23/02/2018 House of Commons


23/02/2018

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons including the second readings of the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill and the Overseas Electors Bill.


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Order, order!

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The data request at this house it in

private. The clerk will now proceed

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to lead the orders of the day.

Organ

Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill

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second reading.

I beg to move the

second reading.

Well done.

Mr

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Geoffrey Robinson. Thank you. It is

a great pleasure to see that the

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Minister is in her place and I'm

very pleased that she gave out an

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official statement of support from

the government but will be

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supporting the spill, not just here

now at the second reading, but

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through all its stages. It is very

welcome and I appreciate that very

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much. I had no doubts at any stage

of our support. My honourable friend

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is a shadow minister, who will also

be speaking from the front bench. In

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this context, I must also mention

that the Prime Minister fairly early

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on indicated to me that she had a

personal interest and lead our bill

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her personal support. I would act as

a sincere thank you to the Prime

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Minister for that. Rounding off this

stage of my thanks to those, I have

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to mention the Leader of the

Opposition, his leadership on the

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issue and his back-up I have

received from his office, the

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leader's offers, have been an

invaluable support to me. Indeed, I

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think we can say that we have seldom

seen such a unanimous range of

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support. We have 11 members, seven

of them represent all Southern

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political parties in this house. I

think if we can carry that level of

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unanimity and commitment through to

the country and reach the consensus

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we badly need there, it would be

very much in the interests of making

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sure that the bill becomes an act

and that in due course, the act

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becomes a very effective one in

achieving...

Yes, I give way. I am

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grateful to him and can I preach

attributed to go using this

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opportunity to bring the bill to the

house. I hope the house gives the

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bill its endorsement today. Can I

assure him that, if the government

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worked with him to ensure speedy

passage of this bill, they will have

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the full support of the opposition

benches.

I am grateful for that. I

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think him very much indeed for it.

His support has been consistent and

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welcome and a great help. If we

needed any more help, I am pleased

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to tell the house wheels have that

of the previous prime ministers,

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will meet Prime Minister John Major

felt he could not support as and he

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said he did not know enough about

it, which was sometimes a problem as

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Prime Minister. I said earlier that

we should try to carry out now a

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message from a United house,

reaching that sense of unity today,

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into the country, and raise public

awareness and consciousness about

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the need and the reasons for the opt

out solution we are proposing to

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bring into this. And I believe that

if we can do that, that'll be a

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major part of what the vote today,

the campaign we have been waging and

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the act itself, to achieve. That has

been backed up and really reinforced

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by the public consultation the

government itself launched. The

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minister may remember it was my

honourable friend, who urged that

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calls upon the government. They

responded quickly and to great

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effect. And I think that the

response to it is of an

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unprecedented nature. I'm informed

unofficially that the number of

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individual responses is now offered

11,000, an unprecedented level, by

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far the wreck of any public

consultation of this kind. Those are

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11,000 separate individually written

letters on the topic. If people

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don't think that is sufficient

awareness yet, I'm hoping that by

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the end of the campaign, and that

campaign does not finish until the

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6th of March, that they will find an

opportunity, it's online, easily

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found, the government website,

they'll find an opportunity to

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participate in it. That

predominantly positive response that

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relate to understand the public

consultation is producing, it is

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hardly surprising, although very

welcome, it's hardly surprising when

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you think that according to recent

British Heart Foundation figures,

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when questioned, up to 90% of the

public expressed themselves in

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principle in favour of donation, but

only 36 get round to signing the

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register. I was in that position for

a number of years and maybe some in

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this house are also in that

position. It shows how effective in

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opt out register could be. The

situation at the moment, why then we

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are reactively looking towards an

opt out solution at this stage, is

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because, if we take England for

example, the situation is

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disappointing. We have some of the

lowest rates of consent for organ

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donation in the west of Europe, no

family rates of consent being one of

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the major barriers to the donor rate

actually increasing and in effect

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preventing one third of available

organs from being used. They go

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straight to the grave or to the

crematorium. None of us likes to

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think about the worst happening and

it is challenging to have

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conversations with families and

loved ones about one's wishes after

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death. But one of the principal aims

of the bill must be to encourage

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these open discussions among

families, so that the viewer wishes

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of an individual can be known to

their nearest and dearest, which I

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think it's reasonable to say in the

majority of cases, given the outcome

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of the consultation, given what we

know from the polls, will be I'm

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sure that they wish to donate their

organs after death. But there will

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be those who take a different view.

There will be those who take a

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different view, they may even be one

or two in the house it will feel

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that way and make their views known

during the debate. What I say to

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them is, I in no way wish them to

feel they are being railroaded into

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decisions they do not wish to take.

Therefore, I would like to emphasise

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to those who feel they cannot lend

their support or have doubts about

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the bill at this stage, that there

will be soft soft opt out provision

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built into the bill and there will

be a fair amount of discussion about

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them during the committee stage, I

imagine. I will give way in one

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second. I would want to assure them

that I will give my fullest personal

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commitment to approach those

discussions around the opt out, in

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the spirit of sympathetic

open-mindedness. I give way.

I am

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here to support his bill, but I

would ask if he could engage with

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the Jewish community to see if he

can allay their concerns about how

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it might affect observance with

their religious teachings.

I am very

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pleased to take that intervention,

because I do remember that one of

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the Prime Minister is now supporting

us, Gordon Brown in fact, did try to

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introduce or wanted to introduce an

opt out system, but came up against

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a fairly immovable block in the then

Chief Rabbi, who said that he could

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not commit the Jewish community to

supporting it, and that rather help

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matters up. They were then overtaken

by other matters. But yes, we will

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do that and I have been in touch and

we believe that the Council itself

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now has made an official statement

supporting the bill.

I thank him for

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giving way and he gradually him. He

has put in a lot of hard work in

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securing this bill. As any member

who has dealt with the bill in the

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House of Commons knows, that is a

lot of effort behind-the-scenes. I

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think it's very important that the

assurances on opt out, particularly

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to communities like the Jewish

community, is very important that we

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convey that message and get further

support on that basis.

I am grateful

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to my honourable friend and

colleague from our shared city. His

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support along those lines is most

welcome to me. I notice my right

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honourable friend the Leader has

come in. As I say again, I pay a

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warm personal tribute to your

leadership on the issue and to the

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tremendous help I have received from

your offers by way of back-up to the

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bill. I am deeply grateful. I also

took the opportunity of expressing

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gratitude to the Prime Minister who

has lent her personal support. I

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know he would welcome that as well.

Did you want to intervene? I

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apologise for just arriving. I thank

the honourable member for what he

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has said. It is wonderful he has got

this bill introduced and I hope

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today the house can pass it and save

an awful lot of people's lives in

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the future.

That is indeed our room

and while I should sound certain

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notes of caution about introducing

it to make sure we get that increase

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and successfully utilise the

increase in organ donation, there

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are certain things we have to watch

out for and I mentioned those as

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part of a series approach to the

issue. I know you would want to see

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his own government in June was and

we have to implement. I would hope

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that would be the

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I get the message that time is of no

essence and no liberty can press it.

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Let me note what has been achieved.

We have a proud history of living

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donor transplants. October 30, 1960

at the Royal infirmary of Edinburgh

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and operation took place between

identical twins because at that time

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the problems of rejection were still

a long way from any kind of reliable

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solution. In November 1965 the first

transplant in the UK from a

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non-heart beating donor was carried

out, again at the Royal infirmary in

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Edinburgh. 1968 saw the first

successful heart and liver

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transplants. That is a proud

tradition and I think all of us at

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this stage, I'm sure the whole house

would join with me in congratulating

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the NHS and all the staff concerned

in this department on magnificent

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work. I'm sure the House would like

that to be on the... Yes, I will.

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Thank you very much. Again, thank

you for bringing this Bill forward.

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I think the point he is making and

we will move onto is transplant

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surgery is now becoming routine and

people are living normal and long

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lives a result. When I was growing

up a heart transplant was like

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number one item on the news and now

they are being carried out daily.

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But of course. The consequence of

that is to some extent victims of

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our own success, we now have a

growing need for organs and a

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growing waiting list which I will

mention in a moment for them. That

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must be a problem concerning us all.

It must be a problem which as a

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country we must seek a proper... I

will give way to the honourable

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member.

I thank the honourable

member and congratulate him on his

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campaign. 90,000 residents in

Doncaster are on the organ donation

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register and I am one of them and

proud to be. 54 patients are

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awaiting transplants in Doncaster.

Unfortunately my constituent Amy

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not, her brother died waiting for a

double langue transplant. -- lung

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transplant. Is it not the case we

need to secure more people who are

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prepared to be part of this service

so we can save more lives?

I think

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the whole house will be touched by

the particular constituency case and

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the whole house will agree with what

she says about the need to increase

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the availability of organs. We

believe there is an opt out system

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where everybody very simply is part

of the system unless they choose to

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opt out. I made it clear the opt out

procedure would be simple and we

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will respect those who choose to do

so. But if we can get this in, it

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will not make an immediate

difference tomorrow, but I am sure

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in a period of years, as activity

rates of those in our capacity to

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handle them successfully increase, I

am sure the availability of organs

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will also increase. That is why I am

keen to get the Bill through second

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reading today. Since those early

successes, some 50,000 people have

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been given a second chance in life

in the UK. A new lease of life with

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organ donation. I am sure the whole

house will join me in expressing

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gratitude that we all feel to the

NHS for it. Mr Speaker, if our

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history is a very proud one, we

cannot rest on our laurels.

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Unaccountably in the last few years

the steady increase in the rate of

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donation and transplantation has

slowed down. In the last four years

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it has in effect in England

plateaued. In this background that

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has been a grave concern that a

certain inertia is setting in. The

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most recent figure for the UK as a

whole for this makes disquieting

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reading. In March 2017, just last

year, the most recent figures, there

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were 60,388 pensions registered on

the list for a transplant. --

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patients. In the same year 437 died

while on the active waiting list.

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More significant perhaps, 837 people

in the same period once more died

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who had been removed from the active

waiting list, because while on it

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they had become too unwell to

receive a transplant. That is how

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serious the situation is. I will

give way to the honourable member.

I

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congratulate him on bringing this

Bill, which I support. Many of my

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constituents have contacted me about

children who have died for want of a

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suitable donor. I wonder if at some

point in his speech he will refer to

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how the Bill will benefit children

in need of an organ donor.

A most

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moving aspect. We had a reception

last night in which many of those

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children benefited from organ

donations and people whose children

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were present and I will be coming to

them in a moment. I will give way to

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the honourable member.

Thank you, he

is making an excellent speech. The

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sad reality of course is behind

every organ donation is somebody who

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has died. In order for the organs to

be donated. Yes, it is right and

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proper that we see facilities for

children to be receiving donations

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but it is a sensitive time for

parents who have seen the loss of a

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child of their own. Those whose

organs would be donated. Will he

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comment on how we can deal

sensitively with the families of

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those whose children have died?

Well, yes. We would be happy to

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across-the-board, I think. My

honourable friend draws attention to

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a particular area of importance in

that. It is a vitally important

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area, but it is only one of the

areas we hope to address. The other

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categories are equally important, as

I am sure he would understand and

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agree. Mr Speaker, I do not claim my

Bill alone is a panacea for our

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problems. But I do believe and I am

convinced, I will give way in a

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second, I am convinced it is a vital

prerequisite to impart fresh impetus

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to the increase in organ donation we

know the country urgently needs. I

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will give way to the honourable

member.

Thank you for giving way. I

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congratulate him on introducing this

Bill and I will give it my support.

0:22:120:22:17

However, following on from the last

intervention, Wales introduced

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presumed consent on organ donation

and I believe in 2016-17, 33

0:22:240:22:32

families were presumed consent was

assumed, 13 families actually

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withdrew consent when they were

asked. Can he assure me that in his

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legislation there will be room for

relatives still to be consulted and

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withdraw that consent? It is after

all being asked for at a very

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sensitive time. I want to make sure

families have that latitude whilst

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busily trying to do everything to

increase organ donation.

Mr Speaker,

0:22:580:23:04

the honourable lady raises a

difficult point but an important

0:23:040:23:06

one. As part of the soft opt out

there will certainly be arrangements

0:23:060:23:13

for families, close friends, to

express their opinions and in all

0:23:130:23:17

cases what is interesting here is

Spain operates a system, because

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they do not have an opt out

situation in effect, they do not

0:23:210:23:26

have a register, they consult in

every case with every family that

0:23:260:23:31

they can get to on time on the

register and as a result of those

0:23:310:23:36

consultations and the conversations

they can have with the families,

0:23:360:23:38

they have a tremendous rate of

consent. It can work the other way,

0:23:380:23:43

of course. We should make for

provision in the Bill for that.

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There should be careful wording for

it. I invite those with particular

0:23:460:23:51

interest to look at it. But the

intent will be precisely... I pick

0:23:510:23:58

it up from my honourable friend's

intervention, there will be an

0:23:580:24:02

effective veto given to families in

that situation. I will take the lady

0:24:020:24:09

first, if I may, the honourable

member.

Thank you for giving way and

0:24:090:24:13

I also congratulate him on the Bill

today which I support. On the Port

0:24:130:24:17

of Spain does he agree that

highlights of this Bill is not

0:24:170:24:21

actually the action that part of the

solution? -- on the point of Spain.

0:24:210:24:27

They were looking to increase the

rate of donor organs by investing

0:24:270:24:30

heavily in transport and

infrastructure and the National

0:24:300:24:33

organ donation system.

Yes, Mr

Speaker, I shall mention some of the

0:24:330:24:43

investment it will need to make sure

it is a success, though moving at a

0:24:430:24:51

higher level with much better

infrastructure, certainly

0:24:510:24:54

infrastructure for nursing is vital

and the professional surgeon, the

0:24:540:24:59

body of professional surgeons and

specialist units available are much

0:24:590:25:01

greater than they are in Spain. We

recognise the success of the Spanish

0:25:010:25:06

system. At its heart is an ability

to get to the families and talk with

0:25:060:25:11

them and that should take place in

any case. We think when it takes

0:25:110:25:15

place against the backdrop of a

knocked out system it starts from a

0:25:150:25:18

different position and is likely to

produce hopefully more positive

0:25:180:25:22

results. I think...

I am grateful to

the honourable gentleman. Further to

0:25:220:25:31

his response by the member for

Amersham, I think it is fair to say

0:25:310:25:37

probably most if not all members

here today are here because we

0:25:370:25:39

support this measure and would like

it in statute. But the honourable

0:25:390:25:45

gentleman in his response said that

friends and family would be

0:25:450:25:50

consulted. I think we have to be

very clear that if this is not to be

0:25:500:25:55

brought into dispute and if we have

a wave of withdrawals not to be

0:25:550:26:01

generated, that is the last thing we

want. He must be very precise and

0:26:010:26:04

when he comes and when we hope this

Bill gets into committee, will he

0:26:040:26:09

make sure that issue is very clearly

addressed, please?

I am grateful, Mr

0:26:090:26:15

Speaker, again from a very

thoughtful intervention with good

0:26:150:26:21

foresight. I will give him that

assurance. As presenter of the Bill

0:26:210:26:25

I will take a personal interest in

seeing the right balance is struck.

0:26:250:26:29

Do not forget it will be struck in a

situation where the law of the land

0:26:290:26:33

is one of opt out. I think that

changes the very basis from the

0:26:330:26:37

starting point of the discussion

with the family will stop but we

0:26:370:26:40

shall treat it with proper caution

and respect which we know those

0:26:400:26:45

moments of agony and awful decision

taking pose for the families

0:26:450:26:48

concerned. I will give way to the

honourable member.

I'm very grateful

0:26:480:26:53

to him for giving way and I am here

to support his Bill. As a Welsh MP I

0:26:530:26:57

want to provide some reassurance. We

already have legislation in Wales

0:26:570:27:01

which has been working with an deal

specifically with that point. But we

0:27:010:27:06

do have the highest donation rates

of any nation in the UK. I welcome

0:27:060:27:12

his Bill and hope everyone will

support it today.

I'm very grateful

0:27:120:27:16

for that intervention. I was coming

onto the situation Wales. Which of

0:27:160:27:22

course I'm fairly and prematurely

has been prejudged as a failure,

0:27:220:27:26

even by it seems eminent authorities

such as the Nuffield Council on

0:27:260:27:34

bioethics, on the basis of figures

that were produced one year into a

0:27:340:27:40

scheme that had only just started.

The latest figures we have at the

0:27:400:27:50

latest reviewed article in the BMJ

suggests the following, I think it

0:27:500:27:54

is worth while emphasising it as

being some three or four years in

0:27:540:27:59

and from an article that is actually

dated in debris this year. It is up

0:27:590:28:05

to date and does have some years to

see the trend is available. --

0:28:050:28:11

February this year. The respected

journalist concerned in an article

0:28:110:28:14

that has been peer-reviewed

concluded Wales has experienced more

0:28:140:28:18

registered doctors, less family

refusals and more died Asians than

0:28:180:28:23

anywhere else in the UK since the

introduction of the system. -- and

0:28:230:28:29

more efficiency than anywhere else

in the UK since the introduction of

0:28:290:28:32

the system. None of the concerns

expressed by members right that this

0:28:320:28:36

morning about deemed consent have

materialised. The signs from Wales

0:28:360:28:42

are very good. These are early days

and I think we have to take note of

0:28:420:28:47

the Corsham that the council brings

to the case. We want to proceed

0:28:470:28:54

carefully. -- Nuffield Council --

the caution that the Nuffield

0:28:540:28:58

Council. One of the great things we

have about the present system is it

0:28:580:29:03

is trusted by the public. We cannot

put that trust at risk and we will

0:29:030:29:09

not. We will see it is well

introduced and I must say what I

0:29:090:29:13

have seen myself at first hand of

NHS blood and transplantation, it is

0:29:130:29:20

a well-organised outfit. We do have

a functioning register. We know what

0:29:200:29:25

we are doing and we are building up

a nursing capability which is

0:29:250:29:31

central as we are building up and

some investment will be needed for

0:29:310:29:36

the facility. Any growth in demand

will lead to a growth in, or a

0:29:360:29:40

growth in the requirement for

facilities. I say to the minister

0:29:400:29:45

while she is looking rather grim at

the moment, that is better! She will

0:29:450:29:49

have to make sure that while the NHS

is very much in favour of this as an

0:29:490:29:58

organisation, I quit a figure in a

moment, but it is very encouraging

0:29:580:30:01

that they think we can benefit in

terms of increased organs and save

0:30:010:30:08

lives. -- quote in a moment. But the

requirements for additional

0:30:080:30:13

resources must be met. All I can say

to honourable members in that

0:30:130:30:17

respect is the amount of money, a

small requirement in resources,

0:30:170:30:22

software, hardware, some facilities,

basically pretty much in the

0:30:220:30:26

software and training of the nurses

is minuscule in relation to the good

0:30:260:30:30

it can do. The sheer joy that you

can see in those around you,

0:30:300:30:37

particularly the children who have

had the benefit of a chance. I will

0:30:370:30:41

give way to the honourable member.

0:30:410:30:47

case to I am very grateful to him.

He sort of glossed over Wales and

0:30:470:30:53

his remarks. But the Welsh assembly

government research said that the

0:30:530:30:58

introduction of opt out has had no

impact on a number of organ donors

0:30:580:31:02

and Wales. Some reports say this has

led to a reduction in the number of

0:31:020:31:09

donors. I just wondered what

measures he had in his bill, what

0:31:090:31:13

learning he had taken from Wales, to

learn from the flaws there may have

0:31:130:31:19

been in that system?

That is a very

moderate intervention from him and I

0:31:190:31:28

am grateful for that. I think he

looking, he's probably looking at

0:31:280:31:33

the recent remarks and quotes from

the Nuffield Council, which relate

0:31:330:31:42

back to a year, if I'm not mistaken,

2016, we are now in 2018. The

0:31:420:31:50

situation has evolved and the figure

I recommend to him in the British

0:31:500:31:54

medical Journal, I leave it there

for him to read. It is a very full

0:31:540:31:58

account. It is very hopeful of the

situation in Wales. We will monitor

0:31:580:32:06

it carefully and we will be cautious

and practical and realistic in our

0:32:060:32:12

approach to the introduction of the

system in the UK.

I give way. I can

0:32:120:32:20

give him some good news on Wales.

This was pioneering legislation and

0:32:200:32:27

it was discussed very much when I

was Secretary of State for Wales.

0:32:270:32:30

But I was looking at the details on

some of the statistics from Wales

0:32:300:32:34

and this latest report on organ

donation and transplant activity. He

0:32:340:32:40

will be please to note that back in

2013, the number of people opted in

0:32:400:32:47

to the organ donation register in

Wales was up 1 million 213. For the

0:32:470:32:54

first three quarters of the year is

2017/18, that number has now

0:32:540:33:03

increased to 1,220,331 people. And I

think that is very positive news

0:33:030:33:06

from Wales that there are more

people opted in to that register.

0:33:060:33:13

Because the figure was so low back

in 2013, the Welsh government

0:33:130:33:17

decided to move to an opt out

system. I must agree with her and

0:33:170:33:21

disagree with those who will not

look at the most recent facts we

0:33:210:33:24

have, for some reason or other, they

just want to look at them and move

0:33:240:33:29

with the situation that is

developing, I just say that yes,

0:33:290:33:34

from that situation which is bad,

they went for an opt out system.

0:33:340:33:38

There was a period of bidding in, a

period when there seemed to be no

0:33:380:33:43

change, but the most recent figures

are showing a marked improvement. I

0:33:430:33:49

am sure we can all rejoice in that.

That is a fact and one that we can

0:33:490:34:01

all take... I will give way. We can

take great satisfaction from.

