the


prospect of falling off a cliff edge we are apparently meant to suspend


all judgment and blindly follow wherever they lead. Mr Speaker, to


allow ministers to proceed in this way would be an extraordinary and


unforgivable abdication of parliamentary responsibility. The


manner and terms on which we withdraw from the EU will have


implications for the rights and interests of every citizen and


business for many years to come and Parliament must take responsibility


for those decisions. The final deal on trade with the EU will almost


certainly need to be ratified at both national and federal level of


each EU member state. Number two amendment simply give the UK


Parliament at the same power. The ministers are they want Parliament


to be single most underpowered of all European Parliament during the


process? Finally, I appeal to my colleagues today to defy the whipped


up anger of the anti-European press, stand up to the ridiculous notion


that any and every attempt to get Parliament a role in the Brexit


process is some hope a betrayal of the people. It is no such thing. It


is simply the exercise of the judgment we were elected bring to


this house, we were not elected to be a lemmings. David Davis.


What the Leader of the House I will start by thanking members for the


valuable contributions. We have had some formidable speeches. It the


most important and more -- some of the more important issues I want to


quickly deal with. Several members spoke passionately of the rights of


the three million and I agree. I am equally passionate about the four


million and do not agree with the chairman of the Brexit committee or


indeed the member for Gordon when he says we are using these people as


bargaining chips. We are not. We are stopping any of them being


bargaining chips and getting an outcome that will reflect well on


this house and the EU. With respect to amendment to, I think the member


for West Dorset had a brilliant exposition of the Alice in


Wonderland consequences of that amendment and the member for Forest


Dean was also right in this. The simple truth we in this house passed


this Bill amended last time by a 372 majority and they hope we sent it


back by similar majority and the House of Lords respect that


rejection of the amendments. I must now bring to a conclusion


proceedings on consideration of Lords' amendments. The question is


this house disagrees with the Lords in their amendment number one. As


many as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the contrary, "no".


Division! Clear the lobby. The question is this house disagrees


with the Lords in their amendment number one. As many as are of the


opinion, say "aye". To the contrary, "no". . Tellers for the ayes HE


READS Order! Auditor! The ayes TV rights,


335, the nos to the left, 287. -- to the right. The ayes tonight, 335,


the nos to the left, 287. The "aye" habit, the ayes habit. I must now


put the question on the motion to disagree with Lords amendment number


two. The minister to move formally. Thank you. The question is that this


House disagrees with Lords in their amendment number two. As many as are


of that opinion it's a "aye". On the contrary, no. Division, clear the


lobby. Order. The question is that this


House disagrees with the Lords in their amendment number two. As many


as are of that opinion it's the "aye". On the contrary, no. Heather


Wheeler and Jackie Dail prize, for the ayes, Jeff Smith for the nos.


Order! The ayes to the right 331, the noes to the left 286.


The ayes to the right 331, the noes to be left 286. The ayes have it.


The ayes have it. Unlock! Order! Ministered to move a committee be


appointed to draw up reasons. I beg to move the committee be appointed


to draw up reasons to be assigned to the Lords were disagreeing to the


amendments one and two. That James Berry Paul Field, Stephen Geffen,


David Jones, Jessica Morton and Jeremy Quin be members of the


committee. David Jones be the chair of the committee. Three B the


quarter of the committee and the committee do withdraw immediately.


The question is that a committee be appointed to draw up reasons to be


assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to the amendments one


and two to the European union Notification Of Withdrawal Belle.


HE READS NAMES. David Jones be the chair of the


committee. Three Billy Corgan of the committee. The committee do withdraw


the immediately. The ayes have it. The ayes of it. Order. We now come


to the continuation of the budget debate. Ways and Means adjourned a


debate on question. Thank you. To open, I call the


secretary of state, when his whip us past, the Secretary of State for


Foreign Commonwealth Affairs, Secretary Boris Johnson. Thank you,


Mr Speaker. I feel it is entirely right that at this pivotal and


exciting moment in this country's... Just before the right honourable


gentlemen develops his speech, just gently say to those members quite


unaccountably are leaving the chamber before the oratorical


fireworks to be volunteered by the secretary of state it would be


appreciated if they could do so quickly and quietly so we can


proceed with the debates and the right honourable gentlemen can enjoy


the certainly quiet and possibly even if he is lucky, respectful


audience that he seeks. Foreign Secretary. As I was saying before


your kind advice, it is entirely right at this pivotal and exciting


moment in our economic relations, international relations, not just


with the EU but also with the 93% of the world out with the EU, shortly


to be 94%, I should be the first Foreign Secretary and more than ten


years to be opening a budget debate. I do so with pride is because this


is a budget that will sustain the momentum of what is already one of


the fastest-growing economies in the West with unemployment at the lowest


for 11 years of the stock market 1000 points higher than it was on


June 23, to pick a date entirely at random. More people in work in this


country... I will give weight many times but let me get to the end of


my second sentence. More people and work than ever before. This is a


budget that continues and enables the biggest programme of


infrastructure investment this country has seen since Victorian


times. It offers other young people in the funding and technical


qualifications to enable them to realise their full potential. And as


our country prepares for re-entry, to re-enter the global economy and


forge new relationships around the world, this budget... I will give


way. On the point of forging new relationships, can the Foreign


Secretary explain how he will do that when the budget is going to be


cuts -- sodden eyes budget is going to be cut substantially? As the --


the FOC budget is going to be cut. We run a world-class network, the


most developed diplomatic network in the world on two thirds of the


budget the French spend and we will continue to exercise the greatest


prudence in managing our budget. I am fortified in the support I have


an nap from the current Chancellor of the Exchequer who was my


predecessor. It is thanks to his was dumb the Chancellor's was them, in


his budget, -- the Chancellor's which thou Leave wisdom that young


people will be able to compete with confidence. This is a budget for


global Britain. It is this Government's argument that Britain


is not only more outward facing by history and by instinct than any


comparable economy, it is our argument that global character of


Britain is profoundly in the interests of the British people


because they truly global Britain is a prosperous Britain. It is


Britain's engagement with the world. That means this country plays an


extraordinary and indispensable role in the security, stability and


prosperity of the world. I will happily give way on that point.


