19/04/2017 House of Commons


19/04/2017

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including a debate on a motion to hold a general election on Thursday 8 June.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 19/04/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

The Ten Minute Rule Motion, Mr David Burrowes.

:00:31.:00:38.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move that we've be given to bring any bill to look

:00:39.:00:43.

at the assessment and enforcement of child assessment arrangements. I

:00:44.:00:51.

welcome the great interest and attendance of honourable members for

:00:52.:00:57.

my bill but feel like a filler in the summit of the Prime Minister.

:00:58.:01:01.

The attention will be focused on the next motion rather than on my bill,

:01:02.:01:05.

however, many parents have waited all too long for the child

:01:06.:01:09.

maintenance for their children and will not let a general election get

:01:10.:01:13.

in the way of their campaign. The campaign message at the heart of my

:01:14.:01:18.

bill, the use the parlance of the Prime Minister is that we need a

:01:19.:01:22.

Child Maintenance Service that will work for everyone, not just the

:01:23.:01:26.

privileged few. This issue... Order. Stop the clock. I appreciate the

:01:27.:01:32.

interest in other matters, but the subject matter of the honourable

:01:33.:01:38.

gentleman's Bill is of very great importance to shoot numbers of

:01:39.:01:41.

parents and children around the country and I think it is to put it

:01:42.:01:46.

mildly unseemly that while the honourable gentleman is speaking of

:01:47.:01:50.

his bill, there are a number of rather animated private

:01:51.:01:53.

conversations taking place, including those being conducted by

:01:54.:01:58.

those enormously courteous members of the House, so as they house can

:01:59.:02:01.

settle down and listen to the eloquence of the honourable

:02:02.:02:03.

gentleman, I think we would all be grateful for that.

:02:04.:02:09.

It is also an issue across different parties but has been Andy Cole of

:02:10.:02:15.

the Tory Party this that the government that recognises the

:02:16.:02:19.

principle that all parents have responsibility to contribute to the

:02:20.:02:24.

upkeep of children. The state will step in where necessary. It is

:02:25.:02:28.

therefore parents in need of child maintenance who have nowhere else to

:02:29.:02:33.

turn. As such, it must cater for all children, including those whose

:02:34.:02:37.

parents are self-employed, who have complex financial affairs. Mr

:02:38.:02:40.

Speaker, my interest in this issue has arisen from the case of my

:02:41.:02:45.

constituent Elizabeth who is in attendance today. As well as four

:02:46.:02:49.

other equally and brave determined women, which may honourable friend

:02:50.:02:52.

refers to as super mums, there will be other people with very similar

:02:53.:02:57.

like-minded women that have come to their surgery. Others include

:02:58.:03:04.

Joanne, Sue and Kate who have pursued their cases for years and

:03:05.:03:07.

could write the text on how nonresident parents could easily a

:03:08.:03:10.

data system by claiming self-employment. The challenge in

:03:11.:03:15.

the system of assets and lifestyle incompatible with earnings have been

:03:16.:03:22.

removed and done so any process. It is these flaws that have led me to

:03:23.:03:28.

introduce this bill and to have an inquiry into the CMS which is due to

:03:29.:03:32.

report imminently. The fact of the matter is if your child has a

:03:33.:03:36.

nonresident parent that is self employed, you are at risk of being

:03:37.:03:39.

financially disadvantaged compared to a child whose nonresident parent

:03:40.:03:47.

is employed. Nonresident self-employed parents are being

:03:48.:03:49.

indulged by DCMS. The government's defends the discharge of injustice

:03:50.:03:52.

is that closing the loopholes, which enables such child maintenance

:03:53.:03:57.

avoidance is, I quote, expensive and time-consuming to do so. However,

:03:58.:04:00.

the government does not take such a relaxed attitude when it comes to

:04:01.:04:05.

individuals who avoid paying benefits or indeed taxes. The HMRC

:04:06.:04:09.

56,000 strong tax collecting department with an annual budget of

:04:10.:04:13.

over ?4 billion, if this money fails to get a grip of nonresident parents

:04:14.:04:17.

who hide their income from the CMS by exploiting legal loopholes. It is

:04:18.:04:24.

welcome that the DWP has beefed up its financial investigations unit to

:04:25.:04:27.

a team of 50 and it is good that the Minister of welfare delivery is

:04:28.:04:31.

listening today and said to the Work and Pensions Select Committee that

:04:32.:04:34.

they have powers to look Pike accounts and tax records and seek to

:04:35.:04:38.

clarify where things just do not add up. Mr Speaker, I do not believe

:04:39.:04:43.

this is good enough. Children should not be paying the price for the

:04:44.:04:47.

ongoing injustice over child maintenance, there is an estimated

:04:48.:04:50.

52 and a half million unpaid maintenance which means that fewer

:04:51.:04:53.

than half of eligible children do not receive anything at all. Now,

:04:54.:04:59.

Elizabeth's Sun is one of those who should not be paying for the ?40,000

:05:00.:05:06.

price of what he is owed over six years in child maintenance. Simply

:05:07.:05:10.

because his father as a clever accountant who can help to hide his

:05:11.:05:15.

assets in non-income gearing accounts, businesses and property.

:05:16.:05:18.

This maintenance liability would not have been uncovered without the

:05:19.:05:21.

determination of his mother Elizabeth taking the case under the

:05:22.:05:26.

old system through the tribunal hearings and relying on the old rule

:05:27.:05:30.

which allows for assets variation. They eventually revealed that the

:05:31.:05:35.

other parent's assets valuing some ?800,000 from the sale of various

:05:36.:05:38.

businesses and inheritance. And found that he could pay regularly

:05:39.:05:44.

seen SPA maintenance to support their teenage son. The problem that

:05:45.:05:48.

my bill seeks to resolve is that under the 2012 CMS scheme, the same

:05:49.:05:55.

parents are held to legitimately have e-mailed child maintenance

:05:56.:05:59.

liability, it was then 40,000, it would now be zero. Based largely on

:06:00.:06:04.

gross taxable income figures provided by HMRC. This model I

:06:05.:06:08.

accept works for the majority of straightforward cases, were paying

:06:09.:06:14.

parents all income should be PAYE employment, it works less well with

:06:15.:06:18.

the peeing payment -- parents takes payment and other forms. That does

:06:19.:06:22.

not work at all when the peeing parent's living costs are met

:06:23.:06:24.

through income that does not show up at HMRC. Income from ISAs, venture

:06:25.:06:31.

capitalists trust funds and there are some nonresident parents who

:06:32.:06:35.

support their lifestyle from different incomes, for example, from

:06:36.:06:40.

substantial assets with no apparent income, capital gains from property

:06:41.:06:43.

transactions. Such paying parents have no child maintenance liability

:06:44.:06:44.

at all. And what it will all civil cases but

:06:45.:06:57.

more complicated is weak and leads to injustice. This injustice is

:06:58.:07:01.

compounded by the 2012 rules not only abolishing the grounds to

:07:02.:07:05.

challenge assessments but although cutting of the avenue for address

:07:06.:07:09.

through the courts. The governments's responds to my

:07:10.:07:12.

constituent Elizabeth is that the assets and ground for variation

:07:13.:07:17.

proved difficult to a minister and difficult for them to understand.

:07:18.:07:21.

What has proved difficult for my constituent, Elizabeth, is to obtain

:07:22.:07:25.

justice for the maintenance of her son. What is difficult for a lot of

:07:26.:07:29.

the understand is why the state have chosen to prioritise its own

:07:30.:07:34.

administrative convenience of the interest of her child. The work and

:07:35.:07:38.

pensions like an easy enquiry into this issue has heard evidence from

:07:39.:07:41.

parents with other nonresident parent is having a lifestyle does

:07:42.:07:43.

not match the nonresident parent is having a lifestyle does not matter

:07:44.:07:47.

because income. This will go to the HMRC and contact them on their top

:07:48.:07:51.

line, only to be left in limbo because nonresident parents are not

:07:52.:07:55.

committing tax fraud part are avoiding child maintenance because

:07:56.:07:58.

they can hide by their self-employed status. They have organised their

:07:59.:08:03.

affairs in an efficient manner, putting income in terms of not

:08:04.:08:09.

earnings. What mums net was told by one mother was to accept a payment

:08:10.:08:14.

from my ex as he was self-employed and he was the best she could hope

:08:15.:08:19.

for. Regardless of evidence he could pay more from a very successful

:08:20.:08:23.

business, multiple properties and, in her words, more physical access

:08:24.:08:28.

than you could imagine. -- asset. Vienna where has said Britain was my

:08:29.:08:34.

child maintenance of the contributing to a culture where to

:08:35.:08:36.

many parents think it is optional relatively Tory to pay their child

:08:37.:08:40.

maintenance. -- rather than obligatory. One person can avoid

:08:41.:08:49.

paying child maintenance because one tax year removed liability. Why?

:08:50.:08:53.

Because in that yeah, he bought a crock. The CMS should not allow the

:08:54.:09:01.

financial access of a crock to come before a child. The state should not

:09:02.:09:06.

be accessible. -- truck. The woman has an eye on the self-employed you

:09:07.:09:09.

make the tax system work everyone. That should include the Child

:09:10.:09:18.

Maintenance System as well. The CMS should not cater for Company

:09:19.:09:20.

directors and those are financially public affairs. The grounds

:09:21.:09:25.

previously available within the scheme, whereby notional income

:09:26.:09:28.

could be assumed, where a paying parent's lifestyle was assumed,

:09:29.:09:33.

should be available within a new scheme. A new variation garage

:09:34.:09:39.

available with a scheme where -- ground. Capable of providing

:09:40.:09:46.

reasonable level of return where a parent can do this with good reason,

:09:47.:09:50.

bearing in mind the maintenance responsibility for the children. My

:09:51.:09:54.

bill will also grant equal jurisdiction where nonresident

:09:55.:09:57.

parents and assets or a lifestyle inconsistent with income and the CMS

:09:58.:10:01.

is unable or incapable of determining the support. While my

:10:02.:10:07.

bill originally comes at the end of this Parliament, it may just help

:10:08.:10:11.

from the publication in the spring report to set up conclusions of a

:10:12.:10:16.

review into the progress of CMS and state future policy. In 2012, the

:10:17.:10:20.

noble lord flight said we will make clear our intentions with specific

:10:21.:10:27.

review to the these parents. That one could be called families of

:10:28.:10:31.

which the fee would seek to exempt. The campaign was led, saying child

:10:32.:10:39.

maintenance crew had left families out of poverty. The lack of child

:10:40.:10:42.

maintenance should be another burning justice for the covenant to

:10:43.:10:46.

tackle. Given the next notion, I appreciate that Dell is the least

:10:47.:10:49.

likely ever to become law in this parliamentary session. Some may

:10:50.:10:56.

think, sit down, get on with the general election motion. There is

:10:57.:10:58.

every point in highlighting on behalf of our constituents calling

:10:59.:11:04.

for unfairness to children. This may be an early bid for the Conservative

:11:05.:11:10.

manifesto. It may also be aim more public bid for the next Queen 's

:11:11.:11:18.

speech. Either way, I look forward to a fairer child maintenance system

:11:19.:11:22.

for all. The question is that the honourable gentleman have leave to

:11:23.:11:34.

bring any bill. As many who are supportive, ayes. The ayes habit.

:11:35.:11:41.

Caroline spell and Timothy Mapleton, Tanya Mathias. Those working ani,

:11:42.:11:53.

Nigel Adams and get my tells and me. -- Kit Martells. Mr David Burrowes.

:11:54.:12:17.

Child maintenance assessment of parent income bail. Second reading,

:12:18.:12:28.

what day? The 12th of May, I suppose.

:12:29.:12:33.

LAUGHTER I shall delete the last two words

:12:34.:12:39.

ordered uttered by the honourable gentleman. The 12th of May. We now

:12:40.:12:47.

come to the bill on the moving the notion of the parliamentary General

:12:48.:12:51.

election. Moving the notion, I call the Prime Minister. Thank you, and I

:12:52.:12:55.

beg to move motion on the order paper in my name and that of my

:12:56.:12:59.

honourable friends. That's mentioned confronts every member of this house

:13:00.:13:04.

with a clear and simple opportunity. A chance to vote for a general

:13:05.:13:08.

election that will secure the strong and stable leadership the country

:13:09.:13:11.

needs to see us through Brexit and beyond. It invites each one of us to

:13:12.:13:17.

do the right thing for Britain and duvet for an election that is in our

:13:18.:13:24.

country's national interest. -- to vote. My priority as Prime Minister

:13:25.:13:28.

when I became so that was to present the country with strong leadership

:13:29.:13:32.

after the long and passionately fought referendum campaign. This

:13:33.:13:34.

covenant has delivered on those priorities. -- Government.

:13:35.:13:45.

Despite... I will. In the time-honoured fashion, my honourable

:13:46.:13:49.

friend has called this election in what she and I consider to be in the

:13:50.:13:52.

national interest. It'll be a brave man or woman who votes against this

:13:53.:13:57.

notion and therefore the fixed term Parliament act is an emperor without

:13:58.:14:05.

clothes. It sees no purpose. Will the first line they, in our

:14:06.:14:11.

manifesto, to scrap its? My honourable friend is trying to tempt

:14:12.:14:15.

me down a road about the fixed Jim Parliament act does give us an

:14:16.:14:17.

opportunity notwithstanding the fixed term element of it to have

:14:18.:14:24.

another election at another time. -- fixed term. The house you doubt on

:14:25.:14:28.

that. Every member of this house should vote for it. If I just

:14:29.:14:36.

returned to, I will take one more... The Prime Minister pledged time and

:14:37.:14:39.

time again not to call an early election. In her Easter message, she

:14:40.:14:44.

spoke of Christian values. Gucci explain why he has such a ruse and

:14:45.:14:47.

promulgated relationship with telling the truth? -- such a

:14:48.:14:57.

complicated relationship. The Prime Minister can tend for herself, but

:14:58.:15:01.

what the honourable gentleman has said is a breach. He is a

:15:02.:15:10.

journalist. Withdraw that and use some other formulation if you must.

:15:11.:15:17.

I am very happy. I will withdraw and reformulate. Why does the Prime

:15:18.:15:21.

Minister have such a complicated and loose relationship with giving the

:15:22.:15:26.

country a clear indication of her intentions? To say to the honourable

:15:27.:15:34.

gentleman, yesterday, I gave the country a very clear indication of

:15:35.:15:39.

my intentions and if he has a little patience, he will head the reasons

:15:40.:15:43.

why I have done that. As I was saying, the Government has delivered

:15:44.:15:46.

on the priorities I set out last year. Despite immediate predictions

:15:47.:15:53.

of immediate economic and financial danger, we have recognised that of

:15:54.:15:57.

jobs, a telegram exceeding all expectations. At the same time, we

:15:58.:16:00.

have delivered on the mandate we were handed by the referendum result

:16:01.:16:04.

by triggering article 50 before the end of March as he pledged to do. As

:16:05.:16:10.

a result, Britain is leaving the EU and can be no turning back. I will

:16:11.:16:17.

take one more. Doesn't it take some drastic to call a general election

:16:18.:16:20.

when you are facing allegations of buying the last one? I have to say,

:16:21.:16:28.

that intervention was not worthy of the honourable gentleman. Can the

:16:29.:16:33.

Prime Minister just clarify for us, does he support fixed term

:16:34.:16:40.

Parliament? We have a fixed term Parliament act that enables us to

:16:41.:16:44.

have such. I believe that, at this point in time, it is right for us to

:16:45.:16:48.

have this debate, have this late in this house and I believe it is right

:16:49.:16:53.

for members of this house to vote and I will explain why, for us to

:16:54.:16:56.

have a general election at this stage. I will not take any further

:16:57.:17:01.

interventions for a while, this is a limited time debate and honourable

:17:02.:17:07.

members wished to make contributions. Today, we face a new

:17:08.:17:11.

question, how do we face, get the stability we need in your long-term

:17:12.:17:16.

to get the right deal for Britain in Brexit negotiations and making those

:17:17.:17:19.

the opportunities I have? I have come to the conclusion that the

:17:20.:17:23.

answer to that question is to hold a general election now in this window

:17:24.:17:26.

of opportunity for the negotiations begin. I believe it is in Britain's

:17:27.:17:32.

national interest to holding election now, a general election is

:17:33.:17:39.

the best way to look at the negotiations ahead because securing

:17:40.:17:42.

the right deal for Britain is my priority and I'm confident we have

:17:43.:17:46.

the plan to do it. We have set out our ambition come a deep and special

:17:47.:17:52.

partnership between a strong and successful European Union and a

:17:53.:17:55.

United Kingdom that is free to chart its own way in the world. It

:17:56.:17:59.

means... Just a minute. It means he will regain control of our own

:18:00.:18:02.

money, laws and orders and we will be free to strike trade deals with

:18:03.:18:08.

old friends and new partners all around the world. I give way. I'm

:18:09.:18:13.

very grateful to the Prime Minister forgiving way and I can understand

:18:14.:18:16.

she was to give the house the opportunity to determine whether

:18:17.:18:20.

there should be an election. If they determine now is the time, why does

:18:21.:18:24.

she stand in the face of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish

:18:25.:18:28.

Government that have doubted for a referendum in Scotland's future? If

:18:29.:18:32.

it the people here have a voice and a bit on the future of this country,

:18:33.:18:35.

why should these godless people not be given neither as well? Now is the

:18:36.:18:41.

tie-break general election because it will our hand in the negotiations

:18:42.:18:48.

of Brexit. -- time for a full stop it is not the time for a Scottish

:18:49.:18:52.

independence referendum because it will weaken, and with the Brexit

:18:53.:18:58.

negotiations. Division and weakness with Scottish National 's. This

:18:59.:19:03.

means that we will... I will just make a little more progress. I

:19:04.:19:08.

believe they will of the British people, our plan from Brexit is the

:19:09.:19:11.

right approach for Britain and it'll deliver a more secure future for our

:19:12.:19:14.

country and a better deal for all our people. It is clear, Mr Speaker,

:19:15.:19:20.

that other parties in this house have a different view about the

:19:21.:19:23.

right future for our country while members of the other place have

:19:24.:19:26.

vowed to fight the Government every step of the way. I give way.

:19:27.:19:35.

You and in June and Horo and government a mandate to exercise

:19:36.:19:40.

Article 50, she has done that and we are grateful for the opportunity to

:19:41.:19:43.

strengthen the hand of the Prime Minister so she can go out there and

:19:44.:19:46.

get the best possible deal for people who live in my constituency,

:19:47.:19:54.

our manufacturers there and every family in Rossendale and Darwin.

:19:55.:19:56.

You are absolutely right and we should be united in this Parliament

:19:57.:19:59.

in wanting to get that best possible deal, not just for the country as a

:20:00.:20:03.

whole but everybody across the whole of this country and I commend my

:20:04.:20:07.

honourable friend for the work that he has done in Rossendale and Darwin

:20:08.:20:10.

in supporting his constituents on this. I will give way to the Right

:20:11.:20:16.

honourable gentleman and then make progress. I can see how it suits the

:20:17.:20:20.

purposes of the Prime Minister to make this election all about Brexit,

:20:21.:20:23.

but can she accept the possibility that it may just become a referendum

:20:24.:20:27.

on her brutal cuts which have left older people without care, schools

:20:28.:20:29.

sending begging letters to parents and a record number of homeless

:20:30.:20:37.

people on the streets of Greater Manchester?

:20:38.:20:39.

I have to say to the right honourable gentleman, of course, the

:20:40.:20:43.

general election when they come into the campaign people will look at a

:20:44.:20:48.

wide range of issues, they both looked at the fact that pensioners

:20:49.:20:51.

are ?1250 a year better off because of the actions of the Conservative

:20:52.:20:54.

government and look at the fact that we have 1.8 million more children in

:20:55.:20:59.

good or outstanding schools, but the Right Honourable gentleman wants to

:21:00.:21:02.

talk about the impact on the economy, I suggest he searches in

:21:03.:21:09.

his memory for the time he spent as Jesus -- Chief Secretary to the

:21:10.:21:12.

Treasury when Labour trashing the economy of this country. Mr

:21:13.:21:15.

Speaker... I will make progress, sorry. I have set up the divisions

:21:16.:21:21.

that has become clear on this issue, they can and will be used against

:21:22.:21:25.

us, weakening our hand in the negotiations to come and we must not

:21:26.:21:29.

let that happen. I believe that at this moment of enormous national

:21:30.:21:34.

significance, there should be unity here in Westminster, not division.

:21:35.:21:37.

That is why it is the right and responsible thing for all of us here

:21:38.:21:44.

today to vote for a general election to meet our respective cases to the

:21:45.:21:47.

country and then to respect the result and the mandate it provides

:21:48.:21:50.

to give Britain the strongest possible hand in the negotiations to

:21:51.:21:56.

come. I give way to the honourable gentleman. Thank you. In the last

:21:57.:22:00.

election, the Conservatives did a manifesto commitment to stay in the

:22:01.:22:04.

single market, will she be withdrawn that commitment in the new manifesto

:22:05.:22:08.

and if she does, but that's not weaken her negotiating position as

:22:09.:22:14.

well as removing two months from the negotiating window? We give a

:22:15.:22:18.

commitment in the last manifesto to provide people of the United Kingdom

:22:19.:22:21.

with a vote on whether or not to believe the European Union, we get

:22:22.:22:25.

them that Ford, that was supported by Parliament, we give them that

:22:26.:22:28.

thought and studio gave a clear message that they want the UK to

:22:29.:22:32.

leave the EU, that is exactly what we are going to do. -- gave them

:22:33.:22:48.

that port. I am grateful to the Prime Minister and I fully support

:22:49.:22:51.

the fact that she needs a stronger hand going into the negotiations as

:22:52.:22:54.

we leave the EU. But she not they it perverse that some people who did

:22:55.:22:56.

not want a referendum in the first is now want a second referendum at

:22:57.:22:59.

the very end of the procedure, just in case the British government does

:23:00.:23:02.

not get a good deal from Brussels? Does she not believe that if we were

:23:03.:23:04.

to have that second referendum, it would decline weaken the position of

:23:05.:23:07.

the Prime Minister in the negotiations she has with the

:23:08.:23:09.

European Union? My right honourable friend is absolutely right in his

:23:10.:23:11.

description of what would happen and I think... For those who have said

:23:12.:23:17.

they want a second referendum, that is actually denying the will of the

:23:18.:23:20.

people because people voted for us to leave the European Union and we

:23:21.:23:24.

will go out there and get the best possible deal. Waiting to hold the

:23:25.:23:29.

next election in 2020 as scheduled would mean that the negotiations

:23:30.:23:33.

would reach the most difficult and sensitive stage just as the election

:23:34.:23:36.

was looming on the horizon. A general election will provide the

:23:37.:23:39.

country with five years of strong and stable leadership to see us

:23:40.:23:47.

through the negotiations and ensure we are able to go on to make a

:23:48.:23:50.

success as a result and that is crucial, that is the test, it is not

:23:51.:23:53.

solely about how we leave the European Union, but what we do with

:23:54.:23:55.

the opportunity that Brexit provides that counts. Leaving the EU offers

:23:56.:24:02.

us a unique once in a generation opportunity to shape a brighter

:24:03.:24:05.

future for Britain. We need the leadership provided by a strong and

:24:06.:24:09.

stable government to seize it, a government that has a plan for a

:24:10.:24:12.

stronger Briton, a government with the determination to see it through

:24:13.:24:16.

and the government that will take the right long-term decisions that

:24:17.:24:28.

will deliver a more secure future for Britain. The Conservative Party

:24:29.:24:31.

I read is determined to be that government. I will give way. If the

:24:32.:24:34.

Prime Minister at all concerned that having type best to build up a

:24:35.:24:36.

reputation for political integrity, both as Home Secretary and Prime

:24:37.:24:39.

Minister, she is now seen after all the denials there will be at a snap

:24:40.:24:45.

election, simply as a political opportunist? I have not denied the

:24:46.:24:52.

fact that when I came in to this rule as Prime Minister, I was clear

:24:53.:24:54.

that what the country needed was stability and they also needed a

:24:55.:24:57.

government that was going to show that it would deliver on the vote

:24:58.:25:01.

people had taken any referendum on leaving the EU. We have provided

:25:02.:25:06.

that over the last nine months, now it is clear to me that if we are

:25:07.:25:10.

going to have the strongest possible hand in negotiation, we should have

:25:11.:25:14.

an election now. As I have just said, leaving the election to 2020

:25:15.:25:17.

would mean that we would be coming to the most sensitive and critical

:25:18.:25:21.

part of the negotiations in the run-up

:25:22.:25:48.

to a general election, and that would be in the interest of not one.

:25:49.:25:52.

Mr Speaker, I said that the Conservative Party that I beat the

:25:53.:25:54.

terms to be that government that has the determination to see through its

:25:55.:25:57.

plan for a stronger Briton, we are determined to provide that

:25:58.:25:58.

leadership, determined to bring stability to the UK for the

:25:59.:26:01.

long-term and that is what this election will be about. Leadership

:26:02.:26:03.

and stability. I will give way. Does the Prime Minister appreciates

:26:04.:26:05.

decisiveness and does she agree that voting yes in this motion signifies

:26:06.:26:07.

strength, whereas abstaining is a symbol of weakness?

:26:08.:26:09.