My

0:34:010:34:10

interest in this matter occurred

with this in who came here, a young

0:34:100:34:15

man, and lobbied. A year later, I

attended his funeral, because he did

0:34:150:34:19

not get the transplant, sadly, that

he wanted. But he had suffered

0:34:190:34:25

enormously in the preceding period.

But the period now has gone by, we

0:34:250:34:30

have had the opt out in Wales and

the situation is, what other people

0:34:300:34:34

do with the statistics, is that

people are living in Wales who

0:34:340:34:38

would've died before the law was

passed and people are dying

0:34:380:34:42

unnecessarily in England.

I am

grateful to him and I would like to

0:34:420:34:48

say that it was indeed his bill that

sparked off my own personal interest

0:34:480:34:52

and IP great tribute to the work you

did in preparing that bill, which we

0:34:520:34:56

have adopted almost in its entirety.

He will be pleased to know that we

0:34:560:35:02

are hopeful that his bill from the

beginning will find its way along

0:35:020:35:05

side my own bill on the statute

book. I know that will give him

0:35:050:35:09

great pleasure. What he says about

that individual case is certainly

0:35:090:35:13

true. The positive news I mentioned

from the NHS, very cautious

0:35:130:35:20

assessment from their part, they say

that, provided the opt out system,

0:35:200:35:26

and that is the quintessential

starting point for all these, is

0:35:260:35:31

introduced and backed up but the

necessarily revenue and capital

0:35:310:35:37

spending, they expect and up to 500

lives a year could be saved by the

0:35:370:35:46

Organ Donation (Deemed Consent)

Bill.

I am delighted to appear as

0:35:460:35:53

one of his supporters on the bill.

I'm very pleased to have my name on

0:35:530:35:57

this legislation. There is only one

thing I hope he will be able to look

0:35:570:36:02

at in committee on this, it's the

issue of deemed consent around

0:36:020:36:07

people who lose capacity towards the

end of their lives. I hope there

0:36:070:36:10

will be more clarity coming forward

in committee to enable people who

0:36:100:36:13

have made a decision, who want to

make their organs available, if it's

0:36:130:36:18

just their brain that is no longer

of much use to anybody else and they

0:36:180:36:22

do not have the capacity, I hope it

would be clear about the

0:36:220:36:26

circumstances when people lose

capacity towards the end of their

0:36:260:36:33

lives, when they are still able for

the rest of the body to be of use to

0:36:330:36:36

others.

The fact that he agreed to

be a supportive of the bill, his

0:36:360:36:40

name appears on the face of the

bill, he will be pleased to know. He

0:36:400:36:44

raises an area of great concern. If

something appears a committee stage,

0:36:440:36:52

it's not for second reading and I

will go into that for now.

I thank

0:36:520:36:57

him for bringing the bill to the

nose, which I will of course

0:36:570:37:00

support. He mentions a modest

investment in capital resources in

0:37:000:37:04

order to give effect to this when it

has become law, but does he not

0:37:040:37:09

agree with me that actually, by

saving lives, by making people

0:37:090:37:13

healthy enough to see the full part

in society, we will actually be

0:37:130:37:18

increasing the ability of our

country to succeed and also,

0:37:180:37:22

although the this is obviously a

secondary issue in comparison with

0:37:220:37:26

the saving of life, we will be

reducing some of the ridiculous

0:37:260:37:30

amount of spend on keeping people

just lives when they need organ

0:37:300:37:33

donations.

While entirely agreeing

with him and thanking him for that

0:37:330:37:41

intervention, I would rather not go

down the route of cost benefit

0:37:410:37:46

analysis. These matters are a case

of life and death and I think it's

0:37:460:37:50

best left there, and we want to save

lives, lives we know can be saved.

I

0:37:500:37:55

give way. I strongly support this

bill. Alongside this measure, and a

0:37:550:38:03

number of the other things he has

described, does he agree that the

0:38:030:38:06

most important thing we can do is to

have that conversation with our

0:38:060:38:12

families and our loved ones, to make

it absolutely clear to them that,

0:38:120:38:17

when we're gone, that we wish,

whatever bits of us of any use,

0:38:170:38:22

should be given to others, so that

they might continue to live. Isn't

0:38:220:38:26

that what we really need to do, to

make sure that as many as possible,

0:38:260:38:31

when a difficult conversation comes

to be had over a loved one who has

0:38:310:38:35

died in a hospital bed, the families

say, of course.

I entirely agree

0:38:350:38:43

with him. I don't know if he was in

the chamber when I made the

0:38:430:38:48

particular remarks about the

importance of family conversations.

0:38:480:38:52

There are absolutely vital. The

importance of public awareness, I

0:38:520:38:59

believe the government consultation

contributes enormously to public

0:38:590:39:00

awareness. Now we're certainly

example of needing to be registered

0:39:000:39:10

in the hall. I certainly have no

intention of even considering. And I

0:39:100:39:16

believe the other great contribution

we can make to this in personal

0:39:160:39:20

terms is to have those conversations

in our own families and to encourage

0:39:200:39:24

others to do so. But public

awareness would necessarily lead to

0:39:240:39:27

that. We know it is at that moment

when families are confronted with

0:39:270:39:33

the awful situation, that very often

they back off. Sometimes even

0:39:330:39:37

overriding the wishes of the

deceased, who happens to be a

0:39:370:39:40

registered donor. We can do no more

important work than have those

0:39:400:39:50

difficult conversations and

encourage others to do so as well.

0:39:500:39:55

Just on the point of people being

more aware of the differences it can

0:39:550:39:59

make. Yesterday I founder of the

time about the British Transplant

0:39:590:40:05

Games which are happening, where

people who have either been live

0:40:050:40:09

donors or had an organ transplant

is, actually take part in the games

0:40:090:40:13

event. This is happening in

Birmingham on the 2nd of August. I

0:40:130:40:18

thought that was wonderful. I met a

woman yesterday who was a live

0:40:180:40:22

donor, who was taking part in the

games with the person she had

0:40:220:40:26

deleted and Oregon to. I thought

this was wonderful. Nobody wants to

0:40:260:40:30

think about the worst thing

happening to their family or anyone

0:40:300:40:33

they love, but it would be a

wonderful thing to think that

0:40:330:40:38

anything I could give when I'm gone

would go to someone who should go

0:40:380:40:41

and live a fulfilling life and a

life that involves taking part in

0:40:410:40:45

some kind of sporting games. I think

we should be thinking about the

0:40:450:40:50

future and the real differences

coming for so many people. I am so

0:40:500:40:54

proud to be stood there with you at

this day and to be supporting your

0:40:540:40:57

bill.

I feel inclined to say, I rest

my case! I can't quite do that just

0:40:570:41:05

yet. I notice with Dolby

interventions, I think will a time,

0:41:050:41:10

I will presume noted conclusion if I

may. If we save 500 at avoidable

0:41:100:41:27

deaths because of organ donation,

the present waiting list of 6500,

0:41:270:41:34

with changed policies, some 500 in

effect on a life sentence, and the

0:41:340:41:39

Bill, with -- and they will, without

a Oregon becoming available, die

0:41:390:41:47

within the next year. That just

simply is not good enough. I believe

0:41:470:41:52

we can do better as a nation. We

should through the creation of the

0:41:520:41:58

NHS, something no other nation

achieved. Here I think we can be

0:41:580:42:02

pioneers in making transplantation

more successful, and is doing it

0:42:020:42:08

principally through greater organ

donation. I don't think my bill has

0:42:080:42:14

answered all the questions we have

discussed, or others that need

0:42:140:42:19

addressing in the course of this

debate. But I do believe and I am

0:42:190:42:24

convinced it is a necessary start to

get the increasing momentum, the the

0:42:240:42:31

impetus we lost. That's why we

introduced it in Wales, moving to an

0:42:310:42:35

opt out system. That's why I bring

it to the house today. My honourable

0:42:350:42:43

friend was speaking about watching

the games. We had many at the

0:42:430:42:48

reception given by the Daily Mirror

in the Terrace room. There it was

0:42:480:42:54

very moving, I met Max's Mum, as

she's come to be known, Mrs Emma

0:42:540:43:07

Johnson. She was giving us

up-to-date news on Max. He's become

0:43:070:43:12

a face of the campaign. I make no

excuse for being emotional about it.

0:43:120:43:19

He is still doing well now. Last

September, he went back to school

0:43:190:43:23

part-time. They are hoping next year

he will be back at school full-time.

0:43:230:43:26

Even more pleasing than that is

something I did not know one was

0:43:260:43:31

brought to my attention by the

member for North Devon, who

0:43:310:43:35

represents the donor family. Their

daughter was killed in a terrible

0:43:350:43:43

car crash, most unfortunate

incident, who gave her heart. Mrs

0:43:430:43:54

Johnson was saying how much she

looked forward to meeting the

0:43:540:43:57

family. She said, I wonder what

they'll feel when they put their

0:43:570:44:02

hands on Max's heart and feel their

daughter's heart is still beating

0:44:020:44:08

them. If the member for North Devon

would like to take part, I am sure

0:44:080:44:15

he would catch a ride in due course,

Mr Speaker. Many of isn't in this

0:44:150:44:19

house have one way or another been

affected. I would like to mention my

0:44:190:44:24

honourable friend for Sunderland

Central. His daughter unfortunately

0:44:240:44:28

could not come. She has been now for

12 months on daily dialysis, waiting

0:44:280:44:35

for a kidney and I know she will

also want to catch a ride. I hope

0:44:350:44:45

the party opposite will take this in

the best spirit, I must thank the

0:44:450:44:52

Daily Mirror for its magnificent

campaign on this issue. It shows

0:44:520:44:57

what a free press fighting

courageously can achieve on a brave

0:44:570:45:01

cause. I thank them for it and I

know they feel they have achieved

0:45:010:45:10

something, something more than other

newspapers achieve in 24 pages.

0:45:100:45:19

Thanks to the Mirror, he said,

nothing compared to the happiness we

0:45:190:45:26

feel at the paper every time we see

a successful transplant as a result

0:45:260:45:32

of our campaign, in part, taking

place, especially among the young.

0:45:320:45:41

I have had many letters and I do not

feel it appropriate to read... Let

0:45:420:45:46

me say that I believe today that the

House has a I will not say unique,

0:45:460:45:55

but an opportunity that might not

occur for several years if we do not

0:45:550:45:58

take it today. It is an opportunity

to introduce a Bill and if we

0:45:580:46:05

succeed in the second reading today

a Bill which could be enacted by the

0:46:050:46:10

end of this year and in effect could

already be making an effect in the

0:46:100:46:17

year after that. I believe it is an

opportunity. I believe the House is

0:46:170:46:22

in the mood to rise to the occasion

and I am sure we are going to seize

0:46:220:46:26

this opportunity to pass a Bill, to

become an act that we regard as an

0:46:260:46:33

act for life.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

The question is the Bill be now read

0:46:330:46:39

a second time. Dame Cheryl Gillan.

Thank you for calling me so early in

0:46:390:46:45

this debate. I add my

congratulations to the member for

0:46:450:46:50

Coventry North West for the

compassionate way in which he has

0:46:500:46:54

moved his Bill. And for bringing

this Bill before the House. I hope

0:46:540:47:00

I'm not presuming too much that I

think there is good support on both

0:47:000:47:04

sides of the House for this

legislation, but more importantly I

0:47:040:47:10

believe the minister who will be

speaking from the front bench will

0:47:100:47:12

also be giving her support to this

legislation. For me it is a bit like

0:47:120:47:19

deja vu. Because I went through all

of these arguments back in 2010,

0:47:190:47:27

when the Welsh Assembly was looking

at introducing the human

0:47:270:47:30

transplantation Wales act, finally

coming into force or was put into

0:47:300:47:40

legislation in 2013 and took effect

in 2015 in Wales. The permitting of

0:47:400:47:47

a knocked out system or this

presumed consent is quite a complex

0:47:470:47:54

concept. -- opt out system. It

received many objections at the time

0:47:540:48:02

from a large number of people on a

large number of grounds, to be

0:48:020:48:05

truthful. I was approached by the

kidney Wales Federation. They did a

0:48:050:48:11

fantastic job, along with a lot of

other organisations in lobbying

0:48:110:48:15

politicians and trying to explain

the position of families that were

0:48:150:48:19

waiting for organs and families who

had been approached to donate the

0:48:190:48:26

organs of a deceased relative. And

indeed many times the debate got

0:48:260:48:32

very heated. Also they gave advice

to a lot of myths in many cases.

0:48:320:48:42

When looking at the evidence for

this, I have always found the

0:48:420:48:46

medical profession and people

surrounding bereaved relatives or

0:48:460:48:50

relatives about to become bereaved

have always handled these matters

0:48:500:48:54

with great sensitivity and good

outcomes. Indeed, statistics show

0:48:540:49:01

the legislation in Wales as I

mentioned in my intervention still

0:49:010:49:04

allows families to withdraw the

so-called deemed consent, meaning

0:49:040:49:09

their views are taken into

consideration which I think is very

0:49:090:49:11

important. But one of the things I

looked at was the success rate of

0:49:110:49:19

the 2008 organ donation task force

which was in operation. And indeed

0:49:190:49:24

that helped increase donation rates

greatly in the five years of, from

0:49:240:49:31

its operation in 2008 there was a

50% increase in donors and a 30.5%

0:49:310:49:37

increase in transplants. That was

indeed impressive. At the time I was

0:49:370:49:43

exceedingly worried that by

introducing legislation that was

0:49:430:49:46

controversial we may do some damage

to a programme and campaign yielding

0:49:460:49:50

positive results. I think that is

something that needs to be taken

0:49:500:49:56

into consideration. The truth of the

matter is that there are more people

0:49:560:50:00

on the donation list than there are

organs available. I think for many

0:50:000:50:06

people in the chamber and beyond it

is also worth noting that there is a

0:50:060:50:10

particular problem in the population

on the list because 23% of people

0:50:100:50:20

waiting for organ donation were

people from the BME population and

0:50:200:50:25

only 1.2% of people on the register

at the time were from the BME

0:50:250:50:31

community. That big disparity was

causing a lot of aggravation. Can I

0:50:310:50:38

just say that I was very uncertain

about the legislation in Wales? I am

0:50:380:50:44

pleased to stand here as a

politician and admit openly I had

0:50:440:50:47

changed my mind. I think there is no

disgrace in changing your mind. I

0:50:470:50:53

think when the tax change you change

your mind. I think it is really

0:50:530:50:57

quite important. -- when the facts

change. One of the reasons why,

0:50:570:51:04

although I have changed the names as

well, is because I have a dear

0:51:040:51:10

friend, for the purposes of this

debate I will call him James -- Jane

0:51:100:51:16

and Jane has a son I had known since

he was born. I will call him John.

0:51:160:51:22

John has got primary cholangitis

which is a chronic liver disease

0:51:220:51:30

whereby the PAL ducks, passages

carrying the Bal from the liver to

0:51:300:51:36

the intestines are blocked and

narrowed by information. -- carrying

0:51:360:51:40

the bowels. And the liver will stop

functioning. Frankly the symptoms

0:51:400:51:46

can include tiredness, aching,

itching, abdominal pain, jaundice,

0:51:460:51:52

chills and fevers. The progression

of the disease, although very

0:51:520:51:59

variable, usually leads to one

conclusion, that the patient needs a

0:51:590:52:04

liver transplant. John has been told

because of a shortage of transplants

0:52:040:52:09

you have to be in cirrhosis before

you put on the list and then you

0:52:090:52:13

have to wait for a match. By that

time you might not be well enough to

0:52:130:52:17

have one. And to be close to a

family and to see the effect it has

0:52:170:52:24

upon them, Jane wrote to me and she

said "This has obviously affected

0:52:240:52:31

the whole family. John still lives

with us and we are in fact his

0:52:310:52:37

carers as we know he will only get

worse in time. We do not known how

0:52:370:52:42

much time he has but he cannot plan

for his future. Physically and

0:52:420:52:48

mentally it takes a great toll on

him because he does not known if he

0:52:480:52:51

will get a transplant when he needs

one. Organ donation would help a

0:52:510:52:54

great deal in this". When you have a

friend and a boy that is now a man

0:52:540:53:02

and a highly intelligent and

wonderful human being in that

0:53:020:53:06

position, I think you have got to

reconsider where you stand on

0:53:060:53:09

legislation like this. And the way I

look at it, Mr Speaker is this

0:53:090:53:16

legislation is not enough in itself,

but it will do no harm and will

0:53:160:53:23

again stimulate a debate and as long

as it is continuing to be

0:53:230:53:27

accompanied by campaigns to

encourage people to register,

0:53:270:53:31

encourage people to donate, that

continued campaign I think will help

0:53:310:53:36

raise the awareness that will help

increase statistics as we did in the

0:53:360:53:42

first five years following the organ

donation task force. We are all

0:53:420:53:48

living longer and who are we in this

House to say that if we can prolong

0:53:480:53:55

life and improve the quality-of-life

are people that suffer from rare

0:53:550:53:59

diseases, such as John, I think we

should do so. I had to say that I

0:53:590:54:07

will give this Bill a fair wind.

Obviously the devil will be in the

0:54:070:54:12

detail and we will need to look at

the legislation carefully. And I

0:54:120:54:16

would like us to consult and learn

from the experience in Wales,

0:54:160:54:20

because they will be a lot to learn

from them having forged the way. I

0:54:200:54:25

do not want a hard system like in

Austria. That is not what I

0:54:250:54:29

envisage. I still want the whole

area to be surrounded by the Keren

0:54:290:54:34

consideration of the medical

profession. -- care and

0:54:340:54:40

consideration. And latitude allowing

for the families of people with

0:54:400:54:44

genuine reasons not to take part in

this. But I do want to increase

0:54:440:54:50

people on the register and I want

increased organ donation and more

0:54:500:54:55

lives saved. I give the Bill a fair

wind.

Thank you, Mr Speaker for

0:54:550:55:00

calling me to speak in this most

important debate. I want to

0:55:000:55:06

congratulate my honourable friend,

the member for Coventry North West,

0:55:060:55:09

that for his success in the ballot,

no mean achievement, to get a

0:55:090:55:13

private members Bill and then for

choosing this most important topic

0:55:130:55:18

on which he has brought forward

today. I have to say I have always

0:55:180:55:22

supported for many years the opt out

system as opposed to opt in. What I

0:55:220:55:29

will talk about today has not

brought my decision that this is the

0:55:290:55:34

right thing but it amplified the

importance of the decision. I also

0:55:340:55:40

pay tribute to my honourable friend

the member for Barnsley Central who

0:55:400:55:44

has done so much good campaigning on

the issue. And the Daily Mirror, who

0:55:440:55:49

have already been mentioned for

their campaign. And the Prime

0:55:490:55:53

Minister and government for their

statement this week in support which

0:55:530:55:56

is very important. What I want to

talk about today is the story of my

0:55:560:56:02

family. It is something I really do,

talk about my family in public,

0:56:020:56:08

because it is neither entered public

life, not them. But there is nothing

0:56:080:56:14

special or unusual about my family.

What has happened in the last 18

0:56:140:56:19

months to us could happen to

anybody. Young or old, rich or poor.

0:56:190:56:24

There is no differentiation when

this kind of thing happens. It

0:56:240:56:28

highlights the reality of the need

to change the law to a position of

0:56:280:56:32

deemed consent. I have four grown-up

children, all now either married or

0:56:320:56:40

with long-term partners. I have five

wonderful grandchildren. We are a

0:56:400:56:45

very close family and I am lucky we

all lived within two miles of each

0:56:450:56:49

other in Sunderland. That is when I

am not down here. My eldest daughter

0:56:490:56:54

Rebecca is now 36. She is married

and has a six-year old daughter. She

0:56:540:57:00

was referred to the renal unit of

the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle

0:57:000:57:05

after routine tests showed a problem

with her kidney function. That was

0:57:050:57:09

October 2000 16. Not long ago. --

2016. After about a week in hospital

0:57:090:57:17

it was clear Rebecca was quite ill.

With significantly reduced kidney

0:57:170:57:21

function, which may at some point in

future lead to needing a transplant.

0:57:210:57:28

At that point that is where we

thought we were. It was a big enough

0:57:280:57:32

shop in itself. But the medical team

at Freeman Hospital thought they

0:57:320:57:36

could stabilise her condition. --

shock in itself. Rebecca had been OK

0:57:360:57:43

up to that point. She had some

issues health wise but was OK. The

0:57:430:57:48

diagnosis of chronic kidney disease

was a big shock for Rebecca, me, our

0:57:480:57:54

family and friends. And to face the

reality of the fragility of life is

0:57:540:58:00

very hard. At any time. But facing

it with one of my children, although

0:58:000:58:06

an adult, was one of the hardest

things I have ever had to face. The

0:58:060:58:12

shock my daughter, who until

recently had been a healthy and

0:58:120:58:16

happy young woman, was quite a

serious runner in her spare time,

0:58:160:58:23

regularly running half marathons and

occasionally a marathon and in fact

0:58:230:58:27

only in the weeks before she was ill

in that October she gained a place

0:58:270:58:32

for the London Marathon last year. I

had to say she did not do it,

0:58:320:58:36

obviously. For somebody like that to

suddenly becomes so ill, the shock

0:58:360:58:42

of that is impossible to describe. I

had to say she did not get her

0:58:420:58:47

fitness drive from her mother, who

goes and watches her running but

0:58:470:58:50

doesn't do it. Rebecca's condition

sadly deteriorated very quickly from

0:58:500:58:56

that point. In June last year she

was having surgery to enable her to

0:58:560:59:00

start dialysis. One of the only

positive things of the general

0:59:000:59:05

election campaign from my point of

view was that I was at home for six

0:59:050:59:08

weeks. During the time her health

was deteriorating rapidly I was

0:59:080:59:13

actually able to drop everything and

get to the hospital quickly which is

0:59:130:59:18

harder when you are 300 miles away.