Thank you. Specifically on the issue of global Britain and a renewed


trading relationship, would he not acknowledge that one of the ultimate


ways in which we can project the soft power of Britain and the


prestige of Britain and around the globe is to recommission a new Royal


yacht for Her Majesty the Queen as a floating trade mission to be used by


industry around the globe in the interest of our nation? Can I say,


Mr Speaker, how much I admire my honourable friend for his campaign


he is running to create such a vessel and it is my view that it


would indeed add greatly to the soft power of this country, soft power


which is already... The new Britannia should not be a call on


the taxpayer, if it can be done privately, I am sure it would


attract overwhelming, overwhelming support. And I believe that


measures... Measures such as a new Royal yacht... Order! Auditor! Why


are people making such a noise when the Foreign Secretary is seen things


that might be important? Order! I would like to hear him. Foreign


Secretary. I am grateful, Madam Deputy Speaker. It is one of a


number of measures I am assured that this Government will be able to


consider. In the meantime, we have before if a budget that is helping


to create the conditions in which this economy can continue to


flourish. The first of the conditions, if the members opposite


will allow me, are just the couple more sentences. The first of the


conditions that are essential for the prosperity of global Britain is


security. And unlike the party opposite, whose idea of a nuclear


deterrent is to send our submarines to see without a nuclear missile


about them so the whole nation is literally firing blanks, this


Government sees the vital importance of maintaining our defences. This


budget provides, once again, for the United Kingdom to set an example to


our European partners by spending 2% of our GDP on our Armed Forces,


thereby giving vital credibility to Nato which serves as the guarantor


of the security of all our major trading partners on either side of


the Atlantic. I might say that after decades... I will give way. I am


very grateful to the Foreign Secretary forgiving way. On this


point about our treaty relationships, on the weekend he


said it would be perfectly OK for the UK to leave the European Union


with no deal for -- to fall back on world organisation trade rules. Lord


Heseltine said that is rubbish. Is it rubbished? I repeat what I said


at the weekend. I am delighted he was paying attention. It is my


view... I don't believe we will come to that, because I think in the next


couple of years we will have no difficulty in doing, as I will come


onto. And no difficulty in doing a deal that is in the interests of


both sides. To get back to the defence of the planet, let me just


remind the House, we are not all are committed to transatlantic... Just


kill it. Transatlantic defences, we will also be spending ?3 billion in


the Gulf region over the next ten years. In fact, we are restoring our


rural for the first time since 1967, reopening a naval base in Bahrain.


It makes perfect economic sense as well, as members opposite, if they


cared about these things would understand, there is an absolute


connection between them our security and our economic prosperity because


that region, the Gulf, which you probably don't know, that region,


the Gulf, is our largest and fastest-growing export market, apart


from the EU and the US. And it doesn't end that. Because we are


also committed, of course, to the security of the wider world, of Asia


as well. Last year, as the House will know, the RAF Saint Typhoon


fighters to Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, proving that Britain


remains a handful of countries able to deploy air Power 7000 miles from


our shores. And soon the Royal Navy will have two giant aircraft


carriers, each of them longer than the Palace of Westminster, the


biggest worship this country has ever possessed, HMS Queen Elizabeth,


HMS Prince of Wales, I don't know whether the honourable member


opposite of those as those as well, perhaps he does. Perhaps he would


enlighten us! I am grateful. As much as I am enjoying this travelogue,


can you get back to the business in hand, which is the budget? Couldn't


Foreign Secretary confirm that we are going to see leather trade and


less economic activity as a result of Brexit and we are going to borrow


an extra ?100 billion as a direct consequence of Brexit? With great


respect, we have talked about that sort of stuff for the last Euro


symbol, proving them wrong. As for the deficit, which he mentions, we


are bringing it under 3% of the first time since 2007, thanks to the


prudent management of this country's finances and thanks to the


Conservative led administration, which had to take over because of


this catastrophic mess we had to clear up when his party was in


office. I would be obliged if the honourable gentleman would resume


his seat because I do not intend to give way to him again. It is thanks


to the Chancellor's... Would you give way to new? I will give way.