I have to say to my honourable friend that I think absolutely

:26:10.:26:12.

voting yes it a sign of strength. I would say a little more about

:26:13.:26:14.

abstaining, anyone who abstained and things we should not have a general

:26:15.:26:19.

election presumably as endorsing the record of the Tory government. I am

:26:20.:26:23.

grateful. Would she agreed with Lord Hill who was commissioner in Europe

:26:24.:26:27.

when asked in front of the foreign affairs committee what the best

:26:28.:26:31.

strategy for negotiation is, his response is that we must come

:26:32.:26:36.

together because our into lockers will be watching this place and

:26:37.:26:41.

exploit any weakness in our political system? My honourable

:26:42.:26:46.

friend is absolutely right and I am grateful to him for reminding us

:26:47.:26:50.

what with his experience Lord Hill said in relation to this issue. It

:26:51.:26:54.

is important that we come together and do not show the divisions that

:26:55.:26:58.

have been suggested in the past and we are able to show a strong mandate

:26:59.:27:01.

for a plan for Brexit and for making a success of that. We are determined

:27:02.:27:19.

to bring stability to the UK in the long-term and that is what this

:27:20.:27:21.

election will be about, leadership and stability. And the decision

:27:22.:27:24.

facing the country will be clear. I will be campaigning for strong and

:27:25.:27:26.

reliable leadership and I will ask for the support of the public to

:27:27.:27:29.

continue to deliver my plan for a stronger Briton to be the country to

:27:30.:27:32.

the next five years and to give the country the certainty and stability

:27:33.:27:35.

that we need. I will give way to the honourable lady. Thank you, Mr

:27:36.:27:40.

Speaker. Thank you for giving way. On the timetable before yesterday,

:27:41.:27:44.

the Prime Minister would have concluded her negotiation by 2019,

:27:45.:27:49.

we would have gone into the election in 2020 one you later, talking about

:27:50.:27:52.

the Prime Minister's deal. That would have given the country and

:27:53.:27:56.

hardwood as to what they would have been voting for. The Prime Minister

:27:57.:28:00.

is asking the country to strengthen her hand, what she is actually

:28:01.:28:07.

doing, but she not agree, is asking the country to vote for a blank

:28:08.:28:12.

cheque? I am not asking the country to write a blank cheque, we have

:28:13.:28:16.

been very clear in terms of what they intend for the outcome of the

:28:17.:28:19.

negotiations and I set that out in my speech in January at Lancaster

:28:20.:28:23.

House, it has been set out in the article says the letter when it

:28:24.:28:27.

giggled Article 50 and submitted that to the president of the

:28:28.:28:30.

European Council as well as White Paper. Mr Speaker, I tell the House,

:28:31.:28:33.

the House, the choice before us today is clear, I have made my

:28:34.:28:39.

choice, it is to do something that runs through the brains of my party

:28:40.:28:42.

more than any other, to trust the people, so let us what to do that

:28:43.:28:47.

today, let us lay out our plans for Brexit, let us put forward the plans

:28:48.:28:51.

for the future of this great country and put our faith in the hands of

:28:52.:28:55.

the people and then let the people decide. The question is that there

:28:56.:29:03.

shall be an early parliamentary general election. Mr Jeremy Corbyn.

:29:04.:29:12.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. We welcome the opportunity of a general

:29:13.:29:18.

election because it gives the British people the chance to vote

:29:19.:29:22.

for a Labour government that will put the interests of the majority

:29:23.:29:27.

first. The Prime Minister has said that she only recently and

:29:28.:29:31.

reluctantly decided to go for a snap election. Just four weeks ago the

:29:32.:29:37.

Prime minister's spokesperson said, "There is not going to be able early

:29:38.:29:42.

general election. Was good how can any voter trust what the Prime

:29:43.:29:47.

Minister says? Britain is being held back, held back by our government,

:29:48.:29:50.

the Prime Minister approximately strong economy, but the truth is

:29:51.:29:55.

that most people are worse off than they were when the Conservatives

:29:56.:29:59.

came to power is seven years ago. The election gives the British

:30:00.:30:03.

people the chance to change direction. This election is about

:30:04.:30:07.

her government's fielder to rebuild the economy and living standards for

:30:08.:30:15.

the majority. It is about the crisis are government has plunged her

:30:16.:30:21.

national health service into, the cuts to our children's schools which

:30:22.:30:24.

will limit the chances of every child in Britain. 4 million of whom

:30:25.:30:33.

now live in poverty. A chant of an alternative to raise living

:30:34.:30:36.

standards as more and more people do not have security in their work or

:30:37.:30:43.

in their housing. Pars-mac a chance of an alternative.

:30:44.:30:52.

I will give way to my friend, the member for Stoke-on-Trent. Mr Gareth

:30:53.:31:05.

Snell. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker and

:31:06.:31:11.

I will try not to take it personally that having arrived so early the

:31:12.:31:14.

Prime Minister felt desperate to get rid of me that she is calling an

:31:15.:31:18.

election. What I would say to my honourable friend, with my

:31:19.:31:24.

honourable friend agreed that the Prime Minister, in calling this

:31:25.:31:26.

election, essentially is saying that she does not have confidence and our

:31:27.:31:32.

own government to deliver a Brexit deal for Britain? Only she could

:31:33.:31:35.

secure the votes of myself and my only friend is to table a motion of

:31:36.:31:39.

no-confidence in her own government which I would vote for. I thank my

:31:40.:31:44.

friend for that intervention, I congratulate him on his election to

:31:45.:31:49.

this House and I congratulate him on his work and I agree with him, I

:31:50.:31:52.

have no confidence in this government either.

:31:53.:31:59.

In the interests of unity in Stoke-on-Trent, what else can I do?

:32:00.:32:07.

There are five towns, don't forget. Six. I'm grateful to my friend, he

:32:08.:32:15.

highlighted the Prime Minister dithered over whether she wanted an

:32:16.:32:18.

election and always said she didn't want one, but the reality is that

:32:19.:32:22.

what has focused on mine is the fact she might lose some of her

:32:23.:32:26.

backbenchers if the CPS have their way. -- focused her mind. The timing

:32:27.:32:34.

of the election and the role of the CPS is extremely interesting in this

:32:35.:32:37.

and it is interesting the Prime Minister did not mention it in her

:32:38.:32:41.

contribution. I gave way to the gentleman here. I most grateful. He

:32:42.:32:49.

talks about trust in leaders, what trust can the public but in a leader

:32:50.:32:53.

who has no confidence from his parliamentary colleagues and is in

:32:54.:32:57.

place by people who are not in parliament but from people who are

:32:58.:33:04.

outside? I was elected leader of my party by 300,000 votes and I don't

:33:05.:33:10.

know how many people voted for the Prime Minister to be leader of her

:33:11.:33:16.

party. I suspect it was actually none whatsoever. To the 6 million

:33:17.:33:24.

people working in jobs that pay less than the living wage I simply say

:33:25.:33:27.

this, it doesn't have to be like this. Because Labour believes that

:33:28.:33:34.

every job should pay a wage you can live on and every worker should have

:33:35.:33:38.

decent rights at work. To the millions of people who can't afford

:33:39.:33:44.

a home of their own, or have spent years waiting for a council home,

:33:45.:33:48.

this is your chance to vote for the home your family deserves. Because

:33:49.:33:57.

we believe a housing policy should provide homes for everyone and not

:33:58.:34:02.

investment opportunities for a few. To the millions of small businesses,

:34:03.:34:09.

fed up with red tape of quarterly reporting and hikes in business

:34:10.:34:12.

rates and broken promises on national insurance contributions,

:34:13.:34:16.

this is your chance to vote for a government that invests and that

:34:17.:34:21.

supports wealth creators, not just the wealth extractors. The Prime

:34:22.:34:29.

Minister says she has called the election so the government can

:34:30.:34:34.

negotiate Brexit, we had a referendum that established that

:34:35.:34:38.

mandate. Parliament has voted to accept that result. There is no

:34:39.:34:47.

negotiating, but instead of getting negotiating, but instead of getting

:34:48.:34:52.

on with the job, she has pegged herself as the prisoner of the Lib

:34:53.:34:56.

Dems, who have threatened to grind government to a standstill. There

:34:57.:35:02.

are nine of them and they have managed to vote three different ways

:35:03.:35:07.

on Article 50. So it is obviously a very serious threat indeed. The

:35:08.:35:15.

Tories want to use Brexit to turn us into a low-wage tax haven. Labour

:35:16.:35:23.

will use Brexit to invest in every part of this country and to create a

:35:24.:35:30.

high wage, high skill economy, in which everyone shares the rewards.

:35:31.:35:40.

The Prime Minister also says this campaign will be about leadership.

:35:41.:35:46.

So let's have a head-to-head TV debate about the future of our

:35:47.:35:50.

country, why has she rejected that request? Labour... Mr Speaker,

:35:51.:36:02.

Labour offers a better future, we want richer lives for everyone, not

:36:03.:36:13.

the country run for the rich. Order, order. Giving way to the right

:36:14.:36:23.

honourable gentleman. Order! Order. Order! I've known the right

:36:24.:36:37.

honourable gentleman for more than 30 years, you will not take it

:36:38.:36:43.

personally. He has completed his speech and now he would like to

:36:44.:36:49.

raise his point. On a point of order, is that it? LAUGHTER

:36:50.:37:04.

It's very generous of the right honourable gentleman to see to

:37:05.:37:10.

invest me with additional powers but the question of whether it is it as

:37:11.:37:16.

he put it is not a matter for me. And the right honourable gentleman

:37:17.:37:20.

has completed his contribution. Sir Desmond Swiryn.

:37:21.:37:25.

I accept entirely the logic that was laid out by my right honourable

:37:26.:37:34.

friend at her post-statement yesterday in Downing Street, and

:37:35.:37:36.

what I can say is that I reached that conclusion somewhat earlier.

:37:37.:37:41.

However I just did not believe it was possible to deliver. Indeed I

:37:42.:37:48.

found myself discombobulated by a reversal in government policy for

:37:49.:37:53.

the second time in a few weeks. Having told the readers of the

:37:54.:37:58.

Forest Journal in terms that there was no question of there being an

:37:59.:38:04.

early general election, because it was not in the Prime Minister's gift

:38:05.:38:09.

to deliver it, because of the fixed term act. That decision lies with a

:38:10.:38:16.

majority of two thirds of the members of the House of Commons, and

:38:17.:38:20.

as I told them with absolute confidence, turkeys will not vote

:38:21.:38:28.

for Christmas. I congratulate my right honourable friend for having

:38:29.:38:32.

achieved the impossible and secured the fact that today those turkeys

:38:33.:38:38.

will indeed vote for that. The reason why I reached the opinion

:38:39.:38:44.

that I did, that an election was necessary was firstly that, during

:38:45.:38:47.

the passage and the debate on the Article 50 Bill, member after member

:38:48.:38:55.

opposite got up and announced their recantation, that notwithstanding

:38:56.:38:59.

having voted to remain, they were now going to abide by the will of

:39:00.:39:05.

their constituents. Yet at every opportunity they cheered to the

:39:06.:39:10.

rafters those few who spoke out and said they remained with the 48% and

:39:11.:39:16.

believed that so proceeding as events unfolded that 48% would

:39:17.:39:22.

become a majority. They pursued a strategy of desperation. A strategy

:39:23.:39:30.

of how an arm, something might turn up, well, that something was the

:39:31.:39:35.

long promised economic shock or whatever -- of Hang on. That

:39:36.:39:42.

strategy of Hang on requires an essential ingredient, delay, and

:39:43.:39:50.

that was the tactic they clearly pursued and they promised that they

:39:51.:39:54.

would be more. Now, with respect to the other place, the other place is

:39:55.:40:00.

not bound currently in respect of the government's policy by these

:40:01.:40:06.

Salisbury Convention, and my friend for North Norfolk and I were invited

:40:07.:40:11.

to debate in front of a city audience recently the motion that

:40:12.:40:17.

the United Kingdom is leaving the EU. Two peers, highly respected

:40:18.:40:27.

peers, Lord Butler, former Cabinet sector, Lord Leicester, one of our

:40:28.:40:31.

human rights lawyers, they argued the case that we would not leave the

:40:32.:40:36.

European Union because they were in a position to prevent it and would

:40:37.:40:44.

do so. It is essential therefore, I believe, that the policy that the

:40:45.:40:47.

Prime Minister has announced of pursuing a general election and

:40:48.:40:52.

securing a mandate in this House and a mandate to bind the other house in

:40:53.:40:57.

respect of the Salisbury convention is absolutely necessary. I'm

:40:58.:41:02.

confident that she will achieve that majority because I'm confident that

:41:03.:41:06.

she will be backed by the overwhelming majority of this nation

:41:07.:41:14.

who, as she will know, I voted for every other possible candidate for

:41:15.:41:19.

the leadership of the Tory party last year in order to avoid her

:41:20.:41:24.

becoming the leader. I have to tell her that I have become her greatest

:41:25.:41:31.

fan. CHEERING And as my constituents recognise and

:41:32.:41:39.

tell me continually, she is doing magnificently and long may she

:41:40.:41:45.

continue to do so. Mr Angus Robertson. The Prime Minister has

:41:46.:41:53.

said she wants unity and she has said that she wants an end to

:41:54.:41:58.

division and she intends to do that by crushing opposition. With

:41:59.:42:04.

political opponents described as saboteurs, something I invited her

:42:05.:42:08.

earlier to take a distance from but she was not prepared. This is not a

:42:09.:42:15.

vision of or an understanding of mainstream democracy that I share

:42:16.:42:19.

with the Prime Minister. And for months we have heard from her that

:42:20.:42:22.

now is not the time before the public to vote, that no one wants it

:42:23.:42:27.

that it is important to get on with the day job. We have been told that

:42:28.:42:32.

the Prime Minister needs to concentrate all of her time on

:42:33.:42:36.

Brexit and that nothing, nothing, should get in the way, but now, as

:42:37.:42:44.

we have learned in the last 24 hours, all of that was in direct

:42:45.:42:49.

trick. And there are two key reasons why there is going to be a general

:42:50.:42:55.

election -- empty rhetoric. The first is politically expedient, is

:42:56.:42:59.

about the unelectable state of the Labour Party, and that is a reason

:43:00.:43:05.

of political expediency to hold an election. It is about not wanting to

:43:06.:43:10.

repeat the political error that Gordon Brown made, the Prime

:43:11.:43:15.

Minister wants to receive her own electoral mandate and crush

:43:16.:43:19.

political opposition in England. The second reason for holding an early

:43:20.:43:22.

general election is that it has finally dawned on the UK Government

:43:23.:43:26.

that the Brexit negotiations are going to be very difficult and the

:43:27.:43:32.

reality of the hard Brexit that the Prime Minister is pursuing have not

:43:33.:43:36.

fully dawned on the public. As one commentator wrote... If I can have a

:43:37.:43:43.

moment, as one commentator wrote today, the EU is not going to roll

:43:44.:43:47.

over and give the UK free and frictionless access to the single

:43:48.:43:55.

market, and the Prime Minister is getting the vote in before the

:43:56.:44:00.

reality of Brexit hits home. While she thinks she can get away with all

:44:01.:44:05.

of this against the Labour Party in England but she will not come she

:44:06.:44:07.

will not get away with this in Scotland. On the subject of hard

:44:08.:44:15.

Brexit, does he agree that his incumbent on those who are

:44:16.:44:21.

advocating it to set out very clearly what the impact on jobs is

:44:22.:44:25.

going to be for us coming out of the single market and the customs union?

:44:26.:44:29.

That would be an opportunity in a That would be an opportunity in a

:44:30.:44:33.

normal general election campaign where party leaders debate the

:44:34.:44:37.

issues on their record but there has been an interesting development

:44:38.:44:41.

since the debate. I'd notice colleagues looking at their mobile

:44:42.:44:44.

phones, because ITV has confirmed there will be a leaders debate.

:44:45.:44:50.

There are a number of other party leaders in the chamber. I'm looking

:44:51.:44:54.

at the Leader of the Opposition. Izzy intending to take part in the

:44:55.:44:59.

debate? I suspect he probably will -- is he intending for them the

:45:00.:45:03.

leader of the Liberal Democrats and the leader of the Green party. It is

:45:04.:45:09.

unsustainable in the 21st century in the multimedia age to go to the

:45:10.:45:16.

country and not to debate the leaders of the main political

:45:17.:45:22.

parties. The notion that the UK Prime Minister might be empty

:45:23.:45:26.

chaired because she is not prepared to stand up for heart arguments is

:45:27.:45:30.

just not sustainable. Maybe she would wish that the honourable

:45:31.:45:36.

gentleman who is seeking to intervene might take her place

:45:37.:45:41.

instead. As I said yesterday, I hope that the Prime Minister does go

:45:42.:45:44.

head-to-head with the leaders of other parties. It is quite simple,

:45:45.:45:55.

she would floor them all. No, she wouldn't. She would not managed that

:45:56.:46:01.

with Nicola Sturgeon. But I am surprised and I welcome what the

:46:02.:46:05.

honourable gentleman had to say any encouragement. Because I think the

:46:06.:46:13.

public deserves a debate during the election campaign and I think the

:46:14.:46:16.

Prime Minister should have some more confidence in herself. I think she

:46:17.:46:20.

should be prepared to address the country and to debate the idea is

:46:21.:46:23.

that all the political parties across the UK have. But we have

:46:24.:46:29.

already learned of course in Scotland that the Prime Minister is

:46:30.:46:33.

prepared to ignore the mandate and wishes of the Scottish electorate.

:46:34.:46:37.

Of the Scottish Parliament. And the Scottish Government. So why would

:46:38.:46:43.

anyone in Scotland... I need to make some progress, so why would anyone

:46:44.:46:53.

in Scotland vote for such a distant respectful -- disrespectful party

:46:54.:46:57.

and Prime Minister? The Prime Minister promised that she would

:46:58.:47:00.

have a unified approach with all the devolved governments, an agreement,

:47:01.:47:06.

before triggering Brexit, but she didn't. She broke her word. And as

:47:07.:47:11.

we have learned in recent weeks, in connection with the appalling

:47:12.:47:16.

clause, the one thing that the Scottish Tories don't like talking

:47:17.:47:22.

about is Tory policy. But this election will highlight the dangers

:47:23.:47:25.

to Scotland of unfettered Tory Westminster government. We live in

:47:26.:47:30.

one of the most unequal countries in the developed world, but the Tories

:47:31.:47:35.

want to make it even more unfair. Experts say that their policies will

:47:36.:47:42.

cause the largest increase in inequality since Margaret Thatcher.

:47:43.:47:49.

Does he agree with me that if this election is as the Prime Minister

:47:50.:47:55.

says is about a more secure future for this country, if it is an

:47:56.:47:59.

election or such national significance, we should have an

:48:00.:48:04.

urgent change in the law to give Britain's 1.5 million 16-year-old

:48:05.:48:09.

and 17-year-olds a say in deciding their own future on the 8th of June.

:48:10.:48:13.

As someone who gave his maiden speech on in franchising

:48:14.:48:18.

16-year-olds and 17-year-olds, I totally agree. Some young people

:48:19.:48:25.

have been given the vote in some referenda but yet denied it in

:48:26.:48:30.

others, that is wrong. He will be aware that the Supreme Court made it

:48:31.:48:35.

abundantly clear and all the judges decided on a unanimous basis that

:48:36.:48:40.

issues concerning Brexit negotiations should be determined by

:48:41.:48:42.

this House which represent the whole of the UK and that this was not an

:48:43.:48:49.

issue to be decided by any of the devolved institutions. Which bit of

:48:50.:48:52.

that is the right honourable gentleman have a problem with

:48:53.:48:56.

understanding? The thing I have a difficulty understanding is the

:48:57.:48:59.

commitment that the Prime Minister gave, she gave it when she came to

:49:00.:49:03.

Edinburgh, it was on the front page of the House journal of the House

:49:04.:49:08.

Daily Telegraph and she said she wanted a seat UK-wide abroad and

:49:09.:49:12.

agreement. The honourable gentleman might want to rewrite history but

:49:13.:49:16.

the Prime Minister gave an agreement to reach an agreement and she did

:49:17.:49:21.

not do that. Mr Speaker, the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act was

:49:22.:49:24.

supposed to stop political parties abusing their position and putting

:49:25.:49:28.

party before country. Today, the Tories are going to do just that and

:49:29.:49:34.

sadly, the Labour Party is going to vote with the Tories and make life

:49:35.:49:38.

easy for them. We of these benches will not vote with the Tories, but

:49:39.:49:43.

given the arrow keys that the party is going to be voting with the

:49:44.:49:48.

Tories, there will be a general election and boy, we look forward to

:49:49.:49:52.

that. -- given their realities. Because, in Scotland, we... Mr

:49:53.:50:03.

Morris, normally you have a very mild manner, you are a very

:50:04.:50:08.

restrained individual. But you have become overexcited. Calm yourself,

:50:09.:50:15.

take some sort of soothing medicine, it will have a good impact! In

:50:16.:50:19.

Scotland, the general election will be a two horse race, a straight

:50:20.:50:26.

fight between the SNP and the Tories, do I think that mainstream

:50:27.:50:29.

regardless of whether they voted to Leave or Remain will vote for a hard

:50:30.:50:35.

Tory Brexit? I do not believe that will be the case. While the board

:50:36.:50:39.

for more cuts to public services? I do not think so. While they vote for

:50:40.:50:45.

a party that is undermining the mandate given by the voters any

:50:46.:50:47.

Scottish general election? For people in Scotland to determine

:50:48.:50:52.

their own future? No, I do not. We of these benches, will work hard for

:50:53.:50:57.

every vote in every seat in Scotland and Mr Speaker, we look forward to

:50:58.:51:01.

defeating the Tories in this general election. Order, there are at least

:51:02.:51:10.

ten people wanting to speak, we have less than one hour, members can do

:51:11.:51:15.

the arithmetic for themselves and it would be appreciated if each member

:51:16.:51:18.

helps other members with their contributions accordingly. Thank

:51:19.:51:23.

you, Mr Speaker. I welcome the courage that the Prime Minister has

:51:24.:51:26.

shown in taking this question to the public. Who is that they are

:51:27.:51:31.

expecting to lead the country for the next five years? I have to tell

:51:32.:51:36.

you, having followed the last week I can assure the public it will not be

:51:37.:51:39.

the right honourable gentleman for Moray. I think the public will have

:51:40.:51:43.

to think long and hard because Brexit is happening, this is not

:51:44.:51:50.

about... This is very time-limited, everyone has to have the time to

:51:51.:51:56.

speak. This is not about us in here, this is about delivering the future

:51:57.:51:58.

for the British public, future that they deserve, delivering the best

:51:59.:52:03.

possible outcome for this country as we leave the European Union. And I

:52:04.:52:08.

know that when we have that election on the 8th of June, there will be

:52:09.:52:12.

individual members here who may well find themselves in difficulties with

:52:13.:52:16.

their constituency, for whatever reasons they have expressed about

:52:17.:52:21.

the dealership. I am proud to be standing behind a Prime Minister who

:52:22.:52:26.

has made it brutally clear that this is not about making gains in this

:52:27.:52:31.

place, this is about delivering a Brexit that is the good of the

:52:32.:52:36.

European... Well, it is for the good of the European Union as well, I

:52:37.:52:41.

have to say, getting our relationship with the European Union

:52:42.:52:45.

in the future will be hugely important, but this is going to be a

:52:46.:52:50.

question that will be posed in constituencies of the leaders that

:52:51.:52:53.

could be the Prime Minister, that is what they are going to ask the

:52:54.:52:58.

country. Does this country believe that the leader for Islington North

:52:59.:53:03.

could lead this country? I suspect a large number of his colleagues on

:53:04.:53:07.

his own backbenchers would say no, and I would suggest that the

:53:08.:53:10.

businesses in my constituency would equally say no. Does the leader...

:53:11.:53:20.

Sorry, Westmorland and Lonsdale, whose voting record and attendance

:53:21.:53:25.

in this House, along with his colleagues, is generally pretty low,

:53:26.:53:28.

there were too much here today, none to vote on the Budget yesterday,

:53:29.:53:32.

does he really believe that he can lead this country, I suggest no. I

:53:33.:53:37.

would suggest that the British public, when they are looking who to

:53:38.:53:41.

vote for on the 8th of June will look forward with confidence to a

:53:42.:53:45.

Prime Minister with an increased mandate to take us through to the

:53:46.:53:49.

next five years and I am delighted that she is giving this opportunity

:53:50.:53:54.

to the country, to examine our record in Saint old since 2010, 70

:53:55.:54:02.

3% youth unemployment, a drop. An extra... It is interesting for the

:54:03.:54:10.

third placed Lib Dems in my constituency who I must tell you, I

:54:11.:54:14.

hear nothing from in the House defending St Albans, it is

:54:15.:54:18.

surprising, Mr Speaker that they are more interested in campaigning and

:54:19.:54:22.

less interested in running the country. This party, our government,

:54:23.:54:27.

has taken a strong stance and in St Albans, as I have said, there has

:54:28.:54:31.

been a two thirds reduction in youth unemployment since 2010. 76%

:54:32.:54:35.

increase in young people going into apprenticeships. Those of the

:54:36.:54:41.

records we will put to the public. Brexit is happening, we are going to

:54:42.:54:45.

make the best of it and I believe our Prime Minister will not have to

:54:46.:54:51.

suffer 100 and elected Liberal Democrat in the other place and nine

:54:52.:54:57.

in this place are rarely turn up, trying to target the tail of this

:54:58.:55:01.

Prime Minister. We need to make the future secure... I will finish my

:55:02.:55:08.

remarks. We must make the future secure for our young people and our

:55:09.:55:12.

young families and begin playing in this place is a disservice to the

:55:13.:55:15.