She started dialysis in July last

0:59:180:59:24

year. I want to talk a little bit

about the daily reality of Rebecca's

0:59:240:59:30

live. In the two or three months

leading up to having surgery, she

0:59:300:59:36

became increasingly unwell. To a

point where on a daily basis the

0:59:360:59:42

last few weeks, she was lying on a

sofa when she got up, she was not

0:59:420:59:49

eating particularly well, if at all,

a slice of toast, a bowl of cereal,

0:59:490:59:54

because when you have kidney failure

you feel very sick and just

0:59:541:00:00

generally are not well and had no

energy. She could not really walk to

1:00:001:00:04

the end of the street.

1:00:041:00:17

Dialysis, when it arrived, although

when it was mentioned to us at

1:00:171:00:21

first, it was a terrifying prospect,

it actually has made her have a

1:00:211:00:26

quality of life again. She is back

at work, but she does have

1:00:261:00:33

restrictions. She does what is

called PD dialysis. She has a

1:00:331:00:40

machine at home and links on to it

every night. For eight hours, she

1:00:401:00:47

does dialysis. She is back at work,

she has a very strict diet, and for

1:00:471:00:52

Rebecca, that means no coffee,

chocolate or cheese, three things

1:00:521:00:56

she loves. She is here and she is

alive and that's is, whenever she

1:00:561:01:07

has a bad day, and she does have bad

days emotionally, because it is a

1:01:071:01:11

very difficult thing to be dealing

with, and she will say, I am sick of

1:01:111:01:15

this dialysis. And I say, just

think, what is the alternative and

1:01:151:01:20

that very quickly focuses your mind

and you pick yourself up. As a

1:01:201:01:26

family, and close friends, we have

all rallied round to support Rebecca

1:01:261:01:30

and each other through this

challenging time. And I want to talk

1:01:301:01:34

a little bit about the impact of

this kind of illness. Of course.

My

1:01:341:01:42

heart goes out to you, as I'm sure

everybody on both sides of the

1:01:421:01:47

highs, it does as well, for what you

have been going through. I would

1:01:471:01:50

like briefly to talk about dialysis.

A constituent of mine, a very young

1:01:501:01:57

girl. This is a Facebook post and I

think it hits home to a really young

1:01:571:02:02

child. Today, 1608 days of total

kidney failure. 19,000 hours spent

1:02:021:02:12

on dialysis. Still waiting for that

precious call for the match to be

1:02:121:02:16

found. Would she agree that when we

think of children and people like

1:02:161:02:21

your own daughter, it's very hard

not to support this bill today?

1:02:211:02:25

Absolutely.

Absolutely, and it's

indiscriminate to it strikes. When

1:02:251:02:32

you attend, and I do attend just

about every appointment with

1:02:321:02:38

Rebecca, he see people, from very

young to older people, from all

1:02:381:02:42

walks of life. It's absolutely

indiscriminate and it's

1:02:421:02:46

heartbreaking seeing people, every

one of those people has a family and

1:02:461:02:50

the story. It is very difficult. I

want to talk a little bit about the

1:02:501:02:56

impact of this kind of illness on

the wider family, because, as

1:02:561:03:02

Rebecca's health rapidly

deteriorated, she had to be off work

1:03:021:03:04

sick quite a lot. And has had some

considerable time of sick and even

1:03:041:03:09

though she is back at work, there

was a day this week when she was not

1:03:091:03:14

well in the middle of the day and

had to come home. Dialysis does not

1:03:141:03:19

mean you are fit, well, healthy and

leading a normal life. She has been

1:03:191:03:25

very lucky. Her employers, it

solicitors in Newcastle, have been

1:03:251:03:30

an amazing support to her. They have

done everything they can to help

1:03:301:03:34

out. They have done fundraisers to

raise money for a kidney charities.

1:03:341:03:40

And particularly, her colleagues Kay

and Lindsay, if I am trying to get

1:03:401:03:45

to the hospital she takes a suddenly

ill, they come from work and sit

1:03:451:03:49

with and stay with her until one of

the family can get there. And I do

1:03:491:03:54

want to thank them publicly, because

there are many people in this

1:03:541:03:59

situation who are not so lucky and

face losing their jobs, and the

1:03:591:04:03

hardships and all the problems that

creates. So I think it is important

1:04:031:04:08

to say thank you to people who have

been fantastic. I next want to

1:04:081:04:15

mention the renal unit at the

Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, who

1:04:151:04:18

are not only a world-class unit, but

also of some of the most amazing and

1:04:181:04:22

dedicated staff I have ever come

across. From the time you walk

1:04:221:04:27

through the door at the outpatient

unit, the receptionist and is always

1:04:271:04:31

smiling and all was well coming,

always looking after you, right

1:04:311:04:36

through to the most senior doctors.

And we have seen a lot of different

1:04:361:04:40

doctors as this illness has

progressed. The entire team are

1:04:401:04:45

amazing, particularly at the moment,

the PD nurses looking after

1:04:451:04:50

Rebecca's analysis. They look after

Rebecca, but they also look after

1:04:501:04:56

her family. They have got to know us

all, because we have all been at

1:04:561:04:59

different stages with her. They are

the essence of everything that is

1:04:591:05:03

great about our health service.

Working under the enormous pressures

1:05:031:05:07

on their time and resources, but

they always have time for you. I

1:05:071:05:12

want to see a personal thank you to

them. I know it is not a political

1:05:121:05:16

debate as such, but I am a

politician, so I hope you give me a

1:05:161:05:22

moment's licence. I will say that

the health service staff need at the

1:05:221:05:25

rise and the NHS needs more

investment, because I just think

1:05:251:05:29

they are such amazing people and

they were truly make the difference

1:05:291:05:33

every single day to people living

and dying. The impact on our family

1:05:331:05:37

has been huge. You go through a

period of shock and disbelief and

1:05:371:05:41

anger as to why Rebecca. And more

than one doctor has said to us

1:05:411:05:45

through this period that it should

not be happening to her, she has

1:05:451:05:48

been a fit and healthy young woman

who has done everything right in

1:05:481:05:53

terms of looking after her health.

They can find the reason why this

1:05:531:05:57

has happened. The emotions you go

through is like a roller-coaster.

1:05:571:06:01

It's not just the direct impact of

what is happening medically to

1:06:011:06:07

Rebecca, but the emotional impact of

seeing what is happening to her

1:06:071:06:09

might mean that your daughter might

not be there when I am still here,

1:06:091:06:15

which is not something any parent

ever wants to consider. But it is

1:06:151:06:21

also, although my children have

grown up, they are having to deal

1:06:211:06:24

with seeing their mother is coping

than I normally am, and Diame the

1:06:241:06:32

fairly strident, copying kind of

woman normally, but also for all of

1:06:321:06:36

them, dealing with their sister

might not be here and that is all

1:06:361:06:39

very difficult. We have rallied

round and supported each other and

1:06:391:06:44

we remain very positive. Rebecca is

very lucky that she has a brother

1:06:441:06:48

and sisters, my sister, her husband

Andy great mother who have all

1:06:481:06:54

played their role and continue to

play their role in supporting this

1:06:541:06:58

journey we are on. It is very

difficult being on call for the

1:06:581:07:04

phone call. My phone is here all the

time and it's very difficult being

1:07:041:07:09

300 miles away when you are in this

situation. We travel light of the

1:07:091:07:14

country in this job, so whenever I

travel on business with Parliament,

1:07:141:07:19

I have a plan for however get back.

I think it's important to tell

1:07:191:07:26

colleagues have given me a huge

amount of support, from all sides of

1:07:261:07:31

the house, to say thank you. The

website been fantastic and have

1:07:311:07:35

always said, just go and text

doesn't tell us you have one. Our

1:07:351:07:41

deputy whip, the Right Honourable

member for Tynemouth, has known

1:07:411:07:45

Rebecca since she was a child. I was

his agent in 1997 when he got

1:07:451:07:51

elected to this place. Rebecca,

being my daughter, ran around the

1:07:511:07:55

committee rooms. It has been really

lovely, the support. A lot of the

1:07:551:08:02

time in this place, we see the

differences that we have

1:08:021:08:06

highlighted, but actually at the end

of the day, we are all people trying

1:08:061:08:09

to do the best for our constituents

and we all care about people. For me

1:08:091:08:14

as a mother, my natural instinct has

always been to make things better

1:08:141:08:18

for your children. It's what we all

do. And to me, she will always be

1:08:181:08:24

the baby I gave birth to its 36

years ago. You love that child

1:08:241:08:30

instantly and unconditionally and

that never changes. It's a terrible

1:08:301:08:36

situation not to be able to fix

something that has gone terribly

1:08:361:08:40

wrong. But what I can do in the

privileged position of being a

1:08:401:08:44

member in this place is raise

awareness campaign for a change in

1:08:441:08:49

the law or that deemed consent. I

think the change in the law needs to

1:08:491:08:54

come and I want to touch on the

investment I think needs to happen

1:08:541:08:57

on the back of the change in the

law, which has been alluded to by a

1:08:571:09:03

number of contributions. That is, in

schools, this issue needs to be

1:09:031:09:08

talked about. In families, the issue

needs to be talked about, so that

1:09:081:09:12

transplantation becomes a normal

part of the conversation of life.

1:09:121:09:17

And the investment into the health

service to support what I believe

1:09:171:09:21

will be an increase in numbers of

donor organs that will become

1:09:211:09:23

available.

I thank her for giving

way and I wish her and Rebecca all

1:09:231:09:31

the very best for the future. This

bill is really important and that's

1:09:311:09:36

why am here to support it. Which she

also acknowledge those live donors,

1:09:361:09:42

who give an Oregon? A friend of

mine, Jane, has recently given a

1:09:421:09:48

kidney to her nephew in law, an

incredible thing to do. Very

1:09:481:09:53

difficult for many of us to imagine

it. But has turned around the life

1:09:531:09:57

of her nephew in law, in the way I

hope Rebecca's level be turned

1:09:571:10:02

around eventually. Those people who

give their organs, although not part

1:10:021:10:09

of this legislation, also deserve

the praise of this house. And

1:10:091:10:13

perhaps we also need to raise

awareness about that possibility.

1:10:131:10:17

Five members of my family, including

myself when forward to be donors,

1:10:171:10:22

but none of us matched, because that

is difficult and we have now got one

1:10:221:10:27

member of the family entering a pull

situation, where it's likely swap

1:10:271:10:31

shop of organs. Of someone has an

Oregon but that is Rebecca and one

1:10:311:10:37

of the members of my family that

someone else, then that will work.

1:10:371:10:42

That is a marvellous thing to do and

you are absolutely right to draw

1:10:421:10:45

attention to that. I want to see a

couple of things about presumed

1:10:451:10:48

consent. It does mean that some

people have the right to opt out.

1:10:481:10:54

Some people will opt out of giving

organs. I think that is a very

1:10:541:10:59

important thing that needs to be in

the legislation. I absolutely

1:10:591:11:04

respect people's decisions to opt

out. It is not the right thing for

1:11:041:11:09

everybody to do. And I think that is

as important as changing the law as

1:11:091:11:14

it stands now. And my final words

today are for the families of

1:11:141:11:18

donors. Your selfless actions, by

deleting organs of your loved ones

1:11:181:11:25

at a time of such personal grief, to

save the lives of people you don't

1:11:251:11:31

know, is such a wonderful thing to

do, that everyone should be grateful

1:11:311:11:36

for. And everybody should thank

those people. And that grief of

1:11:361:11:42

losing a loved one carries on for

ever, but I am sure that there is

1:11:421:11:48

some comfort in the fact that their

family and their loved one's organs

1:11:481:11:52

have gone to help someone else will

bring some comfort in that

1:11:521:11:57

situation. But I think it is

important to say thank you.

1:11:571:12:00

Hopefully, one day a family member

-- as hopefully one day their family

1:12:001:12:07

member of recipients, I want to say

thank you from the bottom of my

1:12:071:12:10

heart. You're very special. Let us

today passes Bill to the committee

1:12:101:12:15

stage and make the change in the

law, to save more lives, of

1:12:151:12:19

thousands waiting for transplants

today. I think today is a day when

1:12:191:12:24

Parliament will see at its best,

overcoming political differences for

1:12:241:12:29

something that's just needs to

change. And it is a day I think we

1:12:291:12:33

should be proud of.

Thank you. It is

an honour to follow the Honourable

1:12:331:12:43

member for Sunderland 's Central. We

have all learned today that Rebecca

1:12:431:12:46

is just as strong and brave as her

mother. I would also like to

1:12:461:12:53

congratulate the Honourable member

for Coventry North West were

1:12:531:12:55

bringing this bill to the house, for

the compassionate and positive tone

1:12:551:12:59

he has taken condemned by the

collaborative way he is working

1:12:591:13:02

across the house to make sure we can

drive this forward. This is a vital

1:13:021:13:07

piece of legislation and it is

genuinely a life and death issue we

1:13:071:13:11

are talking about. It is the tragedy

that 456 adults and 14 children lost

1:13:111:13:16

their lives last year while on the

organ donation list. Every single

1:13:161:13:23

day, somebody is dying because

they're not getting the transplant

1:13:231:13:26

they desperately need. There are

currently 6500 people waiting for

1:13:261:13:31

organs, who do not want to become

part of those statistics. This

1:13:311:13:45

legislation is for them and is about

saving lives. And saving lives it

1:13:451:13:48

does. There are about 50,000 people

today alive in the UK who are alive

1:13:481:13:50

because they have received an organ

transplant. 25 million people are

1:13:501:13:52

currently on the NHS organ donor

list, including myself. This is up

1:13:521:13:57

75% over the last ten years, and

transplants themselves up 56%. This

1:13:571:14:05

bill is about removing obstructions

to donating, at the same time as

1:14:051:14:11

allowing anyone who does not wish to

donate to opt out. I think it's very

1:14:111:14:15

important that we do not attach any

stigma to anybody who chooses to opt

1:14:151:14:20

out for a variety of perfectly valid

reasons.

I am very grateful to him

1:14:201:14:28

by giving way. The right Honourable

gentleman that has introduced this

1:14:281:14:33

bill has identified a real issue

which he supports. I certainly have

1:14:331:14:37

no intention of blocking his bill

today, but does he share some of the

1:14:371:14:41

misgivings that some people have in

principle, about the state presuming

1:14:411:14:46

that people have consented to

something, when actually they have

1:14:461:14:51

not? And the potential further

implications that might have for

1:14:511:14:54

Public policy in the future? Does he

have any understanding about those

1:14:541:15:00

misgivings of the state presuming

people have done something they have

1:15:001:15:03

not done?

1:15:031:15:08

I think this is a matter of life and

death. The numbers of people willing

1:15:081:15:15

to support organ donation in

principle yet the relatively low

1:15:151:15:19

figure of those who have gone on to

the organ donation list despite it

1:15:191:15:22

only takes two minutes to do so is

alarming. In an ideal world the

1:15:221:15:27

ideal situation would be everybody

is completely educated and

1:15:271:15:29

voluntarily making their own choice

but that is not happening in this

1:15:291:15:32

particular situation so I think many

of these issues will be raised in

1:15:321:15:37

the Bill Committee and hopefully can

find a reasonable and skill.

Is the

1:15:371:15:42

honourable member aware that in the

last ten years the number of organ

1:15:421:15:46

donors has increased by 75% and the

great dance bands has increased by

1:15:461:15:50

56% so is the really a need for this

Bill?

Yes because there are still a

1:15:501:15:55

long way to go and people are still

dying because they are not getting

1:15:551:15:58

donations and transplant is they

need so I think there is an absolute

1:15:581:16:01

need for moving forward with this

build. If we look as well as

1:16:011:16:05

alternative systems around the world

which other and got the example of

1:16:051:16:09

Spain which has a system that I

think we are looking towards as some

1:16:091:16:14

kind of model, perhaps not exactly,

where they are a world leading in

1:16:141:16:19

43.4% deceased donors per million.

It is joined at the top of that

1:16:191:16:23

league table by other opt out system

in countries like Croatia, Portugal,

1:16:231:16:29

France and Italy. All of these

countries have better donor rates

1:16:291:16:32

and England and all other opt out

rather than opt in system is so the

1:16:321:16:37

other advantage that comes from

these opt out systems is they do not

1:16:371:16:43

deny or restrict the role of

bereaved families and allow them to

1:16:431:16:45

be consulted on the wishes of their

loved ones and I think this is

1:16:451:16:50

another important point. One thing

that surprised me with the 43.4 at

1:16:501:16:54

of a million figure was how

incredibly low it is. At the million

1:16:541:16:57

people die in the UK every year yet

just 1% of those people who died die

1:16:571:17:02

in circumstances or conditions that

enable them to even potentially be

1:17:021:17:06

donors. Think that is quite

important. Just because you are on

1:17:061:17:10

the donor list doesn't mean you will

end up dominating your organs but we

1:17:101:17:13

need to get the figure as high as

possible in order to help as many

1:17:131:17:18

people as we can. That also means

having the supporting infrastructure

1:17:181:17:22

to enable those who wish to donate

to actually done it. We have all

1:17:221:17:26

heard of examples of people being

willing to donate their organs but

1:17:261:17:29

for example but about at the web

awakened in a hospital where there

1:17:291:17:32

is no capability but those organs to

be taken out of their bodies and

1:17:321:17:36

transplanted so I do think we also

need to look very carefully at the

1:17:361:17:40

supporting mechanism for any changes

brought forward. It has also been

1:17:401:17:45

mentioned by quite a few colleagues

that the over all awareness needs to

1:17:451:17:49

be raised and I think there is

another important point in terms of

1:17:491:17:54

encouraging family consent, it is

very telling that in cases where

1:17:541:17:58

specialist nurses are involved

consent rates of 67.6% and in those

1:17:581:18:02

were as Mrs Norris is not involved,

the plummeted to 20.5%. There is

1:18:021:18:08

clear statistical evidence that when

provided with impartial but expert

1:18:081:18:13

information about the possibility of

donated, people are more likely to

1:18:131:18:18

consent to the meeting. One of the

Proms we have is there is still an

1:18:181:18:22

awkwardness or queasiness about the

idea of your body being examined and

1:18:221:18:28

operated on post death. While we are

often very comfortable about that

1:18:281:18:34

ourselves and our families in these

horrible circumstances where we had

1:18:341:18:37

passed away particularly under

tragic circumstances or with no

1:18:371:18:42

notice are particularly queasy about

the idea. Therefore it is vitally

1:18:421:18:46

important that we continue and have

these dialogues, that we all have

1:18:461:18:51

these conversations with our family

and children because children can

1:18:511:18:54

also be donors themselves. And make

sure we have informed conversations.

1:18:541:18:59

It is simply not right that we are

currently in a situation where 80%

1:18:591:19:03

of people they would be willing to

donate their organs but only 36%

1:19:031:19:07

actually register to do so. The

number is increasing and we needed

1:19:071:19:10

to be much higher. In a world

publicised opt out system these

1:19:101:19:16

figures could converge and the 20%

who are unwilling to donate would

1:19:161:19:19

have a simple mechanism for making

sure that they... Many years ago I

1:19:191:19:26

was asked if I had a private

members' Bill, I think it was during

1:19:261:19:30

the selection process, what would

the Bill be? It would be exactly

1:19:301:19:33

this one. Hopefully the honourable

member will be in no doubt that the

1:19:331:19:37

boy support this Bill and took many

not all our colleagues this was.

1:19:371:19:44

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for

calling me in this very important

1:19:441:19:49

debate. I would like to congratulate

my honourable friend from Coventry

1:19:491:19:55

North West. Raising the awareness. I

would also like to thank and

1:19:551:20:10

congratulate my colleague and

friend, the MP from Sunderland

1:20:101:20:15

Central, for a very emotional,

personal and courageous contribution

1:20:151:20:21

to the debate. I am quite confident

that the public will take note of

1:20:211:20:28

that. Others have spoken at length

about the importance of raising

1:20:281:20:37

donations and there rates. I have my

own personal reasons for supporting

1:20:371:20:43

it. My own younger brother waiting

for over five years for somebody,

1:20:431:20:51

somewhere to donate a kidney to him.

And he is doing dialysis four times

1:20:511:20:59

a week. Another very close personal

friend also went through the same

1:20:591:21:08

difficult times so I have that

recent other than my personal and

1:21:081:21:14

also a moral commitment to the

cause. As everybody and many of you

1:21:141:21:20

colleagues have said, more than 6000

people still sit actively waiting

1:21:201:21:27

for a transplant in the UK. Three

people die every day because they

1:21:271:21:34

cannot get the transplant they need.

Over the last ten years the number

1:21:341:21:44

of donors has increased by 75% and

that is fantastic and has saved

1:21:441:21:53

countless lives. But there is still

a great shortage both in the UK and

1:21:531:22:05

as a global community,

internationally as well. You go to

1:22:051:22:11

any country, you will be asked what

are you doing? I am glad that

1:22:111:22:18

Britain once again is leading in

this field so that the rest of the

1:22:181:22:24

world can learn and pick up the

ideas from here. Only a third of

1:22:241:22:31

eventual donors are registered to

donate at the time of their death.

1:22:311:22:37

This number is even lower amongst

the BME communities. BME patients

1:22:371:22:46

they are far worse that other

patients, they will on average wait

1:22:461:22:53

six months longer for a transplant

than white patients. I do apologise,

1:22:531:23:01

that is maybe a language not

politically correct but I think that

1:23:011:23:08

the convenience I am using, black

and white in this case. BME people

1:23:081:23:14

face the struggle of comparatively

rare blood and tissue types and

1:23:141:23:20

compatible organs. And while the

overall number of donors has

1:23:201:23:24

increased by 75% BME donors

donations have only increased by

1:23:241:23:31

less than 7%. That is only a

fraction of the rate for white

1:23:311:23:35

people and this has translated

directly into the deaths. There is

1:23:351:23:44

still a problem with public

education and awareness. The

1:23:441:23:48

families of minority populations are

also less likely to consent to organ

1:23:481:23:54

donation when asked after death. 64%

of BME families are refusing

1:23:541:24:05

permission for donation compared to

only 43% for the rest of the

1:24:051:24:09

population. And opt out system

rather than an opt in system will

1:24:091:24:15

increase the likelihood donors of

the same blood and tissue types

1:24:151:24:23

related to members of the BME

community. Increasing the number of

1:24:231:24:27

compatible organs on the transplant

list would save thousands of lives

1:24:271:24:30

each year.