Thank you. Can I say how much I support the Government's position to


the 2% minimum on defence spending, but would he not agree we're going


to need every penny of that given that in particular the Chinese are


seeking to colonise militarily a number of uninhabited atoms in the


south China Sea and this is destabilising the region. My right


honourable friend, do not agree we need to take action there and


increase the defence budget, not stay when it is? I am delighted my


right honourable friend make that point because he reminds me, it was


the leader of the Labour Party, the current Leader of the Opposition,


who said he did not think he discontinued a defence policy at


all. He said he said he don't even need an army. I remind my honourable


friend that 25% at the world's trade goes through those streets and it is


more vital than ever we have a truly global commitment. Any moment or


two. I wish to return... I wish to return to the budget. Order, order,


order. Mr Gibbs. Foreign Secretary. I will give way in due course. I


just wish to make this point, because I have been asked to return


to the budget and I do with absolute pleasure, it is thanks to the


careful stewardship of this country's finances that we are able


to deploy not only hard power on the scale that I have mentioned, the


second biggest military contributor to Nato, but we have soft power


thanks to this Government's careful management finances on a scale


unmatched by any other European partners. The BBC, the British


Council, an absolute gem of this country, and unsung gem of this


country, the give the United Kingdom a cultural penumbra across the world


that is of massive economic value. Thank you. He has referred to the


British Council. The British Council, as he knows, is no longer


going to receive any funding from the British Government. At the same


time, there are going to be continuing pressures on our


diplomatic missions around the world as a result of the budget crisis


that the Foreign Office has had to deal with. Can he Putallaz how many


additional diplomats are going to be appointed to increase the budget of


the FCO so he is able to deal with the consequences are Brexit? As the


Foreign Affairs Committee called for any recent report. I am deeply


disappointed I finally did give way to the gentleman opposite, because


he showed the most staggering ignorance of the British Council and


Foreign Office spending and... If I may say so, I will give you the


answer, which is that in response to the challenging opportunities we


have, we are increasing our representation in our European posts


by 50 diplomats and 25 new trade experts have been recruited. Just to


give him the answer. We are expanding a fantastic network. That


is on top of the anonymous stockpile, hard power we have. We


are, as the House will know, after the United States and the European


Union, the UK is the third biggest contributor to development Finance


and the world, and it is quite an extraordinary record which I think


everybody in this House Conservative Government should be proud. Thank


you. I am glad to hear him talking about soft power and Britain's


global reputation. Will he agree he is the biggest risk to Britain's


soft power's by putting his foot in mouth too many occasions. I miss the


second half of that question. If the assertion was that British diplomacy


is in any way falling short, I believe in the last few months we


have seen an understanding of what this country wants and a growing


warmth towards our objectives because they are sheared objectives


with our European friends and partners. One of the things I say is


most admired by our colleagues around the table and not just in


Brussels but in the UN is that they realise this Government has an


extraordinary record in giving development aid. As we sit here and


I'm, Madam Deputy Speaker, my honourable friend the Secretary of


State for International Development is matter, is helping the Pakistani


Government to pick together a 6 million girls through school in the


Punjab alone. I think everybody appreciates that is the best way of


promoting economic growth, of curbing infant mortality and


reducing the pressures of a growing population. We spend this aid


budget, 0.7%, not because it is the just the right thing to do, though


surely it is morally right thing to do, I am not embarrassed to say it


is also the best way of promoting development of those economies and


thereby of sparring the growth of our export markets, Madam Deputy


Speaker. In that sense, global Britain... I didn't think they'd


like that. The are not interested in any policy that is so busily of


economic benefit to this country. That is one of the reasons why we


are doing it. I speak as a defender and a believer in globalisation,


because millions of people in our country, tens of millions, depend


for their jobs and livelihoods on the benign force of global free


trade. And that in turn requires the shipping lanes, clear rules and


effective institutions. I've given way before. None of that can be


taken for granted. I am sorry, I haven't. Go on.


In terms of global free trade and the judgment of the international


financial markets, with the acceptance June 20 of our economy


has slipped from the fifth biggest the six biggest and the value have


-- has been deflated, which is why we have devalued and therefore


everybody's wages and assays are 15% down. That is a failure. -- is not a


success. You think they would learn that there is no point in


continually standing up and running our country down when what has


happened is we are back up at number five, we have seen records


investment in the UK and we continue to see the fundamentals of the


British economy are strong and getting stronger. One of the reasons


for that, as I say, is we play a very active role in protecting and


insisting upon the rules -based international law and on that I give


weight to my right honourable friend.


Will he was talking about the importance of the development


project and what it brings us, will he at least accept there is an issue


about how that money gets invested in things like the British Council,


that policy can only be applied to the developing world as we present


global Britain it is rather more important he has the tools to


present global left and across the whole world policy should not be


constrained by the source of the expenditure.


My honourable friend speaks with wisdom and authority on this and I


know his committee has made some very useful recommendations about


how to maximise our overseas spending and so to coordinate our


spending that it helps to deliver not only our security but also our


economic objectives, as I have just been saying to members, and I


totally accept that point. In the pursuit of the system we want to


see, our diplomats and intelligence officers are backed up by... They


are striving every day to preserve the essentials of the rules -based


system and thereby helping to protect jobs and the safety of our


constituents here in the UK. I will conclude this thought by pointing


out back in 1990, about 37% of our fellow human beings worldwide lived


in absolute poverty. Today, that figure has fallen to less than 10%,


which is all the more remarkable when you consider in the interim the


world population has gone up by 1.8 billion people. That dramatic fall


in property unparalleled in history, coincided with the biggest expansion


of free trade and open markets the world has ever seen. It policy the


site of the house believes implicitly. I think the right


honourable gentlemen opposite will agree with me when I say the rules


-based international border which we uphold and global Britain, is


overwhelming benefit for the world as a whole. I will give way to the


member opposite. Of course I agree with the Foreign


Secretary, it is just a pity on some occasions he does not seem to


project that when he travels abroad. That is another problem. Can I just


say, a moment ago when my honourable friend for Ilford asked him some


questions he dismissed them as ignorant. When the chair of the


Foreign Affairs Committee asked exactly the same questions he said


he agreed with his right honourable friend. He cannot be right in both


cases. I must, with great trepidation I


must correct... We travelled abroad together and I seem to remember...


The reality is, alas, the gentleman opposite, he revealed the


profoundest misunderstanding about the exact state of the finances of


the British Council and I thought that was a regrettable, and worth


correcting. Thanks to my right honourable friend the Chancellor, we


are able to continue to support an active global Britain through this


budget but there is of course much more to be done. Because once we


leave the EU and the governments, we all, regain a power that this


country has not been able to deploy for 44 years, and that is the


ability to include free trade -- conclude free trade agreements. The


first and most important of those deals with B with our friends and


partners in the EU because as the Prime Minister revealed we are


leaving the EU but we are not leaving Europe. To those who


seriously doubt we can pull it off in the next two years let me just


remind the essential point, this is profoundly in the interests of our


friends and partners on the other side of the channel who have a


massive net balance of trade with us. They are optimistic and


determined, I sometimes wish we could have a little bit more of the


same spirit from the party opposite. Perhaps from the gentleman opposite


real Europe, perhaps he will now say he is abandoning his gloom and he


will come up with something supportive of the British


negotiating position. The other will seek to support the


Foreign Secretary in getting one spot back to the question of the


budget, he talks about trade is being increased in the future as a


result of Brexit, can he therefore tell us if he disagrees with the


Independent Tory created Office For Budget Responsibility, and there are


a few trade will be reduced as a result of our leaving the EU?


I must respectfully say to the member opposite I think he is being


too pessimistic and I believe if you look at the UK trade with the rest


of the EU over the last 20 years, regrettably, it has been declining


as a proportion of our export and I would like to see increasing again.


But I would also like to see my right honourable friend, I am


delighted to say who was sitting next to me, doing those free-trade


deals around the world. As the house will know, there is massive


excitement and enthusiasm amongst our global partners to do just that.


There is literally a queue of countries that want to do


significant and substantial free-trade deals. I will happily


give way. Will you agree with the foreign


select committee who just yesterday said the possibility of no deal is


real enough to justify planning for it. And not to plan would be a


mistake and constitute a serious dereliction of duty by the


administration. That issue of foreign subcommittee. No, it is not.


It is the Foreign Secretary's select committee.


If I made, I will remind the honourable lady of my previous, and


it would urge members opposite to contain their pessimism because I


think it is true, absolutely true, members opposite asked me to name


the countries that wish to do free-trade deals and there are


dozens but I will see, you have heard the United States of America


and what they want to do and it would be hugely in the interests of


every part of this country because it is the case at the moment,


members mean not know this, but the United States not only still has an


embargo on British beef, but on Scottish haggis as well. And I think


it would be fine thing. I do not know whether members of the Scottish


parties agree with that but there is no other way of doing a free-trade


deal and liberating the haggis to travel across the Atlantic again


unless be doing a free-trade deal the United States.