British public who are probably fed up having elections anyway, but let

:55:16.:55:24.

us get on and get a mandate for our Prime Minister. Please, to the

:55:25.:55:27.

honourable lady, the public do not respect the fact that people yell

:55:28.:55:29.

from the backbenches. She can speak up for her own leader in... Her own

:55:30.:55:33.

leader and her own manifesto and her own party and what she believes her

:55:34.:55:36.

own leader for Islington North that he will be the man to take the

:55:37.:55:42.

country through and the next five years. I cannot share her confidence

:55:43.:55:46.

but she always the highest belief in his abilities. I know that this

:55:47.:55:49.

government which has delivered so much already and has so much more to

:55:50.:55:55.

deliver has a resonance with the British public when you look at what

:55:56.:55:59.

is on offer from the other parties that are divided, wrangling,

:56:00.:56:03.

scaremongering and in denial of Brexit. This government will give

:56:04.:56:06.

the best deal for all of our businesses and all of our

:56:07.:56:11.

constituencies. Tim Farron. Appropriate time to be

:56:12.:56:18.

called. I notice that the former Prime Minister, David Cameron,

:56:19.:56:27.

earlier welcoming the Prime minister's decision to call an early

:56:28.:56:33.

election. Given that we are in this mess in one sense as a country

:56:34.:56:36.

because he put party before country calling the referendum when he did,

:56:37.:56:41.

it is hardly surprising that the Prime Minister should follow him and

:56:42.:56:44.

indeed choose to put party before country once again. Let us remember

:56:45.:56:51.

from the moment that she took of this that the Prime Minister has

:56:52.:56:54.

ignored the closeness of the referendum vote, has pursued the

:56:55.:56:59.

hardest form of Brexit, driving division instead of cohesion. She

:57:00.:57:05.

has ignored the British people, British businesses, British public

:57:06.:57:07.

sector and the National Health Service, and now, what is now

:57:08.:57:12.

clearly another act of putting 1's party before 1's country, she has

:57:13.:57:18.

chosen an early election, let us not by this nonsense because that you

:57:19.:57:21.

need a mandate to deliver Brexit, the Labour Party has given her a

:57:22.:57:24.

mandate to deliver Brexit, she is acting upon a narrow majority of the

:57:25.:57:32.

referendum in 2016, not for the moment... Let us all be very clear

:57:33.:57:37.

and honest. She has chosen, she has chosen this election because she

:57:38.:57:40.

looked across the dispatch box and could not resist the temptation of

:57:41.:57:45.

doing the political equivalent of taking candy from a baby and facing

:57:46.:57:53.

a Labour Party in a general election. She expects... She expects

:57:54.:57:57.

a coronation and not a contest, and that is why the Liberal Democrats

:57:58.:58:00.

relish the challenge of a general election. I will give way to my

:58:01.:58:09.

neighbour. I am very grateful for him giving way. Just about that

:58:10.:58:14.

coronation, will he rule out a coalition with the Conservatives?

:58:15.:58:16.

The problem we face in this country is that the Prime Minister is

:58:17.:58:21.

running on expectation. We do not need a coalition with anyone. The

:58:22.:58:26.

Prime Minister... In good time. The Prime Minister will call the general

:58:27.:58:31.

election in order to take advantage of what she thinks is a clear

:58:32.:58:38.

opportunity for a majority of 100 or more. I have accepted the

:58:39.:58:44.

gentleman's intervention. What is the answer? It is very clear that

:58:45.:58:50.

we're not talking about balance, the Prime Minister takes the view that

:58:51.:58:54.

in calling this election, it is an opportunity for her to have a 100

:58:55.:58:58.

seat majority, an opportunity to drive through not just a hard

:58:59.:59:06.

Brexit, a deeper agenda to slim down the NHS, to... Order! Rather

:59:07.:59:10.

disorderly atmosphere. The right honourable gentleman is undertaking

:59:11.:59:16.

an apprenticeship to become a statesman but he has several models

:59:17.:59:20.

and some years ago. He must calm himself. Mr Farron. To answer the

:59:21.:59:29.

hackles of my friend of many years, the reality is that we are not

:59:30.:59:34.

looking at a balanced parliament, the Prime Minister... I think I have

:59:35.:59:38.

given you your answer. The Prime Minister has clearly caught the

:59:39.:59:43.

selection on the understanding that she can get lots of numbers and give

:59:44.:59:47.

herself a majority to allow her to... And not for the time being,

:59:48.:59:53.

thank you. To allow herself to deliver the hardest form of Brexit

:59:54.:59:56.

to shrink the NHS, to undermine the support for integration and to take

:59:57.:00:03.

us out of the single market. If you want to avoid a hard Brexit, if you

:00:04.:00:09.

want to take Britain in the single market, if you want a Briton that

:00:10.:00:12.

has a decent opposition, a decent opposition, then only the Lib Dems

:00:13.:00:18.

will give you that. Can I just point out? There is only one route, Mr

:00:19.:00:26.

Speaker, the Prime Minister losing this general election and it is the

:00:27.:00:33.

Lib Dems. I am happy to explain why that might be the case, there is not

:00:34.:00:40.

that much time, let me move on, please. Let me explain that the only

:00:41.:00:45.

route through which Theresa May, the Prime Minister, could lose her

:00:46.:00:53.

majority... Unless my friends on the SNP benches are about to launch a

:00:54.:01:00.

aggressive foreign policy, they can only do so much. Not even the Labour

:01:01.:01:05.

Party believes it will gain seats at this general election. The SNP can

:01:06.:01:08.

only possibly gain one more seat than they already have. So the only

:01:09.:01:14.

way to stop a Tory majority is the growth and revival of the Lib Dems.

:01:15.:01:20.

The government has already stated that it will not outline its

:01:21.:01:25.

negotiating stance any further than the dab rhetoric we have already

:01:26.:01:28.

seen. We have said that that is not good enough. If they will not tell

:01:29.:01:34.

us what they are pursuing, they must instead trust the people with their

:01:35.:01:40.

say on the final deal. The Prime Minister has already confirmed that

:01:41.:01:49.

she will not do any TV debates, referring to bash Machiavellian to

:01:50.:01:54.

hide behind the media that supports than face the public any TV debate.

:01:55.:01:59.

I will give way. I think you might have misheard the straightforward

:02:00.:02:07.

question, it is being afraid, do not be afraid, will you rule out a

:02:08.:02:10.

coalition with the Tories, yes or no? The outcome of this general

:02:11.:02:15.

election is up -- uncertain and in the days and weeks to come we will

:02:16.:02:19.

no doubt talk about what will happen... Honourable gentleman

:02:20.:02:31.

below, you as well, you have to be patient, your patience will be

:02:32.:02:32.

rewarded. I don't think he gave a straight

:02:33.:02:45.

answer to that question, so let's try another question. Many of his

:02:46.:02:49.

viewers will be asked about over the next seven weeks and he was asked

:02:50.:02:52.

one question which he refused to give an answer to. Does he think

:02:53.:02:59.

that being gay is a sin? I do not. I do not. I am very proud to have gone

:03:00.:03:09.

through the lobby behind, with the Liberal Democrats equalled gay

:03:10.:03:19.

marriage and equal marriage, -- brought about gay marriage and equal

:03:20.:03:22.

marriage, but there is more to be done. If we campaign for a open and

:03:23.:03:28.

tolerant society, we need to make sure we are not complacent about

:03:29.:03:35.

LGBT rights, anywhere in the world, including what is going on in

:03:36.:03:39.

Chechnya at the moment. Let me say this. I won't. Let's move on and

:03:40.:03:48.

finish. I'm flattered so many people want to know my views, and I will

:03:49.:03:55.

put myself up for a debate with others, even if the Prime Minister

:03:56.:04:02.

doesn't. The reality is, what we had in the referendum last June was a

:04:03.:04:09.

vote to start the process and giving the Prime Minister a mandate to

:04:10.:04:12.

negotiate Brexit but what was not given was a mandate to give the

:04:13.:04:15.

Prime Minister the right to enact any old deal at the end of the

:04:16.:04:22.

process. What the Prime Minister is asking for now is a blank cheque to

:04:23.:04:26.

allow the British people to put up with whatever stitch up she and the

:04:27.:04:32.

Brussels bureaucrats bring together over the next few years, that is not

:04:33.:04:36.

democracy. An election which takes place on the 8th of June will not

:04:37.:04:41.

decide the outcome, it will be about imposing on the British people a

:04:42.:04:44.

deal that absolutely nobody voted for. Yes, the Liberal Democrats

:04:45.:04:51.

welcome this opportunity to show the British people that there is another

:04:52.:04:57.

way, that the values of tolerance and openness and fairness can help

:04:58.:05:04.

build a vibrant and successful community across the UK and beyond,

:05:05.:05:07.

and the government has made it clear that this is not the Britain that

:05:08.:05:12.

they believe in. They have chosen isolation over calibration, meanness

:05:13.:05:17.

over fairness, and I believe in a better Britain and that is why we

:05:18.:05:20.

will support this motion -- over cooperation. Order. On account of

:05:21.:05:28.

the level of interest and given that there are only 37 minutes to go I

:05:29.:05:33.

will impose a three-minute limit on backbench speeches. I can take up

:05:34.:05:40.

less time. It was a great honour to follow the leader of the Liberal

:05:41.:05:44.

Democrats. I would've hoped he would have rolled coming into us in a

:05:45.:05:50.

coalition. -- ruled out. There is no chance that we would want you, sir,

:05:51.:05:58.

in our coalition. Or any government. Today the party politics is in full

:05:59.:06:02.

swing, but really, this is a good day for Parliament. This is another

:06:03.:06:08.

slight step towards Parliamentary democracy rather than dictate by the

:06:09.:06:14.

executive. The Prime Minister has not called a general election, it is

:06:15.:06:19.

this House that will decide whether there will be a general election,

:06:20.:06:22.

and if I thought for one moment that this election had been called for

:06:23.:06:32.

party political reasons to go early to the country, as happened with

:06:33.:06:37.

previous governments, previous governments chose the moment ago for

:06:38.:06:40.

political advantage and it gave great power to the executive.

:06:41.:06:46.

Strange number of circumstances have come together, we have had a change

:06:47.:06:51.

in the Prime Minister and not only a change in the Prime Minister, but

:06:52.:06:54.

the changing all senior ministers. We have moved from a government that

:06:55.:06:59.

was anti-Brexit to pro Brexit, and that is why I will cast my vote

:07:00.:07:05.

today in support of the government motion. It is up to every member in

:07:06.:07:11.

this House to make that decision. I think that proves that the fixed

:07:12.:07:16.

Parliament act is working and I absolutely, if members disagree,

:07:17.:07:23.

they can vote against... Thanks giving way. He said it is Parliament

:07:24.:07:29.

that will decide but the Prime Minister went on television

:07:30.:07:32.

yesterday declaring across the world that they would be a general

:07:33.:07:36.

election. If Parliament does not give her the two thirds, should the

:07:37.:07:41.

Prime Minister resign after such a public humiliation? That is the

:07:42.:07:48.

advantage of the Parliament act. If the House does not agree to a

:07:49.:07:50.

general election it won't happen, and the government will continue in

:07:51.:07:56.

office. Opposition members that don't want a general election will

:07:57.:08:02.

be very strange creatures indeed. But also opposition members that sit

:08:03.:08:05.

on their hands and don't vote will be regarded as important members of

:08:06.:08:11.

Parliament. I hope the gentlemen will make his mind up and cast his

:08:12.:08:18.

vote one way or the other. Isn't that why the fixed term Parliament

:08:19.:08:22.

act can never work because no opposition can sensibly say that

:08:23.:08:28.

they prefer a government they are opposed to to continue in office

:08:29.:08:30.

rather than have a chance to defeating it? Therefore be fixed

:08:31.:08:37.

term Parliament act should go. Very rarely that I disagree with you, but

:08:38.:08:40.

I think it is proved today that it is working. I believe we will have

:08:41.:08:45.

the required majority, but I understand that if nobody objects

:08:46.:08:52.

and you decide the matter on the voices, it in fact is carried and we

:08:53.:08:58.

don't have two actually have two thirds which I think is a strange

:08:59.:09:08.

anomaly but I hope somebody will set -- will shout no and we will

:09:09.:09:14.

actually get it. I would never dream of doing anything other than that. I

:09:15.:09:19.

just think of despite the party politics, this is a great day for

:09:20.:09:22.

Parliament and is a small step forward in Parliamentary democracy.

:09:23.:09:29.

Mr Nigel Dodds. There are three issues I would like to address in

:09:30.:09:32.

the short time available, the first is that this election is happening

:09:33.:09:36.

in the midst of political discussions in Northern Ireland

:09:37.:09:39.

about the formation of an executive which is unfortunate. As far as our

:09:40.:09:45.

party is concerned we respond positively to the request for

:09:46.:09:50.

discussions to continue in Northern Ireland and we have made it very

:09:51.:09:54.

clear along with the STL P and the Ulster Unionist Party we are ready

:09:55.:09:59.

to form an executive in Northern Ireland -- S DLP. We will be looking

:10:00.:10:10.

at health education funding and public services, we believe they are

:10:11.:10:13.

far more important than some of the issues which are said to divide us.

:10:14.:10:24.

We don't need prolonged negotiation. The second thing, in terms of

:10:25.:10:28.

Brexit, Northern Ireland's position is different from other parts of the

:10:29.:10:32.

UK and that has been made clear in the government's paper that it has

:10:33.:10:37.

set out, it has recognised the special circumstances and we believe

:10:38.:10:40.

it is imperative that Northern Ireland's voice is heard very

:10:41.:10:45.

strongly. That is why it is such a strategy that Sinn Fein has walked

:10:46.:10:49.

away from the executive and collapsed the assembly -- such a

:10:50.:10:55.

tragedy for them boycotts this place and then demands a special stages

:10:56.:11:00.

which has been rejected by the Irish Republic, the European Union and

:11:01.:11:05.

even the European Parliament when it set out its negotiating position.

:11:06.:11:11.

They want, and we agree with special arrangement, which recognises

:11:12.:11:15.

special circle sciences of Northern Ireland, so Mr Speaker, it is

:11:16.:11:18.

essential and the election is going to happen -- special circumstances.

:11:19.:11:24.

There's a clear choice between a party which has walked away and

:11:25.:11:27.

abandoned its responsibilities and a party which will enter in Northern

:11:28.:11:32.

Ireland and contributes and raises its voice and stands up for Northern

:11:33.:11:37.

Ireland. The final thing I want to say, on the big issue about going

:11:38.:11:41.

forward in terms of this country, this election will provide clarity

:11:42.:11:45.

and it will provide clarity on the union, that really matters, the

:11:46.:11:51.

union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and on

:11:52.:11:55.

that issue again the people of Northern Ireland will have a clear

:11:56.:11:58.

choice, they will have a clear choice as to whether or not they

:11:59.:12:02.

will want to rally round and say very firmly that they want Northern

:12:03.:12:07.

Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom, or whether they want to go

:12:08.:12:10.

down the route presented by Sinn Fein which is a Marxist Leninist

:12:11.:12:17.

concept of a republic which has been rejected even by most people who

:12:18.:12:23.

accept their nationalism, but reject what they stand for in terms of

:12:24.:12:25.

their economic outlook and all the rest of it. The only way to support

:12:26.:12:31.

the union is by rallying behind the Democratic Unionist Party on the 8th

:12:32.:12:40.

of June. The Prime Minister presents herself as the straight sort of

:12:41.:12:45.

person, like Tony Blair. She is a former Home Secretary, and she knows

:12:46.:12:50.

full well the value of evidence as it is proved, so firstly, she was

:12:51.:12:55.

initially in favour of leaving the European Union and on this

:12:56.:13:02.

honourable stance even if I disagree with, and then she was in favour of

:13:03.:13:06.

remaining the European Union, is something of a stinking Violet in

:13:07.:13:09.

her support, and now she is keen on leaving. She was opposed to having

:13:10.:13:15.

an early general election, it would be a distraction, she said. When she

:13:16.:13:24.

had important international negotiations to conclude, but now

:13:25.:13:26.

she is determined that a general election we must have. Against the

:13:27.:13:33.

European Union, for the European Union, and then against again,

:13:34.:13:36.

against holding a general election and now determined to hold a general

:13:37.:13:42.

election. The record is about as straight as the legendary European

:13:43.:13:52.

Union banana. The Prime Minister today repeatedly says she wants the

:13:53.:13:56.

early election to produce a larger Tory majority, dusty member agree

:13:57.:13:59.

that the Prime Minister is treating the electorate of the United Kingdom

:14:00.:14:06.

with contempt because she assumes the electorate will result in a

:14:07.:14:12.

larger Tory majority? -- does remember. I have no crystal ball and

:14:13.:14:19.

I know the disarray in the party to my right, and who knows what the

:14:20.:14:25.

outcome will be, but I am suspicious of the Prime Minister's motives and

:14:26.:14:31.

her reasoning. She says a general election would enhance the status of

:14:32.:14:35.

the 27, for example, and I can't see how that might be the case. To turn

:14:36.:14:41.

briefly to what I do think the Prime Minister's motives are, and I think

:14:42.:14:44.

they are pretty clear, they are in fact pretty straight. It is not only

:14:45.:14:50.

about the destruction of the Labour Party as a credible opposition over

:14:51.:14:55.

the next decade, although I'm afraid they are doing an effective

:14:56.:14:57.

demolition job on themselves without her help, and it is not only about

:14:58.:15:02.

raising a challenge to my friends in Scotland, although I think in this

:15:03.:15:07.

case her case is already lost. No, this election is about seeing off

:15:08.:15:12.

not her opponents on this side of the house, but her enemies behind

:15:13.:15:17.

her. As ever with the Tories, desperate disunity papered over when

:15:18.:15:25.

it suits. My party Plaid Cymru welcomes the opportunity that this

:15:26.:15:28.

election presents to the people of Wales and we welcome the opportunity

:15:29.:15:32.

to change our course in the long-term away from Labour's

:15:33.:15:37.

government in Cardiff and decentralised government in London,

:15:38.:15:42.

cutting our own path towards economic regeneration and

:15:43.:15:45.

prosperity, social justice and the proper confidence plays for Wales in

:15:46.:15:48.

the world. -- confident place. The Prime Minister wants a general

:15:49.:16:06.

election there would be less controversy. At every opportunity,

:16:07.:16:15.

she herself or those who spoke for the Prime Minister denied there was

:16:16.:16:21.

going to be a general election. Where was the general election, they

:16:22.:16:26.

were asked, and the answer was clear, 2020. There is no great

:16:27.:16:31.

public demand for a general election. How many members have

:16:32.:16:34.

received in the last few weeks or days letters or e-mails asking for a

:16:35.:16:40.

general election? Hands up. It is absolutely clear there has been no

:16:41.:16:52.

such demand. The reason given by the Prime Minister for a general

:16:53.:17:00.

election, Brexit, it is feeble, a flimsy excuse, and not taken in by

:17:01.:17:05.

anyone. My honourable friend said the Government shouldn't be

:17:06.:17:08.

complacent about a large majority. Hopefully they will not receive one.

:17:09.:17:18.

When you consider the harm done to those in need when this government

:17:19.:17:24.

has had a small majority, imagine what would happen if there was a

:17:25.:17:28.

large Tory majority. A nightmare, absolute nightmare for those who we

:17:29.:17:35.

represent. Millions of people in this country that need the

:17:36.:17:37.

Government to protect them and not harm them and that is not going to

:17:38.:17:44.

come from a Tory government with a small or large majority. I was here

:17:45.:17:50.

during the Tory government of the 1980s and I saw the harm that was

:17:51.:17:54.

done to my constituents and so many others. This motion before us is

:17:55.:18:03.

murky, completely opportunistic, and it reflects badly on the Prime

:18:04.:18:07.

Minister. I will conclude with these words. Many people are cynical about

:18:08.:18:12.

politics in this country and unfortunately that is a trend which

:18:13.:18:24.

has increased. I do say that this motion and general election which is

:18:25.:18:29.

coming, purely for opportunist reasons, will increase the cynical

:18:30.:18:34.

viewing and that is damaging to the Democratic process. I will be voting

:18:35.:18:43.

against the motion today because I think it is totally unnecessary and

:18:44.:18:50.

I say that as somebody who voted Leave on the 23rd and since then has

:18:51.:18:54.

had a grudging respect for the way the Prime Minister has conducted

:18:55.:18:59.

herself since she took over. However, the justification which she

:19:00.:19:03.

has given for having a general election is quite frankly

:19:04.:19:09.

disingenuous. To suggest she needs a mandate to negotiate Brexit is just

:19:10.:19:15.

ridiculous. She was given that mandate on the 24th of June by a

:19:16.:19:20.

majority of the British people. It is up to her now to carry that out.

:19:21.:19:26.

If she wishes to have another election at the end of the process

:19:27.:19:31.

or to have another referendum then so be it but to justify it now is

:19:32.:19:37.

just, as my honourable colleague said, purely opportunistic.

:19:38.:19:43.

Furthermore, she says she needs a larger majority because her business

:19:44.:19:51.

of the House is likely to be disrupted by opposition parties or

:19:52.:19:55.

by the House of Lords. Well, she ought to look back to what happened

:19:56.:19:58.

when the Wilson government was in power train 64 and 66. He had a

:19:59.:20:08.

majority of three. The Callaghan government in the 70s governed for

:20:09.:20:12.

five years without any majority and if she is fearful of what could

:20:13.:20:18.

happen from the House of Lords she should do exactly what Tories have

:20:19.:20:21.

done in the past and flood the place with her own people to ensure she

:20:22.:20:26.

gets her way. There is no justification for arguing that she

:20:27.:20:31.

needs to have a larger majority in order to get business of the House

:20:32.:20:38.

through. Furthermore, the quite frankly arrogant view that the

:20:39.:20:45.

electorate should concentrate purely and simply on one narrow issue is

:20:46.:20:51.

treating the electorate with contempt. I can only speak for my

:20:52.:20:57.

constituents but when they consider the issues they are going to be

:20:58.:21:02.

asking the questions why is every school in my constituency losing out

:21:03.:21:05.

under the new funding formula? Why is the City Council having to make

:21:06.:21:11.

horrendous cuts because the Government have cut the support

:21:12.:21:16.

grant? Why are waiting times increasing at hospitals? There are

:21:17.:21:23.

just not enough staff. Why are more hard-working families having... ? I

:21:24.:21:30.

will. I thank my honourable friend forgiving way. I wanted to point out

:21:31.:21:34.

that in his questioning about why things were happening in his

:21:35.:21:41.

constituency, I wondered if you might address why my children's

:21:42.:21:48.

school in his constituency they are having 32 children in a class. I

:21:49.:21:52.

don't remember that happening under a Labour government. I thank her and

:21:53.:21:59.

she is right. Under a Labour government we had educational

:22:00.:22:01.

programmes like building schools for the future, we had sure start

:22:02.:22:08.

centres, under this government the programme was stopped and secondly

:22:09.:22:13.

sure start centres are being closed left, right and centre. My

:22:14.:22:19.

constituents will ask the questions. Why are more and more hard-working

:22:20.:22:23.

families being forced into the humiliation of using food banks

:22:24.:22:28.

because they do not have enough money at the end of the week to feed

:22:29.:22:32.

and clothe their families? Why our energy consumers paying

:22:33.:22:37.

ever-increasing prices? While the energy utility firms are ripping

:22:38.:22:47.

them off in the name of competition. Why are young people, married and

:22:48.:22:52.

unmarried, unable to acquire proper housing for themselves and very

:22:53.:22:54.

often have to stay with their in-laws. These views will be echoed

:22:55.:23:01.

throughout the country. There is no justification for this election and

:23:02.:23:12.

I will certainly be opposing it. I will be supporting the motion

:23:13.:23:16.

because I think as one of the members opposite said it seems

:23:17.:23:19.

rather bizarre that the opposition should say we want to keep a Tory

:23:20.:23:23.

government in power. It makes no sense. We have to put our case to

:23:24.:23:28.

the British people and see what happens. We have arrived at a

:23:29.:23:32.

position today which I always thought was inevitable, this was

:23:33.:23:38.

bound to happen. I never believed the stuff about no election. There

:23:39.:23:43.

is a dynamic at work which has resulted in this decision being

:23:44.:23:50.

almost inevitable. Given he is going to support the Government, is he

:23:51.:23:53.

then confident we will not have a Tory government returning

:23:54.:23:57.

post-election with two more years? What does he say is going to happen?

:23:58.:24:05.

To do what ever you can to get rid of a Tory government as sinners you

:24:06.:24:09.

can. It might not work but it is up to the British people in an

:24:10.:24:14.

election. It is their choice. The reason it is inevitable position, I

:24:15.:24:22.

want to pay a minor tribute to Mr David Cameron, late of this parish.

:24:23.:24:27.

When the history of this country in the early part of the 20th century

:24:28.:24:32.

-- 21st-century comes to be written, he will have one of the most

:24:33.:24:38.

prominent roles, not a glorious tribute but decisions that he took

:24:39.:24:42.

well over time damage this country immensely. I remember serving on the

:24:43.:24:49.

original EU Referendum Bill, named after the member from Stockton

:24:50.:25:00.

South. I remember one evening the then Prime Minister David Cameron

:25:01.:25:04.

came into the committee room, a six committee room seven or eight, and

:25:05.:25:12.

sat in the public gallery simply to pay obeisance to the heart

:25:13.:25:18.

right-wingers from the Tory party who were on that bill. I have never

:25:19.:25:24.

seen or heard of a Prime Minister facing such ignominy. Of course, he

:25:25.:25:33.

gave them no guarantee of a referendum in or out. He didn't say

:25:34.:25:38.

he was come to renegotiate terms and then put that to them, he was gone

:25:39.:25:44.

to renegotiate and then have an in/ out referendum. When I say he will

:25:45.:25:50.

go down as one of the most damaging prime ministers, he also put in

:25:51.:25:55.

jeopardy the whole future of the UK, not just as a trading nation, our

:25:56.:25:59.

relationship with the EU, but the future of Scotland as part of the

:26:00.:26:10.