I thank the honourable

gentleman forgiving way. He is

1:24:301:24:37

actually making some extremely

important points in the speech and I

1:24:371:24:44

am particular cancers of and really

want to tackle it but just to give

1:24:441:24:47

some more amplification to the point

he is making, of the six and a half

1:24:471:24:50

thousand people on the waiting list

over 1000 of them are from Asian

1:24:501:24:56

backgrounds and 800 of them are

black. I would just like to endorse

1:24:561:25:01

his point that in terms of actually

being more racial Ben is we need to

1:25:011:25:07

increase donation from those parts

of the community.

I am thankful for

1:25:071:25:12

your very positive intervention and

information given to the rest of the

1:25:121:25:16

members here. Activist groups and

campaigners such as the National BME

1:25:161:25:23

transplant Alliance support the move

to end opt out system because it

1:25:231:25:28

will ultimately save more lives

across our diverse country.

I think

1:25:281:25:35

my honourable friend forgiving way

and support everything he says. Like

1:25:351:25:40

himself I represent consistency with

a higher proportion of BME

1:25:401:25:46

communities and there are a low

levels of people committing to

1:25:461:25:53

donate organs but also higher rates

of heart disease amongst these

1:25:531:25:58

communities as well, subject to a

fire it is very important we get

1:25:581:26:01

many people from the BME on the list

in future.

I was going to raise that

1:26:011:26:10

and I am thankful for you to

highlight it and support it. Issues

1:26:101:26:17

such as diabetes, high blood

pressure and hepatitis are more

1:26:171:26:23

common in BME communities, making

them more likely to need transplant

1:26:231:26:27

organs. BME patients make up a third

of the kidney transplant waiting

1:26:271:26:36

list and wait an average of a year

longer for a transplant than their

1:26:361:26:39

white counterparts. Just one person

can save or improve up to nine

1:26:391:26:48

lives. It can give life to so many

through organ donation and even more

1:26:481:26:57

if they donate tissue as well. While

in the UK, ethnic minorities

1:26:571:27:05

constitute only 11% of the

population, they make up nearly a

1:27:051:27:10

quarter of transplant waiting list.

And only six out of every 100 people

1:27:101:27:16

signed up to that NHS organ donor

register or from BME communities.

1:27:161:27:26

Opt out can and will save lives. It

respects religious differences and

1:27:261:27:33

takes away no freedom of expression

or belief. I know that countless

1:27:331:27:41

constituents of mine have written in

to urge me to coming here on Friday

1:27:411:27:48

to support this Bill. And I am proud

to do so and to lend my support to

1:27:481:27:56

the honourable member for Coventry

North West. Thank you.

Peter

1:27:561:28:01

Heaton-Jones.

Thank you. I am

delighted to be here to support this

1:28:011:28:09

Bill today. In doing so I am not

going to rehearse many of the

1:28:091:28:14

arguments which have been so ably

put already. Not least by the

1:28:141:28:19

honourable member for Coventry North

West whose speech I think on its own

1:28:191:28:23

was enough to persuade a club

members of this has to support this

1:28:231:28:26

excellent measure today. What I am

here to do today is to tell one

1:28:261:28:32

story and it is a story which was

raised initially by the member for

1:28:321:28:37

Coventry North West. It is the story

of my constituent and her family,

1:28:371:28:44

young hero wall. It was on Sunday

morning, the 30th of July last year

1:28:441:28:53

that there was a road traffic

collision on the 8361 North Devon

1:28:531:28:59

Link Road. It took place only about

five miles from my own home in North

1:28:591:29:04

Devon on what they have to say is a

stretch of road notorious for

1:29:041:29:07

accidents in which we are working on

hard to improve. . In the course of

1:29:071:29:13

the accident to vehicles were

involved, one of them was a car

1:29:131:29:16

carrying members of the ball family.

Akira, her young brother and their

1:29:161:29:29

mother. Their vehicle was in

collision with another. They blamed

1:29:291:29:32

workaday paramedics, emergency

service and all the stuff in the

1:29:321:29:38

NHS, three separate hospitals that

those people were taken to. The

1:29:381:29:43

brilliant work was undertaken. Sadly

two days later on the Tuesday

1:29:431:29:50

afternoon young Ciara Ball passed

away, she was nine years old. Her

1:29:501:29:54

mother was very seriously injured,

as indeed was her brother Brad.

1:29:541:29:59

Immediately after her death, her

father Joe took the agonising

1:29:591:30:05

decision but the right decision that

he wanted his daughter 's death to

1:30:051:30:09

give life to other people and so he

took the decision that young carer's

1:30:091:30:17

organs should be donated. I have had

contact this week, they live in

1:30:171:30:27

Barnstable in my constituency and I

have sought permission to make sure

1:30:271:30:30

that they are happy for me to tell

Ciara's. Read today which indeed

1:30:301:30:35

they are because they recognise as I

do that this could be an inspiration

1:30:351:30:40

to others to ensure that they too

sign up for organ donation and will

1:30:401:30:47

give them strength if they have to

face similar circumstances.

1:30:471:30:50

Following that decision by Ciara's

father, four people are alive today

1:30:501:31:00

who otherwise would not be. Ciara

donated her kidneys, heart, Labour

1:31:001:31:07

and her pancreas. -- Labour. One was

given to a man in his 30s who had

1:31:071:31:18

been on the waiting list for an

audience for two and a half years.

1:31:181:31:22

The other kidney was given to a

woman in her 50s who had been on the

1:31:221:31:25

waiting list for nine and a half

years. A young boy received carer's

1:31:251:31:33

pancreas. Ciara's heart was given to

a ten-year-old boy, who has become

1:31:331:31:42

very much the figurehead of this

campaign and who has been referred

1:31:421:31:46

to already in the course of this

debate because Ciara's heart was

1:31:461:31:52

given to Max Johnson. It is Max who

is in many ways at the forefront of

1:31:521:31:58

this excellent campaign. Max is

alive today and it was so good to

1:31:581:32:03

hear from the honourable gentleman

and those who were at the reception

1:32:031:32:06

last night that Max's mum Emma is

here to hear this debate and to know

1:32:061:32:17

that Ciara's family are so pleased

to have given life to your little

1:32:171:32:20

boy.

1:32:201:32:29

That is Ciara's story and it is

Max's story and it is the story of

1:32:291:32:34

how a very brave decision and I'm

surely very difficult decision, to

1:32:341:32:38

allow Ciara's organs to be deleted,

have given life to four other people

1:32:381:32:44

who otherwise would probably not be

year today. That must be the best

1:32:441:32:51

possible argument for supporting

this bill, because this bill will

1:32:511:32:56

ensure that there are more organs

available for donation. And Ciara's

1:32:561:33:03

story and Max's story demonstrate

that more organs mean more saved

1:33:031:33:09

lives. So I welcome and I fully

support this bill and many people

1:33:091:33:14

deserve credit for getting it to

this stage. Of course, the

1:33:141:33:18

Honourable member for Coventry North

West, who's built wheat debate

1:33:181:33:23

today, two other Honourable members

who have been mentioned here today

1:33:231:33:26

who have pioneered similar

legislation that has not yet got to

1:33:261:33:31

this stage, for various

parliamentary reasons. To the

1:33:311:33:35

government, who have said they are

supporting this bill and to the

1:33:351:33:39

Minister for personally driving it

forward, to her Majesty's

1:33:391:33:43

opposition, and I was delighted to

hear from the dispatch box, their

1:33:431:33:48

spokesman ensuring the smooth

passage of the spill. And the fact

1:33:481:33:51

that on the face of this bill are

members from all seven parties

1:33:511:33:56

represented in this house, I think

it's a truly significant. I do also

1:33:561:34:03

pay tribute to the Daily Mirror,

Whose Campaign Featuring Max, Who

1:34:031:34:08

Has Life Because Of The Campaign

That Is helped to push this forward.

1:34:081:34:16

Many people deserve quite likely to

have a stake in what I sincerely

1:34:161:34:20

hope will be the success of this

Bill. But as I support this Bill, as

1:34:201:34:27

I will do throughout all its stages,

in my mind, I will be thinking of

1:34:271:34:34

Max and of Ciara. It is their Bill

and it is thanks to the brave

1:34:341:34:39

decision taken by Ciara's dad on

that most difficult of days, back

1:34:391:34:44

for more people have life, who

otherwise might not, and that Timmy

1:34:441:34:49

is the best argument for it seeing

this Bill the statute books.

Thank

1:34:491:34:58

you very much. It is a pleasure to

follow the Honourable member for

1:34:581:35:02

North Devon, who spoke most movingly

about the incredible contribution

1:35:021:35:06

that his constituents Ciara Ball and

her family have made to this

1:35:061:35:13

process. I pay tribute to the

overall he has played in bringing

1:35:131:35:17

that to our attention today. He is

also right to talk about the

1:35:171:35:21

cross-party nature of this campaign.

I think this is Parliament at its

1:35:211:35:26

best, I think this is how the public

expects us to serve in this place,

1:35:261:35:32

to work cooperatively with others,

to make really important changes. It

1:35:321:35:37

seems to me that the house is faced

today with a very clear choice. We

1:35:371:35:42

have the opportunity to make a

change, which I believe will add

1:35:421:35:48

huge value to our country and

undoubtedly will save people's

1:35:481:35:51

lives. What it all boils down to in

the end is whether we are going to

1:35:511:35:59

take that opportunity to save lives.

Hundreds of lives over the coming

1:35:591:36:04

years. I very much hope that we do

not miss that opportunity, and that

1:36:041:36:10

we work together to make this

change. It has been a real privilege

1:36:101:36:16

to be a part of the campaign that

has got us to this point today. And

1:36:161:36:22

in particular, I do want to pay

tribute to my honourable friend, the

1:36:221:36:27

member for Coventry North West. He

has provided real leadership through

1:36:271:36:32

his sponsorship of the Bill. He and

I have sat through many meetings. I

1:36:321:36:37

have lost count of how many we have

sat through, but it has been his

1:36:371:36:42

focus and his determination to lead

us to this point that has meant that

1:36:421:36:48

this morning, we have an opportunity

to do something very worthwhile. I

1:36:481:36:53

would like to take this opportunity

publicly to pay tribute to him, but

1:36:531:36:57

also to all those other members who

provided such outstanding support.

1:36:571:37:01

I'm thinking of the Honourable

member for Newport West, my good

1:37:011:37:06

friend the member for Sunderland

Central and to members too numerous

1:37:061:37:10

to mention, but right across the

house and right across the political

1:37:101:37:15

spectrum, who have worked together

to get us to this place. It has been

1:37:151:37:20

mentioned before in this debate, but

I also want to pay tribute to

1:37:201:37:28

Trinity Mirror. The Mirror group

have run a relentless and tireless

1:37:281:37:32

campaign and their contribution to

this private member's bill and the

1:37:321:37:38

broader campaign has been massive.

They have conducted themselves in

1:37:381:37:43

the very best traditions of the free

British press, and I know that I

1:37:431:37:47

speak for all members when I pay

them the largest compliment that I

1:37:471:37:53

could, and we're very grateful for

everything that they have done. I

1:37:531:37:58

also think it is crucially important

today to pay tribute and credit

1:37:581:38:02

where it is due and I am very firmly

at the Minister, who has responded

1:38:021:38:12

in the most brilliantly sensible,

cooperative and constructive way. We

1:38:121:38:15

have sat in a lot of meetings in

different places although many, many

1:38:151:38:20

months. And in my relatively short

space of time in this house, I have

1:38:201:38:25

to say I have not found anyone who

has been easier to deal with than

1:38:251:38:30

her. It has been a great pleasure,

and the leadership she has shown has

1:38:301:38:35

been absolutely instrumental in

making sure that today, we have that

1:38:351:38:39

opportunity to pass this important

Bill. I pass my thanks to her and to

1:38:391:38:46

her officials, who have also done a

very important job in getting us to

1:38:461:38:50

this place. Today, I urge all

Honourable members to think of the

1:38:501:38:56

common good and to act in a way that

I firmly and passionately believe

1:38:561:39:00

will save countless lives. I think

it is worth reflecting just for a

1:39:001:39:06

moment that, of all the people who

died in the UK last year, only

1:39:061:39:13

around 1% died in circumstances that

would make donation possible. This

1:39:131:39:16

means that, even though there are

hundreds of thousands of people

1:39:161:39:22

across the country who are

registered as potential donors, only

1:39:221:39:26

a small handful will ever be in a

situation that will allow donation

1:39:261:39:30

to take place. And this is one of

the main reasons that today, in the

1:39:301:39:35

UK, that there are over 6000 people

waiting for an organ donation, and

1:39:351:39:41

why nearly 500 people died last year

while waiting for the deletion. This

1:39:411:39:48

loss of life is devastating, but it

is not inevitable, and today, I have

1:39:481:39:57

-- we have a precious opportunity to

do something about it and we must

1:39:571:40:01

not miss that opportunity. Moving to

an opt out system of organ donation

1:40:011:40:06

will add thousands of names to the

donor register, meaning that once

1:40:061:40:11

this Bill is passed, hundreds of

lives would be saved. Let's be very

1:40:111:40:17

clear about what this is not. This

is not about the state taking

1:40:171:40:21

control of people's organs and it is

not about shaming individuals to

1:40:211:40:27

donate. If people do want to opt

out, that is absolutely fine and I

1:40:271:40:36

am hugely respectful of any

individual decision that people want

1:40:361:40:38

to make. No questions will be asked

and there will be no hard feelings.

1:40:381:40:43

But what this is about is the case

of making it easier for those who

1:40:431:40:48

might wish to donate to do so. Will

he give way? I'd be delighted.

A

1:40:481:40:56

mention has been made of religiously

inclined Jewish people in this

1:40:561:40:59

country and there are some people

who will feel uncomfortable about

1:40:591:41:04

the concept of donation. Does he

agree with me that there will be

1:41:041:41:08

people from various religious

traditions who may feel

1:41:081:41:11

uncomfortable about this, and it is

entirely right that we should give

1:41:111:41:15

them the opportunity, if they wish

to do so, to opt out from this?

I

1:41:151:41:21

wholeheartedly agree. He makes an

important point. This is absolutely

1:41:211:41:25

not about shaming anybody to do

anything they don't want to. If

1:41:251:41:31

anybody decides they do not wish to

be part of the scheme, they have the

1:41:311:41:36

right to opt out. That is incredibly

important to be very clear about

1:41:361:41:40

that. I also think it's worth

reflecting on the point made earlier

1:41:401:41:45

on by the member for Leeds Central.

That the current system does require

1:41:451:41:51

people to take the time to discuss

this most serious and difficult

1:41:511:41:55

matter with their loved ones, to

reach a judgment about whether, in

1:41:551:42:00

the event of some tragedy or

cuddling, that they would want their

1:42:001:42:05

organs to be donated. The truth of

the matter is, I think it's

1:42:051:42:09

incredibly important, where people

feel they can have that kind of

1:42:091:42:12

conversation with their loved ones,

that they do so, but all of us will

1:42:121:42:18

understand that people lead busy

lives, and many of us will be guilty

1:42:181:42:23

of not having these conversations

and putting these particular tasks

1:42:231:42:27

on hold. But I believe that this is

an issue we can no longer afford to

1:42:271:42:32

ignore. And for thousands of people

right around our country, this is

1:42:321:42:37

literally a matter of life and

death. And that is why we must

1:42:371:42:42

increase the number of people on our

donor register. And they must make

1:42:421:42:46

sure that we are saving as many

lives as we possibly can. And ensure

1:42:461:42:52

that no more people died waiting for

a transplant, simply because a

1:42:521:42:57

potential donor was not able to sign

up.

I thank him for giving way and

1:42:571:43:03

for making such a powerful speech. I

think we often think of donors as

1:43:031:43:08

being younger people whose bodies

and organs are in particularly good

1:43:081:43:12

shape, but my beloved grandfather

died a few years ago at 96 and he

1:43:121:43:16

was able to give part of his eyes in

order to give the gift of sight to

1:43:161:43:21

other people. We received a letter

from the hospital advising how many

1:43:211:43:24

people he'd been able to help.

There's always that opportunity, no

1:43:241:43:28

matter how old you are, that you can

still offer that amazing gift to

1:43:281:43:34

another after you have gone.

She

makes an incredibly important point.

1:43:341:43:39

As other members have said, the

legislation we are seeking to pass

1:43:391:43:43

today is only a part of the way in

which we can seek to increase the

1:43:431:43:47

number of people, what ever their

age or background, who are willing

1:43:471:43:52

and able to make a contribution of

their organs. And what we also need

1:43:521:43:58

to do in concert with the piece of

legislation, is have an open

1:43:581:44:02

discussion in our communities about

the importance of why people

1:44:021:44:06

proactively should want to make a

contribution in this way. I will

1:44:061:44:09

give way to my honourable friend.

My

honourable friend made a very

1:44:091:44:15

important point about age. I have

come along here is someone of a

1:44:151:44:19

certain age, with my organ donor

card, which I have carried all my

1:44:191:44:24

adult life. But there is the thought

that all the people's bodies might

1:44:241:44:30

not be in such good condition, but

bodies can be used for medical

1:44:301:44:35

research, perhaps medical research

into ageing. I like to think people

1:44:351:44:40

of my age could still donate their

bodies, even if they died from

1:44:401:44:44

natural causes. And I am certainly

going to make sure that is included

1:44:441:44:47

in my will, so that in future, my

body could be used in medical

1:44:471:44:53

research, perhaps teaching medical

students.

He does make a very

1:44:531:44:58

important point and it reinforces

the notion that, in addition to any

1:44:581:45:03

legislation we pass in this house,

all of us who believe in the value

1:45:031:45:08

of ensuring that as many people are

registered to donate their organs as

1:45:081:45:13

possible, that is something that the

legislation obviously has an

1:45:131:45:17

important role to play, but all of

us as leaders in our communities

1:45:171:45:21

have an absolute responsibility to

get that message across to our

1:45:211:45:27

constituents. I do not intend to

detain the house for much longer,

1:45:271:45:31

but I do want to make the point that

I feel we are lucky and privileged

1:45:311:45:36

today to be joined by Emma Johnston.

Emma is often referred to as Max's

1:45:361:45:44

Mum, I don't think she reminds being

referred to in that way, as the

1:45:441:45:48

member for North Devon mentioned a

moment ago. Max was a ten-year-old

1:45:481:45:53

who fronted the daily Mirror

campaign on organ donation. He was

1:45:531:45:57

someone who was kept alive be a tiny

metal pump in his chest for seven

1:45:571:46:01

months. After finally receiving a

heart transplant last August, I am

1:46:011:46:06

delighted to learn that Max is doing

well, and I think it is Max's story

1:46:061:46:15

and that of the sacrifice made by

Ciara Ball, so movingly spoken of by

1:46:151:46:20

the Honourable member for North

Devon, that should serve as an

1:46:201:46:25

inspiration to all of us. And that

is why we are here today, to save

1:46:251:46:32

lives like Max's and all those other

thousands of people who would

1:46:321:46:35

benefit from the change that we

have, that precious opportunity we

1:46:351:46:40

have to make that change today. I

would say to the housing conclusion

1:46:401:46:43

that we have at our fingertips the

opportunity to make a really

1:46:431:46:48

powerful, important and meaningful

change. Before I sit down, I give

1:46:481:46:53

way to my honourable friend.

1:46:531:47:00

It is not entirely the same but my

son Max is alive today because he

1:47:001:47:05

received a stem cell transplant and

would he agree with me that we need

1:47:051:47:09

to do more to encourage people to

get onto the stem cell register.

1:47:091:47:12

Also in the same way about the

transplants we are talking about

1:47:121:47:19

today, it is to also get rid of

those myths that actually giving

1:47:191:47:22

stem cells is painful, but none of

that is true, it is a very simple

1:47:221:47:28

process and so many more lives could

be saved.

I agree with Right

1:47:281:47:34

Honourable friend. None of these

things I don't think should be

1:47:341:47:39

particularly contentious. I don't

understand that the points of debate

1:47:391:47:41

and I understand there are

honourable members and is housed and

1:47:411:47:45

the blood in the country who have

legitimate issues with these

1:47:451:47:53

sensitive matters but I'm encouraged

that the level of support we have

1:47:531:47:57

here today. I am heartened that we

have the support both the Prime

1:47:571:48:01

Minister and the Leader of the

Opposition will stop and think it is

1:48:011:48:05

incredibly encouraging that we have

a minister who is very supportive

1:48:051:48:08

and an opposition frontbencher who

have given a clear commitment to

1:48:081:48:10

support this as well. I think there

is overwhelming support for this

1:48:101:48:14

measure here in the House today. I

think so far we have seen Parliament

1:48:141:48:18

at its very best and I'm keeping my

fingers crossed that we can keep

1:48:181:48:23

that concerns is going for the next

couple of hours. Thank you. --

1:48:231:48:28

consensus going.