I appreciate order. This point might be about haggis and


the house must listen to it. I appreciate the Foreign Secretary's


concern for foreign exports, does he still believes a pound spent in


Croydon is far more value to a pound spent on Strathclyde? I certainly


believe a free-trade deal with the United States and free-trade deals


for this country would be of profound benefit to the whole of the


United Kingdom. Since he is interrupted me, let me remind the


member on those benches that today is Commonwealth Day. Which provides


an opportunity for us to celebrate this remarkable institution which


embraces one third of humanity and now includes some of the


fastest-growing economies in the world. A free association of 52


countries spread across every continent, dedicated to advancing


values we share and I am proud to say Britain will host the


Commonwealth heads of Government summit next year and though we may


not be able to know sign free-trade agreements with our Commonwealth


friends, we can see them and see them taking shape. Let me remind our


friends from the Scottish Nationalist party, who seems so


determined to turn themselves, wrench themselves apart from the UK,


even though they have every decisive referendum on this matter, as


members will recall, only a couple of years ago. Let me remind them,


never mind haggis, the Scotch whiskey exports to India, a


potentially huge market, the Indian first whiskey is colossal, currently


running at only 4% of Scotch whiskey sales in India or the account for 4%


of the Indian whiskey market. That is because currently without a


free-trade deal the Indian Government currently imposes a 150%


tariff on Scotch whiskey. Imagine a free-trade deal lifted the exports


of Scotch to India by only a few percent. To say 10%. Dare to dream


that Scotch whiskey, which I think everybody in this house would


concede is the original and authentic whiskey, there to dream


that Scotch whiskey was just 15% of the gigantic Indian first for


whiskey. We would be talking of an increase in the profits for the


Scotch whiskey industry for this country and above all for Scotland,


every year, running at that time running into hundreds of millions of


pounds. That means jobs and growth and investment for Scotland. It


means prosperity that comes with having a truly global outlook but


unfortunately members opposite seemed to lack. In that global...


Whitby make progress. In that global marketplace, this budget will allow


young Britons to compete with the best by investing in the talents and


skills of the rising generation. More than 100 new free skills


provided, 1000 more Ph.D. Places for science, technology, engineering and


mathematics. Another ?270 million for biotechnology, robotics and


electric vehicles. ?60 million for five G mobile technology. That is


building on and fostering a global reputation for innovation that is


now the third in the world. We are -- we are one place above America,


seven places ahead of Germany, suggesting higher than France and 21


places ahead of China. That is a measure of the extraordinary


fecundity, intellectual fecundity of this country. Cambridge University


alone has produced more Nobel laureates and every university in


Russia and China are added together and multiplied by two. Where there


breakthroughs take place and that's part of innovation takes place, we


fostered it and encourage it and give business every possible


incentive to turn those doomed ideas into world beating products. From


next month -- those brilliant ideas. We will cut corporation tax to 19%


next year, 17% by 2020, the lowest of any G20 economy. It is by


creating the right business environment and investing in


infrastructure, skills, housing and technology, as I say, that we are


not only building a platform for sustainable growth, we are creating


a launch pad for the most extraordinary exports. As I never


tire of telling my friends, we export to you to China. We export


data France. We export bicycles to Hollands. We export TV aerials to


South Korea. Boomerang is to Australia. I think we have at least


once in the past export of sand to Saudi Arabia and Nigel Farage to


America, I am delighted to say. The only mark the entrepreneurial


spirit, but let me tell you... Madam Deputy Speaker, let me tell you that


on Friday... Order, order. The Foreign Secretary will give way when


he is ready to give away, meanwhile, no shouting. I will conclude with


these thoughts. I was asked last Friday in my own constituency in


Oxbridge and I am proud to say I've visited a business that has, on a


backstreet, it has cornered the market in manufacturing the fancy


display cabinets that are used to sell delicacies such as Toblerone in


every airport in Saudi Arabia. And we are expanding, thanks to the


ingenuity and enterprise. If you go to a Saudi Arabian airport, and you


buy a Toblerone, he would buy it over a counter made in Oxbridge.


Given the ingenuity, I will not give way... I will not every way. I


believe we have every reason to be confident in what we can achieve


together as one United Kingdom. This is a nation that in the last 300


years has become prosperous and successful, precisely because it


adopted a uniquely global outlook. Active, engaged and trading with


every corner of the planet. Not as for the benefit of the people of


this country, but I do to savour the benefit of the entire world. And


this is once again the course on which we are now embarked. This


budget will help us to fulfil our entire potential for a truly global


Britain. Wright thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Let me start by


saying that like many other members of this house, it was my privilege


was afternoon to attend this celebration for the Commonwealth at


Westminster Abbey in her presence of the Majesty the Queen. It was a


reminder in the context of tonight's to beat of the powerful ties and


historic ties that enjoys all over the world. We only country that will


face outwards another tenant on ourselves and like the Secretary of


State on that next year's service we will have another member of the


Commonwealth present as a democratic Gambia completes the process of


readmission. I would like to thank the Secretary of State for opening


this even's debate on Britain's place in the world. An issue of


vital importance and yet one that hasn't exactly been centrestage in


the last five years RAC debate on the budget. If someone had told us


last summer, that going into Article 50 week it would be the Prime


Minister and the Chancellor who would be at each other's throats, at


worst to the media, engaged in some desperate blaming game, it would be


the Secretary of State for foreign Commonwealth Office who will be sent


into the television studios to act for the Government as the voice of


calm and unity, no one would have believed that. But if that is going


to be his new role, if he is going to be the new figure, or the new


comedy and I see it, John Prescott, I congratulate him and wishing the


best of luck and wish them the best of luck in the future. There would


be some unkind souls who would look at the row between number ten and 11


and think that it is exactly what the Secretary of State needed this


weekend because in their cynical mindset had it not been for that


row, much more attention would have been focused on Sunday's will


heavyweight contest, the one that the public really wanted to see


explode, the one between the two Tory blond heavyweights, Tarzana


versus the zip glider, the dog killer versus... We were denied a


true fight, Mr Speaker, what we were left with these immortal words from


Lord Heseltine. When I listen to borrowers he has turned the article


in the political committee into a science of using waffle, time and


Dillane, anything to stop actually answering questions. Madam Deputy


Speaker, in the rest of my speech I intend to ask some very


straightforward and simple questions on the budget and Britain's place in


the world and I hope these are ones which the Secretary of State will be


able to answer without waffle, orderly, and with you more time than


he feels is absolutely necessary. It is striking we are here to debate a


budget that is almost nothing to say that Britain's place in the world,


with even less to offer for it. I am sure we can all predict some of the


rhetoric we have already heard from the honourable member tonight, about


re-entering into the world market, a truly global Britain, and active


global Britain and I predict that we will hear more about brand Britannia


and dynamic, adult cutting-edge global powers and global influence,


etc, about exploiting boomerangs, but the question is really best.