UK, and again it was he who granted the referendum in the first place

:26:11.:26:15.

which set the dynamic in play which destroyed the Labour Party in

:26:16.:26:18.

Scotland and gave the SNP the prominent role that they enjoy

:26:19.:26:24.

today. He has also put in jeopardy our relationship with the Republic

:26:25.:26:31.

of Ireland and also, as the honourable gentleman from the DUP

:26:32.:26:35.

said earlier, put at risk the very stability of Northern Ireland as an

:26:36.:26:41.

entity, as part of the UK. All these things add up and the damage done

:26:42.:26:47.

will be with us for decades and the people who will pay the greatest

:26:48.:26:51.

price will be the young people, the next generation and those who come

:26:52.:26:57.

after. It has permanently damaged this country. I will vote for the

:26:58.:27:02.

general election. I don't think it will change anything. I think the

:27:03.:27:05.

essential landscape will remain much the same after the election as it is

:27:06.:27:12.

now and it will all follow from the calamitous decision of last June to

:27:13.:27:19.

leave the EU. I can understand certain political reasons. There is

:27:20.:27:26.

sanctuary and hypocrisy today. Politics is not science or art or

:27:27.:27:29.

religion. People do things for their own advantage and every Prime

:27:30.:27:34.

Minister has always done that. I didn't intend to speak in this

:27:35.:27:37.

debate but in response to a question posed by the honourable member from

:27:38.:27:44.

Walsall North. I have received e-mails from constituents over the

:27:45.:27:48.

last few weeks asking me to encourage the Prime Minister to call

:27:49.:27:53.

a general election and go to the country once again. He seems to be

:27:54.:27:57.

implying that nobody in the country was asking for this but there were

:27:58.:28:01.

members of my constituency who were asking me to do that. When the Prime

:28:02.:28:08.

Minister made the announcement yesterday, initially I was in shock

:28:09.:28:14.

because, like my right honourable friend, the member for new Forest, I

:28:15.:28:17.

was telling people there was no chance of the general election. I

:28:18.:28:23.

wasn't quite as bold as to put it in the local paper but verbally and in

:28:24.:28:27.

e-mails I was telling people I didn't think it would happen. Having

:28:28.:28:33.

listened to the Prime Minister's reasons, I believe it is the right

:28:34.:28:39.

thing for the country. We obtain a new mandate to go into the

:28:40.:28:45.

negotiations to leave the EU and put the Prime Minister and others who

:28:46.:28:48.

will negotiate in the strongest possible position in those

:28:49.:28:52.

negotiations. I am also happy to stand on this government's record of

:28:53.:28:55.

delivering for this country. It is not just about the Brexit

:28:56.:29:00.

negotiations, it is about this government which has delivered

:29:01.:29:04.

growth, one of the best performing economies in the world, record

:29:05.:29:08.

numbers of jobs, great investment in the NHS, and I am proud to go to the

:29:09.:29:16.

country and let us -- and say let us continue delivering what our country

:29:17.:29:18.

needs and putting us in the strongest position. One final point.

:29:19.:29:27.

If the Conservative Party is returned into government with a

:29:28.:29:31.

substantially reduced majority I say to the leader of the Lib Dems will

:29:32.:29:37.

he accept it is the will of the British people that they have

:29:38.:29:39.

returned to the Conservative Party with a clear mandate to press on and

:29:40.:29:45.

take us out of the EU on the Prime Minister has set out and drop this

:29:46.:29:49.

opposition and gameplaying to thwart the democratic will of the British

:29:50.:29:58.

people? As someone who believes that the Prime Minister has presented the

:29:59.:30:01.

case for this election on an entirely false premise I will also

:30:02.:30:07.

be voting against a motion today. I wasn't asking for an election last

:30:08.:30:10.

week or the week before, I was arguing in the context of the talks

:30:11.:30:14.

in Northern Ireland that any move for an election in future wouldn't

:30:15.:30:19.

help the context of those negotiations. My mind has not

:30:20.:30:22.

changed so why should I pretend it has. I will not be goaded into

:30:23.:30:29.

voting differently because of the Prime Minister's actions and

:30:30.:30:33.

stances. She has accused others of playing games in this Parliament.

:30:34.:30:39.

Essentially our argument is that she has no confidence in parliament so

:30:40.:30:46.

she has a bizarre situation where we had a referendum on taking back

:30:47.:30:49.

sovereignty and the Prime Minister announces she has no confidence in

:30:50.:30:52.

parliament. She doesn't trust opposition parties and confers on

:30:53.:31:01.

them powers to block. If members of the Tory benches are concerned about

:31:02.:31:05.

the House of Lords then move to abolish it or have coherent reform

:31:06.:31:13.

but stop using them as props. The Prime Minister is pretending she

:31:14.:31:16.

needs the election now so she has a strong hand in the short term

:31:17.:31:21.

whereas we really know she is after a free hand in the longer term in

:31:22.:31:26.

terms of the wriggle room around periods of adjustment.

:31:27.:31:35.

Does my friend appreciate that the nearest parallel to what is

:31:36.:31:42.

happening now in this campaign for an election is the... Order, order.

:31:43.:31:53.

Please faced the House. You were busy talking. I was being spoken to

:31:54.:32:05.

by an illustrious member of the opposition whips office. The nearest

:32:06.:32:13.

parallel is the election of 1974 when Ted Heath, the then Prime

:32:14.:32:19.

Minister, decided on a very narrow argument that the miners were on

:32:20.:32:23.

strike and it would be about who runs the country. And most general

:32:24.:32:32.

elections are about a lot of things. This one was about a specific thing,

:32:33.:32:37.

and can I say, what happened in effect was that the Labour Party

:32:38.:32:41.

finished up with the largest number of seats and the Queen said to Ted

:32:42.:32:57.

Heath, and the Liberals ran away. I appreciate that intervention and I

:32:58.:33:00.

will also make the point that if we are going to bring in comparisons

:33:01.:33:06.

with that election and 1974, an on fuzzing casualties that election was

:33:07.:33:10.

the Sunningdale agreement, the power-sharing executive that had

:33:11.:33:15.

been formed out of the 1973 executive -- an another casualties.

:33:16.:33:23.

And of course this election has been called without regard to the fact

:33:24.:33:27.

that there are sensitive negotiations going on in Northern

:33:28.:33:30.

Ireland and it is hard to see how this general election won't have an

:33:31.:33:34.

impact on those negotiations, which will cull of parties to some of the

:33:35.:33:38.

issues they are dealing with -- which will colour the parties. The

:33:39.:33:46.

British government will not be in a position to give commitments in the

:33:47.:33:51.

context of those negotiations, so how are we going to get a com brands

:33:52.:33:55.

of agreement in those kind of circumstance? -- comprehensive

:33:56.:34:03.

agreement. I do not take these issues lightly. And I cannot be

:34:04.:34:08.

dismissive of them. I want to make sure that we have the agreement

:34:09.:34:13.

fully protected and that is why I am no saboteur when it comes to

:34:14.:34:16.

anything that has been endorsed by a referendum. Least of all what the

:34:17.:34:21.

Irish people in Dost when they voted for the Good Friday agreement. --

:34:22.:34:30.

Irish people endorsed. The government are in denial that the

:34:31.:34:33.

process of Brexit has implications for that agreement. I also recognise

:34:34.:34:39.

that the agreement gives us the machinery to answer many questions

:34:40.:34:44.

for the whole island of Ireland in terms of Brexit, and it gives us the

:34:45.:34:50.

material in terms of being able to make a future in a north and south

:34:51.:34:54.

bases, in ways that continue to be funded by the EU, we treat the

:34:55.:35:00.

market as a common market, single market, and we can use the auspices

:35:01.:35:07.

of the Good Friday agreement, but there is no pretence that the

:35:08.:35:10.

election is necessary and no pretence that the Prime Minister is

:35:11.:35:14.

justified in the terms that she has used and we do not buy the pretence

:35:15.:35:18.

that the right honourable member for Belfast is giving yet again

:35:19.:35:23.

regarding Sinn Fein. This is the sort of thing that gets politics a

:35:24.:35:29.

bad name and is leading to the alienation from many of our

:35:30.:35:33.

citizens, because there's only one reason why the Prime Minister wants

:35:34.:35:36.

a general election on the 8th of June and that is she she has a

:35:37.:35:39.

better chance of winning now than she does in the future. It is

:35:40.:35:45.

therefore the most blatant abuse of the democratic procedure for party

:35:46.:35:50.

political advantage. As this campaign progresses it will be

:35:51.:35:53.

seeing is that, and this has nothing to do with the country Bosman

:35:54.:35:56.

interests and everything to do with the management of the Conservative

:35:57.:36:03.

Party -- the country's interest. The Prime Minister suggested she needs

:36:04.:36:06.

to have a majority, but she has not lost any boat on Brexit over the

:36:07.:36:10.

last year with a majority of less than 30 and she... She has not won,

:36:11.:36:17.

rather, said the majority is already there. She says this will give

:36:18.:36:23.

clarity to the Brexit process, but we have been trying now for ten long

:36:24.:36:28.

months to get clarity to the Brexit process and every question we have

:36:29.:36:32.

asked has been met with silence and with a refusal to actually say what

:36:33.:36:35.

Brexit does indeed mean. I don't believe for one minute the Tory

:36:36.:36:43.

manifesto will spell out what the plan is for Britain opposed Brexit

:36:44.:36:48.

so who is kidding who? We will not be any clearer as to what Brexit

:36:49.:36:54.

means that we are right now. The media are reporting that up to 30

:36:55.:36:59.

sitting Tory MPs face being prosecuted for electoral fraud and

:37:00.:37:03.

that the CPS service will announce whether it intends to press charges

:37:04.:37:07.

very soon. Does my right honourable friend think this might have

:37:08.:37:10.

anything to do with the Prime Minister's change of heart? Yes, it

:37:11.:37:16.

is remarkably suspicious, but my concern is that what the Prime

:37:17.:37:21.

Minister wants to do is silence dissent and disagreement in this

:37:22.:37:26.

House and in this country and therefore her instincts are not

:37:27.:37:30.

democratic, they are authoritarian and that is a great worry for our

:37:31.:37:35.

country. Can I turn to the situation in Scotland. There are two reasons

:37:36.:37:39.

why the people should be given another choice on self-government

:37:40.:37:44.

and the first is because, not because the people lost the

:37:45.:37:47.

referendum don't respect the result but because the people who won the

:37:48.:37:50.

referendum changed the deal afterwards. The UK that people voted

:37:51.:37:57.

to be part of in 2014 will no longer be there in the future, but the

:37:58.:38:01.

second is that despite a compromise position from the Scottish

:38:02.:38:05.

Government that said neither will we challenge the Brexit deal, that was

:38:06.:38:10.

thrown back in our faces, and so there is no option but to offer

:38:11.:38:14.

people in Scotland and opportunity and a choice between having a hard

:38:15.:38:19.

Tory isolationist Britain or taking control into their own hands. This

:38:20.:38:26.

doesn't require a mandate to have a second referendum because the

:38:27.:38:27.

Scottish Government already has that mandate. But this will be a judgment

:38:28.:38:35.

on your refusal to agree to the wishes of the Scottish parliament

:38:36.:38:41.

and I'm glad to ask this in finishing, if the Conservative Party

:38:42.:38:44.

loses the general election in Scotland, will you stop blocking the

:38:45.:38:47.

right of the Scottish people to have a choice? Very unfair. Thank you

:38:48.:38:59.

very much. Northern Ireland is in a brutal state as we all know at the

:39:00.:39:02.

moment and we have no executive and we have no other -- brittle. I

:39:03.:39:08.

wonder if the finest will fully consider what happens to us there.

:39:09.:39:14.

-- if the Prime Minister. Regarding our position in the union, I'm very

:39:15.:39:17.

grateful to this, and I want to get three points across. One is not

:39:18.:39:21.

about this election, which we support, but the public in Northern

:39:22.:39:28.

Ireland are fed up to the teeth with elections and they have had so many

:39:29.:39:31.

and they see no point of another assembly election. If you watched

:39:32.:39:40.

what was going on at Easter and you watched paramilitaries dressed in

:39:41.:39:44.

west Belfast and elsewhere marching, carrying the union, the European

:39:45.:39:48.

Union flag as if it was their banner, Brexit for us is a very

:39:49.:39:55.

different world and we fully support that we need to find the right way

:39:56.:39:58.

forward, but it is going to be used by Sinn Fein to really try and break

:39:59.:40:02.

up the union and we need that support. I ask that in the manifesto

:40:03.:40:11.

that they look at how they deal with Northern Ireland special status and

:40:12.:40:17.

also how you look at that manifesto at making sure that we have a

:40:18.:40:21.

workable government in the future, because we need change and that is

:40:22.:40:24.

what the Ulster union 's have been about, getting back to the central

:40:25.:40:30.

party is running Northern Ireland and making sure that the manifesto

:40:31.:40:33.

looks after our Armed Forces and former servicemen. Legacy is playing

:40:34.:40:38.

its way out but not protecting the people that should be protected for

:40:39.:40:42.

doing their duty. We will support the motion today. Two colleagues

:40:43.:40:47.

that can help each other. Mr Alan Brown. Thank you. As several members

:40:48.:40:54.

have already pointed out, the Prime Minister heads up a party with a

:40:55.:40:59.

current majority that was gained partly by her party cheating in the

:41:00.:41:06.

last general election and yet today she has the brass neck to stand

:41:07.:41:10.

there and give a speech about leadership, so I wanted, what

:41:11.:41:13.

leadership does the Prime Minister show on this? She refused to answer

:41:14.:41:22.

some questions and also questions from Glasgow South and about how

:41:23.:41:30.

some of MPs will be participating in the next election. What has she done

:41:31.:41:34.

within her party to make sure that this spending and cheating does not

:41:35.:41:44.

happen again? Upon the border. Twice the honourable member has accused

:41:45.:41:47.

members of cheating and there is no proof of cheating and he should

:41:48.:41:53.

withdraw the remarks. It is a matter of taste rather than of order but

:41:54.:41:57.

the lady has made her point with force and is on the record. Had the

:41:58.:42:07.

honourable gentleman concluded? In terms of further non-leadership

:42:08.:42:09.

interventions from the Prime Minister, she said there will be no

:42:10.:42:13.

general election and then did a massive U-turn, she could not answer

:42:14.:42:16.

why she changed her mind on the single market and we have had no

:42:17.:42:19.

evidence what the hard Tory Brexit is going to mean. She has

:42:20.:42:26.

consistently ignored the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament,

:42:27.:42:29.

so I ask her, show some real leadership. They will be more

:42:30.:42:41.

turkeys voting for Christmas if they followed the Prime Minister and

:42:42.:42:47.

dance to her tune. The Prime Minister needs 433 MPs to support

:42:48.:42:50.

her today and she has gone on television and told the welfare will

:42:51.:42:53.

be a general election if Parliament backs are full stop but if

:42:54.:42:59.

Parliament doesn't back her, will be Prime Minister resign? That answer

:43:00.:43:04.

could change the views of the Labour membership. I must now put the

:43:05.:43:10.

question, the question is, that there shall be a early Parliamentary

:43:11.:43:20.

general election, as many as there of that opinions say aye. On the

:43:21.:43:31.

contrary say noe. And the contrary say noe. Division. Clear the lobby!

:43:32.:45:59.

The question is that there shall be an early parliamentary general

:46:00.:46:08.

election. As many as are of the opinion, say, "aye". To the

:46:09.:46:17.

contrary, "no". Teller for the ayes. Teller for the noes.

:46:18.:51:41.

The ayes to the right, 532. The noes to the left... Ayes to the right,

:51:42.:01:39.

522, the noes to the left, 13. The ayes have it. On Loch.

:01:40.:01:51.

We now come to motion number three, the programme motion, do we move

:01:52.:02:01.

formerly? The question is as on the order paper, I think the ayes have

:02:02.:02:10.

it. Order. We will now have the orders of the day. Technical and

:02:11.:02:14.

further education bill, consideration of Lords amendments.

:02:15.:02:22.

Thank you. Order. I must thought the House's attention to the fact that

:02:23.:02:27.

financial privilege is engaged by Lords amendment one and I also

:02:28.:02:34.

remind the House that certain of the emotions relating to the Lords

:02:35.:02:39.

amendments will be certified as relating exclusively to England or

:02:40.:02:46.

to England and Wales as set out on deselection paper. If the House

:02:47.:02:53.

divides on any certified motion, a double majority will be required for

:02:54.:02:57.

the motion to be passed. The first Amendment to be taken is Lords

:02:58.:03:05.

amendment one with which it will be convenient to consider the other

:03:06.:03:09.

Lords amendments as on the selection paper. To move to disagree with

:03:10.:03:18.

Lords amendment one, I called the Minister Robert Halfon on. -- Robert

:03:19.:03:22.

Halfon. ... To climb the ladder of

:03:23.:03:48.

opportunity. It left this House after your thoughtful scrutiny and

:03:49.:03:52.

after similar disadvantage in the other Place, London lighted that it

:03:53.:03:56.

returns to consideration here today. -- and I'm delighted. I ask members

:03:57.:04:02.

to support the government on all the memories made to the bill in the

:04:03.:04:07.

other place I accept -- or the amendments made to the bill in the

:04:08.:04:10.

other place apart from number six and number three. I asked the House

:04:11.:04:14.

to disagree to this amendment and will ask the committee to ascribed

:04:15.:04:22.

financial privilege as the reason. By financial year 20 -- by the

:04:23.:04:31.

financial year 2020 it will mean that the parents will be eligible to

:04:32.:04:36.

child benefit as if they were in approved education and training and

:04:37.:04:39.

this is an issue where I have great interest. Apprenticeships provide a

:04:40.:04:43.

level of opportunity and we should seek to remove obstacles to social

:04:44.:04:49.

mobility where ever we can. The young person's first full-time job

:04:50.:04:52.

is a big change for them and for their family. And it marks a move

:04:53.:04:56.

into financial independence that should be celebrated. I know that

:04:57.:05:02.

the adjustment can be challenging, for the young person learning how to

:05:03.:05:07.

manage a starting wage and your outgoings, for parents who may

:05:08.:05:10.

experience a falling outcome from the benefits they previously

:05:11.:05:14.

received for that dependent child. One of the core principles of an

:05:15.:05:19.

apprenticeship is that it is a job and is treated accordingly, in the

:05:20.:05:24.

benefit system, a job which offers high quality training and offers

:05:25.:05:30.

wide opportunities and where 90% of apprentices continue into another

:05:31.:05:34.

job on completion. Most apprentices are paid above the minimum wage and

:05:35.:05:39.

the 2016 apprentice pay survey showed the average wage was ?6 70. I

:05:40.:05:50.

thank you forgiving way. Although what he is saying is correct in what

:05:51.:05:56.

he is saying, taking wage and benefit from family and Owen comes

:05:57.:06:06.

will be a disincentive -- taking child benefit from families will be

:06:07.:06:12.

a disincentive to get into work. Most apprentices get paid over ?6,

:06:13.:06:16.

and as I say most of them, 90% go into jobs or additional education

:06:17.:06:23.

afterwards. The apprenticeship programme already supports low

:06:24.:06:26.

income groups, and the funding system gives targeted support to the

:06:27.:06:31.

participation of care leavers and we are making ?60 million available

:06:32.:06:34.

this year to training providers and to support take up by apprentices

:06:35.:06:41.

from disadvantaged areas. We are committed to making sure that

:06:42.:06:45.

high-quality apprenticeships are as access as possible to people from

:06:46.:06:49.

all backgrounds. And will take forward the main recommendations for

:06:50.:06:54.

people with learning difficulties and our target on participation for

:06:55.:06:59.

black and minority ethnic groups. On the suggestion of a bursary from

:07:00.:07:03.

care leavers, understand that some young people have greater challenges

:07:04.:07:09.

to overcome. That is why we are providing ?1000 to training

:07:10.:07:13.

providers when they take on care leavers who are under-25s. We will

:07:14.:07:17.

also pay 100% of the cost of training, to small employers who

:07:18.:07:22.

employ care leavers, and there is scope for apprenticeships to benefit

:07:23.:07:26.

social mobility even more and we are working across government to use the

:07:27.:07:29.

apprenticeship programme to extend opportunities. I'm grateful to law

:07:30.:07:36.

story for tabling amendments six, this introduces a new clause into

:07:37.:07:41.

the Bill which will require Ofsted to take into account the quality of

:07:42.:07:46.

the careers office when conducting standard inspections of further

:07:47.:07:50.

education colleges and I welcome the work that Ofsted has already done to

:07:51.:07:54.

sharpen its approach. Matters relating to career provision

:07:55.:07:58.

featuring all of the judgments made by stead when inspecting Effie and

:07:59.:08:05.

skills providers. Destination data published in 16-18 performance

:08:06.:08:09.

tables is also becoming an established part of college

:08:10.:08:14.

accountability. These are important steps and I want to pay tribute to

:08:15.:08:18.

the good work that has already been going on throughout the further

:08:19.:08:22.

education sector to repair students -- prepare students for the

:08:23.:08:26.

workplace. The annual report from Ofsted last year it cites the

:08:27.:08:29.

excellent work of Derby college which has set up in Poyet academies

:08:30.:08:32.

where learners benefit throughout their course from a range of

:08:33.:08:39.

activities -- employer academies. Masterclasses and enterprise

:08:40.:08:43.

activities. However, in the same report Ofsted notes that the quality

:08:44.:08:48.

of information and advice and guidance in further education

:08:49.:08:50.

providers can be variable and does not always meet the range of student

:08:51.:08:56.

needs. And that is why I want to use this opportunity to go through this

:08:57.:09:02.

further. The amendment will signal our determination to make sure that

:09:03.:09:06.

every further education student has access to good quality, dedicated

:09:07.:09:10.

careers advice, something I know that this House supports, and that

:09:11.:09:13.

is vital if we are to tackle the skills gap and make sure that we

:09:14.:09:21.

have opportunities for everyone. We propose drafting amendments to make

:09:22.:09:23.

sure it achieves the intended effect. The amendment makes it clear

:09:24.:09:28.

that Ofsted must comment on the quality of the college 's career

:09:29.:09:32.

provision in the inspection report. And I urge honourable members to

:09:33.:09:38.

accept this amendment. Further education colleges are engines of

:09:39.:09:41.

social mobility and this is our chance to make sure that students

:09:42.:09:45.

from all backgrounds can access the support they need to get on that

:09:46.:09:49.

ladder of opportunity and benefit from the best skills and education

:09:50.:09:57.

training. I now turn to the amendments the government asked the

:09:58.:10:00.

House to accept without any further amends. The government supports

:10:01.:10:05.

amendment two which requires schools to give education and training

:10:06.:10:09.

providers the opportunity to talk directly to pupils about approved

:10:10.:10:14.

technical education qualifications and apprenticeships that they offer.

:10:15.:10:19.

I would like to place on record my significant gratitude to Lord Baker

:10:20.:10:24.

for tabling the amendment and for his unstinting support for the

:10:25.:10:27.

government's technical education reforms. As I've explained,

:10:28.:10:33.

high-quality careers advice is the first rung on the ladder of

:10:34.:10:37.

opportunity. And will play a key part in realising our ambition of

:10:38.:10:40.

high-quality skills education and training. This law is amendment

:10:41.:10:46.

strengthens the bill by making sure that young people here more about

:10:47.:10:50.

the merits of technical education and the recognition that they are

:10:51.:10:58.

worthy career paths and I hope that never again when I go around the

:10:59.:11:02.

country and visit apprentices and colleges will I meet apprentices and

:11:03.:11:07.

organisations who are refused access to the schools that they were taught

:11:08.:11:10.

in themselves, to talk about apprenticeships. I welcome the

:11:11.:11:15.

proposal that the minister is putting forward will stop we have

:11:16.:11:20.

lots of evidence that schools are not allowing further education

:11:21.:11:24.

colleges and apprenticeship providers access to young students

:11:25.:11:31.

to see what the options are post-16 and that is because of the bums on

:11:32.:11:38.

seats funding regime which exists in schools for instance for post-16

:11:39.:11:43.

studies. How are we going to get round the deep-seated culture which

:11:44.:11:46.

exists in schools which actually precludes careers advisers and other

:11:47.:11:51.

providers from getting into schools to provide that independent and

:11:52.:11:58.

partial won impartial advice? -- and impartial advice? You speak a lot of

:11:59.:12:04.

sense on this issue, and every time I meet an apprentice in any part of

:12:05.:12:08.

the country, I ask a digital score encourage you to do the

:12:09.:12:14.

apprenticeship? -- I ask, did your score encourage you for them nine

:12:15.:12:18.

times out of ten there wasn't any encouragement. This amendment, I

:12:19.:12:27.

believe, will make a huge difference because technical bodies and

:12:28.:12:33.

apprenticeships will be able to go into the school and their published

:12:34.:12:38.

policy guidance on this, but I agree with you, it's a huge part of this,

:12:39.:12:44.

a cultural change. This is why I talk about the parity of esteem, the

:12:45.:12:53.

word used, until we have parity of esteem between skills and technical

:12:54.:12:58.

education and between going to university which is also a wonderful

:12:59.:13:01.

thing to do, then we won't achieve the cultural change that you talk

:13:02.:13:08.

about. There is a problem with that, training providers themselves going

:13:09.:13:14.

into schools have a vested interest, as much as the schools themselves in

:13:15.:13:22.

terms of securing those students, so is it not true that we need a more

:13:23.:13:27.

robust advice and guidance process which does not include the vested

:13:28.:13:31.

interests of anybody in particular. We are looking at careers guidance

:13:32.:13:38.

in the long-term, how you can gear careers guidance and make it more

:13:39.:13:43.

skills focused for top the enterprise company, getting people

:13:44.:13:46.

to do work experience, the money we are investing in those things, that

:13:47.:13:49.

will help, but there are no easy answers. There are some great

:13:50.:13:54.

private providers who would love to go into schools and there are a

:13:55.:13:58.

great number of further education colleges that would love to go into

:13:59.:14:01.

schools but this is an important step forward to change the culture

:14:02.:14:06.

and also make sure that pupils have the access to learn about

:14:07.:14:08.

apprenticeships and technical education and skills that they need.