I support this Bill

today, although I am not entirely

1:48:281:48:39

comfortable with the principle of

the state taking control of bodies

1:48:391:48:45

without express permission. I think

that option is far less bad than the

1:48:451:48:49

hundreds of lives that unnecessarily

lost every year effectively through

1:48:491:48:55

inertia when we know that action

could be taken that most people

1:48:551:48:57

would agree with as the Right

Honourable Gentleman has referred to

1:48:571:49:04

come at the massive gap between

those who agree with donation who

1:49:041:49:07

are willing to be donors yet a part

smaller number actually register as

1:49:071:49:13

donors. But there are a number of

points being raised with me by

1:49:131:49:19

constituents that they hope the

Right Honourable Gentleman and the

1:49:191:49:21

Minister will consider during the

passage of this Bill to strengthen

1:49:211:49:25

it further. First is strengthening,

safeguards, as reassured by the

1:49:251:49:31

Right Honourable Gentleman's

comments in this area. Strengthening

1:49:311:49:33

the safeguards to make sure that

hospitals are absolutely sure

1:49:331:49:39

whether people are on the register

or not, but it is not a question of

1:49:391:49:42

if systems are down that hospitals

take the chance and operate anyway,

1:49:421:49:49

if people have actively opted out

and needs to be belt and braces to

1:49:491:49:52

make sure those choices are

respected. Secondly to strengthen

1:49:521:49:57

the existing law elsewhere to make

sure that under no circumstances can

1:49:571:50:01

organs be harvested, sold, if it was

clearly outside the scope and

1:50:011:50:08

intention of this Bill. I think this

is clearly a very worthwhile

1:50:081:50:13

important Bill is make constituent

Sandra e-mailed me this morning.

1:50:131:50:17

This important change in the

legislation prevents the needless

1:50:171:50:20

waste of usable and healthy organs

being sent for cremation when they

1:50:201:50:25

could instead change many thousands

of lives.

1:50:251:50:37

May I first ball paid tribute to the

Right Honourable Member for North

1:50:401:50:43

West for securing this Bill coming

forward today? Personally I think

1:50:431:50:52

this speaks to our humanity and to

be in this chamber today to support

1:50:521:50:56

it is a great honour to me. Three

people die daily in the UK because

1:50:561:51:01

of a lack of available organs to

transplant. The Bill before us today

1:51:011:51:07

with increased the chance of an

unwell patient and a life-saving

1:51:071:51:11

organ being united. I would like to

pay Chip Reid to the member for

1:51:111:51:14

Sunderland Central, who described a

similar situation to a member of my

1:51:141:51:22

family who were successful in the

end getting her transplant. She was

1:51:221:51:26

the mother of a newly born child and

we didn't know what was wrong and

1:51:261:51:33

she had no energy and couldn't pick

children up from school, wasn't

1:51:331:51:37

eating, often going to the hospital

and then gradually when taken to the

1:51:371:51:42

hospital by her husband, whisked off

to Birmingham. Unfortunately she got

1:51:421:51:47

a kidney transplant while she was

there. But was not successful. We

1:51:471:51:53

were told it was highly unlikely

another kidney would be suitable in

1:51:531:51:58

the time that it was needed.

Thankfully we got that kidney and

1:51:581:52:04

she lived. Her three children, the

trauma that the family went through

1:52:041:52:11

during that time was just

unbelievable. But it is true those

1:52:111:52:17

three children and the immediate

family, the care they had to give

1:52:171:52:21

when she was in Birmingham, husband

was there, cousin, the major the

1:52:211:52:26

family did what they could. We have

been the recipients of the saving of

1:52:261:52:31

a dear family. This Bill retains the

autonomy of individuals to choose

1:52:311:52:39

what happens to their own bodies.

The opt out organ donation carries

1:52:391:52:45

with it the weight of 80% of public

support, support of the British

1:52:451:52:51

Medical Association and cross-party

political support. All seven parties

1:52:511:52:55

represented on the signatures. It

also carries the support of past and

1:52:551:53:02

present prime ministers. I would

like to talk about something,

1:53:021:53:07

another case in the town that I

represent. Last year tragically we

1:53:071:53:12

lost a little girl aged four Violet

Greys who was killed by a fatal

1:53:121:53:20

accident, a criminal act, 80 mph car

in a 30 mile per hour zone on her

1:53:201:53:25

way home with grandma from the

nursery. , the parents of little

1:53:251:53:31

Violet took the brave decision to

donate organs to their four-year-old

1:53:311:53:37

daughter and we know today that two

lives were saved. The family tell me

1:53:371:53:41

and all the town that they get some

great comfort from that and as her

1:53:411:53:48

little brother asked about how they

tried to explain this to him so he

1:53:481:53:51

would grow up with this. The parents

of Violet Grace have been joined by

1:53:511:54:03

Steve Prescott, a former champion

rugby league player who eventually

1:54:031:54:10

had an organ transplant which was

successful. Unfortunately there were

1:54:101:54:13

some other later complications.

Does

she agree that although it can be

1:54:131:54:19

sometimes a difficult conversation

where possible this Bill may also

1:54:191:54:24

bring a valid opportunity to

families and friends and loved ones

1:54:241:54:27

to actually talk about what they

want to happen after their death

1:54:271:54:30

including things like funeral

arrangements? I knew from a very

1:54:301:54:35

young age that when I went I wanted

to donate my audience and still have

1:54:351:54:39

my original organ donation card

which is over 30 years old now. For

1:54:391:54:44

the disc will get media attention

which we encourage people to have

1:54:441:54:48

that conversation with those they

love.

I do agree. Just to talk on

1:54:481:54:54

that and bring that point out, Steve

Prescott's window setup along with

1:54:541:55:00

colleagues and friends and members

of the community, set up the steep

1:55:001:55:07

Prescott foundation and his widow

approached the parents of Violet

1:55:071:55:11

Grace and to give comfort and

support and they have said off a

1:55:111:55:15

huge campaign within our town which

is very successful urging us all to

1:55:151:55:21

donate over organs. Steve died

unfortunately but the multiple organ

1:55:211:55:29

transplant was a success. I paid

tribute to those families and the

1:55:291:55:32

brazenness of the parents of little

Violet Grace. This Bill would save

1:55:321:55:39

the trauma of that decision under

such an emotional time when your

1:55:391:55:44

little girl is there dying. It would

save a lot of trauma. I think this

1:55:441:55:54

is the moment to act. A move to

opting out would save it predicted

1:55:541:55:58

500 lives a year and done properly

with the right publicity and

1:55:581:56:04

engagement and involvement of

communities, I think it should have

1:56:041:56:10

all our support and the support in

here today is really gratifying. I

1:56:101:56:14

pay tribute to The Daily Mirror

which is run a fantastic campaign

1:56:141:56:21

and has really urged and got people

to actually sign up now, so I paid

1:56:211:56:28

should be to them. I understand the

Government as intends to go out to

1:56:281:56:38

public consultation on how the opt

out donation would be implemented

1:56:381:56:40

sensitively. I also believe the

proposing the Bill to involve a

1:56:401:56:49

person's family in decision against

a safeguard against any unregistered

1:56:491:56:57

donation and it is reassuring to

families who do have concerns. And

1:56:571:57:04

you only only 5000 people in the UK

die in circumstances where they can

1:57:041:57:08

successfully donate. 6500 people

currently waiting for a life-saving

1:57:081:57:14

donations. Madam Deputy Speaker,

none of us ever expect or perhaps

1:57:141:57:20

even thinks about the possibility

that we or someone we love may need

1:57:201:57:25

an organ from someone else to

survive. We have pointed out today

1:57:251:57:29

many other people pointed out as

suddenly it is there, it is your

1:57:291:57:34

family. But there is a gulf between

the supply of organs and urgent need

1:57:341:57:39

for them and it is time to make a

conscious decision to take

1:57:391:57:43

affirmative action. I think the time

is right. 80% of public supports

1:57:431:57:50

organ donation but only 36% are on

the register. It needs to be

1:57:501:57:54

addressed. 60 organs have been

transplanted in the first six months

1:57:541:58:05

since Wales adopted the opt out. And

from those people consent had been

1:58:051:58:12

received from 50% of those people.

31 people organs have been used for

1:58:121:58:22

60 organ saved donated. That is the

fact from the latest data from

1:58:221:58:28

Wales. Opting out has therefore been

proven to work even in its infancy

1:58:281:58:32

so I urge the House to back consent

as a popular policy. To conclude,

1:58:321:58:41

the British Medical Association

makes a point which goes to the

1:58:411:58:44

heart of this debate. As a result of

this Bill the choice of the

1:58:441:58:51

individual about what should happen

with their own body will remain the

1:58:511:58:55

same, to donate or not to donate.

But a change in the law means a

1:58:551:59:01

switch of the default position

towards donation and saving many

1:59:011:59:06

more lives. I urge the House to

support.

1:59:061:59:16

I would like to begin by

congratulating the honourable member

1:59:161:59:19

for getting this bill here to day

and also to echo the sentiment that

1:59:191:59:24

has been expressed across the House

today in support of the bill. When

1:59:241:59:28

three people die every day because

of lack of organs, where we have a

1:59:281:59:32

situation where eight out of ten

people say they would be willing to

1:59:321:59:35

be an organ donor but are not

formally on the register, I think it

1:59:351:59:38

is time we take action and I can

only begin to imagine the emotional

1:59:381:59:44

roller-coaster that families and

people waiting for organs must go

1:59:441:59:52

through in that long and try weight

that can take many years. I

1:59:521:59:55

appreciate the personal stories that

members have shared with the House

1:59:551:59:57

today which must be quite

distressing and I think we have all

1:59:572:00:00

earned greater insight into it from

a personal level. I do not really

2:00:002:00:04

want to react to rate their merits

of this bill because we all seem to

2:00:042:00:07

be very much in favour of it but

what I do want to do is talk briefly

2:00:072:00:12

on how we can actually make sure

that this bill is as successful as

2:00:122:00:17

it possibly can be. I do think, as I

alluded to in my intervention

2:00:172:00:29

earlier, that this is only part of

the solution and not the complete

2:00:292:00:32

answer. It is an essential building

block and it is important that we

2:00:322:00:35

build the House. One of the key

areas I think it's false story

2:00:352:00:38

culture and making sure that we are

educating from a very young age so

2:00:382:00:44

that people see organ donation as a

positive thing and something they

2:00:442:00:47

want to do and that will counter the

arguments about potential people

2:00:472:00:54

seeing it as a state ownership of

your organs or the state seizing

2:00:542:00:58

your auctions -- organs, it needs to

be seen in the light of people

2:00:582:01:03

giving their organs and donating to

help other people. We need to be

2:01:032:01:08

spreading the message that people

should have a conversation about

2:01:082:01:11

organ donation. It isn't something

that we don't like to talk about and

2:01:112:01:18

we should be actively promoting a

conversation so that when the time

2:01:182:01:20

comes families are aware of their

children or their spouses decision

2:01:202:01:25

on that and it will prevent any

possible overriding of the decision

2:01:252:01:29

as we see in Spain. At the moment it

is estimated that only half of

2:01:292:01:37

families have that conversation and

I think it is achievable that we

2:01:372:01:41

foster a culture of people wanting

to donate the organs. I know at the

2:01:412:01:45

moment we have one of the lowest

rates in Europe but we also have one

2:01:452:01:48

of the highest rates in Europe of

donating living kidneys and that

2:01:482:01:52

implies it is not against the

British culture to donate organs but

2:01:522:01:56

we are doing something fundamentally

wrong. One of the ways I think we

2:01:562:02:01

can achieve this is by ensuring

there is absolutely no stigma in

2:02:012:02:06

opting out. Today some of us may be

organ donors but it does not mean

2:02:062:02:10

that everyone has to be and we need

to appreciate religious cultures,

2:02:102:02:14

customs and people's sense of belief

and on that point I do hope that

2:02:142:02:19

this bill will mean that people can

opt out of certain parts so that

2:02:192:02:24

they can only donate certain organs

or opt out of certain parts. I know

2:02:242:02:29

that some religions do not want to

denote their heart and some

2:02:292:02:33

dominations of the Christian faith

even advocate that and it is

2:02:332:02:39

important that we are not excluding

people from this process.

I think

2:02:392:02:45

the honourable member for giving

way. Around 10% of people on the

2:02:452:02:51

organ register have excluded

donating their eyes, sometimes

2:02:512:02:54

because it is squeamish and

sometimes because of the thought of

2:02:542:02:57

donating eyes in the future and

should we preserve the abilities for

2:02:572:03:04

people to opt out of donating organs

they do not wish to?

Choices the key

2:03:042:03:10

to making this Bill Arthur as well

as possible and also education so

2:03:102:03:15

potentially some people might donate

those parts if they know how the

2:03:152:03:20

process will work but it has to be a

personal choice because it is our

2:03:202:03:24

body at the end of the day so we

should promote and encourage people

2:03:242:03:28

to help others rather than forcing

them. Another point that has been

2:03:282:03:34

mentioned and I don't want to labour

it too much because I think it is

2:03:342:03:38

very important but other members

have effectively gone through

2:03:382:03:44

reaching out to all communities,

including those from ethnic

2:03:442:03:46

minorities where the amount of

donors is particularly low at the

2:03:462:03:51

moment. Shockingly in March in 2017

there were 634 people from the black

2:03:512:03:59

community who were in need of organs

and only 72 people on the list died

2:03:592:04:04

and were suitable organ donors so it

is a really small proportion. Thank

2:04:042:04:11

you for raising that. In our

community

we are experiencing a

2:04:112:04:19

silent crisis because of their lack

of knowledge to discuss organ

2:04:192:04:23

donation with the family members who

are concerned about the body

2:04:232:04:27

integrating with the death. We take

on board what you are saying and if

2:04:272:04:31

people are mindful of that is what

it is about, it is the lack of

2:04:312:04:36

knowledge amongst our community, and

with this bill coming in it will

2:04:362:04:39

improve it.

I thank the honourable

member for her intervention. On

2:04:392:04:45

another point only 1% of people that

die a year die in suitable

2:04:452:04:54

circumstances to save their organs

for donation so it is important to

2:04:542:04:57

have an honest conversation and not

say this is a panacea to solve the

2:04:572:05:01

problem because if you are on the

organ register you will

2:05:012:05:05

automatically get registration

because that will give people false

2:05:052:05:08

hope. We should potentially review

the current regulations around age

2:05:082:05:12

gaps for certain donations of

organs. For example heart valves

2:05:122:05:16

have the donation restriction of

aged 60 but in countries of Spain

2:05:162:05:21

they just look at the quality of the

organ itself. I do

2:05:212:05:34

think the most important mechanism

to making sure that this Bill is as

2:05:362:05:39

effective as possible is the

transport infrastructure and the

2:05:392:05:41

investment that we see around the

entire staffing. It is no good

2:05:412:05:43

unless we have enough helicopters

and bikes and a train staff and

2:05:432:05:46

support workers to support the bill.

We must support people in rural

2:05:462:05:50

areas as well as urban areas because

they are harder to get to and they

2:05:502:05:53

should not be any less likely to be

the benefits of donations. Other

2:05:532:05:58

countries that have introduced this

bill, including France, Sweden and

2:05:582:06:03

Bulgaria, have actually reduced

their organ donations and this is in

2:06:032:06:05

part because of a lack of investment

in infrastructure so it is crucial.

2:06:052:06:11

I would like to end by saying we

should be quite bold as well when we

2:06:112:06:15

review this. There are countries in

the world that adopt a policy that I

2:06:152:06:20

was originally very uneasy with, I

will admit, and I looked at it and

2:06:202:06:23

it says if you are an open donor

yourself and you have not opt out of

2:06:232:06:29

the system, you have a higher

priority to be able to receive a

2:06:292:06:35

donation of an organ. Originally I

was uneasy but I think actually it

2:06:352:06:38

is quite fair because if you are

prepared to give a donation then you

2:06:382:06:41

should be more likely to receive it.

So, to conclude, Madam Deputy

2:06:412:06:47

Speaker, the UK has the lowest

donation rates in the world, some of

2:06:472:06:51

the lowest donation rates, and it is

really not good enough. I am hugely

2:06:512:06:56

supportive of the bill today but I

echo caution that it depends on the

2:06:562:07:00

amount of infrastructure, education

and support that we give people to

2:07:002:07:06

ensure that this Bill is as

successful as possible.

I would like

2:07:062:07:10

to tout the Right Honourable member

for proposing this important private

2:07:102:07:14

members bill. The NHS has just

reached the historic milestone of 70

2:07:142:07:20

years and as a country and the

society we are pride of the advances

2:07:202:07:24

we have made it this time and

because of advances in organ

2:07:242:07:28

donation and transplantation 50,000

people are alive today. Most people

2:07:282:07:32

are willing to donate their organs

after they died that only 36% of the

2:07:322:07:38

population on the register. Organ

donation is increasing gradually but

2:07:382:07:41

suddenly it is not keeping pace on

the number of people on the

2:07:412:07:45

transplant waiting list and the

British Heart Foundation I let that

2:07:452:07:48

an average of three people a day die

in need of an organ. As a member who

2:07:482:07:52

was a cardiac nurse in a previous

job I am only too aware of how

2:07:522:07:57

desperate patient can become when

waiting for an organ to become

2:07:572:07:59

available. I saw first-hand the

distressed people suffered while

2:07:592:08:03

waiting for a heart transplant or

any other organ. In Spain and

2:08:032:08:08

Belgium are softer opt out approach

has facilitated a cultural change

2:08:082:08:13

that has facilitated higher donor

rates so I am here to support my

2:08:132:08:16

right honourable friend to address

this bleak statistics and bring a

2:08:162:08:20

discussion of organ donation back to

the dinner tables of families across

2:08:202:08:23

the UK. I would like to express my

sincere thanks to the Daily Mirror

2:08:232:08:28

for the campaign in support of this

shown the public the public the gift

2:08:282:08:31

of life thanks to those who donate

organs. One organ donor can

2:08:312:08:35

transform as many as nine lives and

it has already been mentioned by

2:08:352:08:39

other Honourable members the UK has

some of the lowest family consent

2:08:392:08:43

rates in Europe. In Wales the Welsh

government bravely introduced deemed

2:08:432:08:47

consent and the rate at which Welsh

families are proving rather than

2:08:472:08:52

refusing the donation of their loved

ones has shown a marked increase

2:08:522:08:55

compared to the rest of the UK. The

latest Welsh organ donation and

2:08:552:09:01

transplantation statistics display a

72% consent rate, putting Wales

2:09:012:09:05

above of UK countries.

Thanks for

giving way. It is an excellent

2:09:052:09:13

advantage of how Wales is leading

the way on changing the emphasis on

2:09:132:09:17

organ donation. Does she share my

dismay that no one from the benches

2:09:172:09:20

of the SNP have joined us today? It

is not just a cross-border issue but

2:09:202:09:25

they have blocked this Bill in the

Scottish parliament and they

2:09:252:09:31

continue to block it so why have

they not lead the way on this? Do

2:09:312:09:34

they share my concern on that?

I

thank the honourable member for his

2:09:342:09:39

intervention and I share the

concern. Most will today I really

2:09:392:09:42

hoped we would have cross-party

consensus for this because I think

2:09:422:09:45

it is something that we can all come

together on. In the East Midlands

2:09:452:09:51

where I represent a constituency of

Lincoln organ donation is that the

2:09:512:09:54

lowest in the UK and in one year

there were

2:09:542:10:07

just 74 organ donors in the whole of

the East Midlands and in my

2:10:092:10:12

constituency there are around 40,000

registered donors and I are one of

2:10:122:10:14

them with a card in my bag. I am

proud of the people in Lincoln that

2:10:142:10:17

even though this number represents

an opportunity only a small number

2:10:172:10:19

on the register passed away in such

a way that allows their Dorgan is to

2:10:192:10:23

be donated and only ten deceased

donors in Lincoln could get donate

2:10:232:10:25

their organs in the last five years.

This bill could save 500 lives a

2:10:252:10:28

year and we need sensitive dialogue

with those suffering serious

2:10:282:10:30

illnesses of the possible

life-saving capacity their donations

2:10:302:10:32

could make sure the worst occur.

Conversations with grieving families

2:10:322:10:36

can often be crucial in this

process. Yesterday I spoke about the

2:10:362:10:40

loss of my daughter and it is

something for any family member to

2:10:402:10:43

be lost is just a terrible, terrible

thing, and it stays with you for

2:10:432:10:48

ever but, you know what, if you can

donate an organ and turn a negative

2:10:482:10:52

into a positive, how much better is

that? How much better could that be

2:10:522:10:57

just to salvage some positivity out

of that? I just want to finish by

2:10:572:11:03

saying the government have announced

a consultation on an opt out consent

2:11:032:11:06

on organ donation for the 6th of

March and the success of this

2:11:062:11:10

private members bill may be the

vehicle for that change. I will

2:11:102:11:13

finish by saying that I really hope

there will be cross-party support

2:11:132:11:18

for this and I hope it goes ahead.

Thank you.

2:11:182:11:25

I congratulate the honourable member

from commentary North West for

2:11:252:11:30

bringing this here today and I can

tell him now that this bill would

2:11:302:11:33

pass. It has been said by many that

80% of British society actually

2:11:332:11:40

support organ donation but there are

the other 20% who do not and for me

2:11:402:11:44

I certainly want to speak on the

half of those to ensure that they

2:11:442:11:48

are carried along with this debate

rather than left behind. I also want

2:11:482:11:54

to mention a gentleman in my

constituency, VJ Patel, he was

2:11:542:11:59

unnecessarily recently killed and

his family took great comfort from

2:11:592:12:02

the fact that his organs were used

to help other people. For me that is

2:12:022:12:06

such a gift and I absolutely commend

anyone who does that, and indeed

2:12:062:12:12

their families for allowing such

actions to take place full is top it

2:12:122:12:17

is on that basis that many people

make preparations to be organ donors

2:12:172:12:21

after they die and their families

are an integral part of the process.