What is the strategy for achieving that ambition? And how does the


budget provide the resources to back it up? So far, we have seen no


evidence of either. Madam Deputy Speaker, it isn't enough to simply


want a relationship with Europe that has all the benefits and none of the


costs and to be a leading global power at the same time, or to say,


like Tinkerbell, that we have to do to make it happen is to believe that


it is possible and, indeed, the honourable gentleman on the seems to


be implying that if we don't believe, if we ask awkward


questions, somehow these things would happen and the fairies will


start falling from the skies. But it has to be said in this debate and no


doubt it will be said again, the Government is meeting its


commitments to spend with 2% of GDP on defence and 0.7% on development,


but whilst these seem like the commitments, when you scratch the


surface there are many unanswered questions about how funding is split


between the F seal MoD and about how, where, why and what this money


is actually spent on. It seems likely a large part of the Foreign


Office budget over the next few years will come from funding streams


which are nominally shared across departments, most of them with


blandly unobjectionable names, the prosperity funds, and the idea of


shared funding is a valid one in principle, but we need to know how


these funds are going to be used by the Foreign Office. How much is


going to be classed as aid spending's how much is defence? How


much is going to be classed as both? We need to know why there is so


little transparency on this issue and what kind of oversight there is


to make sure these are funded responsibly. One might F they were


of the suspicious frame of mind conclude the Government is being


wilfully opaque on this matter, but the secretary of the state will do


all he can to dispel such thoughtful debate and the reliance of the phone


's office, from finding out how does budget settlement, is automatically


much larger and much more damaging trend under this Government. Unlike


defence or overseas aid, our diplomatic service lacks the


financial security that politically and legally binding spending target.


I am sorry to say that it shows. Of the three departments vision was


most of responsibility for Britain's place in the world, the foreign and


the Ministry of Defence, the FCO's budget accounts for just 3% of the


-- combined total. It is every bit as essential as the other two. I


ensure the honourable gentleman saw the Financial Times on Friday, which


highlighted the real change between... It is no surprise and


there is a great deal of fuss about this there has been a cut of 37.2%


TDC LG, local Government budgets. What is the one department, Madam


Deputy Speaker, that has the largest cut for the Department and


Government? The Foreign Commonwealth Office, which has


8-38.1% changes to its budget. The honourable gentleman may shake his


head and if I am wrong, Tallis, I would be interested to see you take


battle the Financial Times. For a department whose budget is already


very small, it comes as no surprise these cuts have had serious


consequences for our standing in the world and for our global reach and


influence. There was a lot of expertise, we have seen the


Government repeatedly caught by surprise that global significance.


Whether the Arab Spring the crisis in Ukraine, or the attempted coup in


Turkey, there has been hollowing out of expertise on these critical


areas, not to mention the loss of skilled linguists. If the Secretary


of State and tells what progress has been made in recovering Russian and


Arab language disabilities, for example, I should be very grateful.


She is making a very powerful case about the hollowing out of the S C L


budget. On the question of linguists, has she seen the report


of the foreign select committee, which we published last week about


Russia and the lack of expertise there now is within the FCL a lot


about looking at Russia and does she agree with me and with the foreign


affairs select committee that the FCO needs more resources to confront


and understand the problems caused by Russia and its behaviour towards


its neighbours? It was for that reason after reading that report


that I mentioned the Russian language capabilities. For my own


view, the reports from the foreign affairs select committee are very


thoughtful and informative and I recommend them to the Secretary of


State, because there are a number of flags raised by this select


committee, that you need to be considered very carefully, because


it does seem to me the changes happening at the moment to our


precious Foreign Office are the ones where we are losing capability and


it would be very difficult to develop it again. Thank you. She was


making a reasonably cogent case. LAUGHTER


She is most welcome, Madam Deputy Speaker. Order, order. Honourable


members must not object when a member is polite to someone on the


other side. He is being honourable. In respect of the honourable lady,


Madam Deputy Speaker. On a serious point, isn't it only fair to recall


that under the previous labour Government, those of us who travel


occasionally to Central and South America witnessed a shrinking of the


footprint, a shrinking of that soft power as we closed many embassies in


Central America and in South America. We downgraded scholarships


and that is something major review urgently as we go through post


Brexit. I am surprised to find myself agreeing with the honourable


gentleman to the extent that I do. It is important that we stop and


have a review. We need to look very carefully at these 38% cuts which


are currently being implemented by his Government. At this crucial time


for Britain. That is the pond haymaking in this budget debate and


I do think that these are issues that need to be seriously addressed


and questions and answers about haggis or not sufficient when it


comes to dealing with cuts of 38% to the Foreign Commonwealth Office.