:14:09.:14:18.

Amendment three introduced a new clause in the bill, specifically

:14:19.:14:21.

providing full regulations to be made about the delivery of

:14:22.:14:29.

documents, about an insolvent registry and how that is kept by the

:14:30.:14:32.

public, and essentially because allows for the proper management of

:14:33.:14:39.

the paperwork by an further education body and the government

:14:40.:14:43.

was able to accept amendment four put forward by the noble Lords and

:14:44.:14:46.

the other place to defeat the words -- delete the words if possible. It

:14:47.:14:54.

was intended to offer reassurance to creditors and the education

:14:55.:14:59.

administrator that the education administration would not continue

:15:00.:15:02.

indefinitely while we waited for the education administrator to achieve

:15:03.:15:07.

the impossible. Instead it cause concern here and in the other place

:15:08.:15:11.

that student protection is some way lessened the bar but that was not

:15:12.:15:19.

our intention. -- is some way lessened, but that was not our

:15:20.:15:22.

intention for them we have tried to address these concerns. Amendment

:15:23.:15:31.

five tried to fully apply the company directors disqualification

:15:32.:15:37.

act, to further education bodies in England and Wales. The new version

:15:38.:15:42.

of clause 40 formerly clause 37 still allows the court to disqualify

:15:43.:15:48.

any governors who find it liable of wrongdoing from being governors and

:15:49.:15:51.

also from being company directors in any part of the UK. It fully

:15:52.:15:55.

prevents disqualify individuals from being able to, in a different way,

:15:56.:16:01.

repeat mistakes they have made potentially at the expense of

:16:02.:16:03.

another further education institution. We have amended this

:16:04.:16:08.

clause to close a potential loophole in the Bill and more fully protect

:16:09.:16:12.

learners at institutions from the potential actions of any governor

:16:13.:16:18.

who acts recklessly. The existing regime is effective as a finely

:16:19.:16:23.

balanced a tyrant, for company directors, it is rare that directors

:16:24.:16:28.

find liable and its existence and insolvency legislation does not

:16:29.:16:30.

inhibit people from choosing to become company directors, but helps

:16:31.:16:35.

prevent poor financial management. The presence causes company

:16:36.:16:42.

directors to reflect carefully on their financial decisions and the

:16:43.:16:45.

potential consequences of acting wrongfully in relation to predators.

:16:46.:16:49.

We want to have the same deterrent effect for college governors,

:16:50.:16:53.

governors might not appreciate the full consequence if they are still

:16:54.:16:57.

able to act as company directors and can set up a company to run a

:16:58.:17:01.

college. They might be prepared to operate with a greater degree of

:17:02.:17:02.

risk. The amendment also ensures that

:17:03.:17:11.

governors of FC bodies are on par with governments of academies to

:17:12.:17:21.

whom the CDDA also applies. Another amendment adds an additional clause

:17:22.:17:26.

as far as it relates to section 462 of the insolvency act, the parts of

:17:27.:17:31.

the bill to extend to all parts of the UK. This does not change the

:17:32.:17:37.

application of FC and insolvency regime to bodies in England and

:17:38.:17:44.

Wales, it ensures cooperation if necessary in the courts of different

:17:45.:17:48.

parts of the UK in matters of insolvency of FC bodies. -- F E. The

:17:49.:18:01.

bill allows the Institute of apprenticeships to share data with

:18:02.:18:13.

Ofsted, of course -- Ofqual and other institutions. This provision

:18:14.:18:16.

is necessary because the bodies with which the industry will co-operate

:18:17.:18:22.

are expected to change over time. The amendments ensure the Institute

:18:23.:18:28.

can function effectively in future. I turned to amendment 11 to 18. They

:18:29.:18:37.

were prompted by discussions in this House. It was clear we shared a

:18:38.:18:43.

common concern to ensure that care leavers receive appropriate help and

:18:44.:18:46.

support should their college become insolvent. Members opposite

:18:47.:18:53.

including the Shadow Minister were very clear that care leavers are

:18:54.:18:57.

particularly vulnerable and I agree. That is why I undertook to reflect

:18:58.:19:02.

on how we might best support such individuals. I am pleased we could

:19:03.:19:07.

bring forward these amendments to schedules three and four which will

:19:08.:19:11.

require the administrator to send a copy of their proposals to the

:19:12.:19:15.

Director of children's services at the relevant local authority and

:19:16.:19:19.

this will ensure that the director of children's services is not

:19:20.:19:23.

formally be college insolvency and can take action to provide support

:19:24.:19:27.

for any care leavers affected by the proposals. I ask honourable members

:19:28.:19:33.

to support the Government on these amendments. The question is this

:19:34.:19:41.

House disagrees with the Lord's in their amendment one. Gordon Marsden.

:19:42.:19:48.

I am grateful to the Minister for his considered exposition of the

:19:49.:19:53.

Government's position, particularly in respect of the amendments with

:19:54.:19:59.

which we are not going to be in dispute this afternoon. I shall say

:20:00.:20:07.

something particularly about amendment two when I came to

:20:08.:20:16.

amendment on. I want to put on the record that we welcome the change

:20:17.:20:19.

the Government is making particularly in the technical parts

:20:20.:20:24.

of the bill. The devil is in the detail of these things and they're

:20:25.:20:27.

not always right first time around and this time I am happy the

:20:28.:20:32.

Government has reflected on that and I take on board what the honourable

:20:33.:20:39.

gentleman said in respect of care leavers and local authorities. Can I

:20:40.:20:47.

say that I think the recent discussions in the House on the

:20:48.:21:00.

children's social acts on which my honourable friend played a positive

:21:01.:21:05.

and constructive part, have been a useful focus to bring forward the

:21:06.:21:10.

amendments he has put forward today. I am grateful for that. I am also

:21:11.:21:17.

grateful for the widening out of the sharing of information on schedule

:21:18.:21:22.

on. Hopefully we can fish some of the letters out of the

:21:23.:21:37.

soup and make them work together a little easier than they would have

:21:38.:21:42.

done otherwise. I want to turn now to amendment number one. He says it

:21:43.:21:51.

could be regarded as an issue of financial privilege and he also says

:21:52.:21:58.

he has great interest in these issues in terms of financial support

:21:59.:22:02.

and the rest of it and I accept that and I hope the honourable gentleman

:22:03.:22:07.

will understand I have never at any stage in any other committees we sat

:22:08.:22:13.

on, I have never in any shape or form as far as I am aware disavowed

:22:14.:22:21.

his good intentions and indeed his commitment to these issues of

:22:22.:22:27.

equality but of course warm words of themselves to not necessarily carry

:22:28.:22:32.

through the projects that we might all want to see and when he says

:22:33.:22:38.

about most apprenticeships having benefits at the moment then of

:22:39.:22:43.

course one has to ask about what the fate is for those people who do not

:22:44.:22:46.

have those benefits and when he says about it being ?200 million

:22:47.:22:55.

proposed, since we are already committing ?60 million as he said to

:22:56.:22:58.

training providers, I am not sure it is a very strong powerful argument.

:22:59.:23:05.

I will give way in a little while as I want to make progress on the main

:23:06.:23:09.

issue and then I will give way. I am very proud of the fact that the

:23:10.:23:17.

noble Lords considered this matter, speaking in support of amendment

:23:18.:23:21.

number one, in considerable detail and in doing so revealed how much

:23:22.:23:24.

further the Government needed to go in this area and in my view it it

:23:25.:23:33.

still needs to go further. The Times education supplement in February

:23:34.:23:37.

published a chart which spelt out the current gap in support between

:23:38.:23:45.

student and apprenticeships no access to learning grants, no access

:23:46.:23:49.

for their families to Universal Credit or council tax credit and

:23:50.:23:55.

most relevant in terms of amendment were on, no access to child benefit.

:23:56.:24:01.

These amendments would enable families eligible for child benefit

:24:02.:24:05.

to receive it for children aged under 20 undertaking

:24:06.:24:09.

apprenticeships. We understand on our side of the House and I'm sure

:24:10.:24:13.

they do on the other that it is not simply the benefit itself, it is the

:24:14.:24:18.

doors that it opens to other benefits which is a key element in

:24:19.:24:25.

the question. I will give way. I listened to his argument carefully

:24:26.:24:30.

which seems to involve a spending commitment of ?200 million. How will

:24:31.:24:38.

he pay for it? We do not recognise the figure of ?200 million in the

:24:39.:24:42.

first instance and secondly the point I have already made is that

:24:43.:24:46.

the Government is already committing ?60 million to training providers so

:24:47.:24:52.

why he is raising the issue of 200 million which would be aggregated

:24:53.:24:57.

over time, I do not know. I will not give way again because I want to

:24:58.:25:01.

make progress. The amendment calls for the Secretary of State to use

:25:02.:25:06.

amendments to make provisions to assure apprenticeships are regarded

:25:07.:25:11.

as approved training. The apprenticeship programme has seen

:25:12.:25:17.

the apprentice levy this month while setting the target of a printer

:25:18.:25:23.

ships by 2020. Many commentators have continued to raise real

:25:24.:25:27.

questions about the potential quality of new apprenticeships. It

:25:28.:25:31.

is really important that in reducing the growing skills gap in this

:25:32.:25:35.

country, apprentices are not given a raw deal. Lord Watson spelt it out

:25:36.:25:42.

vividly in the House of Lords when he said why should families suffer

:25:43.:25:49.

as we seek to train young people desperately needed to fill the

:25:50.:25:53.

skills gap in the economy? We simply ask that question. I am well aware

:25:54.:26:00.

as we have discussed this in committee in this place and the

:26:01.:26:04.

other, that apprenticeships are not currently classed as approved

:26:05.:26:06.

educational training by the Department for Work and Pensions.

:26:07.:26:13.

That is one of the reasons why we have raised this issue so many times

:26:14.:26:20.

and the honourable gentleman needs to reflect, it seems to me on what

:26:21.:26:27.

the situation is of apprentices who live with parents whose families

:26:28.:26:33.

could lose out by more than ?1000 per year through not being able to

:26:34.:26:38.

access child benefit, and under Universal Credit could lose more

:26:39.:26:42.

than ?3200 per year. If the Government wants to get back target

:26:43.:26:47.

it cannot be in anyone's interest for to be close to young people keen

:26:48.:26:57.

to embark on an apprenticeship. The predecessor government was very fond

:26:58.:27:07.

of the concept of nudge to achieve results but people can be nudged

:27:08.:27:11.

away from things as well as towards them and in some circumstances

:27:12.:27:16.

parents may prevent young people taking up apprenticeships because of

:27:17.:27:21.

their economic consequences to the family which could be considerable.

:27:22.:27:25.

Lawrence in their debate on the 27th of every made this point. Baroness

:27:26.:27:33.

garden said only 10% of apprenticeships taken up by families

:27:34.:27:40.

on free school meals. The loss of child benefit was a significant

:27:41.:27:43.

penalty. Baroness wolf spoke strongly on this. She said, echoing

:27:44.:27:52.

what the minister said, that there needs to be genuine parity if the

:27:53.:27:55.

Government wants to fulfil a holistic vision. As I have said, the

:27:56.:28:00.

list of exclusions printed in the Times education. Element justify

:28:01.:28:05.

their anger and disappointment that the union of students and

:28:06.:28:09.

apprenticeship organisations feel that they are being treated like

:28:10.:28:16.

second-class citizens. Research has shown, and I accept what the

:28:17.:28:20.

minister said that some apprentices are being paid on both -- above

:28:21.:28:27.

minimum wage but some also earn as little as ?3.50 per hour. He has

:28:28.:28:36.

been generous with his interventions. Talking about

:28:37.:28:43.

financial matters, he said he did not recognise this figure of 200

:28:44.:28:46.

million. How much would his policy cost? Those are issues which would

:28:47.:28:55.

be taken forward over a five-year period and the ?200 million figure

:28:56.:28:57.

that the honourable gentleman from the front bench quoted earlier as

:28:58.:29:03.

not being recognised and I don't intend to engage with it further as

:29:04.:29:07.

there has been no further detail given on that point. Now, I am sorry

:29:08.:29:13.

I will not give way again. He has had two shouts. I'm going to

:29:14.:29:25.

continue so he can stop shouting. This will have a negative effect on

:29:26.:29:37.

family income. The apprentice minimum wage is barely over ?3 per

:29:38.:29:40.

hour. The National Society for apprenticeships ton apprentices said

:29:41.:29:53.

it is inconsistent that apprentices are excluded ton if apprenticeships

:29:54.:30:04.

are to be seen as a top tier option then the benefits should be top tier

:30:05.:30:13.

as well. University students receive assistance from a range of sources

:30:14.:30:19.

from accessing finance to discounted rates on council tax and apprentices

:30:20.:30:22.

currently do not receive many of those benefits and the Lord's agree

:30:23.:30:29.

that those systems should be changed. He mentioned that some

:30:30.:30:36.

apprentices were paid more than the apprentice minimum wage. Is he aware

:30:37.:30:42.

that 82% of apprentices are paid at or above the appropriate national

:30:43.:30:51.

minimum or living wage? Those are figures from his department and I

:30:52.:30:55.

will not dispute them on this particular occasion but what we are

:30:56.:31:00.

trying to do is set in legislation, legislation that will be valid for

:31:01.:31:04.

five, ten or 15 years and it seems far more appropriate to me to have a

:31:05.:31:09.

principle under which everybody has equal access rather than trading

:31:10.:31:20.

figures all day on how many apprentices are not in that

:31:21.:31:25.

position, and I do not believe that we should go down that route.

:31:26.:31:32.

The NUS Vice President for further education made the point again that

:31:33.:31:38.

if apprentices, friendships are going to be the silver bullet to

:31:39.:31:41.

create the high skilled economy for the future, the government has got

:31:42.:31:45.

to go further and genuinely support apprentices to succeed. In support

:31:46.:31:53.

of this amendment, the learning and work Institute has said there are

:31:54.:31:57.

current participation penalties for learning and disadvantaged young

:31:58.:31:59.

people who take an apprenticeship compared to an academic pathway can

:32:00.:32:04.

this -- and this amendment would help to treating apprentices in

:32:05.:32:11.

support of the benefit system, and the government's decision to exclude

:32:12.:32:18.

apprenticeships will serve as a deterrent against people especially

:32:19.:32:20.

those from disadvantaged backgrounds. But together and

:32:21.:32:26.

without any change to the category apprentices are placed in by the DWP

:32:27.:32:34.

and the FE has got to accept that, the government are providing a

:32:35.:32:38.

severe financial disincentive for young people to enter into an

:32:39.:32:42.

apprenticeship as opposed to other routes of education. And that is

:32:43.:32:45.

what the National Society of apprenticeships have said. In the

:32:46.:32:54.

other place the honourable gentleman's colleague said there

:32:55.:32:59.

would be discussions about this issue with colleagues in the

:33:00.:33:03.

Department for Work and Pensions, but they didn't happen. The Minister

:33:04.:33:08.

has told me on previous occasions that this was something that needed

:33:09.:33:11.

to be addressed and discussed with other departments. But it hasn't

:33:12.:33:15.

happened. This is a government which has long given us rhetoric but is

:33:16.:33:22.

short on delivery and a dish on people who are suffering. And the

:33:23.:33:26.

government is now blocking a modest proposal from the House of Lords to

:33:27.:33:32.

begin to remedy their inability to do joined up government -- and it is

:33:33.:33:35.

young people who are suffering. I will give way. He will know and I

:33:36.:33:45.

have mentioned just before that we are doing a social mobility review

:33:46.:33:50.

looking at a range of issues from benefits to incentives to providers

:33:51.:33:55.

and employers in terms of getting more disadvantaged apprentices from

:33:56.:34:03.

disadvantaged backgrounds and say we are not doing this is entirely wrong

:34:04.:34:06.

because there is a lot of work going into this areas. I'm grateful for

:34:07.:34:14.

that. And the broader perspective of social mobility and the rest of it

:34:15.:34:19.

is a perfectly reasonable way of going forward in this matter but I

:34:20.:34:26.

think to be honest and especially at a time like today where we are going

:34:27.:34:32.

to be moving shortly into a general election, I think most people would

:34:33.:34:36.

be interested in some movement, rather than promising jam in the

:34:37.:34:43.

future from the social mobility studies that are going on and there

:34:44.:34:47.

are other areas which I will talk about, where, I'm afraid, the

:34:48.:34:51.

government has moved at a reasonably glacial pace and that is why I'm not

:34:52.:35:01.

impressed by his argument although I appreciate his commitment to try to

:35:02.:35:05.

do something. I want to speak in support of the second part of the

:35:06.:35:09.

amendment which talks about opening benefits to care leavers by opening

:35:10.:35:13.

access to a bursary traditionally only applicable to university

:35:14.:35:17.

students. And people in local authority care who move into higher

:35:18.:35:20.

education can apply for a one off bursary of ?2000 from a local

:35:21.:35:25.

authority and this amendment would make sure that care leavers who take

:35:26.:35:30.

up apprenticeships would be able to access that financial support as

:35:31.:35:35.

well. Can I remind the Minister of what the Children's Society has

:35:36.:35:39.

said, that every year around and never thousand young people aged 16

:35:40.:35:44.

or over leave the care of their local authority and begin the

:35:45.:35:48.

difficult transition out of care and into adult had which he recognised

:35:49.:35:53.

in my honourable friend, the member for

:35:54.:36:01.

South Shields, tabled an amendment to provide for such a local offer to

:36:02.:36:05.

care leavers. But this government has a golden opportunity to follow

:36:06.:36:10.

up on this, by focusing on support where the DWP could provide this

:36:11.:36:18.

process and I am at a loss to understand why the government is

:36:19.:36:21.

ignoring this process. Or this possibility. They could make

:36:22.:36:27.

provision from the apprenticeship levy for local authorities to

:36:28.:36:29.

administer a ?2000 grant for care leavers. Often when care leavers

:36:30.:36:36.

move into independent living they begin to manage their own budget

:36:37.:36:39.

fully for the first time and this move can take place earlier than

:36:40.:36:44.

others in their playgroup. Remember, a care leavers could be earning,

:36:45.:36:51.

could be earning, sometimes often is, as little as ?3 40 an hour

:36:52.:36:57.

before being able to transition to a higher wage in the second year. And

:36:58.:37:03.

evidence from services and research has revealed how challenging care

:37:04.:37:07.

leavers can find managing that budget because of the lack of

:37:08.:37:10.

financial support they receive and the lack of financial education. As

:37:11.:37:15.

result young carers are falling frequently into debt and financial

:37:16.:37:20.

difficulty. The Minister really does need to put himself in their shoes.

:37:21.:37:27.

His honourable friend could tell us all from his own family perspective

:37:28.:37:32.

how vulnerable young people can be who come from disturbed and

:37:33.:37:38.

difficult family backgrounds. The question remains, why aren't the

:37:39.:37:44.

government prepared to retain this amendment to the bill? It is all

:37:45.:37:48.

very well having fine words, but you may know the old proverb, fine words

:37:49.:37:57.

but no parsnips. What are the bureaucratic item is doing nothing

:37:58.:38:00.

to support hard-working young people and their families -- bureaucratic

:38:01.:38:06.

argument. To help them fulfil their hopes of better times via an

:38:07.:38:09.

apprenticeship. We talk about parity of esteem between students and

:38:10.:38:14.

apprentices and some of these young people have struggled through

:38:15.:38:18.

circumstances to have any strong sense of esteem so why haven't the

:38:19.:38:25.

government moved on this? Why have the consultations with DWP not taken

:38:26.:38:30.

place? Was the minister nobbled on this by some of the number ten

:38:31.:38:38.

trustees? The way we have been led down the path to GCSE resets. If the

:38:39.:38:45.

government does not retain this amendment, people will know that

:38:46.:38:50.

their rhetoric on this matter has been somewhat hollow and apprentices

:38:51.:38:53.

and their families will suffer. I want now to move to amendments

:38:54.:39:04.

number two and six, and if I can join with the Minister in supporting

:39:05.:39:13.

the moment two which he referred to and which I will refer to as well.

:39:14.:39:21.

But I also want to talk about amendment six which was carried...

:39:22.:39:29.

Amendment two, sorry. Which was carried in the Lords and I also want

:39:30.:39:34.

to talk about amendment six. The lack of parity of esteem for

:39:35.:39:39.

apprentices can start at an early age and as my honourable friend has

:39:40.:39:45.

illustrated in the constructive exchange we had with the Minister,

:39:46.:39:50.

the rhetoric on careers advice does not match the painful reality which

:39:51.:39:56.

faces many younger people. Careers advice after 2010 over the last

:39:57.:40:00.

parliament was decimated and was certainly decimated at local level.

:40:01.:40:06.

And young people who want to take a vocational and apprenticeship route

:40:07.:40:12.

are in danger of being short-changed again over their future careers

:40:13.:40:17.

advice. The picture incidentally of supporting schools so far, despite

:40:18.:40:23.

the work of the careers and enterprise company, which is still

:40:24.:40:30.

in its infancy, remains poor. Both Koreas England, the trade body for

:40:31.:40:37.

careers Gueye said violence and the careers development Institute have

:40:38.:40:40.

confirmed to me recently that in their view -- trade body for careers

:40:41.:40:48.

guidance Institute. Their view is that only a third of schools are

:40:49.:40:56.

able adequately to deliver careers advice and the shortage of careers

:40:57.:41:01.

advisers and the fact that those who remain are earning far less than

:41:02.:41:06.

they used to do a that adds up to a very difficult position. That is one

:41:07.:41:13.

of the reasons why last year in November the co-chairs of the

:41:14.:41:19.

educational schools economy, said that the government had been

:41:20.:41:24.

complacent over careers advice and they said the lack of action to

:41:25.:41:28.

address this was not acceptable and it smacks of complacency. I know the

:41:29.:41:33.

Minister challenges that considerably and I know again that

:41:34.:41:41.

he has an on-board... He has put on record that the government is

:41:42.:41:44.

working to a thorough careers strategy in that respect, but we

:41:45.:41:47.

have got to deal to date with what the situation is today, not with

:41:48.:41:53.

what it might be under a strategy of whatever government is going to be

:41:54.:41:58.

around at the end of the year. The industry apprenticeship Council

:41:59.:42:05.

showed 42% of respondents found out about apprenticeships from schools

:42:06.:42:09.

and colleges and that using 1's own initiative remained the most common

:42:10.:42:12.

way for young person to discover those apprenticeships. It also said

:42:13.:42:17.

that there needed to be changing careers information advice and

:42:18.:42:20.

guidance because of the proportion of respondents saying it had been

:42:21.:42:30.

very poor. That is why the House of Lords has produced these two quite

:42:31.:42:35.

detailed and comprehensive amendments because those overall

:42:36.:42:40.

issues are not being addressed. To promote apprenticeships in schools,

:42:41.:42:45.

strong careers guidance is critical, and if we are to make a six S of the

:42:46.:42:50.

Institute it is crucial that young people are alerted early enough on

:42:51.:42:54.

their school life to the attraction of technical roads and that is one

:42:55.:43:01.

of the things that the amendment number two on the other house, which

:43:02.:43:07.

we supported, makes very clear. If the minister doesn't think that the

:43:08.:43:11.

Lords amendment on careers advice is necessary, maybe he would like to

:43:12.:43:14.

explain just how and when the government is going to get a grip on

:43:15.:43:19.

the existing fractured landscape of careers advice which is revealed by

:43:20.:43:27.

his own department. Now last month, and it wasn't bedtime reading, so

:43:28.:43:30.

I'm not surprised if members have not read it, but last month the

:43:31.:43:37.

Department for Education produced a report, economic evaluation of the

:43:38.:43:42.

careers service and this report was produced by London economics and

:43:43.:43:46.

originally commissioned by the former Department for Business,

:43:47.:43:47.

Innovation and Skills to undertake an evaluation of the impact of the

:43:48.:43:52.

National careers service. The service has changed considerably in

:43:53.:43:57.

the five years since it was introduced by the Minister's

:43:58.:43:59.

predecessor, the member for South Holland. That started out

:44:00.:44:04.

essentially and I have the benefit of discussions with his predecessor,

:44:05.:44:10.

and he was very clear at that time that the National careers service

:44:11.:44:15.

was principally going to be for the over 24s and that process has

:44:16.:44:19.

changed. I'm not necessarily criticising that fact, but it has

:44:20.:44:25.

certainly migrated in a fashion which was not planned, and if you

:44:26.:44:30.

look at the website for the National careers service it talks about

:44:31.:44:34.

anyone being aged over 13 or over having access to the date C -- the

:44:35.:44:44.

data. But the problem with this, only 15-22% of the customers, and

:44:45.:44:48.