2:12:212:12:25

It is within this wider framework

that the crucial role for me of the

2:12:252:12:29

family and the donor must be

understood. As part of their

2:12:292:12:33

ownership of the body after a person

dies, and their duties towards it,

2:12:332:12:39

our central aspect of the grieving

process. We've recently had a lot of

2:12:392:12:42

concern over a coroner who has

refused to release bodies and it is

2:12:422:12:46

causing a lot of

2:12:462:12:57

concern to members of my

constituency. It follows logically

2:12:582:12:59

that is the family who is involved

in organ donation and it is their

2:12:592:13:02

consent that I believe is paramount

at a crucial time. These families

2:13:022:13:05

need reassurance along their pathway

towards consent. It has been

2:13:052:13:07

mentioned today that there are

religious differences about donation

2:13:072:13:08

but I have to say it is incorrect.

Both the Islamic and Judaism allows

2:13:082:13:12

organ transplants, it live set from

live patients and patients who have

2:13:122:13:17

deceased, in order to continue and

to save life. A factor that perhaps

2:13:172:13:22

people are not aware of, a factor

that may influence some families

2:13:222:13:26

decision-making process is how they

decide the point of death. Some

2:13:262:13:30

people regard death is being defined

by cardiovascular criteria, when the

2:13:302:13:36

art ceases to function. In contrast

to that there is a definite sceptred

2:13:362:13:40

by others that cessation of brain

function, brainstem death, is their

2:13:402:13:45

criteria, and it is these two

distinctions that makes people

2:13:452:13:49

sometimes uncomfortable about

donation. The National Institute for

2:13:492:13:53

clinical excellence has recognised

both definitions of death when it

2:13:532:13:56

formulated the current guidelines

that explain how health care

2:13:562:13:59

professionals should support a

bereaved family when discussing

2:13:592:14:03

Brook organ donation. One pathway is

for those who only accept

2:14:032:14:07

cardiovascular death and the other

is for those who accept brain stem

2:14:072:14:10

death. As a result families are

helped to understand how they may be

2:14:102:14:15

able to combine out your deceased

organ is donation a way that does

2:14:152:14:19

not interfere with religious

traditions. The role someone

2:14:192:14:22

accessible to the family to guide

them through the process is the most

2:14:222:14:27

constructive proposal I can think

of. This is quite properly and

2:14:272:14:31

resourced transplant coordinator

ought to be able to do. It is a way

2:14:312:14:36

to support families at a terrible

time in their lives. In practice,

2:14:362:14:41

that will be less institutional

incentives for health services to

2:14:412:14:44

employed under system currently

proposed today.

2:14:442:14:50

The issue of transplantation is one

of the Government is well aware of.

2:14:502:14:55

It cannot plead ignorance that our

religious communities are

2:14:552:14:59

unresponsive to human need. In 2013

leading Muslim and Jewish groups

2:14:592:15:04

rhetorically to the Government

suggesting a way forward whereby an

2:15:042:15:07

enhanced and improved opt in system

could be introduced which would

2:15:072:15:10

alleviate their concerns.

Improvements would include a

2:15:102:15:13

government backed statement that

dues and Muslims could sign enabling

2:15:132:15:19

them to donate organs in a manner

compatible with their beliefs. It

2:15:192:15:25

would enable the two communities to

be even more supportive of an opt in

2:15:252:15:29

system than they have been in the

past. This proposal has been raised

2:15:292:15:34

on several occasions subsequently

but I have to say to the minister I

2:15:342:15:36

am afraid it has been ignored.

Earlier in the honourable member

2:15:362:15:42

from Coventry North West's speed,

you mentioned Lord Sacks who oppose

2:15:422:15:46

them measures. I can tell him that

the current Chief Rabbi would

2:15:462:15:54

actually be in favour of this

proposal as I have just outlined.

2:15:542:15:58

But life has changed from many

people and indeed that has changed

2:15:582:16:02

from many people. More people want

to understandably spend their final

2:16:022:16:07

months at home so if they die at

home organ donation is much less

2:16:072:16:12

likely so health care professionals

needed to secure consent for

2:16:122:16:14

donation must have a conversation

with organ donors and loved ones

2:16:142:16:19

about why they are best placed to

give the gift of life if they remain

2:16:192:16:23

in hospital. This conversation is a

very natural feature of an opt in

2:16:232:16:27

feature however under an opt out so

Vista would be little incentive to

2:16:272:16:32

have that complex discussions with

potential donors. The result might

2:16:322:16:36

be that patients could drift to

spend their last month in hospitals.

2:16:362:16:43

Thank you. I think my honourable

friend, the doctor, can I ask my

2:16:432:16:51

honourable friend, how quickly can

the medical profession assess that

2:16:512:16:56

someone who has died is the right

sort of person for a donation,

2:16:562:17:04

because so few people apparently are

at the right fit for donation. 1% as

2:17:042:17:08

I understand it.

I can't mislead the

House because I am not a medical

2:17:082:17:14

doctor unfortunately and I would not

be able to answer that question. I'm

2:17:142:17:18

certainly content to talk about

socio- economic deprivation in

2:17:182:17:22

places like Cornwall as part of my

Ph.D. Thesis but on this issue I

2:17:222:17:26

will leave it alone. The honourable

member has mentioned the 1% but

2:17:262:17:31

other potential donors and their

families could be intimidated by

2:17:312:17:37

clinical settings or even language

skills or be emotionally strut and

2:17:372:17:41

unable to engage in a system which

lacks incentives to ensure

2:17:412:17:44

professional support them and such

potential donors and families could

2:17:442:17:48

find their rights eroded in this

practice. The honourable member for

2:17:482:17:52

Shipley made a point which I wished

to echo. The underlying questions

2:17:522:17:56

raised by that patients should be

treated as citizens whose active

2:17:562:18:03

consent must be sought as a legal

duty or subjects who ability to

2:18:032:18:08

choose or not depends on the

goodwill and well-meaning but

2:18:082:18:11

overstretched professionals.

Ultimately an opt in system that

2:18:112:18:16

harnesses the role of both religious

and civil society to increase organ

2:18:162:18:19

donation from deceased donors is for

me the best way forward to maximise

2:18:192:18:24

organ donations while defending not

only religious freedoms but also the

2:18:242:18:27

rights of all potential donors and

families.

Thank you. I will keep my

2:18:272:18:36

remarks rather brief because I also

support the Bill and I am delighted

2:18:362:18:41

to see the member for Coventry North

West use this slot for this very

2:18:412:18:45

noble cause. I briefly wanted to

mention the bright green stars

2:18:452:18:49

campaign that was across Torbay four

years ago and the bright green star

2:18:492:18:53

man went around hanging up the stars

across many points of the bay to

2:18:532:18:57

encourage more people to think about

organ donations and that is

2:18:572:19:02

following his own daughter Lottie

who when she was three getting a

2:19:022:19:05

transplant, one of the lucky ones to

get one very quickly. I think that

2:19:052:19:10

safeguards in the Bill provide the

options for those who would strongly

2:19:102:19:13

adopt the idea of organ donation and

the ability for families to supply

2:19:132:19:19

evidence someone objected on grounds

to this if they had known about the

2:19:192:19:24

opt out system. For me, I don't see

my body as a piece of property that

2:19:242:19:31

my relatives will inherit on my

death. I see it something is very

2:19:312:19:35

special and if there is something we

can do to help people continue to

2:19:352:19:39

live after our light on this earth

is finished I think that is

2:19:392:19:43

thoroughly noble. One of the ways I

can do that is not just registering

2:19:432:19:46

to be an organ donor but by

supporting the Bill today. This will

2:19:462:19:49

save lives in Torbay and across the

country and it is very welcome here

2:19:492:19:54

and I hope it will get its second

reading.

Thank you very much, Madam

2:19:542:20:01

Deputy Speaker. I want to start by

thanking my honourable friend, the

2:20:012:20:05

member for commentary Northwest, for

securing this very important debate

2:20:052:20:12

and introducing this very important

Bill and for his powerful and moving

2:20:122:20:16

opening speech this morning. I would

also like to thank other honourable

2:20:162:20:20

members, the member for Amesbury,

members for Mid Worcestershire,

2:20:202:20:28

North Devon, Dudley South, shipping

them and Hendon. Also the members

2:20:282:20:36

for Ealing Southall, Barnsley

Central, St Helens, St Helens and

2:20:362:20:40

Whitsun, Lincoln, with the excellent

speeches, but I do want to

2:20:402:20:48

particularly pay huge tribute to my

honourable friend the member for

2:20:482:20:53

Sunderland Central, my neighbour in

Sunderland, who spoke so bravely and

2:20:532:20:57

movingly about her daughter Rebecca

who as we have heard has been on

2:20:572:21:02

dialysis for a year now awaiting a

kidney transplant. I hope from the

2:21:022:21:05

bottom of my heart and I am sure we

all do that await is over soon and

2:21:052:21:10

she is successful in receiving the

gift of life from a wonderful donor

2:21:102:21:15

very, very soon. It really has been

an excellent debate this morning and

2:21:152:21:19

another example of this House at its

best, which often it is as we find

2:21:192:21:27

on Fridays during these private

member Bill debates. I also want to

2:21:272:21:33

thank other honourable members who

have previously brought this issue

2:21:332:21:36

to our attention over the last

decade or so, they include my

2:21:362:21:39

honourable friend the member for

Mitcham and Morden, Newport West,

2:21:392:21:45

and the member for Barnsley Central.

I also want to commend The Daily

2:21:452:21:50

Mirror for its fantastic campaign

for raising awareness of organ

2:21:502:21:55

donations since the case of Max

Johnson who we have all heard so

2:21:552:21:58

much about this morning and who was

then a nine-year-old boy in need of

2:21:582:22:02

a new heart, I understand he is now

ten. That is fantastic. I want to

2:22:022:22:08

also thank the honourable member for

North Devon for telling us all about

2:22:082:22:12

Keira Ball, Max's donor but I

understand 74 macro lives and can I

2:22:122:22:18

also thank her very brave family for

taking that brave decision on the

2:22:182:22:24

most awful of days? Can I also thank

the more than 13,000 people have now

2:22:242:22:31

signed the petition online. I would

also like to commend the

2:22:312:22:37

scriptwriters of Coronation Street,

of which it has to be said I am a

2:22:372:22:40

huge fan as a northerner, for

covering this issue so well and also

2:22:402:22:46

note that Carla Connor, I know she

is a character, but she received

2:22:462:22:52

this week a new kidney from her

half-brother and all is going well.

2:22:522:22:57

Soaps really can come up when they

are at their best, play a huge part

2:22:572:23:01

in helping to inform the public on

issues such as this and I hope they

2:23:012:23:05

will therefore touch on the

importance of being on the organ

2:23:052:23:08

donation register also during this

storyline. I want also pictured Pete

2:23:082:23:15

to the thousands of people who have

already participated in the

2:23:152:23:21

Government concentration on organ

donation -- I want to page viewed.

2:23:212:23:23

And to encourage those out there to

do so if they haven't already let

2:23:232:23:28

their voices be heard. The topic of

organ donation is understandably an

2:23:282:23:32

emotional one but I am pleased to

say that so many people are now

2:23:322:23:35

engaging in this debate and we now

have the opportunity to discuss it

2:23:352:23:40

in the House today. This debate and

the publicity around it may

2:23:402:23:43

encourage families up and down the

country to have that important

2:23:432:23:46

discussion about organ donation

before the inevitable happens. There

2:23:462:23:53

is no doubt that these discussions

need to be had and we need more

2:23:532:23:56

organ donors in England. Almost 25

million people are on the organ

2:23:562:24:02

donation register but according to

the NHS and transplant service there

2:24:022:24:06

are 7000 people on the list for new

organs waiting. For these people are

2:24:062:24:12

truly is a life and death situation

so it is important we have as many

2:24:122:24:17

people signing up to the organ

donation register as possible. Over

2:24:172:24:21

the last five years almost 5 million

people have joined the register and

2:24:212:24:28

2016-17 saw the highest ever

deceased donor rates in England.

2:24:282:24:32

More than 50,000 people are living

with a functioning transplant, Max

2:24:322:24:35

is one of them, extra organ donation

and transplantation in the UK. These

2:24:352:24:41

are welcomed developments but we

still have a long way to go. We

2:24:412:24:47

currently lagged behind other

Western countries. Tragically around

2:24:472:24:51

1000 people live a year die whilst

waiting for a transplant and that is

2:24:512:24:57

three every day. To save those eyes

we need more people on the organ

2:24:572:25:00

donation register -- save those

lives, making decisions with the

2:25:002:25:05

family knowledge so that lives can

be saved when the time comes.

My

2:25:052:25:13

honourable friend made the excellent

case citing statistics in England

2:25:132:25:15

but I would offer to the debate that

actually it is a cross-border issue

2:25:152:25:20

as well because one of the great

strengths of our NHS is that no

2:25:202:25:24

matter what part of the UK you come

from you can benefit from a organ as

2:25:242:25:27

bad. Someone in Dumfries needs a

kidney donation and the donor is

2:25:272:25:29

from Carlisle there will be no order

or barrier to getting access to that

2:25:292:25:36

chasm. That is why MPs from all

parts of UK, changes in all parts of

2:25:362:25:41

the UK, including this Scottish

National Party, would my honourable

2:25:412:25:44

friend agree with that?

I had

noticed there was no one from the

2:25:442:25:49

Scottish National Party here today,

so I don't know what the situation

2:25:492:25:53

is in Scotland here, but we still

want people in Scotland to be organ

2:25:532:25:58

donors and I am sure my honourable

friend the member for Sunderland

2:25:582:26:03

Central, her daughter Rebecca not

refuse a kidney, be it from

2:26:032:26:08

Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or

anywhere, so it is a very good point

2:26:082:26:11

that he made.

I think my honourable

friend. With my honourable friend

2:26:112:26:16

like to recognise the great

strengths of the Labour Party in

2:26:162:26:18

Scotland have made in trying to ring

for the legislation on the issue of

2:26:182:26:21

opt out organ donation in Scotland

and it is just unfortunate the SNP

2:26:212:26:24

block the progress of a Bill from an

Mactaggart MSP on the issue in the

2:26:242:26:29

last session of Parliament. That is

still hope because we currently have

2:26:292:26:32

it private members Bill progressing

in the Scottish parliament.

2:26:322:26:36

Hopefully we concede cross-party

support.

I am grateful for my

2:26:362:26:44

honourable friend for updating is

only situation in Scotland because

2:26:442:26:46

as I said I wasn't aware what it was

and I really do commend the Bill and

2:26:462:26:52

hope that our SNP friends up in

Scotland will act upon that and

2:26:522:26:58

progress that as soon as possible.

I

would like to picture view to

2:26:582:27:03

colleagues in Wales and also my

honourable friend the commentary

2:27:032:27:09

Northwest and across the whole

country. I have heard some very

2:27:092:27:12

moving stories from colleagues in

North Devon and other parts. I think

2:27:122:27:16

we have demonstrated the ability to

work together today and that is

2:27:162:27:20

important. I think one of the great

strengths of today's debate is how

2:27:202:27:23

we have focused on the families and

listen to their stories and that for

2:27:232:27:27

me has been deeply moving and I can

only commence to colleagues the

2:27:272:27:32

importance of continuing to listen

to families of the campaigns goes

2:27:322:27:34

forward.

I thank my honourable

friend for that intervention.

2:27:342:27:42

Families are at the heart of this.

That is one thing the member

2:27:422:27:47

proposing the Bill made clear and

I'm sure the minister will as well.

2:27:472:27:51

That is very important, the voices

of families taken into consideration

2:27:512:27:54

when these discussions take place. I

know that I am not alone in this has

2:27:542:28:01

an carrying a donor card and being

on the register. Like many other

2:28:012:28:05

organ donors I signed myself up

because of a direct family

2:28:052:28:08

experience. My anti-who is sadly no

longer with us was one of the first

2:28:082:28:14

patients to receive a kidney

transplant at the Freeman Hospital

2:28:142:28:21

in Newcastle. It was a pioneering

surgery back then and it is great to

2:28:212:28:26

hear my fellow Sunderland MP,

Sunderland Central, also commend the

2:28:262:28:32

work of the fantastic renal team at

the Freeman Hospital who are

2:28:322:28:35

currently trading and supporting her

daughter Rebecca so well. Because of

2:28:352:28:38

that transplant might anti-lived a

full life, maybe not as long as they

2:28:382:28:45

would have liked but she was able to

see her children, my cousins, grow

2:28:452:28:50

up to get married and all she wanted

to do was to see them grow up but

2:28:502:28:53

she lived on to see them give her

grandchildren. That is what organ

2:28:532:28:57

donation is all about. It gives

people the future. This one donor

2:28:572:29:02

can save up to nine people come as

we heard Keira Ball saved four. It

2:29:022:29:10

can give those people are future

with their loved ones which is why

2:29:102:29:12

it is so important. Of course there

are some concerns amongst some

2:29:122:29:16

religious communities. I know we had

an intervention from the honourable

2:29:162:29:20

member this constituency escapes me,

Hendon, earlier, and I know my

2:29:202:29:29

honourable friend this

Under-Secretary of State, the member

2:29:292:29:31

for Leicester South has met with

representatives from the Jewish

2:29:312:29:35

community to discuss some of these

concerns from one particular

2:29:352:29:39

community will stop also with regard

to black and minority ethnic

2:29:392:29:45

communities, as we heard from my

honourable friend the member for

2:29:452:29:50

Ealing Southall, despite being more

suggestible to illnesses such as

2:29:502:29:54

diabetes and hypertension and either

heart disease, only 35% of black and

2:29:542:29:59

Asian people in the UK agreed to

donation last year compared to a

2:29:592:30:03

population average of 63%.

2:30:032:30:10

I raised the issue of stem cell

transplants early and that is

2:30:102:30:14

exactly the same case with stem cell

and I do not think we would accept

2:30:142:30:17

in any other walk of life that if

you happen to be wife you probably

2:30:172:30:21

have an 80 or 90% chance of finding

a possible match whereas if you come

2:30:212:30:27

from a certain ethnic background it

can be as low as 30% and it just is

2:30:272:30:31

not acceptable.

My honourable friend

made exactly the right point, it is

2:30:312:30:39

not just the kidney and heart, there

are other, it is right across the

2:30:392:30:45

whole donor register really and the

government must therefore really

2:30:452:30:49

listen to the concerns of black and

Asian communities, not only during

2:30:492:30:54

the consultation but also beyond so

that we can develop a solution to

2:30:542:30:57

this problem.

I hope the bill is

successful and there will be

2:30:572:31:06

consultation process with the

members of the BMA group community

2:31:062:31:10

to ensure the successful roll-out in

delivering a public education

2:31:102:31:14

programme that follows to enable

communities to be aware.

I found my

2:31:142:31:22

honourable friend for the

intervention and it is exactly the

2:31:222:31:24

point. It is a public awareness and

education as well as accepting the

2:31:242:31:30

sensitivities that there are for all

people, you know, as well as those

2:31:302:31:36

from particular religious

communities or ethnic minorities.

2:31:362:31:38

I'm happy to give way.

I am sorry to

interrupt when making such a pop --

2:31:382:31:45

strong point. One of my constituents

rang me after earlier contribution

2:31:452:31:51

from me to say that if the member of

Parliament could run the road shows

2:31:512:31:57

with their local voluntary sector to

raise their awareness and also to

2:31:572:32:03

encourage people to register the

donors, secondly that if weakening

2:32:032:32:08

courage the local education system

to go through the schools and the

2:32:082:32:13

parents associations to run those

awareness sessions, do you agree

2:32:132:32:17

that this will be the best way of

raising awareness and also engaging

2:32:172:32:20

with the communities?

I absolutely

do and I think that our schools are

2:32:202:32:30

an ideal forum for a lot of public

health awareness messages to be

2:32:302:32:33

delivered to our young people. I

would agree with him on that point.

2:32:332:32:42

Perhaps a solution may have been

developed on all of these concerns

2:32:422:32:45

and issues in the two countries

where opt out organ donation is

2:32:452:32:49

working really well. I am talking

about, of course, Wales and Spain.

2:32:492:32:57

In 2015 the opt out system came into

force in Wales and all sets out that

2:32:572:33:01

those who live and die in Wales will

have been deemed to have given

2:33:012:33:05

consent for their organs to be used

unless they have explicitly said

2:33:052:33:08

otherwise and the public awareness

campaign before the change in the

2:33:082:33:13

law came into effect alone resulted

in the number of organs transplanted

2:33:132:33:18

increasing from 120 to 160 so it is

not huge but it was a definite

2:33:182:33:25

start. NHS organ donation statistics

also show an 11.8% increase between

2:33:252:33:35

2014/15 and 2016/17 people in Wales

are opting to donate their organs

2:33:352:33:38

and that was the highest increase

amongst England, Wales and Scotland.

2:33:382:33:43

There has not been a notable change

since the law came into effect but

2:33:432:33:47

it is worth remembering that it took

almost ten years, as we have heard

2:33:472:33:51

already this morning, in Spain for

there to be that significant

2:33:512:33:58

increase in donation rates. Spain

had a soft opt out system for 39

2:33:582:34:01

years and are considered the world

leader in organ donation and

2:34:012:34:04

currently have the highest organ

donation rates in the world. In

2:34:042:34:08

Spain concent is presumed in the

absence of any known objection by

2:34:082:34:12

the deceased but family concent is

still sought, as it would be here.

2:34:122:34:17

We hope. In the immediate aftermath

of this change in law there was only

2:34:172:34:21

a small increase in the number of

organ donation and transplants but

2:34:212:34:25

there was a dramatic increase after

1989 when the Spanish government

2:34:252:34:31

made a big push to reorganise organ

donation and as a result of which

2:34:312:34:35

there was a medically trained

transplant coordinator in every

2:34:352:34:41

hospital by 1999. It is unlikely

that we in the UK will have an

2:34:412:34:45

identical opt out system to Spain

but these are just two examples that

2:34:452:34:50

show how an opt out system can work

and how it can improve the lives of

2:34:502:34:54

the thousands of people waiting for

an organ transplant. It also gives

2:34:542:34:59

us the opportunity to learn from

past experiences and ensure that we

2:34:592:35:02

get it right in this country, which

I am sure is what we all seek to do.