It isn't just language skills that have suffered, consider BBC


monitoring, and absolutely vital service which monitors and


translates foreign news reports, serving as an indispensable source


of intelligence for Government departments including the Foreign


Office, by transferring the responsibility for its funding from


the taxpayer to the BBC itself, the Government has left BBC monitoring


up into cuts which last year saw an announcement of 96 job losses and


the closure of 20% of its posts overseas, at a time like this, is


this responsible behaviour? Cut such as these will continue to have


effects as incalculable as the are far-reaching. It turns out that


about a Government chooses to fund and not a fund can tell you a great


deal more than just the short-term spending priorities of the


Government of the holder. For the Foreign Office, those decisions can


tell you that the most basic principles underlying the


Government's foreign policy approach. Perhaps the best example


of this, we need to look no further than the downgrading of human rights


as a priority for the department. So that is now considered far less


important than the so-called prosperity agenda. I hear from a


position that people are saying that is entirely untrue, let me say that


the permanent Secretary to the Foreign Commonwealth Office who


has said precisely that. A decision that confirms was more or less a


direct consequence of the cuts imposed by the party opposite. It


wasn't so long ago the Tory Foreign Minister, William Hague, was able to


say with a straight face that they would be no downgrading of human


rights under this Government. He argued it was neither in our


interests nor our nature to have what he called a foreign policy


without a conscience. I couldn't agree more. He must know sure our


disappointment to see the Thule Foreign Secretary and the Tory Prime


Minister practically tripping over each other to cosy up to the likes


of Donald Trump. We used to think there was some world leaders who


would always unite the opinion of this House and members on both sides


would never give up the courage to speak out against those who did not


share our values. These days, the Government's values are obscure, to


be polite. Beyond being in favour of trade. The question isn't just how


much the Government is prepared to spend on a world-class diplomatic


service, the service that at once, but important as that is, what is


the Government prepared to do with the resources that it has?


If you she is making her points but does she not agree the Government


has made important strides in freedom of religion, holding a


conference in a few months ago to promote this globally. As a member


of the group for freedom of religion I appreciate that sort of action and


it is very important and should not be downgraded.


That is to be acknowledged but if you look at what is happening with


the various missions and posts being stripped out so those whose job was


to make with human rights activists and civil society within various


countries, those posts... If the honourable gentleman wishes to


intervene I have no problem with intervening but if he's not going to


if you would be quiet and let me finish, I would appreciate it. I was


good to talk about what in essence the purpose of foreign policy is.


Ministers are fond of speaking of the opportunity is leaving the EU


may provide modern foreign policy is a fundamental rethink of the


Government's approach could be one of those opportunities. In fact, it


is more than that, it is absolutely imperative we do so. As the


Government starts to think, however belatedly, about the kind of the


world and we need to have more than just warm words from the Government,


we need a plan. I believe our Foreign Office has been at its very


best when it has been allowed to get proper weight to the values of


Britain in its foreign policy as well as British interests, and I


hope the Secretary of State will look to that legacy, embrace it and


build on it, not undermine it any further than he already has. In more


immediate terms, we need the Government to start thinking


sensibly about Europe as a matter of urgency. We know little more about


the minister 's intentions than that they are prepared to break the


British economic model if they feel that is needed if we do not get a


deal. I hope the Secretary of State said it would probably OK it would


be better deal, so after saying that, why is the Chancellor briefing


he will order ?60 billion because Brexit? Perhaps that is to fund the


extra ?350 million a week the Secretary of State promised for the


NHS? I hope the Secretary of State has asked the Chancellor because if


that is right ?60 million will pay for three years, three months and


one week worth of extra money for the NHS. At the moment he seems to


be doing just no more than simply crossing his fingers and hoping for


the best. This is serious situation. We need clear thinking about the


future, our future in Europe and the wider world and simply talking about


Toblerone display cabinets and Saudi Arabia is not sufficient. We need a


clear plan, clear thinking and we need it without any further delay.


It will be obvious to colleagues that a great many people want to


speak and although we have plenty of time, I am going to set a time limit


immediately for that, otherwise, like last week, the people at the


beginning will take three times the amount of time as those at the end.


We will start with a time limit of eight minutes. Mr James Morris.


Where I totally agree with the Foreign Secretary is weak at this


moment are presented with a massive opportunity to create a new form of


global Britain and I particularly agree with the Foreign Secretary's


point about Britain's soft power. To clarify the point about the amount


of FCO funding for the British Council figures show by 2020 there


will be 43% rise in FCO funding which I think is reflective of the


seriousness with which we do take the opportunities for Britain's


sovereign power. The opportunities of global Britain are of particular


importance to my constituents. The announcement in the budget for the


Midlands engine strategy is a significant moment for the people of


the Black Country. The budget set aside ?55 million of new investment


to the Black Country which builds on the significant investment that was


made in the last Parliament is where, through the City deals, we


had significant ?1 million investment in advance of science


technology and engineering sector. Significant progress has already


been made in terms of investing in the Black Country. The Black Country


today is one of the fastest-growing regions, sub regions, in the UK,


with more jobs and better skills, but the job is not done. There is


more we need to do. As we build the global Britain which the Foreign


Secretary talk about, areas like the Black Country which I partially


represent, have five key challenges. The first challenge we face is


around skills. Even though young people not in education or training


is actually below the national average in the Black Country we have


made significant progress, there are still skill gaps in the area I


represent. I welcome the ?7 million of new capital investment announced


in the budget as part of the Midlands engine strategy for further


education. More is needed. It is for investment and technical skills and


to tackle historic levels of educational underperformance in the


Black Country and wider West Midlands. Skill gaps are still


holding the Black Country back as we seek to develop this global Britain.


The second significant challenge is around transport and infrastructure.


That historic underinvestment in transport infrastructure is a


holding in the West Midlands back. I welcome the ?25 million that was in


the budget for the Midlands engine to tackle congestion, what we need


to have a longer term focus on the potential benefits of HS2, the


development of Birmingham Airport and other rail and road network


across the Black Country and West Midlands. The third big challenge


addressed in the budget and what we need to think about for the


long-term is about rates of innovation in areas like the Black


Country. The Black Country is becoming a world leader in some


specific sectors in automotive, aerospace, advanced manufacturing.


With specific design products like Bugatti breaks, even match of the


Day chairs being produced in the Black Country. The Black Country is


developing a worldwide reputation for design and product


manufacturing. The fourth key challenge which is the cumulative


impact of these is a relative low productivity. This is a bit of a


puzzle. One we have yet to solve. We need to tackle by approaching it


from all angles. Improving skills, improving education at primary and


secondary level and investing in our transport infrastructure and the


wider social realm. The first challenge for the Black Country is


around exporting inward investment and the potential opportunities for


Brexit. The West Midlands export performance has in recent times been


excellent, better than many other regions in the UK. With an increase


of 49% in exporting since 2010. We need to be positive about the future


of the West Midlands and position the West Midlands front and centre


of our global trade plans. To take advantage of the opportunities that


the Brexit presents. That is why I welcome as part of the Midlands


Engine Strategy moves to creating an Midlands trade and investment


programme to put the West Midlands front and centre, looking to develop


markets with the West Midlands is not currently exporting. A good


record in China, the United States and many other countries where we


have an opportunity to open up and exploit new markets.