I'm taking these figures from the report the government have

:44:49.:44:50.

commission, were referred by Jobcentre plus, and the remainder

:44:51.:44:57.

were self referring. Does not in that speak volumes for the lack of

:44:58.:45:03.

joined up government on this matter between the Department for Education

:45:04.:45:06.

and the Department for Work and Pensions? I will. In some respects

:45:07.:45:12.

you are being generous to the government because I think the

:45:13.:45:20.

careers advice has been laid waste by the government policy since 2010.

:45:21.:45:27.

We need to get back to a point where youngsters are having available to

:45:28.:45:29.

them independent and impartial advice and guidance on their future

:45:30.:45:36.

career, without that independence and impartiality, we could get back

:45:37.:45:40.

to the point of vested interests giving advice to young people and I

:45:41.:45:44.

remember Malcolm Wicks Ferring to this in the 90s when he said much

:45:45.:45:50.

advice given to people was akin to pensions mis-selling -- Malcolm

:45:51.:45:52.

Wicks referring. Those are the things that we need to

:45:53.:46:10.

think very hard about indeed. The national careers service has

:46:11.:46:15.

migrated in some substantial fashion and that might not in itself be a

:46:16.:46:23.

bad thing but what I would like to know is what is the connectivity

:46:24.:46:28.

between the national careers service and the careers and enterprise

:46:29.:46:32.

company if that area of coverage is going to start as early as 13? I

:46:33.:46:38.

would like to know what the connectivity is in that process. And

:46:39.:46:43.

of course the very disappointing fact from the impact report said

:46:44.:46:48.

that the research is could not identify a positive impact of the

:46:49.:46:52.

national careers service on employment or benefit dependency

:46:53.:46:55.

outcomes, arguably their main purpose. This is another example why

:46:56.:47:01.

it has been essential for the Government to act on the careers

:47:02.:47:05.

strategy and why their failure so far to do so has made these

:47:06.:47:09.

amendments so important. With the expansion of apprenticeship and

:47:10.:47:15.

introduction of chemical education it is even more important students

:47:16.:47:19.

and apprentices have all the information they need for and

:47:20.:47:32.

informed decision. I warmly welcome amendment to Lord Baker's amendment

:47:33.:47:37.

and cross-party support which would ensure schools must give advice on

:47:38.:47:44.

apprenticeships. It matters because knowledge in general is power and

:47:45.:47:48.

unbiased knowledge is very important indeed. It is also why my honourable

:47:49.:47:54.

friend the member for Scunthorpe introduced a ten minute rule Bill

:47:55.:48:01.

which would require schools to give access to pupils and representatives

:48:02.:48:07.

from post 16 education it institutions to give guidance. This

:48:08.:48:14.

is also why an amendment six is important. I'm encouraged by the

:48:15.:48:19.

fact that the new Ofsted chief inspector is sympathetic to offset

:48:20.:48:25.

making a stronger case to ensure apprenticeships rate higher in

:48:26.:48:31.

information given in schools. The Lords have pointed out this will

:48:32.:48:36.

need more resources for Ofsted. As my noble friend pointed out. If we

:48:37.:48:42.

do not get this integration between the careers and enterprise company

:48:43.:48:45.

and the national careers service, what we ask Ofsted to do will not

:48:46.:48:51.

work. What is the Minister's response to these arguments? Why are

:48:52.:48:58.

the national careers service and the careers and enterprise company

:48:59.:49:02.

apparently going on different lines? If he doesn't want to accept

:49:03.:49:09.

amendments it is, what guarantees can you get to this House or the

:49:10.:49:13.

noble Lords that they will get the work that they need?

:49:14.:49:24.

I'd like to speak very briefly with a comment on amendment six. What is

:49:25.:49:40.

the Government aim achieving? I want to give an impression on what noble

:49:41.:49:47.

Lord story sought to achieve by amendment six. We have acknowledged

:49:48.:49:53.

chewing the course of babes so far that careers advice is variable and

:49:54.:50:06.

-- course of debates. Monitoring advice would help to see how good or

:50:07.:50:13.

bad it is. At committee stage in the Lords, Lord Nash described careers

:50:14.:50:20.

advice as always pretty poorer. And a 2013 Ofsted report established

:50:21.:50:24.

that three quarters of schools did not abide effective advice or as the

:50:25.:50:29.

honourable member of North Shields pointed out, impartial advice.

:50:30.:50:35.

Guidance given to schools was not sufficiently explicit and employers

:50:36.:50:41.

in many places were not engaging and the national careers service was not

:50:42.:50:47.

effectively promoted. It was a key conclusion in the Ofsted report that

:50:48.:50:51.

school advice should be assessed when taking into account general

:50:52.:51:02.

leadership in the case of FE. I think the Minister accepts all that

:51:03.:51:06.

and I know he has produced a variation or a difference from the

:51:07.:51:14.

initial amendment for the Lords. I would like to satisfy me and the

:51:15.:51:17.

House in general that it actually complies with what the Lords

:51:18.:51:20.

intended to achieve through amendments in the first place. If I

:51:21.:51:35.

can give leave to close this debate. I thank the honourable gentleman for

:51:36.:51:46.

his ton I understand he is stepping down so it as being... I know he is

:51:47.:51:53.

an experienced member of the House and I wish him every good wish in

:51:54.:51:59.

the future for that. Just to answer his question, what we are doing is

:52:00.:52:07.

accepting in essence the amendment that was suggested by Lord story but

:52:08.:52:17.

we have just made it tighter in terms of legal... Ofsted will be

:52:18.:52:29.

able to comment on careers in their reports. So, tightening it for legal

:52:30.:52:34.

reasons and making it slightly stronger but we accept the amendment

:52:35.:52:41.

and the principle of the amendment. I have set out earlier the

:52:42.:52:45.

Government was my position on the majority of these amendments which

:52:46.:52:50.

serve to strengthen the measures of the bill and ensure their success in

:52:51.:52:54.

practice and I urge honourable members to accept all the amendments

:52:55.:52:58.

made in the Lords with the exception of amendment one. As earlier

:52:59.:53:05.

explained, it is subject to financial privilege and I ask

:53:06.:53:09.

members to reject it on that basis, noting the work I set out earlier

:53:10.:53:14.

demonstrating our commitment to finding the most effective ways to

:53:15.:53:18.

address barriers for the disadvantaged and apprenticeships.

:53:19.:53:25.

The honourable gentleman said we should put our money where our mouth

:53:26.:53:36.

is. We have my hundred thousand -- 900,000 apprentices at the moment.

:53:37.:53:42.

20% come from the poorest fifth of areas and in terms of the national

:53:43.:53:49.

careers service they have something like over 1300 enterprise advisers

:53:50.:53:55.

going into schools. They are set to target 250,000 students in 75% of

:53:56.:54:03.

career cold spots. The national career services there to give

:54:04.:54:07.

careers and CV advice and personal contact people can either see

:54:08.:54:11.

face-to-face or on the telephone or Internet. They have different roles.

:54:12.:54:22.

I ask our members to accept amendment six on which many noble

:54:23.:54:28.

Lords spoke. I spoke of the positive activity taking place at Derby

:54:29.:54:32.

College, by no means the only college taking active steps to

:54:33.:54:37.

provide high-quality careers advice to students. We have seen incredible

:54:38.:54:46.

work in other places. We want to ensure all young people can access

:54:47.:54:52.

such support and ask members to support this ambition by accepting

:54:53.:54:56.

the amendment. He has been very generous. I know he is determined

:54:57.:55:04.

and full of good intentions on this but good intentions to not provide

:55:05.:55:08.

sound careers advice and guidance to young people in the system now and I

:55:09.:55:14.

think we need more urgency from the Government in terms of backing up

:55:15.:55:18.

that intention, which is a decent and well intentioned intention, to

:55:19.:55:28.

make sure young people get impartial advice and guidance as soon as

:55:29.:55:34.

possible. I thank him for his intervention. 90 million to be spent

:55:35.:55:46.

on careers, predominantly with the careers enterprise company, with

:55:47.:55:48.

enterprise advisers going into schools. ?20 million for mentoring

:55:49.:55:59.

services in schools. The national careers service this year is getting

:56:00.:56:03.

something like over ?75 million. To advise on careers. That is real

:56:04.:56:11.

financial backing to two very important services. I'm listening to

:56:12.:56:18.

what ministers saying that I seem to remember because I was actually a

:56:19.:56:21.

member of the careers service National Association bought prior to

:56:22.:56:28.

the invention of connections. The national budget for careers at that

:56:29.:56:33.

time was something like ?130 million, more than 15 years ago. The

:56:34.:56:39.

sort of figures the Minister is talking about in the current climate

:56:40.:56:48.

is quite inadequate. Given the financial climate, 90 million to the

:56:49.:56:55.

spent predominantly with enterprise company, the 75 million going to the

:56:56.:56:59.

national careers service this year alone, I think that is a sizeable

:57:00.:57:04.

sum of money given the climate. We are developing a careers strategy

:57:05.:57:14.

which the... Obviously the election is now occurring but I hope the way

:57:15.:57:21.

we see careers is much more skills focus and much more work in schools,

:57:22.:57:30.

mentoring and work experience. I have said before that this is a bill

:57:31.:57:41.

which is part of our reforms to give people a ladder of opportunity to

:57:42.:57:47.

get the job and security and prosperity they need and ensure

:57:48.:57:51.

technical education is held in the regard it deserves. In the unlikely

:57:52.:57:57.

event of college insolvency it is the students who are protected. The

:57:58.:58:03.

measures in vital changes supporting young people to build essential

:58:04.:58:08.

skills our nation needs and provide the right support to enable young

:58:09.:58:12.

people to claim that ladder. Many members across the House and another

:58:13.:58:16.

place have spoken in support of that ambition and I would like to take

:58:17.:58:28.

the opportunity to thank them. The question is that this House

:58:29.:58:31.

disagrees with the Lords in their amendment number one. As many as are

:58:32.:58:33.

of the opinion, say, "aye". To the contrary, "no". Division, clear the

:58:34.:58:38.

lobby. As many as are of the opinion, say,

:58:39.:59:42.

"aye". To the contrary, "no". Order, order. The aye to the right,

:59:43.:11:36.

298, the noes to the lab, 182. -- to the left.

:11:37.:11:47.

The Gordon Marsden, Henry Smith are the

:11:48.:13:40.

members of the committee, that Robert Halfon be committee, that

:13:41.:13:44.

three be the core of the committee and that the committee withdraw

:13:45.:13:50.

immediately. I think the ayes have it. Thank you. We now come to motion

:13:51.:14:00.

number five on section five of the European communities Amendment act

:14:01.:14:08.

1993. Minister to move. Thank you. The legal requirement to give the

:14:09.:14:17.

European Commission an update of the UK's economic position convergence

:14:18.:14:20.

programme means a welcome opportunity for a wider economic

:14:21.:14:24.

debate should be want one, and clearly since last year's... If

:14:25.:14:32.

members can leave the chamber bit more quietly, than we can hear the

:14:33.:14:39.

minister. Thank you. Thank you. Clearly since last year's

:14:40.:14:42.

convergence programme debate there has been a momentous change in the

:14:43.:14:46.

UK's relationship with European Union. The Article 50 process is

:14:47.:14:54.

underway and the UK is leading the European Union and there cannot be

:14:55.:14:59.

any turning back from that. -- leaving. In accordance with the

:15:00.:15:03.

outcome of the referendum we are leaving the European Union and we

:15:04.:15:06.

will make our own decisions and take control of the things that matter to

:15:07.:15:10.

us and seize every opportunity to build a stronger and fairer Britain.

:15:11.:15:15.

Given our decision to leave, some members may find it strange that we

:15:16.:15:18.

are debating the UK's convergence programme today. It is right that we

:15:19.:15:25.

do so, however. Because we continue to exercise our membership of the

:15:26.:15:30.

European Union and our exit and doing so is a legal requirement and

:15:31.:15:35.

one which we must take seriously. -- onto our exit. The content of the

:15:36.:15:40.

convergence programme is drawn from the government's assessment of the

:15:41.:15:44.

UK's economic and budgetary position and this assessment is based on the

:15:45.:15:49.

Spring Budget report and the OBR's most recent outlook and it is this

:15:50.:15:53.

content, not the convergence programme itself, that requires the

:15:54.:15:57.

approval of the House. I should also remind the House that although the

:15:58.:16:02.

UK participates in the growth pact that requires convergence programmes

:16:03.:16:07.

to be submitted, by virtue of our protocol to the treaty, opting out

:16:08.:16:11.

of the euro, we are only required to endeavour to avoid excessive

:16:12.:16:16.

deficits. UK cannot be subject to any sanctions as a result of our

:16:17.:16:17.

participation in. How much influence have the

:16:18.:16:37.

requirements had an successive UK governments to drive more austerity

:16:38.:16:44.

and cuts? In the seven years that I have been a Treasury minister, I

:16:45.:16:50.

have not noticed this convergence programme having an influence upon

:16:51.:16:54.

the decisions we have taken. We have taken decisions to reduce the

:16:55.:16:59.

deficit because we believed it was in the long-term interests of the

:17:00.:17:03.

United Kingdom rather than because of any requirements under EU

:17:04.:17:10.

treaties. Let me provide a brief overview of the information we will

:17:11.:17:15.

set out on the programme. Right Honourable members should note this

:17:16.:17:20.

does not represent new information but captures the government's

:17:21.:17:25.

assessment of the budgetary position. It is there to say that,

:17:26.:17:32.

in March 2017, we were in a better position than many predicted. Growth

:17:33.:17:39.

in the second half of 2016 was stronger than the oh BR had

:17:40.:17:44.

anticipated in the Autumn Statement. In fact, last year, the UK grew

:17:45.:17:50.

faster than other advanced economies. Following a period of

:17:51.:17:56.

robust economic growth, rising employment and falling deficit, we

:17:57.:18:05.

choose to safeguard that economic stability and that is particularly

:18:06.:18:08.

important as we prepare our country to leave the European Union. Our

:18:09.:18:20.

European partners continue to judge that tutor consumer demand and a

:18:21.:18:29.

rise putting public finances in good order will remain vital for the

:18:30.:18:33.

foreseeable future. All the more so given that the deficit remains too

:18:34.:18:36.

high and that our range of potential risks in the global economy. That is

:18:37.:18:42.

why we are getting ourselves in a position of readiness to handle

:18:43.:18:45.

difficulties of any kind which may come our way. Other fiscal rules to

:18:46.:18:51.

do so are ones which strike the right balance between reducing the

:18:52.:18:57.

deficit, maintaining flexibility and investing for the long term. Overall

:18:58.:19:02.

public sector net borrowing is predicted to fall from 3.8% last

:19:03.:19:09.

year to 2.6% this year. This means we forecast to meet our 3% stability

:19:10.:19:14.

target this year for the first time in almost a decade. Borrowing is

:19:15.:19:21.

forecast to be 2.9% in 2017-18 and to fall over the remainder of the

:19:22.:19:29.

years ahead to 0.9% in 2018-19 before reaching 0.7% in 2021-22, its

:19:30.:19:41.

lowest level in two decades. While the economic forecasts are

:19:42.:19:49.

unchanged, the oh BR has revised down its forecast of net borrowing.

:19:50.:19:54.

We will hold an increase of the national debt as a proportion to

:19:55.:20:00.

GDP. That is forecast to peak and then fall in the subsequent years.

:20:01.:20:08.

Is it not also important to remind the House the ?435 billion of debt

:20:09.:20:20.

is now owned by the state? My right honourable friend is correct in

:20:21.:20:29.

terms of where it is owed, but nonetheless, as a country, we do

:20:30.:20:35.

have to be wary of a level of debt that is marred by recent historic

:20:36.:20:40.

standards and it is right that we show determination to set out a plan

:20:41.:20:45.

as to how that debt to GDP ratio can be reduced to ensure that the UK is

:20:46.:20:54.

a more resilient place to absorb shocks to our economy and public

:20:55.:20:59.

finances that do from time to time occur. Beyond our fiscal rules to

:21:00.:21:07.

protect the public purse and prepare our economy, the budget also sets

:21:08.:21:10.

out a wide range of this thing is that the government will do to

:21:11.:21:14.

invest in our future. That includes giving our children the chance to go

:21:15.:21:20.

to a goodwill outstanding school, helping people across the country

:21:21.:21:24.

get the skills they need for high paid, high school jobs of the

:21:25.:21:29.

future, and investing in cutting edge technology and innovation so

:21:30.:21:32.

Britain continues to be at the forefront of the global technology

:21:33.:21:37.

revolution. Three things part of our efforts to address the country's

:21:38.:21:43.

productivity challenges. The budget also promised greater support for

:21:44.:21:47.

our social care system with additional funding so people get the

:21:48.:21:51.

care they deserve as they grow older and it works to strengthen our

:21:52.:21:55.

public services over the long-term in our determination to bring down

:21:56.:21:59.

the deficit and get the UK back to living within our means and funding

:22:00.:22:06.

our public services through the long-term. The spring budget

:22:07.:22:10.

therefore was one that made the most of the opportunities ahead by laying

:22:11.:22:13.

the foundations of a stronger, fairer and better Britain. Following

:22:14.:22:20.

the House's approval of the assessment that forms the basis of

:22:21.:22:26.

the convergence programme, the government will submit it to the

:22:27.:22:30.

Council of the European Union, European Commission, with

:22:31.:22:34.

recommendations expected from the commission in May. The submission by

:22:35.:22:44.

non-euro member states also provides a useful framework for coordinating

:22:45.:22:49.

fiscal policies will stop a degree of fiscal policy coordination can be

:22:50.:22:53.

beneficial in ensuring stable global economy which is in the UK's

:22:54.:22:59.

national interest. The UK has or is taken part in international

:23:00.:23:01.

mechanisms for policy coordination is. Although we are leaving the EU,

:23:02.:23:09.

we will continue to have a deep interest in the economic stability

:23:10.:23:13.

and prosperity of our European friends and neighbours so we will

:23:14.:23:19.

continue to play our part in this process and in other international

:23:20.:23:24.

coordination processes once we have left the EU. The government is

:23:25.:23:30.

committed to ensuring that we act in full accordance with section five,

:23:31.:23:36.

and that this House approves the economic and budgetary assessments

:23:37.:23:40.

that forms the basis of the convergence programme. The question

:23:41.:23:49.

is as on the order paper. We find ourselves in a strange position,

:23:50.:23:54.

debating a motion that seeks to prove the government's convergence

:23:55.:23:58.

programme with the EU at the start of an election campaign in the

:23:59.:24:03.

context of leaving the EU. An unusual set of circumstances, to say

:24:04.:24:06.

the least. Some see it as almost theological! There will no longer be

:24:07.:24:16.

a requirement for convergence and what the Conservatives have no idea

:24:17.:24:21.

as to how our economy will work post Brexit, it is a simple if flawed in

:24:22.:24:29.

dangerous plan regardless of the position that people were in the

:24:30.:24:34.

referendum. A complete lack of vision from this government means no

:24:35.:24:37.

one can be confident in what our economy will look like in just two

:24:38.:24:43.

years' time. Labour accepts the referendum result, and that is why

:24:44.:24:48.

we did not frustrate the triggering of article 15 negotiations, but what

:24:49.:24:53.

we will never support as the chaos of a Conservative plan for Brexit

:24:54.:24:56.

that will see our economy put in danger. That is not being a

:24:57.:25:06.

saboteur, it is doing the job we were sent here to do. Wealth

:25:07.:25:12.

concentrated in the hands of the tiny super-rich elite is not

:25:13.:25:17.

particularly good. That is not what people voted for. We have heard much

:25:18.:25:25.

in the debate in the past few months about taking back control, time

:25:26.:25:30.

after time, we were told we would take back control. That should not

:25:31.:25:39.

be put into the hands of a group of plutocrats were leaving most people

:25:40.:25:42.

across the country worse yet after year. When we do take back control,

:25:43.:25:47.

that has got to be control shared by everybody, not just a few. Our

:25:48.:25:52.

Labour government will deliver a final deal that reflects Labour's

:25:53.:26:02.

values, defending people's rights and protections and preventing a

:26:03.:26:05.

race to the bottom because there is a fear that there will be a race to

:26:06.:26:10.

the bottom. A better future for the whole country under a Labour

:26:11.:26:16.

government or a bargain basement tax haven under the Conservatives. In

:26:17.:26:26.

2016, UK exports of goods and services totalled ?548 billion to

:26:27.:26:31.

the EU and imports totalled 558 billion. Despite the government's

:26:32.:26:44.

laid-back approach to trade with EU, it is heartbreaking to put much of

:26:45.:26:48.

those exports and new imports at risk. We have become the world's

:26:49.:26:59.

worst performing currency in October last year. Many economists now

:27:00.:27:05.

suspect the pound to depreciate even further as negotiations deadlock and

:27:06.:27:10.

flounder. When coming to office, the Conservatives committed to balancing

:27:11.:27:15.

the books by 2015, the book that problem is, a promise broken. They

:27:16.:27:20.

said it would then be put back to 19, 20, that was not delivered on.

:27:21.:27:27.

Here we are, days away without the government making as much progress

:27:28.:27:30.

as they promised they would in relation to the deficit and the

:27:31.:27:35.

Chancellor regularly saying, it is a rolling target. You cannot have a

:27:36.:27:39.

rolling target. You either have a target will you do not. Under this

:27:40.:27:50.

government, debt as a percentage GDP has continued to rise. How can that

:27:51.:27:55.

be a sign of the how the economy? GDP growth has not once passed its

:27:56.:28:04.

precrisis trend rate of 2.3%. In fact, growth has been revised down

:28:05.:28:12.

and now, in 2019-20, hardly the sign of a strong economy. In seven years,

:28:13.:28:18.

the Conservatives have borrowed ?750 million, and I will remind people

:28:19.:28:21.

that is more than all the governments combined. Since 2010,

:28:22.:28:28.

ten out of 24 government is budgeted to have seen an increase in

:28:29.:28:35.

borrowing and the government's borrowing summed up in two words,

:28:36.:28:40.

missed targets. Make no mistake, they are a government of borrowing.

:28:41.:28:46.

Public finances each year have huge gaping holes. This year we saw the

:28:47.:28:52.

Chancellor's attempt to hit self-employed workers with national

:28:53.:28:56.

insurance contributions, and we understand the Conservative's U-turn

:28:57.:29:02.

left a ?200 million black hole. How can we rely on the Conservatives

:29:03.:29:07.

when we know the sums do not add up? This feeds into the wider problem

:29:08.:29:12.

with public finances. Children are sitting in crumbling schools. Up and

:29:13.:29:18.

down the country, people waiting even longer to be seen by

:29:19.:29:23.

professionals in NHS. It is undergoing the worst crisis in

:29:24.:29:28.

history. So why do we have this sorry state of affairs? Because this

:29:29.:29:32.

Conservatives have sacrificed services everyone have used just to

:29:33.:29:39.

make tax cuts for corporations and the super-rich. The government has

:29:40.:29:43.

provided over the slowest recovery since the 1920s with economic growth

:29:44.:29:47.

and average earnings downgraded yet again and, despite falling

:29:48.:29:52.

unemployment, workers are suffering the worst pay in 70 years. And of

:29:53.:30:02.

course, the government has done very little to tackle the scandal of

:30:03.:30:05.

chronic low pay and insecure employment, and that is reflective

:30:06.:30:10.

of an economy not working the way the government claims it is. The

:30:11.:30:15.

government has promised the national living wage will go up, but cost of

:30:16.:30:24.

living goes up. It makes no mention of the continued economic balanced

:30:25.:30:30.

between devolved nations and the regions. We simply cannot continue

:30:31.:30:35.

to have such an unbalanced and unequal economy. It goes back to the

:30:36.:30:39.

point I made in the start in terms of this question of that disparity

:30:40.:30:46.

in regional economic growth. It is there in my own region and many

:30:47.:30:48.

other regions. How much extra tax should the

:30:49.:30:56.

government imposed next year to deal with the Budget deficit he is

:30:57.:31:01.

worried about? We will have that debate in the general election

:31:02.:31:06.

process. This government has pledged to take back control from Brussels

:31:07.:31:11.

but what about controls for those millions of people living outside

:31:12.:31:15.

the M25? How can this government square the desire for less

:31:16.:31:18.

interference from Brussels but at the same time, for example, the

:31:19.:31:24.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government doesn't bat an

:31:25.:31:27.

eyelid when banning local councils all over the country from charging

:31:28.:31:35.

?1 for fun runs in local parks. Is it really the job of the secretary

:31:36.:31:39.

of state to micromanage park budgets? Have we come to that, where

:31:40.:31:44.

the Secretary of State can say you can't charge ?1 or 50p. It is

:31:45.:31:50.

ludicrous. That is why we have to take control, so that when control

:31:51.:31:56.

comes back it has to be pushed down. It is bizarre that the secretary of

:31:57.:32:00.

state has taken that position when he and his predecessors have cut

:32:01.:32:07.

local governments abroad by 50% in some areas. Huge budget cuts and

:32:08.:32:13.

interference with piddling amounts of money like ?1 for park runs. It

:32:14.:32:20.

is pretty pathetic. My honourable friend is making a powerful set of

:32:21.:32:25.

points. On local government finance, it is all very well for the

:32:26.:32:29.

government to withdraw revenue support but at the same time not

:32:30.:32:33.

doing anything about the other side of the account. The other side is

:32:34.:32:39.

the council tax banding system. They are not doing anything to rebalance

:32:40.:32:43.

the banding system which makes up the local government revenue apart

:32:44.:32:48.

from the support grant. If you don't do that, it is grossly unfair. The

:32:49.:32:55.

revenue support grant was brought in because band D medium didn't exist

:32:56.:32:58.

in all parts of the country, certainly not in the north-east. It

:32:59.:33:03.

is required for its inception in the early 1990s. My honourable friend

:33:04.:33:10.

makes a fair point. This government has abandoned local government

:33:11.:33:14.

unless you happen to be Surrey County Council. We cannot have a

:33:15.:33:19.

fair and prosperous economy until all the regions and cities have

:33:20.:33:23.

adequate access to funding and investment in infrastructure. And

:33:24.:33:29.

until the power to implement financial decisions are on a local

:33:30.:33:36.

level. The referendum result was not just a result against one

:33:37.:33:44.

unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels but also an accountability

:33:45.:33:47.

at local levels. For many people, the government is alien and has no

:33:48.:33:54.

relevance to their day-to-day lives. They see it as a bubble and as we

:33:55.:34:05.

have seen, often it is a bubble. Westminster and Whitehall making

:34:06.:34:10.

these decisions and little consideration to the ramifications

:34:11.:34:12.

and disastrous effects on the policies have an ordinary people.