2:35:022:35:07

I know that the government will be

working to ensure that that is

2:35:072:35:12

exactly what happens. On this side

of the House we are passionate about

2:35:122:35:16

world-class health services but, as

the NHS blood and transport service

2:35:162:35:23

made clear, and I quote, we will

never have a world-class donation

2:35:232:35:26

and transplantation service if more

than four out of every ten families

2:35:262:35:32

say no to donation. According to the

British Heart Foundation 90% of

2:35:322:35:37

people they serve eight say that

they support organ donation but just

2:35:372:35:42

33% of those people were on the

donor register. It is clear what we

2:35:422:35:48

have heard today, that more people

really do need to be on the organ

2:35:482:35:51

donor register and these difficult

conversations must be encouraged so

2:35:512:35:55

that more lives can be saved.

I

thank my honourable friend for

2:35:552:36:02

giving way. While the debate was

going on I went on my phone and

2:36:022:36:05

signed up as a full organ donor

because previously I was a bit

2:36:052:36:09

squeamish about giving my eyes but I

was convinced by the arguments and

2:36:092:36:14

it only took two minutes and it was

really simple to do and it is

2:36:142:36:18

something every member can encourage

our constituents to do by going on

2:36:182:36:22

the phone and registering now.

That

really would be great to see and

2:36:222:36:29

even the most technophobe of us can

be able to manage that in two

2:36:292:36:35

minutes and perhaps they can have

one of those clever apps to make it

2:36:352:36:39

even easier for all of the young

people to do this.

I have no

2:36:392:36:45

knowledge of apps but I do have my

donor cards here, held proudly in my

2:36:452:36:51

hand which I have my telephone in

but when I introduced my bill on

2:36:512:36:55

this subject many years ago I was

accused, as were the supporters such

2:36:552:37:00

as Evan Harris at the time who

brought the bill in with me, we were

2:37:002:37:05

accused of being Aztecs. Does my

honourable friend agree that the

2:37:052:37:09

tide is now flowing in our favour

and this is a piece of legislation

2:37:092:37:13

that the need has been proven in the

time is now.

Very good. I must

2:37:132:37:20

apologise for not commending my

honourable friend for his bill, when

2:37:202:37:23

I mentioned the list of people who

have all done work on this over the

2:37:232:37:26

years. It does make you realise how

many people have been pushing for

2:37:262:37:30

this. My honourable friend for

Coventry North West is successful

2:37:302:37:39

today he has followed in a lot of

other honourable member 's footsteps

2:37:392:37:43

of achieving this great thing today.

As you have heard, whether it is

2:37:432:37:51

clever people with apps of people

carrying the old-fashioned donor

2:37:512:37:56

card, on the side of the House most

of us unanimously across the House

2:37:562:38:00

or in favour of change to the organ

donation law to ensure that everyone

2:38:002:38:05

whose lives could be saved by an

organ transplant and have the gift

2:38:052:38:09

of life. I urge the Minister today

to take the steps necessary to

2:38:092:38:14

increase the number of people on the

organ register and I am sure this

2:38:142:38:18

bill will be a great asset in

helping her to achieve that goal.

2:38:182:38:21

Thank you.

Thank you Madam Deputy

Speaker. Thank you to the honourable

2:38:212:38:29

member for Coventry North West for

bringing this Bill to the House. He

2:38:292:38:36

has secured his fortunate position

on the ballot and he has used it in

2:38:362:38:40

a very constructive way and I am

very grateful to him for bringing

2:38:402:38:44

this Bill and to confirm that the

government will give its

2:38:442:38:49

wholehearted support. It has been an

absolute pleasure to work with him

2:38:492:38:53

and the honourable member for

Barnsley Central and to get to the

2:38:532:38:56

place where we are now that we have

a bill that we can all support. The

2:38:562:39:02

reason that we are here in a

relatively painless way, given our

2:39:022:39:06

discussions, is that we were all

focused on one shared objective,

2:39:062:39:11

which was to save lives and to

secure more organs available for

2:39:112:39:18

donation. I am extremely grateful to

him and I wish this Bill God speed

2:39:182:39:24

to get to the statute book as soon

as possible. We have heard some very

2:39:242:39:29

moving stories today and I

particularly want to draw reference

2:39:292:39:34

to my honourable friend for Devon

North who shared the bravery of Kira

2:39:342:39:39

Boal who has saved for macrolides

and more about that later and also

2:39:392:39:43

the honourable member for Sunderland

Central who spoke very movingly

2:39:432:39:48

about her daughter. It is the real

thing about this subject. Once you

2:39:482:39:54

hear the human stories of people who

have either given organs and

2:39:542:39:58

consented to their organs from

relatives when they are Boerrigter

2:39:582:40:04

and witnessed their own family

members requiring organs or indeed

2:40:042:40:08

being alive donor themselves. One

cannot fail to be touched by the

2:40:082:40:18

experience of those people. It is

with considerable equipment that I

2:40:182:40:24

want to do my bit to make sure that

we do have more organs available for

2:40:242:40:27

donation.

I spoke briefly of my own

experience with my son who was able

2:40:272:40:35

to get a stem cell donor and we were

in hospital for quite a long time

2:40:352:40:41

and I saw many parents who did not

get a donor and that is very, very

2:40:412:40:49

difficult and I will be fried, you

feel a degree of guilt because you

2:40:492:40:53

are fortunate and you know you are

looking at someone is going to die,

2:40:532:41:00

and that is a very heartbreaking

situation and we need to do whatever

2:41:002:41:05

we can to ensure there are more

people on the register and more

2:41:052:41:09

people giving other organs as well.

The honourable gentleman has put

2:41:092:41:14

that as well as it could be

expressed and that is entirely the

2:41:142:41:19

motivation behind this bill. We are

losing too many people over a year

2:41:192:41:23

because they need organs. It would

be a poor health minister who did

2:41:232:41:29

not do their best to achieve that

and he is absolutely right. When one

2:41:292:41:34

does see the experience of people

who have relatives on the register,

2:41:342:41:38

the very real impact that it has had

and I have been my own journey with

2:41:382:41:43

my constituent who has already been

mentioned this morning by the

2:41:432:41:47

honourable lady, the for Kingston

upon Hull West and Hessle. She

2:41:472:41:52

painfully lost her daughter while

she was waiting for a transplant and

2:41:522:41:56

she has used that experience to

campaign for this important cause.

2:41:562:42:04

She has gone through the step of

being an altruistic donor herself

2:42:042:42:07

and who could not fail to be

inspired by such a story. I am very

2:42:072:42:12

pleased to be able to deliver my

promise to her when Patricia came to

2:42:122:42:17

see me for the first time and I said

I would do everything I could to

2:42:172:42:21

secure more organ donations. Here we

are today, delivering that. I should

2:42:212:42:26

also mention that last October the

Prime Minister pledged a personal

2:42:262:42:30

support to change this law on organ

donation and in doing so that we

2:42:302:42:34

could achieve more people across

this country to achieve an organ

2:42:342:42:39

transplant. We should also mention

the achievement of Max Johnson whose

2:42:392:42:45

struggle was a brace by the nation

and he has done so much to highlight

2:42:452:42:49

this very important cause. As a

consequence of that in the

2:42:492:42:56

government we will be referring to

this as Max 's law and we will do

2:42:562:42:59

everything we can to ensure its

passage. And as a result of that I

2:42:592:43:05

am very grateful for the opposition

support to ensure it is a speedy

2:43:052:43:09

passage. With such cross-party

commitment we should not fail. As

2:43:092:43:16

Max and his family and families all

over the country who have

2:43:162:43:20

experienced life in a transplant

issue, they understand the organ

2:43:202:43:23

donation is a precious gift and

other families deserve our special

2:43:232:43:29

tributes and to hear that people

have saved many lives is very

2:43:292:43:39

special. I also give tribute to the

daily Mirror. Often in this place

2:43:392:43:43

when we talk about newspapers it is

not in a complementary way but the

2:43:432:43:48

Daily Mirror have done a fantastic

way of really highlighting this

2:43:482:43:51

cause and I think it is an activity

that illustrates that the press when

2:43:512:43:56

it puts its mind to something

positive can achieve. I share the

2:43:562:44:01

honourable ladies tribute to

Coronation Street because I am also

2:44:012:44:09

pretty devoted to the soaps.

EastEnders also highlighted liver

2:44:092:44:15

transplantation last year and both

have been very good at highlighting

2:44:152:44:18

mental health and this week we have

seen the organ donation story and I

2:44:182:44:24

would commend Coronation Street for

actually tweeting the link to the

2:44:242:44:29

government consultation on the

immediate weight of that programme.

2:44:292:44:33

It is a first. If I can encourage

soap opera is to highlight

2:44:332:44:38

government consultations in future I

think it would be helpful but I do

2:44:382:44:41

not think it is coming. In the brief

time, I want to be fairly brief in

2:44:412:44:46

addressing some of the points that

have been made, a number of members

2:44:462:44:52

have expressed concern about moving

from an opt in to an opt out system

2:44:522:44:56

and I wanted to really reassure them

that central to the principles of

2:44:562:45:02

this bill remains the concept that

organ donation is a gift and it is a

2:45:022:45:07

gift voluntarily given by the donor.

There can be no question of the

2:45:072:45:14

state taking control of organs and

that is why the ability to opt out

2:45:142:45:20

was central to the Bill and it will

be extremely easy and it will be

2:45:202:45:24

something that people can continue

to revisit that decision, if they

2:45:242:45:28

wish to change their mind. It is

also central to this that the issue

2:45:282:45:35

of family consent is also respected.

2:45:352:45:42

The circumstances in which someone

is able to donate organs is very

2:45:422:45:45

dramatic. It is very difficult to

consider that whole period at the

2:45:452:45:49

end of life and the struggle that

medical surgeons are undertaking to

2:45:492:45:53

save life. It is very important we

are very sensitive about that time.

2:45:532:45:58

So we need to be sure that families

and next of kin, and someone has

2:45:582:46:05

lost the ability to give consent

have their rights protected. We will

2:46:052:46:10

explore these issues I am sure in

Committee. I would like to put on

2:46:102:46:14

record representations I have had

from the medical establishment about

2:46:142:46:17

this. They would feel very

uncomfortable about having an issue

2:46:172:46:22

where consent was not sought from

the family. In terms of actually

2:46:222:46:25

developing a resume which secures

more organs but is sensitive towards

2:46:252:46:31

everybody's views I think we are

able to strike the right balance in

2:46:312:46:33

able to strike the right balance in

this Bill.

2:46:332:46:35

able to strike the right balance in

this Bill.

2:46:352:46:36

able to strike the right balance in

this Bill.

As the department given

2:46:362:46:43

any early thought as to the public

engagements they would do on the

2:46:432:46:45

back of any change in the law so

that people were aware of the

2:46:452:46:49

changes coming into force on what

that means?

My honourable friend

2:46:492:46:52

will be aware that we have consulted

and are consulting on the principles

2:46:522:46:56

enshrined in this Bill, that

consultation will end on the 6th of

2:46:562:47:01

March. It will be in reflecting on

the reserve and stations that we

2:47:012:47:04

will consider this. What we are

seeing is as we have already heard

2:47:042:47:10

an unprecedented response to that

consultation and certainly a very

2:47:102:47:14

substantial degree of support, but

that will inform our communications

2:47:142:47:18

going forward. We also heard a lot

about the high incidence of on the

2:47:182:47:27

waiting list of people from Asian

backgrounds and people from black

2:47:272:47:30

backgrounds. This is a real priority

from the Government. The honourable

2:47:302:47:37

member for Ealing Southall mentioned

about whether MPs should... We are

2:47:372:47:44

leaders and I want to do it. I have

a large black African community in

2:47:442:47:50

my constituency that I am engaging

with on this and I have tasked NHS

2:47:502:47:54

ET to develop the's toolkits that we

can all use to go into the community

2:47:542:48:03

and sell the concept of organ

donation. As and when those are

2:48:032:48:07

available I hope I will get the

support of many members of the House

2:48:072:48:11

and perhaps role of that

communication. I would like to make

2:48:112:48:14

progress by May. I will not take any

more in different interventions. As

2:48:142:48:19

we make clear we are supporting this

Bill. We are determined to ensure we

2:48:192:48:28

secured more organs available for

transplant because we are very

2:48:282:48:31

concerned that we are losing lives

unnecessarily. People have referred

2:48:312:48:36

to the experience in Wales and what

we can learn and whether it will

2:48:362:48:40

achieve a material difference. At

this stage it is rather too early to

2:48:402:48:44

draw any conclusions about the

number of organs that the change in

2:48:442:48:47

Wales has secured but we have seen

an increase in consent and opting

2:48:472:48:51

onto the register. Our best

estimates are that this change will

2:48:512:48:57

secured an additional 100 donors a

year which could lead to the saving

2:48:572:49:02

of 200 extra lives. On the basis

that we could save 200 lives we will

2:49:022:49:13

wholeheartedly support this Bill and

look forward to working with all

2:49:132:49:16

members of the House to secure Royal

assent.

I very much congratulate

2:49:162:49:29

members of the House,

self-congratulation can be

2:49:292:49:36

embarrassing but I'm delighted on

this occasion to say aye think we

2:49:362:49:39

have seen the House at its very best

and I say that because not only have

2:49:392:49:43

we had a debate where high standards

and rational argument has been

2:49:432:49:49

deployed but also were deep emotions

and we all feel they have not been

2:49:492:49:53

kept from us either. It is that

unique combination today that has

2:49:532:49:56

enabled us to think to have a

cross-party consensus on the size of

2:49:562:50:02

a reading of a Bill of this perhaps

contentious nature in some respects,

2:50:022:50:08

it has achieved. I have noticed the

Secretary of State for Health

2:50:082:50:11

himself has just arrived and whilst

plaudits are being awarded major say

2:50:112:50:17

to him this support from the very

beginning was of great encouragement

2:50:172:50:22

to myself and my honourable friend

from Barnsley Central. Madam Deputy

2:50:222:50:29

Speaker, it is a great moment for

us. I hope there won't be a division

2:50:292:50:33

but I am sure of that as we shall

win the division. I'm sure we can go

2:50:332:50:37

out of the chamber and now knowing

we have second reading, past the

2:50:372:50:43

hurdle, and going into Committee and

then with any fair wind shall we say

2:50:432:50:48

from the Government by the end of

the year we shall have the act,

2:50:482:50:54

Max's act as she called it, on the

statute book. I look forward to that

2:50:542:51:00

moment and I look look forward to

saying that at least in this

2:51:002:51:02

parliament we did pass an act for

life and I am delighted to be able

2:51:022:51:07

on that note conclude the data from

my side.

The question is that the

2:51:072:51:16

Bill be now read a second time. As

many as of that opinion say. The

2:51:162:51:25

contrary noe. I think the ayes have

it. The ayes have it.

Overseas

2:51:252:51:36

election Bill, second reading.

2:51:362:51:46

Thank you. I beg to move that the

Bill be now read a second time. I

2:51:502:51:58

would just like to say at the start

that as an organ donation activist

2:51:582:52:03

for all 25 years how excellent I

thought the first debate was today

2:52:032:52:08

and though not agreeing that

everything was said and the debate I

2:52:082:52:12

thought it was the UK Parliament

excelling and that its very best as

2:52:122:52:16

the proposer told us. My Bill is

about extending the capacity of UK

2:52:162:52:22

citizens to participate in British

democracy in which we have seen such

2:52:222:52:26

a wonderful example of today. I want

to begin by setting the scene with

2:52:262:52:32

what I think of as the most relevant

statistics. According to the Office

2:52:322:52:39

of National Statistics there are 4.9

million British citizens of voting

2:52:392:52:45

age who have lived in the UK at some

point in their lives who are now

2:52:452:52:50

oversees. I will give way.

I want to

thank my honourable friend, I call

2:52:502:53:01

him that for many years, for the

support he has given to a Bill that

2:53:012:53:05

could come after this one and to

appeal to them on the powerful

2:53:052:53:10

reasons for this House policy, the

cannabis medicinal purposes Bill,

2:53:102:53:16

because of the absurdity of the

present law and the suffering that

2:53:162:53:21

has resulted, that he could, I know

he wants big for very long, they are

2:53:212:53:26

with brief but potent, but

encouraged his fellow supporters of

2:53:262:53:33

the Bill to allow time for the

cannabis Bill to be debated.

I have

2:53:332:53:39

always admired the brass neck of my

honourable friend. I am probably

2:53:392:53:45

going to cede to his request. I was

intending and they still will, make

2:53:452:53:52

mention when I point out to the

chamber White and intended to keep

2:53:522:53:55

my comments fairly brief, getting to

give the opportunity for him to but

2:53:552:54:00

is built forward this morning is

something rather approve of. Where

2:54:002:54:04

did I get to? Laughter?

2:54:042:54:06

I want to start off with what they

think God is the relevant statistics

2:54:102:54:17

and I think there were 4.9 million

British citizens of voting age

2:54:172:54:21

living overseas. Only an estimated

1.4 million of these are eligible to

2:54:212:54:31

vote in UK election because a

British citizen who has lived

2:54:312:54:34

overseas for over 50 years is not

allowed to vote in a British

2:54:342:54:37

election. As of June, the third

point I would make, as of June 2017

2:54:372:54:47

only 285,000 of those 1.4 million

British citizens living overseas

2:54:472:54:51

with a right to vote was actually

registered and I think that is

2:54:512:54:54

another important issue in this area

and it will probably have to be

2:54:542:54:59

addressed outside the scope of this

Bill that I'm moving today. I would

2:54:592:55:03

like to think -- thank colleagues

from all sides who have contacted me

2:55:032:55:10

in support of this Bill, very good

advice from the member of Guildford

2:55:102:55:16

so too has been a big help to me and

the member who represents Cotswolds

2:55:162:55:19

on my own side who has also been of

great help and several other members

2:55:192:55:24

offering their support. I could

speak, there are so many issues

2:55:242:55:30

involved in this, touching on this

debate, that I could speak for long

2:55:302:55:38

time but there are not the number of

reasons why I'm not going to. I want

2:55:382:55:42

to give as many people as I can the

chance to contribute to this debate.

2:55:422:55:46

I want this debate to reach a

conclusion today if at all possible

2:55:462:55:51

so I shall take probably no longer

than five minutes myself to speak. I

2:55:512:55:58

want to give a cede to the depressed

-- the request.

Then I congratulate

2:55:582:56:08

him introducing this Bill and I hope

that despite the protestations of

2:56:082:56:13

the honourable gentleman on the

other side of the chamber that he

2:56:132:56:16

will not cut short his on this Bill

because it is important. Would he

2:56:162:56:22

agree with neither does the UK now

leaving the European Union is even

2:56:222:56:28

more important that we re-establish

and firm up our relationships with

2:56:282:56:31

British citizens wherever they may

live around the world and that is

2:56:312:56:34

what makes this Bill so important

today?

That is the point that I

2:56:342:56:42

wanted to come to myself in my

speech. There are three areas that I

2:56:422:56:50

want a particular concentrate on.

The first is fairness to UK citizens

2:56:502:56:55

who live abroad removed for various

reasons and they want to remain part

2:56:552:57:01

of our democratic process and not

have it cut short after 15 years.

2:57:012:57:07

The second is missing the point my

right honourable friend was just

2:57:072:57:12

making the benefits that comes from

the United Kingdom from soft power,

2:57:122:57:16

British citizens across the world

retaining a close involvement in

2:57:162:57:22

what happens in this country and

promoting the interests of this

2:57:222:57:25

country where they have moved to.

The last thing I think we need to do

2:57:252:57:30

is make in this country is relevant.

Could I ask my right honourable

2:57:302:57:39

friend, I am assuming that a British

citizen living and having lived 30

2:57:392:57:43

years abroad with his children will

actually have British children, and

2:57:432:57:51

with those British children be

allowed to vote as well under your

2:57:512:57:54

Bill?

I think this is another point

that I will want to refer to later

2:57:542:58:04

on the map as a builder three points

that I am making, depending... The

2:58:042:58:15

third one I want to make a comment

on, is why it is right to revisit an

2:58:152:58:19

issue that Parliament has visited

before, restricting the number of

2:58:192:58:27

ability of UK citizens overseas to

vote. The issue is what has changed?

2:58:272:58:31

Those are the three issues I wanted

to concentrate myself. The first

2:58:312:58:34

one... So many of the British

citizens who have moved overseas

2:58:342:58:40

have an ongoing legitimate interest

in the public affairs of the United

2:58:402:58:46

Kingdom and of politics. Many have

spent all of their working lives in

2:58:462:58:50

the United Kingdom paying their

taxes and National Insurance and

2:58:502:58:53

they continue to have a direct

interest in their pension rights,

2:58:532:59:00

the future of their families in

particular, in the United Kingdom.

2:59:002:59:03

Many have moved to work, many didn't

have much choice and they will

2:59:032:59:07

eventually return home to the United

Kingdom on their retirement. Many

2:59:072:59:13

have the family connections they

would want to retain. And retain

2:59:132:59:19

those communications through those

unseen processes that maintain

2:59:192:59:24

British influence all over the

world. Our ambition I think is that

2:59:242:59:30

we should extend the franchise to

everybody who has a legitimate

2:59:302:59:39

interest and a desperately keen to

be part of our democracy. There are

2:59:392:59:44

people who are incredibly keen. Can

I make a point because it was quite

2:59:442:59:51

dramatic from me, about three weeks

ago gentleman named Harry Schindler,

2:59:512:59:58

some of you may have met him, came

all the way from Italy to Britain to

2:59:583:00:02

talk to me about this. He is an

incredible man. He is 97 years old.