Witty agree with me one of the most important skills we still lack in


teaching is that of foreign languages? That is intimately


associated with our performance in the past. Most are better teaching


and learning a foreign languages to penetrate those new markets. He is


absolutely right. The foreign languages is the key component of


lack but the challenge in an area like the Black Country is to raise


the level of educational performance more broadly. Our standards need to


be improved and renewed focus on technical education, be weeded the


West Midlands to be an outward facing region taking advantage of


the global presented. -- we need the West Midlands.


One of the critical thing is too often the Black Country and West


Midlands is talked about as if it were a relic of Britain's industrial


past. That is wrong. Increasingly, the Black Country is in the vanguard


of our industrial future. It is a leading player in high-tech


manufacturing and has an increasingly competitive and


productive economy. What we need to focus on is not somehow managing


decline, the Black Country is not some kind of industrial Museum that


we look back on with fondness for Britain's industrial greatness.


Increasingly, the Black Country is becoming a place which is a world


leader in critical parts of our economic future. It is vitally


important, as we take A forward review about global Britain, that we


don't focus just on London and the south-east, part of our long-term


strategy should be the rebalancing of the economy, taking a long time


but we have made a lot of progress in achieving that rebalancing and


now we need to redouble that effort in order to invest in the


appropriate skills, invest in the future of the businesses of areas


like the West Midlands and take away barriers to growth. Those barriers


are around transport infrastructure, it is simply too difficult to get


around the Black Country and the wider West Midlands at the moment.


The evidence is because of those transport bottlenecks it is


increasingly difficult for the West Midlands to achieve it economic


potential and achieve the productive growth it can. As I said, we are not


managing decline in the Black Country, nor nostalgically looking


back to the mythical golden age, we are seeking to embrace the future,


which is the future of the Black Country and future of the area at


the future of our young people in a global Britain.


It is a pleasure to speak in this budget debate. I had the pleasure of


the same thing last year and I really appreciate the opportunity. I


want to talk about quite a few things. The Foreign Secretary talk


about global Britain. In fact, what we are looking at is a broken Brexit


Britain. We are looking at a package of unfairness, not just in this


budget, but in the austerity this Government has followed four years


in the way ordinary working people have not been supported. Not by this


Government and past Government. The UK Government has got its ahead in


the sand. Actually, it has got its head in the sand from what I'm sure


for it are two very good reasons. Firstly, the UK Government does not


have the faintest idea what the Brexit will mean, and the stuff it


does no about Brexit is it will be bad. So it does not want to tell us


of things. The other thing is the Government part all the paperwork


ordinary working people and how this will impact them -- ordinary working


people, most of the side or of the people on that side of the chamber


do not a clue actually what it is like to be an ordinary working


person and the part a clue what it is like to push a trolley round the


supermarket and feel the price of inflation going up over the past


three months. The price of inflation has gone the highest level than in


ages. People are seeing a 15% increase in the price of butter, 6%


increase in the price of tea. Those things have a real impact on


families budgets because those things are real everyday essentials


people regularly buy. The disproportionate affect Windows


things go up in price. In Scotland 48.4% of adults have less than ?100


in savings. Across the UK families will on average -- O on average more


than 2007 the balance. That is the family debt. This is a very tight


situation for people and people are struggling and not able to save and


have got levels of debt. People who have a mortgage in the past eight


years have never seen interest rates above 0.5%. If the Bank of England


decides to raise interest rates because of the weakness of the pound


these people will be hit by increased mortgage costs they did


not expect because they never seen it and therefore have not plan for


it. This Government are doing nothing to help the budgets of these


people. The actual... I spoke to some of my friends about how they


are feeling the impact on the economy and how it hits them and the


too many of them said to me, I lie awake at night worrying because I


have no savings. What are my partner has laid off? We have no money, no


slack in our budgets. With rising inflation because of Brexit, with


the fact the UK Government is not willing to take action now to combat


this, people's budgets will be squeezed further and we have seen


wage stagnation as part of a package of unfairness. The average earnings


in 2022 will be no higher than the average earnings in 2007. The UK


Government needs to take action and needs to be spending in order to


counter this, in order to make sure people's invalided budgets and


family incomes balance. I just put it into perspective, the


forecast is for inflation to be 2.6%, coming down to 2%, which is


higher than we would like, it is above target but it is not the kind


of information we have seen in the past under other governments. The


honourable lady is talking about a fiscal reflation am putting more


money into the economy. That would increase the amount of information.


The idea behind the comedy idea is putting more money into things like


infrastructure putting money into things that create jobs, research


and development, what we have seen in the UK is pitiful productivity


and actually in Scotland we are managing to counter that. Our


productivity process has been much faster than the growth in the rest


of the UK and part of that, I think, if because of the level of


infrastructure spending, the fiscal stimulus in terms of infrastructure


packages we have put in. We have made a difference in terms of


productivity and if the UK Government intends to take us out of


the single market, if the UK Government intends to have this


situation where it is more difficult task to have trading relationships


to export them they are going to need to make sure they are


increasing productivity in order to counter that other wise we will see


a wage stagnation. A few more things, I want to mention the oil


and gas industry. The Chancellor stood up and said it is fabulous


what we are doing for the oil and gas industry, we're going to make it


easier for oil and gas installations and companies to transfer their


assets. This is important. The oil and gas industry will continue to


take oil out of the ground for a very long time into the future. What


we have is some fields that are nearing maturity and those fields


are operated by one of the big operators and what we need to do is


we need to make it easier for those assets to be transferred to some of


the new operators, some of the smaller operators, in order that


they can sweat that asset, get maximum economic recovery out of


that asset. The problem that I have with what the UK Government


announced is they announced this last year and did not do it. They


announced this exact thing last year and it has not been done. Forgive me


if I am not dancing around in excitement that there is going to be


a panel of experts to look at this thing they announced last year. It


would have been nice if they had done it back then. The other couple


of things I wanted to mention, I wanted to mention that ?350 of extra


money that is going to Scotland. -- ?350 million. It was kind of the


Chancellor to say we are giving ?350 million extra to Scotland and


actually at is rubbish, that is happening at all. What they are


doing if they spending more money in England and Wales and it so happens


Scotland gets an extra slice because of that. The thing is, the


Chancellor cannot stand up and pretend he is being, you know,


giving money to Scotland in the face of asking departments to make 6%


cuts, in the face of continuing austerity. The thing is that he


can't stand up and say we are giving Scotland all of this money when we


have had a 2.9 billion pounds real term cuts over the decade from 2010.