:34:13.:34:19.

Post Brexit Britain must look at devolving powers to local

:34:20.:34:23.

authorities across the country. We can no longer have a unitary state

:34:24.:34:30.

run by diktat from London. In the assemblies and regional

:34:31.:34:41.

... You have got to give the power and the responsibility to go with

:34:42.:34:50.

them and the government has been dragging its feet in regard to that.

:34:51.:34:58.

Our economy under seven years of Tory mismanagement has seen stagnant

:34:59.:35:03.

wages, slow growth, low productivity. The minister didn't

:35:04.:35:05.

mention productivity once in his speech. OK, maybe once. Excessive

:35:06.:35:14.

borrowing, rising debt and failed promises. The Chancellor has resided

:35:15.:35:19.

over an economy that has given tax giveaways to the richest at the

:35:20.:35:25.

expects on those on low and middle incomes. They fail to balance books

:35:26.:35:29.

and if re-elected the Conservatives would cut tax in a desperate bid to

:35:30.:35:36.

attract overseas investment to transform our economy into a low pay

:35:37.:35:41.

and low tax economy. It doesn't account for is catastrophic record

:35:42.:35:45.

and huge black holes in public spending and makes no assessment of

:35:46.:35:49.

what the post Brexit economy will look like and nor does it at

:35:50.:35:53.

knowledge the economic difficulties ahead and I would urge the house to

:35:54.:36:02.

rejected. The pleasure for this my final speech in the Commons before

:36:03.:36:07.

the general elections, the electors of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath will

:36:08.:36:12.

determine whether I return to make a speech in the future. I was

:36:13.:36:17.

intrigued by the opening of the Honma number for Bootle when he

:36:18.:36:21.

pointed out it was a strange debate to have when we are facing being

:36:22.:36:27.

dragged out of the European Union and we are discussing convergence. I

:36:28.:36:32.

took a leaf out of the honourable member's leader, since I knew it

:36:33.:36:37.

would be a tremendously popular debate, you can just look around at

:36:38.:36:41.

the filled benches to see how popular, I thought I would tweet

:36:42.:36:45.

that I would be speaking on this important topic. My hope was that I

:36:46.:36:50.

would get the equivalent of Merry from Rochdale letting me know the

:36:51.:36:56.

key points to raise. Only one person replied with a suggestion of what I

:36:57.:37:01.

should include in my speech. Could you say hello to my auntie Sadie in

:37:02.:37:09.

Harlem. I couldn't possibly do that in a speech of such importance but

:37:10.:37:14.

it clarifies that many of the things that we debate are of a very

:37:15.:37:19.

technical nature and difficult for the public to engage in.

:37:20.:37:21.

Nevertheless, they are very important. The minister talked in

:37:22.:37:27.

his early remarks about the ODI and the forecast made. Showing great

:37:28.:37:34.

precedents, or lack of it on my part, yesterday, Scott started to

:37:35.:37:43.

work for me for the first time, he started his job on the day that the

:37:44.:37:48.

general election was declared. I asked him to contact the library and

:37:49.:37:54.

find out how many independent valuations had ever been done of the

:37:55.:38:03.

Treasury all Treasury OBR model of the economy. Eventually, the library

:38:04.:38:06.

got back to me and said they could find no independent evaluations of

:38:07.:38:11.

the OBR or treasure late-model of the economy had ever been

:38:12.:38:17.

undertaken. This is not surprisingly new see some of the results of this

:38:18.:38:23.

model. Indeed, I thought, in following up I ask him to look at

:38:24.:38:27.

how the model was described by the OBR. On which come you can find on

:38:28.:38:32.

their website the wonderful statement that much of this model is

:38:33.:38:36.

based on not hard fact but based on the judgment of those using it.

:38:37.:38:43.

Different people who are using it, the result might be incredibly

:38:44.:38:46.

different from using the same model. So, I think that there will come a

:38:47.:38:52.

time in the future when governments of whatever shade are going to have

:38:53.:38:59.

to consider the way in which we understand and model the economy and

:39:00.:39:03.

how far we can ever rely on forecasts of the type we have been

:39:04.:39:07.

receiving for a good number of years. I thought since this could

:39:08.:39:14.

obviously be a fairly wide raging debate, thinking about the future, I

:39:15.:39:18.

thought there would be one or two remarks I could make about issues

:39:19.:39:21.

that will still need to be addressed when we exit the European Union. The

:39:22.:39:29.

exit in itself won't contribute anything, it will require the will

:39:30.:39:33.

of government to be able to do something. But the minister

:39:34.:39:38.

mentioned, quite rightly, the importance of business investment.

:39:39.:39:45.

One of the debates we held in this house, I think it was last year, the

:39:46.:39:49.

honourable member from Bootle icing to recall took part in it, a debate

:39:50.:39:55.

on quantitative easing. I think that was slightly less popular. And this

:39:56.:40:01.

debate. With the numbers that took part in it. Nonetheless, it was

:40:02.:40:07.

interesting at that time that so many of those who decided to speak

:40:08.:40:12.

talked about the problem, the Kiwi had created by investment. -- that Q

:40:13.:40:23.

E had created by investment. The consequence of which would be to

:40:24.:40:27.

increase confidence in business and lead to a significant increase in

:40:28.:40:31.

investment. We know that has not happened despite well over 600

:40:32.:40:38.

billion of Q E being introduced. It would be interesting to know how the

:40:39.:40:44.

future government will tackle the rewinding of Q E. There has also

:40:45.:40:50.

been in recent days some very intemperate remarks made by senior

:40:51.:40:55.

bankers about the business sector. I would like to point to just two days

:40:56.:41:01.

ago, three days ago, in the express, when a senior banker quoted from RBS

:41:02.:41:13.

talk of S M Es pursuing getting some reconciliation to the problems they

:41:14.:41:19.

have had through DRG and the like. They were called by the senior

:41:20.:41:25.

executive of RBS as a bunch of chances. Can you imagine any other

:41:26.:41:31.

industry who would talk about their customers as being a bunch of

:41:32.:41:35.

chancers. Apparently they were chancers because they might have the

:41:36.:41:39.

other City to go to the courts and seek redress. What you know when you

:41:40.:41:45.

look at RBS accounts? You will see that they have tripled the amount of

:41:46.:41:50.

money RBS has set aside for the hiring in of lawyers to defend

:41:51.:41:56.

cases. I see the right honourable gentleman nodding. I believe it is

:41:57.:42:01.

in the order of close to ?1 billion of what they expect they are going

:42:02.:42:06.

to have to defend. Surely this says something about banking culture in

:42:07.:42:10.

our society that will still need to be addressed in the future. Finally,

:42:11.:42:15.

one of the things that I have been doing in this house is pursuing the

:42:16.:42:25.

issue of Scottish limited partnerships and other firms of

:42:26.:42:27.

limited partnerships that have been particularly since 2008 subjected to

:42:28.:42:31.

use by International criminals, including and perhaps in particular

:42:32.:42:35.

from Eastern Europe, the Ukraine, Russia and the like, it amounts now

:42:36.:42:43.

too many billions of pounds that the urgent question that we faced about

:42:44.:42:50.

ten days, I think, before recess on the big latest money laundering

:42:51.:42:54.

scandal when I questioned the minister at the time I pointed out

:42:55.:42:58.

that at their heart lie these limited partnerships. Since 2008,

:42:59.:43:05.

there have been 22,000 Scottish limited partnerships created that

:43:06.:43:13.

have completely been opaque. We have no idea who is owning them. Many of

:43:14.:43:19.

them seek to operate in tax havens and many seek to launder significant

:43:20.:43:24.

amounts of criminal assets. I think this is an issue. Does he and his

:43:25.:43:35.

party think that the EU is right to say that a state debts should not be

:43:36.:43:43.

above 60% of GDP? I think it is reasonable for the EU to seek

:43:44.:43:50.

reasonable control of debt. Since the Scottish Parliament was created

:43:51.:43:55.

you could at least say today that the Scottish Government has

:43:56.:43:58.

absolutely no debt, something that this government cannot claim to be

:43:59.:44:04.

able to save. When you look towards the future, regardless of whether we

:44:05.:44:10.

were going to be in or out of the EU, this country, the UK, and all

:44:11.:44:16.

its member nations, still face major economic challenges that require

:44:17.:44:21.

will and intelligence to address. That surely is the message that we

:44:22.:44:26.

should all be taking to our constituents as we face the future.

:44:27.:44:35.

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. As I stated in my opening remarks, as

:44:36.:44:40.

much as 30 minutes ago, following this debate, and with Parliamentary

:44:41.:44:52.

approval, we will look forward to the assessment of our economic and

:44:53.:44:56.

budgetary position, based on evidence that has been presented to

:44:57.:45:00.

Parliament. Presenting this submission through the convergence

:45:01.:45:03.

programme is a legal requirement under the EU. A couple of points

:45:04.:45:12.

made by the honourable member for Bootle. He makes the case for

:45:13.:45:18.

greater devolution. Can I remind him that it is this government that has

:45:19.:45:25.

put in place the new metro mayors. No doubt he's spending much of his

:45:26.:45:31.

weekends and constituency Friday's campaigning for the Labour

:45:32.:45:39.

candidates for mayor of the Liverpool city region and we've

:45:40.:45:44.

obviously got elections in Manchester and the West Midlands as

:45:45.:45:50.

well. This is not something that was created by the previous Labour

:45:51.:45:53.

government, this is something that was created by this government,

:45:54.:45:57.

recognising the need for decisions to be made at local levels and real

:45:58.:46:01.

power is being devolved at that level.

:46:02.:46:12.

He also made the accusation that I have not touched on, the issue of

:46:13.:46:22.

productivity. He made comments about the Chancellor not discussing the

:46:23.:46:27.

issues of productivity whereas the Chancellor makes very regular

:46:28.:46:31.

comments in respect of the need to improve our productivity. I drew

:46:32.:46:36.

attention to the measures we were taking on schools, skills and

:46:37.:46:44.

technology and innovation, which are at the heart of our efforts to

:46:45.:46:49.

address the country's long-standing productivity challenges. It is very

:46:50.:46:54.

difficult to see how the policies of the Labour Party, that will drive

:46:55.:47:00.

away briskness investment and discourage enterprise and

:47:01.:47:03.

innovation, would do anything other than weaken our productivity. --

:47:04.:47:08.

business. If he wishes to fight the next few weeks on the subject of

:47:09.:47:11.

productivity, I for one would welcome that. In the Budget we set

:47:12.:47:19.

out earlier this year, we continue to prepare this country for

:47:20.:47:24.

long-term prosperity. First and foremost by putting our economic

:47:25.:47:28.

stability first, by continuing to improve the state of our public

:47:29.:47:32.

finances, but we also set up meaningful investment in our future

:47:33.:47:37.

productivity and current public services. This is a plan therefore

:47:38.:47:40.

that strikes the right balance between reducing our deficit,

:47:41.:47:46.

preserving fiscal stability and investing in Britain's future. Those

:47:47.:47:52.

of the foundations of the strong and stable platform for the upcoming

:47:53.:47:58.

Brexit negotiations. This is the full the basis for the convergence

:47:59.:48:02.

programme we presented the European Union, and on that basis, I am

:48:03.:48:09.

pleased to to the House, which I beg to move. The question is as on the

:48:10.:48:13.

order paper. As many as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the contrary,

:48:14.:48:14.

"no". Division, clear the lobby. As many as are of the opinion, say

:48:15.:49:46.

"aye". To the contrary, "no". Tellers for the ayes, tellers for

:49:47.:49:49.

the noes, thank you. Order, order! The ayes to the right

:49:50.:02:37.

to hunt and 38. The noes to the left, 191. The ayes have it!

:02:38.:02:51.

Armlock. Point of order, Alison Pulis. Madam Deputy Speaker, you may

:02:52.:03:04.

remember that I had tried to debate the government rape clause in this

:03:05.:03:08.

house. The last time I raised this, the usual channels came back to me

:03:09.:03:12.

that there would be time made in a committee for the clause to be

:03:13.:03:19.

debated. The list has appeared in the whips office and as far as I

:03:20.:03:26.

know there will not be time with the proposed election there will not be

:03:27.:03:32.

time for the rape clause to be debated in this house. In Scotland,

:03:33.:03:39.

the NHS and women's organisation are refusing to co-operate with the

:03:40.:03:43.

guidance because they did believe it is not sound. Is there any recourse

:03:44.:03:47.

to raise this with the government so that these very important issues do

:03:48.:03:53.

get debated. The honourable lady has successfully done so herself as she

:03:54.:03:57.

sees on the Treasury benches the leader of the house will take up the

:03:58.:04:00.

matter with the honourable lady. I thank her for the point of order and

:04:01.:04:07.

the notice of it. I beg to move that this house do now adjourned. Jim

:04:08.:04:17.

Shannon. It is always a privilege to speak in this house. On this

:04:18.:04:21.

occasion, it is something I have wanted to do for some time on the

:04:22.:04:25.

case of the watch Raw UDR men murdered. They had worked together

:04:26.:04:34.

for some time. The crack was great, as they travelled on a beautiful

:04:35.:04:37.

morning, just like any number of others on a day like today, leaving

:04:38.:04:43.

behind wives and children and loved ones, they wanted to do their job

:04:44.:04:46.

and earn their pay like anyone of us would do. There the similarity ends

:04:47.:04:52.

because the atrocity on false. I'm sure the members of the house will

:04:53.:04:56.

give some adherence to the importance of this issue. I declare

:04:57.:05:03.

an interest as a member of the also the defence Regiment. I served it

:05:04.:05:08.

for three years as did other gallant members of this house and in other

:05:09.:05:10.

regiments and we are very pleased that they have made an effort to

:05:11.:05:15.

come to the chamber. On the morning of the 9th of April 1990, John

:05:16.:05:21.

Birch, Michael Bradley, Michael Adams and the private Stephen Smart,

:05:22.:05:26.

all members of the UDR were murdered with an attack on their mobile

:05:27.:05:33.

patrol in Downpatrick. All were travelling as a part of a two Land

:05:34.:05:42.

Rover patrol where a 1000 lb bomb, imagine the magnitude of that,

:05:43.:05:53.

beneath the road was dead on it and it was detonated and they were

:05:54.:05:57.

hurled 30 yards into a field, killed near instantly and creating a

:05:58.:06:02.

creator 40 feet wide and 15 feet deep. Those are the facts of what

:06:03.:06:08.

happened that fateful morning. Their families were torn apart, never to

:06:09.:06:15.

be the same. The men in service of Queen and country. Much like the

:06:16.:06:20.

officer on duty last month in this place. No link to anything other

:06:21.:06:27.

than the desire to wear the uniform and serve their community. Ireland

:06:28.:06:33.

are three of these men very well. John Bradley, married with a son and

:06:34.:06:38.

daughter. He had recently been promoted. He served with the Royal

:06:39.:06:45.

Highland Fusiliers that came from Renfrewshire. Another of the men

:06:46.:06:55.

came from where I was raised. I can remember him being born. His wife

:06:56.:07:03.

was expecting again. Private Stephen Smart coming from the main town of

:07:04.:07:09.

my constituency. His mother is dead but his father is still living. I

:07:10.:07:21.

thank the honourable member for Strangford for giving way and

:07:22.:07:26.

bringing this adjournment Ford. I had the honour of serving in the

:07:27.:07:31.

third County Down battalion, the same battalion as these brave

:07:32.:07:33.

soldiers. Will the honourable member agree with me that tragic as their

:07:34.:07:40.

deaths are, their sacrifice and the sacrifice of that regiment was

:07:41.:07:48.

immense. Their legacy, is the fact that our children and grandchildren

:07:49.:07:51.

can walk the streets of Northern Ireland not having to look over

:07:52.:07:54.

their shoulder because of the bravery of the men and women who

:07:55.:08:00.

served in the Ulster Defence Regiment, the Royal Ulster

:08:01.:08:02.

Constabulary and the other fine regiments that came to Northern

:08:03.:08:05.

Ireland, men and women who put their lives on the line. I thank my right

:08:06.:08:11.

honourable friend for the intervention. He's absolutely right.

:08:12.:08:17.

Those who served in uniform in that Regiment and others deserve every

:08:18.:08:24.

recognition for what they have done. Michael Adams, 23, also from Newton

:08:25.:08:28.

Ards who served for seven months with the Regiment. I served with him

:08:29.:08:35.

in the order I served in 11 a half years with the TA. I remember doing

:08:36.:08:46.

guard duty with him. I'm not sure if we had done anything wrong. We had

:08:47.:08:53.

the radio and we were listening to tunes, one of them was Stand By Me a

:08:54.:08:59.

1960s song, we are doing the very same thing with them today. These

:09:00.:09:06.

are men I knew well and faces I recall right now and I honour and

:09:07.:09:11.

respect today. I saw one of their mothers the week before last and her

:09:12.:09:16.

grief is still evident. These are men who deserve justice who were

:09:17.:09:23.

brutally murdered. Could I thank the honourable gentleman for giving way

:09:24.:09:27.

and say that I well remember that morning of the 9th of April 19 90.

:09:28.:09:33.

At that stage it was 7:30am and I had worked for my predecessor at

:09:34.:09:40.

that stage, we got a phone call to the office from the BBC to say what

:09:41.:09:46.

had happened. Our shark and our abortion and our opposition -- our

:09:47.:09:53.

shock and our roof portion and our position was made quite clear. Is he

:09:54.:10:00.

aware of it to an a half weeks later on a Sunday afternoon that there was

:10:01.:10:07.

a piece demonstration in Downpatrick from the car park in lower market

:10:08.:10:11.

Street out to the scene of that terrible atrocity? That was done to

:10:12.:10:17.

clearly illustrate that this was not done in our name and our total

:10:18.:10:28.

opposition and false to all forms of violence -- and revulsion to all

:10:29.:10:38.

forms of violence and terror. It also indicates the revulsion in the

:10:39.:10:41.

whole of the community in Downpatrick in relation to this. He

:10:42.:10:48.

mentioned the mother of one of the victims and mentioned children and

:10:49.:10:57.

sometimes we're inclined to forget about the families who were left

:10:58.:11:00.

after all of those years after this has happened and I'm sure you will

:11:01.:11:04.

agree that we must keep them to the fore. I thank my honourable friend

:11:05.:11:09.

and colleague for that intervention and he is right. This debate is an

:11:10.:11:15.

opportunity to recall the bravery of those young men and also to ask the

:11:16.:11:22.

Minister to respond and to ask for some action in relation to this. We

:11:23.:11:28.

will do that at the end. Discussing the actions of what is the 16 man

:11:29.:11:41.

and women team who helped to plan this. We all recall the pain and

:11:42.:11:46.

suffering of the loss of a loved one of friends and colleagues and we

:11:47.:11:50.

still carry that pain today. Plenty of other people in this chamber also

:11:51.:11:56.

carry pain. I think of the gallant friend across the way and minister

:11:57.:11:59.

who have served in uniform in Northern Ireland. I thank my

:12:00.:12:05.

honourable friend, gallant friend for giving way. The victims who are

:12:06.:12:15.

left behind, the mums, dads, the brothers, sisters, children's,

:12:16.:12:17.

sweethearts, their lives are actually defined by these events

:12:18.:12:22.

because their lives are defined by what happened after I lost my loved

:12:23.:12:27.

one. It's only in the definition of their victimhood that we will

:12:28.:12:32.

actually be able to heal in some way and cure that pain when justice is

:12:33.:12:37.

achieved for those people. Hopefully, through his debate we can

:12:38.:12:41.

actually open up a way of finding justice and Ealing for the people

:12:42.:12:47.

left behind. I thank my honourable friend and colleague for his

:12:48.:12:52.

thoughtful intervention and those very kind words. Like too many

:12:53.:12:56.

people in the province I have been touched by the actions of men like

:12:57.:13:01.

the leader of the provisional IRA responsible for the murder of the

:13:02.:13:06.

four UDR men. That vile, despicable excuse for a human being was an

:13:07.:13:14.

named Colin Marks. It's no coincidence that when he was shot,

:13:15.:13:18.

the activity of the IRA in the South immediately. A person who was

:13:19.:13:26.

pulling the strings and dictating and taking part in action that was

:13:27.:13:34.

completely unacceptable. I thank the honourable member for giving way

:13:35.:13:38.

again. He comes to an important point that I think needs to be

:13:39.:13:42.

emphasised. We have come to a sorry place when it is the men and women

:13:43.:13:48.

who put on uniforms and who defend and protect the community and in the

:13:49.:13:53.

case of Colin Marks, who shot someone who was a commander in the

:13:54.:14:00.

IRA and saved countless lives as a result, they are the people waiting

:14:01.:14:04.

on the knock at the door. They are wondering if someone is going to

:14:05.:14:09.

come looking for them to bring them, call them before a court to make

:14:10.:14:12.

them answer for what they did which was within the law and was about

:14:13.:14:16.

protecting and defending the community and we want to see the

:14:17.:14:20.

government do more to protect the integrity of the men and women who

:14:21.:14:26.

served in Northern Ireland in this operation and other theatres of

:14:27.:14:33.

conflict. They deserve that support. That's part of what about today.

:14:34.:14:39.

This debate is also about seeking justice and to have justice for

:14:40.:14:44.

those who served in uniform and the importance of that. He headed up the

:14:45.:14:49.

gang, lying in wait with his detonator in a forest just across

:14:50.:14:54.

from Bally Dougan. Whenever he pushed the button and killed for and

:14:55.:15:06.

-- for brave and courageous young man, went away, disposed of his blue

:15:07.:15:11.

boiler suit, was picked up by somebody else, there were 16 people

:15:12.:15:16.

involved. Somebody told the people that the Land Rover patrol was on

:15:17.:15:21.

its way. Another person confirmed that. A person left a 1000 lb arm.

:15:22.:15:31.

Multiply a bag of sugar by a thousand times and you have the

:15:32.:15:35.

magnitude of that bomb. How many people did it take to put that

:15:36.:15:39.

bombing that culvert. They were seen doing it. Just why was that

:15:40.:15:49.

evidence, visual evidence not acted upon in the way it should have been?

:15:50.:15:54.

To warn that UDR patrol and other patrols in the area of what it was

:15:55.:15:59.

about. There was a person when he was picked up at the shopping centre

:16:00.:16:06.

and taken to a safe house where he was showered and changed his clothes

:16:07.:16:12.

which were destroyed and moved to another house. 16 people were

:16:13.:16:15.

involved in the murder of those UDR men. Colin Marks pushed the button

:16:16.:16:22.

and blew the men to smithereens. He was also the IRA commander who was

:16:23.:16:27.

involved on in the murder of another man. A coal merchant selling coal.

:16:28.:16:39.

As he did his last delivery he was attacked by two men and was shot

:16:40.:16:44.

dead. This man has his hands red with blood. He is, let's be honest,

:16:45.:16:50.

he wasn't a freedom fighter, he was a lowlife efficient psychopath with

:16:51.:16:59.

no human decency, rotten to the core, contemptible, detestable,

:17:00.:17:02.

loathsome. No good whatsoever. A man who should never have been born.

:17:03.:17:11.

The member is defining a person in a very particular way. The see also

:17:12.:17:20.

salute the gallantry of the people who stood up to that beast, and

:17:21.:17:27.

recognise we won? Because the war they claim to be fighting for, today

:17:28.:17:36.

we are administering British rule in Northern Ireland. There is no all

:17:37.:17:41.

Irish Republic. We're not going anywhere else. The death has sealed

:17:42.:17:48.

the fact that it has been a victorious and gallant death. There

:17:49.:17:57.

are not another objective is to describe this loathsome person. All

:17:58.:18:06.

of the others involved in this as well. Nine people were arrested. I

:18:07.:18:13.

have read the historical report into this. Nine people were arrested, one

:18:14.:18:19.

was charged. But the person who killed the men, he was free, at

:18:20.:18:25.

least he was until one fateful day for him. As he was sitting up a bomb

:18:26.:18:31.

to attack and kill more people in Downpatrick, he was caught in the

:18:32.:18:37.

act, and was shot in the act of trying to kill other men and police

:18:38.:18:42.

officers. So justice was done in that he came to the end of his

:18:43.:18:47.

reign. It is a pity it did not happen earlier. This is the legacy

:18:48.:19:05.

of death, the legacy left by the as one of honour, sacrifice, dignity

:19:06.:19:09.

strength and great love for not only the families but the country and its

:19:10.:19:24.

people. We stand to reiterate this. Colin Marx and the rest of us serve

:19:25.:19:32.

nothing other than the label of what they were, odious, filthy scum. May

:19:33.:19:44.

I speak for some of us that were in Northern Ireland in the army, the

:19:45.:19:47.

regular army, and I include the Minister? We, those of us that

:19:48.:19:55.

served in the regular army, had incredible respect, affection. We

:19:56.:20:05.

salute the gallantry of every single member of the Royal Ulster

:20:06.:20:15.