It is absolutely ridiculous that we are in this situation. I just want


to touch on a couple of things that the Foreign Secretary said. The


Foreign Secretary talked about, he mentioned in response to an


intervention about the WTO rules and it would be perfectly OK. I am


really interested to see the analysis he has done on this and I


would be keen to see this because I don't think it would be perfectly


OK. I think the Foreign Secretary is guessing, imagining, inventing


something new. Or hoping with his fingers crossed, absolutely as my


colleague says. Because WTO rules and falling back on a bit nation


status is a harsh reality for our exporters. As the harsh reality


particularly for SMEs. On this topic, the Foreign Secretary said


the most bizarre phrase. He said people on this side of the House


were mocking entrepreneurial spirit. This is the party that has moved the


changes to the self-employed national insurance contributions and


they are accusing us of mocking entrepreneurs. Actually we are


supporting those in small business, supporting entrepreneurs,


particularly the incredible numbers of women and people on low incomes


that have started businesses and have taken on the mantle of


self-employment. I think this is really, really important. These


people have decided, they have chosen to become self-employed and


now this government is taxing that aspiration. Mr Deputy Speaker,


sorry, I am confused because the chair was changed there. I think


that this budget has dodged far too many of the important issues. It has


not spoken about the real fallout from Brexit. Part of the reason they


have been able to do that they aren't going to give the ODI any


real information so they have been able to dodge the improper forecast


that the OBI can be provided. This budget has actually been, despite


all of the comments in the run-up, it has been shambolic. It has dodged


the issue is, it has taxed aspiration, it has done absolutely


nothing for the oil and gas industry beyond what was promised last year.


This is not a budget that has been promising for Scotland. This had


increased the package of unfairness and it has consigned ordinary


working people to long-term lack of prosperity. We will introduce a six


minute limit. If we can try and keep tightly that we should be able to


get everybody in. It is a pleasure to follow on from the Honourable


Lady. I did not agree with a great deal of what she said but


nonetheless Scottish people have made such a valuable role in shaping


the foreign affairs of the United Kingdom over such a long and


protracted period of time and through that the fifth largest


economy of the world and through that I trust and hope they continue


to do so for many years to come. Mr Deputy Speaker, it will not come as


a great surprise to you that I am not much of a mountaineer but I have


been told by those that are that the most dangerous point in climbing any


mountain is when you have made the stupendous effort and you have got


just to the summit and then you begin the so-called easy descent. In


fiscal terms, after nine long and difficult years, the House finds


itself nearing the top of the summit. The struggle to rein in


public debt is an immense and ongoing undertaking but according to


the OBR, a percentage of GDP peaks in 2017 in the maximum every single


successive year after it falls. Whatever the real temptations


encouraged by factors this year to slow further the pace on deficit


reduction, we owe it to future generations to finish what we have


begun. We are now in our eighth year without a recession. Unlike others,


we have no pretence that we can abolish the business cycle and it is


critical that we have the rebuild financial firepower to tackle


anything that comes our way. It is critical to our domestic economy, it


is also equally critical to our standing in the world. 2% on


defence, on overseas aid. That gives us hard and soft power but our


allies need to know that these commitments are real and


sustainable. -- 0.7% on overseas aid. The honourable lady domains


vision sees being made in our public sector without recognising in this


budget debate the critical importance of bringing down our


deficit and to show our ability to act credibly abroad and have


long-term sustainable finances. With our national debt topping out at 1.8


trillion, our annual interest payments also represent as the


Chancellor pointed out the entire annual spending on defence and


policing combined. And this is why proper, sensible husbanding of our


resources is critical. Despite the huge increase in the national debt,


we are spending the same in interest now as we were 15 years ago with the


base rate bound to rise, something with which I do agree with the


honourable lady from Aberdeen North. This is not sustainable long-term.


This risk is compounded by demographic shifts, notably the


retirement of the baby boomer generation. These demographic


changes are projected to increase the cost of the state pension by 40%


and drive up the cost of health and social care spending. That is why I


recognise the efforts being made to enhance our productivity with extra


spending on technical education, half ?1 billion, 300 million


commitment to support the brightest research talent, including 1000 new


Ph.D. Places focused on certain subjects. That combined with


transport spending will help to narrow our relative activity gap and


education is the key. Studying the financial projections of some of our


schools in my constituency I can ensure the Chancellor that after


years of being underfunded they are run extremely efficiently and


tightly, with staffing accounting for 85% of total spend. I believe


that schools in historically well funded areas have a lot to learn


from places like those in West Sussex and could potentially do more


than is currently being asked. I have also -- I am also grateful to


the Education Secretary's commitment to a minimum amount of funding


required by schools to deliver the standards and curriculum that


students and we have every right to expect. I welcome, as the get onto


the subject debated in the media, I welcome the Taylor review. I feel


sure his report later this year will enlighten how the government can


help the southern Clwyd and clarify the position of the Birtley


employed. The self-employed population is -- of the virtually


employed. The self-employed population, this growth undermines


the tax base on which future generations will rely. There is a


package of measures being brought forward. Changes to class two and


class for NICs, coming in over the next few years, none can be viewed


in isolation. 60% of those changes to NICs, the impact is capped at


?600 a year for those at the top. The average additional contribution


is ?240 per year. Self-employed pension benefits will be enhanced, a


benefit if purchased in the open market would cost ?50,000. These


measures to help support self-employment in retirement are


progressive whilst ensuring that being self-employed has tax


advantages. Of course, we will support entrepreneurs, we will help


drive our country forward in the new post-Brexit environment but helping


them meet the cost of retirement while also narrowing the potential


reduction in our tax base, these are proportionate, long-term steps in a


budget focused on the long-term financial health of the country


which I commend. Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. We now go live to the House


of lords where peers are returning to the EU notification of withdrawal


Bill which was sent back earlier this evening by the House of




Live coverage of Monday's proceedings in the House of Commons, including a Ten Minute Rule Bill, consideration of Lords amendments to the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill and a continuation of debate on the Spring Budget 2017.