Constabulary, the Ulster Defence Regiment and anyone that served the

:20:16.:20:21.

Crown in Northern Ireland who was a target of terrorism. We salute them,

:20:22.:20:32.

particularly because you live that, worked with your family around you.

:20:33.:20:39.

Those people had the huge threat of doing their duty, as the minister

:20:40.:20:45.

and I did not with our family around us, and to actually do that, we had

:20:46.:20:54.

huge respect for those that did that. And in that way, I also

:20:55.:21:00.

includes politicians of Northern Ireland who also were on the huge

:21:01.:21:05.

threat. And I am sorry if my intervention was long but I wanted

:21:06.:21:10.

to make that point from those of us were not normally living in Northern

:21:11.:21:15.

Ireland. I thank the honourable and gallant member for his contribution.

:21:16.:21:21.

I always look forward to his contribution to this House because

:21:22.:21:24.

they are wise words of a person who has served and done much for us in

:21:25.:21:29.

this chamber for those further afield. His knowledge and command of

:21:30.:21:34.

it. I know why the soldiers followed him, and we appreciate and thank him

:21:35.:21:44.

for that. The soldiers were traumatised by repeated destruction

:21:45.:21:50.

of the memorial. There were not sufficient with killing the four

:21:51.:21:56.

brave men, those evil people, they took a sledgehammer down and slashed

:21:57.:22:03.

the memorial at Bally Dougan. I was able as a counsellor to see the

:22:04.:22:09.

direction of the memorial for those four young men, three of them came

:22:10.:22:15.

from the area, and Lance Corporal Barry came from just outside the

:22:16.:22:22.

area. The memorial was desecrated and treated with no respect or

:22:23.:22:30.

common decency. Yet again, I thank the honourable member for giving

:22:31.:22:35.

way, but he has come to an important point. We hear a lot from those who

:22:36.:22:39.

are elected to this House but do not take their seats about respect. That

:22:40.:22:46.

word, respect. We would like to see a bit more respect given by Sinn

:22:47.:22:51.

Fein to the men and women who serve our country, and we would like to

:22:52.:22:56.

see the Armed Forces covenant fully implemented in Northern Ireland to

:22:57.:23:00.

ensure the families and veterans who served this country and sacrificed

:23:01.:23:05.

so much I given the support they deserve. So let's see Sinn Fein step

:23:06.:23:09.

up to the mark and show respect for a change. I thank the honourable

:23:10.:23:16.

gentleman for that. Respect is something that is urgent and is very

:23:17.:23:22.

much lacking from the side of Sinn Fein. In relation to what we are

:23:23.:23:29.

hoping to achieve. I thank the honourable gentleman for giving way

:23:30.:23:35.

again and I say this ever so gently, would he agree with me that there is

:23:36.:23:45.

a need now to have a resolution to the political talks process? One of

:23:46.:23:53.

those issues are to do with legacy. We come from perhaps different

:23:54.:23:57.

perspectives, but we all understand that many people lost their lives in

:23:58.:24:03.

very difficult tragic circumstances. Would he agree with me then now

:24:04.:24:07.

needs to be a resolution of this outstanding issues to allow this

:24:08.:24:12.

political institutions to be up and running in Northern Ireland, to

:24:13.:24:17.

provide the people than seeing a stripping of public services? I

:24:18.:24:22.

thank her for her intervention and I agree with that. It is important. We

:24:23.:24:27.

are committed to the talks process in the way forward. We just wish

:24:28.:24:34.

those participants in it were of the same mind, but there is a need of

:24:35.:24:39.

understanding and respect the people's traditions. We wish very

:24:40.:24:43.

much for that and hope that Sinn Fein will do the same. The families'

:24:44.:24:58.

lost will never be forgotten. Samuel Smart's dad came to my office last

:24:59.:25:06.

year and left me with a large thing wrapped up a newspaper. It turned

:25:07.:25:12.

out to be a blackthorn stick, which she presented to me, and wanted to

:25:13.:25:15.

give to me many years ago but I always refused and said, I I am not

:25:16.:25:30.

here to get it. The motif of the Ulster Defence Regiment. He says, I

:25:31.:25:38.

have got one for you and one for me. The reason for this debate again is

:25:39.:25:42.

to say I can only imagine the pain of 27 years, children without their

:25:43.:25:49.

parents and parents without the children. I can only imagine how

:25:50.:25:54.

every bit of terrorism is like a knife in your stomach, and this

:25:55.:25:59.

debate will also be Northern Ireland as well. Would-be member agree with

:26:00.:26:10.

me that we also need to concentrate on mental health and how we look at

:26:11.:26:13.

these families and everybody else and find a solution we can all agree

:26:14.:26:22.

on as soon as possible? He very clearly outlines part of the issue.

:26:23.:26:26.

The member referred to it earlier on. There is traumatised nation

:26:27.:26:37.

amongst those who have survived, and many in this chamber have served as

:26:38.:26:41.

well, and it is was good to see them here. I can only imagine how every

:26:42.:26:45.

provocation of terrorism bill is like a knife in your stomach. I

:26:46.:26:49.

cannot imagine anything worse than the murder of your child, fibre or

:26:50.:26:56.

spouse. I can only imagine, as you cry for your loss and ask for

:26:57.:27:01.

justice, watching those that came to the table with bloody hands having

:27:02.:27:05.

investigations and apologies handing out, what seems to be left, right

:27:06.:27:11.

and centre. I can only imagine what that means. I do and we'll do what

:27:12.:27:17.

we can in this House to highlight the issue and make the point. I

:27:18.:27:22.

standard this chamber with my colleagues and friends and declare

:27:23.:27:26.

again that we refuse to allow the rewriting of history to be made for

:27:27.:27:32.

evil seem to be good and for the unjustifiable to be thought of as

:27:33.:27:36.

anyway justified. We call a ban on the British government and the

:27:37.:27:47.

Minister... -- call upon. Could I just say to him that we hear a lot

:27:48.:27:54.

from Sinn Fein, calling for disclosure of government documents.

:27:55.:27:59.

I think it is about time there was disclosure from those members in the

:28:00.:28:04.

IRA and the IRA themselves, to hear why the four were targeted, and I

:28:05.:28:09.

think there is a noble miss the is missing. The members served in the

:28:10.:28:22.

Ulster Defence Regiment as well. He wore the uniform of Queen and

:28:23.:28:26.

country as well. We need Sinn Fein to step up, to recognise that there

:28:27.:28:33.

is an understanding of what we have suffered over the years in our

:28:34.:28:37.

community and the need to address that. I am sure he would join with

:28:38.:28:44.

me when we talk about the pain and disgust and disclosure and all the

:28:45.:28:50.

rest of it, whenever it was disclosed that certain members

:28:51.:28:53.

received letters of comfort and victims were still suffering, I am

:28:54.:28:58.

sure he will know that this party and the people of Northern Ireland

:28:59.:29:05.

totally disgusted. It does rankle arsenal. -- us all. There are some

:29:06.:29:18.

out there, we need people to set the record straight, stem the current

:29:19.:29:24.

tide of this, we seek to turn history around amongst cause of

:29:25.:29:28.

pollution, seek to distract from the fact described in this case, a 16

:29:29.:29:35.

man and woman team planting a bomb to wreak as much death and

:29:36.:29:38.

destruction is possible, the death of four men in their 20s and two

:29:39.:29:43.

passer-by civilians who happen to be in a car at that time. They wanted

:29:44.:29:51.

more blood, agony, heartache. They carried out more until they were

:29:52.:29:55.

halted on the way of holding them was whenever Colin Marks's mass

:29:56.:30:02.

murder, multiple monster that he is and was, was dispatched because he

:30:03.:30:08.

carried out that attempt to kill even more police officers. This was

:30:09.:30:14.

not a holy war, this was not freedom fighting, this was a wretched hatred

:30:15.:30:20.

at work. This was not a noble cause, this was butchery, and as time has

:30:21.:30:24.

moved on, we reiterate the call from those of us here and across the

:30:25.:30:34.

Chamber, justice for these men, how frustrating it is to hear these

:30:35.:30:38.

calls for justice for everyone else. I want justice, the party wants

:30:39.:30:46.

justice, to ensure that those grave UDR men and those who wore the

:30:47.:30:52.

uniform get justice as well. Would he accept that justice will never be

:30:53.:31:03.

done if Sinn Fein and the IRA are allowed through the legacy process

:31:04.:31:05.

to rewrite history, present themselves as freedom fighters who

:31:06.:31:09.

had some just cause rather than terrorists who were simply out to

:31:10.:31:13.

subvert the wishes of the people to remain part of the United Kingdom?

:31:14.:31:21.

Absolutely. They tried to equate the two together. Those in uniform were

:31:22.:31:30.

serving their queen and country to keep law and order. Those who wore

:31:31.:31:36.

barrack lavas and skulk that night and pushed bombs, they are the

:31:37.:31:44.

murderers. There is no comparison. We seek justice for everyone,

:31:45.:31:52.

justice that will not simply be in the incarceration of every single

:31:53.:31:55.

person involved in the bombing from the bomb makers to the clothes

:31:56.:32:00.

washers, all 16 who did a task in relation to people. Justice must

:32:01.:32:05.

also come through an end to historical fiction being presented

:32:06.:32:17.

as fact. The team that was involved in the despatching of Colm Marx,

:32:18.:32:23.

does he agree that they should receive medals for despatching one

:32:24.:32:31.

of Ulster's worst criminals. That is exactly how I feel about it. The day

:32:32.:32:39.

that evil, obnoxious, psychopathic multiple killer was put in the grave

:32:40.:32:46.

was a day that the world was a better place. It would have been

:32:47.:32:51.

bettered the day he was never born, down cause havoc, murder and mayhem

:32:52.:33:07.

across the province. 27 years ago, an holy week, the most unholy act of

:33:08.:33:11.

slaughter was carried out by men and women, some of whom are walking

:33:12.:33:17.

around today instead of paying for their crimes. I sincerely ask every

:33:18.:33:22.

person listening in this chamber or back at home to stop the

:33:23.:33:28.

re-traumatised nation of the victims of the trouble by accepting these we

:33:29.:33:39.

write. And I accept the honourable people who they so sacrificially

:33:40.:33:49.

served. I take the time for others in this chamber tonight. We ask for

:33:50.:33:56.

justice for those for young brave men and for their families who have

:33:57.:34:04.

suffered every day from traumatised nation and the memory of losing

:34:05.:34:08.

loved ones. All others in this house remember their bravery, their

:34:09.:34:15.

coverage and their sacrifice. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. First of

:34:16.:34:21.

all, I start by Congress jury to the honourable gentleman for securing

:34:22.:34:28.

this important debate this evening. The member for Strangford, I know,

:34:29.:34:34.

as has been mentioned is a former member of the UDR and the member of

:34:35.:34:40.

Lagan Valley and Fermanagh, many people have been stepped up to be

:34:41.:34:47.

leaders in Northern Ireland and have served gallantly in very troubled

:34:48.:34:53.

times both in regular service to the UDR and the RUC. I just want to pay

:34:54.:35:01.

my respects to that organisation. I think the member for Beckenham put

:35:02.:35:07.

it absolutely right, we have huge respect for that as people, who, we

:35:08.:35:17.

in the regular Army went home and went back to in my case Yorkshire,

:35:18.:35:22.

he's from somewhere down south, I think. Cheshire. The point is, we

:35:23.:35:31.

went back to our homes, to a safe place whereas I know lots of you and

:35:32.:35:36.

lots of people who served in the UDR and RUC went back with that fear

:35:37.:35:43.

still every moment of the day. I'd also like to express my condolences

:35:44.:35:48.

and sympathies to the families and friends of the young soldiers who on

:35:49.:35:52.

the 9th of April 1990 tragic the lost their lives in this horrendous

:35:53.:35:58.

terrorist atrocity. It is evident that for many people the legacy of

:35:59.:36:04.

Northern Ireland's past continues to be, continues to cast a very dark

:36:05.:36:10.

shadow over the present. I am very conscious that in approaching this

:36:11.:36:14.

is you we recognised that terrible loss suffered by so many people

:36:15.:36:19.

during the troubles in Northern Ireland and in other parts of the

:36:20.:36:23.

United Kingdom. Over the period of the trouble is, broadly speaking

:36:24.:36:34.

from 1968 to 1998, around 3.5 -- around 3500 were killed, many in the

:36:35.:36:40.

line of duty protecting the public and maintaining the rule of law.

:36:41.:36:46.

Thousands were also maimed and injured jawing terrorist campaigns.

:36:47.:36:49.

This government has always been clear that we, and this point was

:36:50.:36:56.

made by several members, this government has always been clear

:36:57.:37:00.

that we wholly reject any suggestion of some equivalence between the

:37:01.:37:06.

security forces and those who carried out these terrorist

:37:07.:37:08.

atrocities. Terrorism was and is wholly wrong. It was never and could

:37:09.:37:16.

never be justified, from whichever side it came, Republican. No

:37:17.:37:25.

injustices perceived or otherwise warranted the actions of the para

:37:26.:37:31.

meant to -- paramilitary groups which caused the immense damage

:37:32.:37:45.

whenever these atrocities were carried out. We need to look at

:37:46.:37:52.

mental health and how best we get veterans access to these services. I

:37:53.:37:56.

hope the other side of the general election we can make sure everybody

:37:57.:38:01.

knows, who cares about those people, those veterans, that we make sure

:38:02.:38:04.

we've got good access and are able to channel people to get the support

:38:05.:38:09.

they deserve and need. As someone who has served in Northern Ireland,

:38:10.:38:15.

and as a proud member of the Majesty 's Armed Forces, in the British

:38:16.:38:20.

Army, I witnessed at first hand the remarkable dedication and courage

:38:21.:38:25.

Armed Forces and officers of the Ulster Unionist Constabulary, sorry,

:38:26.:38:32.

the Royal Ulster Constabulary performed during my time. Over 1000

:38:33.:38:37.

members of the curative forces lost their lives over the period of

:38:38.:38:42.

operation, the longest continuous military deployment in this

:38:43.:38:48.

country's history. And the issue of awards and medals was mentioned

:38:49.:38:54.

earlier on, around 7000 awards for bravery were made and without the

:38:55.:38:58.

dedication and self-sacrifice of the security forces to keep the people

:38:59.:39:03.

of Northern Ireland safe and circumstances that enabled the peace

:39:04.:39:08.

process to take root, take old would never have happened without the

:39:09.:39:13.

gallant work of these people. As I've already alluded, dealing with

:39:14.:39:22.

Northern Ireland's past is difficult and complex and many victims and

:39:23.:39:26.

survivors who are today still suffering on the basis of the

:39:27.:39:31.

results of the troubles and the way it impacted those individuals, it's

:39:32.:39:36.

clear that the legacy institutions as they are currently setup are not

:39:37.:39:40.

working for everyone and we have a victim to everyone to have a

:39:41.:39:45.

comprehensive approach to provide a way forward for everyone. That is

:39:46.:39:50.

why the government continues to believe that the Stormont house

:39:51.:39:54.

institutions remain the best way forward for dealing with Northern

:39:55.:39:58.

Ireland's past. I believe these proposals will make the situation

:39:59.:40:02.

better for victims and survivors and is the best chance of prosecuting

:40:03.:40:06.

terrorists for murdering police officers and soldiers along with

:40:07.:40:12.

other victims. I believe the historical investigations unit, a

:40:13.:40:18.

body proposed in the Stormont house agreement has a number of advantages

:40:19.:40:22.

over current system in place in Northern Ireland. It will

:40:23.:40:24.

investigate deaths in chronological order, taking each case in turn, it

:40:25.:40:31.

will include in its investigation many hundreds of murders caused by

:40:32.:40:35.

terrorists, including those of soldiers, this will include the

:40:36.:40:42.

murders of the 18 soldiers at Warrenpoint in 1979, the largest

:40:43.:40:46.

loss of life in the Army in any single incident in the troubles.

:40:47.:40:54.

Madam Deputy Speaker, it's estimated that without the form, the current

:40:55.:41:01.

mechanisms, around 185 murders of soldiers will not be reinvestigated,

:41:02.:41:07.

not to mention the many murders of RUC members. There will be a

:41:08.:41:13.

statutory duty to act in a manner that is balanced, proportions, fair

:41:14.:41:23.

and equitable. The HS you will be time limited with an aim to bring an

:41:24.:41:27.

end to all of these investigations into the past within five years.

:41:28.:41:31.

Just before I come to the conclusion, on the issue of the

:41:32.:41:42.

honourable member for Strangford raises, it would be inappropriate

:41:43.:41:46.

for me to comment but there is provision under the proposals that

:41:47.:41:53.

where there is no evidence the right institutions go in pursuit of those

:41:54.:41:57.

and get to the bottom and pursue the people responsible for it. What I

:41:58.:42:04.

would say to the right honourable gentleman, where you have got

:42:05.:42:07.

evidence, bring that forward and I would use all my officers to make

:42:08.:42:10.

sure that evidence can be placed into the right hands to be dealt

:42:11.:42:19.

with appropriately. By all means. Would he accept however that despite

:42:20.:42:24.

all the words he has said that new evidence or new ways of interpreting

:42:25.:42:31.

evidence is now being used as a means to carry out what many regard

:42:32.:42:36.

as a witchhunt against members of the security forces who took out

:42:37.:42:42.

people like Colm Marx and that's where the anger and the injustice

:42:43.:42:46.

appears to be coming through in Northern Ireland and which is

:42:47.:42:55.

re-traumatised and many of those who served in Northern Ireland and are

:42:56.:43:03.

seeing themselves used as some pawn in a politically expedient game to

:43:04.:43:06.

try and buy of Sinn Fein and get them back into government. Thank you

:43:07.:43:12.

for the intervention. I just want to give you my reassurance that I think

:43:13.:43:16.

the route I suggested will address that and give people confidence. It

:43:17.:43:23.

is important, I say this as a former soldier myself, that I've played by

:43:24.:43:29.

the rules. Many people played by the walls. Occasionally individuals make

:43:30.:43:33.

mistakes and they need to be accountable for it. Because we were

:43:34.:43:42.

part of the establishment we had rules of engagement, we believe in

:43:43.:43:49.

the Geneva Convention, a whole set of rules, that's the difference

:43:50.:43:55.

between our two. I look at and solve the veterans march a few weeks ago

:43:56.:44:04.

and Doug Beattie was a guest speaker at that and many good points he put

:44:05.:44:10.

in there and one of the key points he made was that if you break the

:44:11.:44:15.

law, you should face the law. There was a man campaigning for that --

:44:16.:44:23.

for veterans but he recognises that those who have broken the law need

:44:24.:44:26.

to be accountable regardless of which side. I agree totally with

:44:27.:44:33.

that point but it is not the point that my colleague from East Antrim

:44:34.:44:37.

made. In this particular case, the officer who dispatched Colm Marx has

:44:38.:44:46.

been through three individual inquests. He was a friend of mine

:44:47.:44:51.

growing up. He went through an ombudsman's inquest, there is now a

:44:52.:45:00.

second inquest, on the basis of dodgy evidence that has been

:45:01.:45:04.

produced. He will be dragged through that process again, his wife and

:45:05.:45:08.

family will be traumatised by it and that is why I said he and his team

:45:09.:45:13.

should have been given a medal that night. That should be the honour

:45:14.:45:17.

that our state should be giving these people, not dragging them

:45:18.:45:19.

through the process of constantly going through what they did.

:45:20.:45:25.

I understand the passion with which the honourable gentleman talks

:45:26.:45:31.

spotted a large balance and proportion in our response and the

:45:32.:45:34.

state was in response to this. All means. Thank you. I thank the

:45:35.:45:41.

Minister for giving way. I know he understands. There is a real worry,

:45:42.:45:47.

as my honourable friends, who are really my friends on the other side

:45:48.:45:53.

of the house, have said, is the proportionality of investigation

:45:54.:45:58.

that Riaz. It is also the fact that many people who carry out crimes

:45:59.:46:06.

seem to have -- worry us. Have their crimes blown out, blown away yet

:46:07.:46:12.

soldiers, policemen and others who have carried out their duties using

:46:13.:46:17.

the yellow card rules and under the role seem to have a fair and that

:46:18.:46:22.

they will be a blot on their doors to drag them before a court. -- a

:46:23.:46:30.

knock on their door. This is the worry that we have. -- fear. I know

:46:31.:46:37.

the minister understand this because they have discussed it outside this

:46:38.:46:42.

house, but this is the worry all the people sitting in this chamber at

:46:43.:46:47.

the moment that our men and women who did everything right can't sleep

:46:48.:46:53.

as well as others who did everything wrong. Can I thank my gallant friend

:46:54.:47:02.

for his intervention and I think he's right with the fact it is that

:47:03.:47:06.

I've been proportionate. I know he, as a man of justice, would know that

:47:07.:47:11.

if someone does something wrong, they need to be accountable for it.

:47:12.:47:17.

What is appropriate in this process, under the Stormont agreement, is

:47:18.:47:22.

that we bring a model forward for those victims and survivors, and we

:47:23.:47:25.

have a system which is right. I do appreciate the support from the

:47:26.:47:29.

benches around this issue to bring this to conclusion and part of that

:47:30.:47:35.

has got to be that we need a working mechanism of Government in Northern

:47:36.:47:44.

Ireland where a devolved institution can work effectively and to bring

:47:45.:47:48.

justice and bring some peace to the individuals. I want to conclude, I

:47:49.:47:55.

have outlined the reasons why the Secretary of State recently

:47:56.:47:57.

announced his intention to move to a public says. -- phase and why we

:47:58.:48:06.

have engaged intensively with victim groups to move a full on the

:48:07.:48:13.

outstanding issues. I believe this has the potential to build greater

:48:14.:48:16.

confidence in the new bodies and resolve the remaining issues. It is

:48:17.:48:20.

clear that the status quo is not working well for victims and

:48:21.:48:23.

families, and it time progresses made. This will make sure our

:48:24.:48:31.

veterans are not unfairly treated all district urgently investigated

:48:32.:48:33.

and will reflect the fact that 90% of the deaths and troubles, any

:48:34.:48:39.

troubles were caused by terrorists, and caused so much pain and

:48:40.:48:45.

suffering. This Government remains distinct in its admiration of the

:48:46.:48:51.

role of forces plays to ensure that Northern Ireland's future will be

:48:52.:48:54.

forever divided by democracy and consent. We salute bays -- decided.

:48:55.:49:00.

We salute soldiers for their sacrifices. I've responded to

:49:01.:49:09.

several debates of this nature and I know it very difficult for the

:49:10.:49:13.

people who put the debate forward. I think it's important for the

:49:14.:49:18.

people... He's like about the horrors happening that day and have

:49:19.:49:21.

to, and other honourable members have spoken about being respectful

:49:22.:49:27.

to each other and working to gather any different place that is not the

:49:28.:49:32.

9th of April 1990, what it is today. I don't, I went there two days. The

:49:33.:49:42.

place it is the day is not the place it was before. The high school is an

:49:43.:49:47.

amazing place full of bright young people. They're with me. To go and

:49:48.:49:53.

visit the voluntary groups. -- stay with me. Can I thank the Minister

:49:54.:50:01.

for giving way. As someone who was born, raised and educated in

:50:02.:50:04.

Downpatrick, I can quite clearly say to the Minister that it was one of

:50:05.:50:10.

the first councils back in 1973 that introduced and participated in a

:50:11.:50:16.

power-sharing arrangement at local government level which the game

:50:17.:50:19.

plying their arrangement for the rest of Northern Ireland. -- became

:50:20.:50:28.

the pioneering. Having met the staph and the people who participate in

:50:29.:50:35.

the projects of the Barry moat centre in the estate, that is very

:50:36.:50:40.

much the view that I and others want to see the trade of Downpatrick at

:50:41.:50:46.

an integrated place for a shared society. I don't want to get away

:50:47.:50:53.

from the debate to day but it is important just to reiterate, and the

:50:54.:50:58.

honourable lady is very right with the fact that there are people

:50:59.:51:01.

across the community coming together and living in a peaceful, cohesive

:51:02.:51:08.

place. There are always tension and pressure around but actually it is a

:51:09.:51:11.

completely different place. During my visit, I want to finish on this

:51:12.:51:17.

point, I went to Downpatrick police station because, at 2pm, PC Keith

:51:18.:51:22.

Palmer was being buried, we were over there and we had a two-minute

:51:23.:51:27.

silence for him at the Memorial within the police nation, of which

:51:28.:51:33.

of course there are many, many people who lost their lives. We

:51:34.:51:36.

should remember the people who will ask what we should also make sure

:51:37.:51:43.

that Downpatrick is a beautiful place. -- groupware lost. That is

:51:44.:51:48.

the future we should project. As well as rendering the people we have

:51:49.:51:54.

lost. -- free member ring. The question is that the house do now

:51:55.:51:59.

adjourn. As many of that opinion, say ayes? -- aye. The ayes have it.

:52:00.:53:07.

We now come to the notion on the early parliamentary general election

:53:08.:53:16.

to move the motion, I call the Prime Minister. Thank you, and I beg to

:53:17.:53:24.

move the motion on the order paper in my name and that of my honourable

:53:25.:53:27.

friends. That mission

:53:28.:53:28.

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including (estimated timings):

12.45pm-12.55pm ten minute rule bill. 12.55pm-2.25pm debate and vote on a motion to hold a general election on Thursday 8 June. 2.25pm-4.25pm consideration of Lords amendments to the Technical and Further Education Bill. 4.30pm-6.00pm motion on a budget report for the European Union.