3:00:023:00:06

He has the longest serving member of

the Labour Party.

3:00:063:00:17

He was an activist and he still is

an activist. He came all the way to

3:00:173:00:27

talk to me because the thing he

wants to do before he dies is a vote

3:00:273:00:32

again in a British election. That is

how important it is to some UK

3:00:323:00:37

citizens living overseas, to be able

to vote in our election and I give

3:00:373:00:41

way. I gave a previous mention that

to the member. Tier I am very sorry,

3:00:413:00:48

I was in the library and I didn't

notice the screen that the previous

3:00:483:00:51

debate had finished so I apologise

for being slightly late. My friend,

3:00:513:00:56

because I can call him that for

various reasons, mentions Harry

3:00:563:01:01

Shindler. He knows that I also was

at the meeting with Harry Shindler

3:01:013:01:07

here and I have known him for many

years and he has taken legal action

3:01:073:01:12

against the government, he took the

issue to the European Court and he

3:01:123:01:20

has resolutely done this because he

represents not just people in the

3:01:203:01:24

Labour Party but the whole community

of people with British heritage who

3:01:243:01:29

are living all over the world.

I

thank my honourable friend for that

3:01:293:01:36

intervention and I agree absolutely

with the point that he made. I think

3:01:363:01:41

if everybody in this House were to

meet and talk with Harry Schindler I

3:01:413:01:46

don't think we would have a single

person who was not a supporter of my

3:01:463:01:49

bill. I had promised to give way

previously and I give way

3:01:493:01:56

immediately afterwards.

Thank you. I

take my honourable friend. On a

3:01:563:02:01

practical point of us are scattered

far and wide with remote access to a

3:02:013:02:06

reliable postal service, so with

their provision in your bill,

3:02:063:02:10

congratulations for presenting it,

is their provision to use our

3:02:103:02:13

consulates and embassies as polling

stations to collect ballot papers

3:02:133:02:16

return them back to the UK?

What I

would say to my honourable member is

3:02:163:02:24

that there will be a lot of detail

involved in this Bill. I think it

3:02:243:02:29

will probably be dealt with in

committee and I hope it will go

3:02:293:02:32

through to committee and then we can

deal with it then and then the

3:02:323:02:35

Minister will respond and pick up on

that point.

I and most grateful to

3:02:353:02:41

my honourable friend and I wholly

support this measure. Does he agree

3:02:413:02:45

that many people were very hurt when

this parliament reduced the period

3:02:453:02:51

from 20 to 15 years quite

gratuitously, giving overseas voters

3:02:513:02:56

the impression that they were not

valued. Also, the marked contrast

3:02:563:03:00

between the way we deal with this

matter in this country and many

3:03:003:03:03

other countries, such as France,

which embrace their overseas voters,

3:03:033:03:09

wish them to maintain the link and

see them as valued and make every

3:03:093:03:14

effort to ensure that they can

participate in the national

3:03:143:03:16

political life of the country.

That

is another intervention that I

3:03:163:03:23

greatly welcome. It accords totally

with my thinking. I think it is

3:03:233:03:26

damaging and I think the principle

of almost putting a restriction at

3:03:263:03:31

all, we have moved away from having

it as a sensible measure and I want

3:03:313:03:34

to come to that point next but I'd

take another intervention burst.

3:03:343:03:38

Thank you for giving way. I would

like to echo the congratulations of

3:03:383:03:42

many in this chamber for bringing

this important bill. I want to

3:03:423:03:46

respond to his response to my

honourable friend from Bristol 's

3:03:463:03:49

question about how the voting must

happen because as one of the

3:03:493:03:54

co-original authors of this bill

when it was done by the government

3:03:543:03:57

in Cabinet Office, we looked at it

very closely and concluded that if

3:03:573:04:01

you have a multi-constituency

election it is incredibly

3:04:013:04:05

complicated to have different ballot

papers for every constituency in the

3:04:053:04:10

local post in which other country it

might be so it is superficially

3:04:103:04:15

possibly attractive idea but we felt

it was very difficult at the time

3:04:153:04:18

and perhaps the Minister can clarify

whether opinions have changed since

3:04:183:04:23

then.

Thank you. I am sure the

Minister will clarify because not

3:04:233:04:27

only have I invited it now but you

also have. May I just make one brief

3:04:273:04:34

point? I do just want to emphasise,

and I am sure other members will

3:04:343:04:43

experience this as well, the number

of people who have written to me

3:04:433:04:46

from overseas, people might not know

who they are but because of this dip

3:04:463:04:52

bill being debated they have written

to me completely unknown to me just

3:04:523:04:56

to thank the on the level of

appreciation that they have and the

3:04:563:04:59

importance they attached to being

able to vote in the British election

3:04:593:05:03

because they are British citizens.

It is huge and it really is

3:05:033:05:06

overwhelming and I am sure other

members have exactly the same

3:05:063:05:10

communications. Where was I?

May I

offer my sincere congratulations to

3:05:103:05:15

my honourable friend for bringing

this Bill forward? I have had a long

3:05:153:05:18

involvement in this matter and would

he agree with me that in this

3:05:183:05:23

centenary year of Emmeline Pankhurst

's efforts to get the women vote in

3:05:233:05:27

this country, the same thing must

apply to voters of over 15 years

3:05:273:05:32

longevity abroad. This would open up

the franchise potentially to another

3:05:323:05:37

1 million people and it must be the

protect -- correct thing to do.

I

3:05:373:05:43

agree with the intervention and I

want to make reference to that very

3:05:433:05:47

point later on.

I am struggling to

understand why there is such support

3:05:473:05:56

from the benches opposite for

extending the franchise and allowing

3:05:563:06:00

mention of a million more people

being able to vote and at the very

3:06:003:06:05

same time 16 and 17-year-olds are

being denied the vote in elections

3:06:053:06:09

here. Perhaps the member could deal

with that.

I would say that that is

3:06:093:06:17

a perfectly valid point to make but

it isn't a part of the bill. It

3:06:173:06:23

could easily be part of another bill

and then there will be a debate

3:06:233:06:27

about it. It is there enough because

there will be different views within

3:06:273:06:36

the governing party on that bill but

it is not a part of this Bill and I

3:06:363:06:40

think it would divert away from the

intention of what I am trying to

3:06:403:06:44

bring forward.

I would like to thank

you for bringing forward this Bill

3:06:443:06:48

and do underline the point that

while we have many areas of our

3:06:483:06:52

Constitution that are controversial

and partisan, this bill allows

3:06:523:06:57

ministers in the Cabinet Office, I

was struck by every single week I

3:06:573:07:01

had members of Parliament from all

sides of the House, particularly the

3:07:013:07:04

Labour Party, writing to me on

behalf of their constituents, asking

3:07:043:07:08

when the government would deliver on

this manifesto commitment, it is a

3:07:083:07:12

nonpartisan Bill which I think the

government would be wise to take it

3:07:123:07:16

forward in a nonpartisan approach

any advantage -- like the example of

3:07:163:07:20

Harry Shindler that he mentioned, a

labour activist, 97 years old who

3:07:203:07:23

fought in the battle of Anzac and

people like Harry need to pass this

3:07:233:07:29

bill to ensure we give back to them.

I thank the honourable member for

3:07:293:07:37

that intervention. I do think it is

important and it is important to me

3:07:373:07:40

that this is a nonpartisan Bill. I

bring this forward because I think

3:07:403:07:45

it is delivering justice to people,

UK citizens, living abroad. Clearly

3:07:453:07:52

it is important on my side because I

have asked the come and I am

3:07:523:07:56

overwhelmed by the personal support.

They also think it is a very

3:07:563:08:00

important issue as well. I would

like to move onto my second general

3:08:003:08:05

point. The importance to British

soft power across the world. We live

3:08:053:08:09

in an increasingly interdependent

world. The success and influence are

3:08:093:08:14

British citizens overseas,

particularly as we leave the

3:08:143:08:21

European Union, becomes ever more

important in Europe and around the

3:08:213:08:24

wider world. Our wider British

interests are served by the presence

3:08:243:08:30

of UK citizens, actively involved in

civic society and the countries in

3:08:303:08:34

which they live and actively

involved in businesses where they

3:08:343:08:38

are now living and in diplomatic

activity where they are now living.

3:08:383:08:42

It is a hugely important part where

the British voice can influence and

3:08:423:08:48

its presence is to great benefit and

interests of Britain and the last

3:08:483:08:51

thing that we want to do, absolutely

the last thing we across the world

3:08:513:08:58

is to discriminate against our own

citizens who moved overseas by

3:08:583:09:02

taking away their right to vote

after 15 years. It is a huge

3:09:023:09:09

mistake.

I'm grateful to my

honourable friend for giving way.

3:09:093:09:11

Would he agree with me that many of

these Brits living abroad are also

3:09:113:09:16

working for British companies and

the revenues from those British

3:09:163:09:19

companies also find many public

services in this country?

Indeed.

3:09:193:09:26

The importance of soft power, of

Britain exercising its influence

3:09:263:09:30

throughout the world, I think is

greatly benefited by having

3:09:303:09:34

criticisms and is active in British

politics through voting for members

3:09:343:09:40

of this House who are developing

their views and opinions and

3:09:403:09:43

influence on British businesses

overseas. The third point that I

3:09:433:09:48

wanted to speak generally of is what

has changed. We have heard reference

3:09:483:09:52

already to changing the limit from

22 15 and they used to be a

3:09:523:10:02

five-year limit and what has changed

in my view, as well as having

3:10:023:10:07

uncertainty through this

legislation, is the advent of the

3:10:073:10:10

Internet. What we have now, the

ability to keep in touch, the

3:10:103:10:16

rationale behind having a limit at

all is that after a certain period

3:10:163:10:19

of time people lose connection.

After 15 years it is thought that

3:10:193:10:24

they have lost touch with what is

happening in Britain, that they no

3:10:243:10:28

longer have that connection with

family and everything but, of

3:10:283:10:32

course, the whole advent of the

Internet completely change that.

3:10:323:10:35

What people are doing now is they

have the ease of connection, not

3:10:353:10:38

only do they have these of

connection through Facebook and

3:10:383:10:41

Skype and everything else, you also

have much cheaper flights, holiday

3:10:413:10:45

flights, access to travelling, and

the ability to connect across the

3:10:453:10:50

world now is such that to have a

limit at all on UK citizens abroad

3:10:503:10:55

just doesn't any longer make any

sense and have any relevance. It may

3:10:553:11:00

have done 15 years ago but it

certainly doesn't now. What I

3:11:003:11:05

finally want to do is what I am

trying to achieve today is that my

3:11:053:11:13

wish through this private members

bill is to extend the franchise to

3:11:133:11:19

what ever is reasonable to do so, to

British citizens. We normally have

3:11:193:11:26

reference to 100 years ago and that

is what we have been doing for the

3:11:263:11:29

last 100 years, step-by-step, and

only recently we had the centenary

3:11:293:11:35

really of when it was one of the

biggest extension of the franchise

3:11:353:11:39

that we saw in our history and I

just genuinely believe that this is

3:11:393:11:43

the right extension. It is a limited

extension. It is to our franchise

3:11:433:11:50

and our Parliament and removing the

limit of residency of people abroad.

3:11:503:11:57

If they are British citizens they

should be able to vote in a British,

3:11:573:12:00

UK, parliamentary election. My hope

is that members of this Parliament,

3:12:003:12:08

and I think it is a wonderful

Parliament. Watching the debate

3:12:083:12:12

earlier today you realise just how

wonderful a parliament it is. We are

3:12:123:12:17

all privileged to serve in it and I

very much hope that through this

3:12:173:12:22

Bill we will ensure that UK citizens

abroad who still cared deeply and

3:12:223:12:28

deeply feel British, as, indeed,

Harry Shindler does, all of those

3:12:283:12:32

people will feel that they can

participate in the parliamentary

3:12:323:12:35

democracy with us. I will but I will

have to think of something else to

3:12:353:12:41

some speech afterwards but I will.

I

am extremely interested in what the

3:12:413:12:45

honourable gentleman has to say but

I am intrigued by the election one

3:12:453:12:48

egg which refers to the constituency

linkage and I have to say that as

3:12:483:12:52

part of the bill proposing that if

someone lives in a property that is

3:12:523:12:56

subsequently demolished, maybe a

hole in the ground or a sheep farm

3:12:563:12:59

in mid Wales for all I know, they

still have a vote in respect of that

3:12:593:13:05

constituency. I have to say it

sounds a little like rotten

3:13:053:13:10

boroughs, is he absolutely confident

that a property that no longer

3:13:103:13:13

exists should still be the basis for

someone to still have a boat in

3:13:133:13:17

perpetuity and, if the honourable

gentleman for Beckenham is correct,

3:13:173:13:21

his or her grandson 's

great-grandson is into time

3:13:213:13:23

immemorial?

If people are a UK

citizen then in my view they should

3:13:233:13:31

have the right to vote in the UK

general election, and it is as

3:13:313:13:36

simple as that. To introduce some

arbitrary timescale of 15 years or

3:13:363:13:41

20 years or five years it is just

not appropriate. Just to introduce

3:13:413:13:47

an arbitrary timescale on how long

or how awful we should have lived

3:13:473:13:51

here. Having arbitrary timescale is

only means it has to come back at

3:13:513:13:55

future debate for further debate.

Let's get rid of this limitation all

3:13:553:13:59

together and make it straightforward

that UK citizens can vote in UK

3:13:593:14:03

elections and let that beard.

3:14:033:14:10

The question is that the bill now be

ready second time.

Thank you. The 13

3:14:103:14:19

North American colonies south of the

great Lakes fought a bloody war of

3:14:193:14:24

independence from the jurisdiction

of this place, largely on the basis

3:14:243:14:29

of the slogan, no taxation without

representation. It was a very good

3:14:293:14:36

point, a fundamental constitutional

point. It was wrong that they should

3:14:363:14:40

have been forced to pay taxes but

has absolutely no say in what those

3:14:403:14:46

taxes should be. Maybe, if the

voices of reason in Britain at the

3:14:463:14:52

time, had been listened to, the

Americans might not have felt the

3:14:523:14:57

need to leave the British

jurisdiction. Maybe, if the American

3:14:573:15:02

colonists and, by extension, as our

political and social awareness

3:15:023:15:06

progressed into the 20th century,

the Native Americans as well, had

3:15:063:15:10

been allowed to vote for

parliamentary representatives and

3:15:103:15:15

had said those parliamentary

representatives to this place and

3:15:153:15:18

that pattern had been followed in

the British colonies around the

3:15:183:15:22

world, our country might have been

able to found a worldwide

3:15:223:15:28

Commonwealth of Nations based on

democracy, equality and worked

3:15:283:15:32

steadily away from a world based on

warfare between nations and racial

3:15:323:15:36

resentment. Madam Deputy Speaker,

leaving aside the thought is that

3:15:363:15:43

the world might have been a very

much better place if that war of

3:15:433:15:47

independence had never been filed, I

would like to suggest that the

3:15:473:15:52

slogan no taxation without

representation actually works

3:15:523:15:55

perfectly well the other way round.

No representation without taxation.

3:15:553:16:02

I will give way.

I may be

misunderstanding the honourable

3:16:023:16:08

gentleman's point, but is he

suggesting that paying income tax

3:16:083:16:13

should be a qualification for

franchise? I thank the honourable

3:16:133:16:17

member for his intervention and

clearly I will address that points

3:16:173:16:21

later on. No, I am not suggesting

that. What I am suggesting is that

3:16:213:16:25

if you work within a policy in which

taxation levels being sets, then you

3:16:253:16:34

should have decisions about how that

is being set. I will come to that

3:16:343:16:38

later in my speech. I will give way.

I am extremely grateful. Is he

3:16:383:16:43

saying that someone who has worked

and contributed taxation for 20, 30,

3:16:433:16:48

40 years and then retires abroad and

lives abroad for the next 20 or 30

3:16:483:16:54

years is somehow disenfranchised

even though they have paid taxes to

3:16:543:16:57

this country?

I am saying something

very similar to my honourable

3:16:573:17:03

friend, yes, because if you are

living in a country and paying taxes

3:17:033:17:07

and working in that country, you're

also pension rights and you are also

3:17:073:17:13

contributing to the society in which

you live and that society then has

3:17:133:17:18

some obligations towards you if you

decide to move abroad and that is a

3:17:183:17:22

very good point and I will come to

that later on in my speech. But what

3:17:223:17:26

I am not prepared to accept is that

somebody living in a country which

3:17:263:17:32

is other than the country that they

are making decisions for can set a

3:17:323:17:37

level of taxation in the country

that they are not living in in

3:17:373:17:41

favour of the people. I will give

way.

I think I'm interpreting from

3:17:413:17:50

his remarks that far from seeking to

remove the restriction on the

3:17:503:17:57

duration under which people can

vote, he is seeking to tighten it.

3:17:573:18:02

He is arguing that there should be

no right to vote for any citizen

3:18:023:18:08

living abroad, is that what he is

saying?

I am going to reach that

3:18:083:18:12

stage at some stage in my speech. I

thank you for your intervention. I

3:18:123:18:16

have to say that I have only

actually got through one paragraph

3:18:163:18:20

so far and there are a large number

of points that I wish to make and I

3:18:203:18:24

can't make all of them

instantaneously and so therefore I

3:18:243:18:28

can address the points in random

level depending on when people on

3:18:283:18:33

the opposite benches want to raise

them or I can address them in the

3:18:333:18:37

order in which I have written them

down. It is entirely up to you which

3:18:373:18:41

way do you want to take them.

Would

he care to comment on the several

3:18:413:18:49

million UK citizens who pay no tax

in this country yet have a perfect

3:18:493:18:53

right to vote? Whitty also care to

comment on those people who are

3:18:533:18:58

overseas for more than 15 years who

have no right to vote on how their

3:18:583:19:02

pensions, how their health service

and a number of other UK taxpayer

3:19:023:19:06

provided services are provided?

I

would be delighted to address the

3:19:063:19:11

pension point and, indeed, the point

about people who do not currently

3:19:113:19:15

pay taxes and I will come to both of

those issues later on in my speech

3:19:153:19:19

and I think the honourable member

for his intervention. He has

3:19:193:19:22

mentioned some very sensible points

which, I assure you, I will address.

3:19:223:19:29

OK, so, Madam Deputy Speaker... No

representation without taxation. I

3:19:293:19:38

do not know who said taxes are at

the way we pay for a civilised

3:19:383:19:43

society, but I believe it is

certainly as true today as it was

3:19:433:19:47

when it was sad. None of us can

imagine a society with no police

3:19:473:19:52

force, no health service, no

education, no courts, no transport

3:19:523:19:58

systems, no mechanism for

adjudication between those of

3:19:583:20:01

differing views. Does the honourable

member want me to give way or is he

3:20:013:20:04

just chuntering? Well, if you were

to listen to it, you might hear how

3:20:043:20:12

wonderful it was.

Can we not have

this dialogue across the chamber? I

3:20:123:20:19

think we need to listen to Sandy

Martin and what he has got to say

3:20:193:20:24

and not so much chuntering. Sandy

Martin.

Thank you very much for your

3:20:243:20:30

adjudication. I wholeheartedly

concur. None of us would imagine a

3:20:303:20:36

society where none of the services

that we currently pay taxes for

3:20:363:20:39

would operate. We wouldn't have the

services available if we did not

3:20:393:20:45

have a taxation system which enables

us to pay for them. The country

3:20:453:20:49

would not be governable, it wouldn't

be governed in any meaningful sense

3:20:493:20:52

of the word. In fact, there would be

complete anarchy. So when we vote,

3:20:523:20:57

we are voting for a system of

Government which enables us to play

3:20:573:21:01

a part in the decisions that we take

about how much tax to Levy, who to

3:21:013:21:06

levy the taxes on, what to levy them

on, what to spend those taxes on and

3:21:063:21:12

how to make sure that no person in

our society is ignored. And that we

3:21:123:21:17

all have a say in the taxes and the

expenditure that will have a direct

3:21:173:21:22

impact on our lives. Madam Deputy

Speaker, we go to some lengths in

3:21:223:21:29

this House to ensure that honourable

members from Scotland's do not vote

3:21:293:21:35

on decisions that only affect

England and Wales. Or on how the

3:21:353:21:38

taxes raised from people in England

and Wales are spent on services in

3:21:383:21:42

England and Wales. It is not

relevant whether the honourable

3:21:423:21:48

member for a Scottish seat happens

to have been born in England if the

3:21:483:21:53

issue before us is an issue that

only affects people living in

3:21:533:21:57

England, it is wrong for a member of

any of their constituents from

3:21:573:22:01

Scotland to make decisions which

affect a policy that is inhabited by

3:22:013:22:05

others and which does not affect

their own polity. I will give way.

3:22:053:22:12

There is a big difference between

electoral representatives and the

3:22:123:22:17

constituents themselves. That would

be roughly around 3 million British

3:22:173:22:19

expats who will be watching this

debate on their news channels across

3:22:193:22:23

the world. Is he really saying that

the Labour Party, the Labour Party

3:22:233:22:28

is now saying to all those British

expats that they have made no

3:22:283:22:31

contribution or are making no

contribution to British life and to

3:22:313:22:34

our British state?

I thank the

honourable member for his

3:22:343:22:40

intervention, but I am not saying

any such thing. First of all, can I

3:22:403:22:46

remind the honourable member, as my

honourable friends are telling me

3:22:463:22:50

from behind, that this is a Private

members Bill. It is not about the

3:22:503:22:54

Labour Party position. Secondly, I

am not in any way seeking to remove

3:22:543:22:58

the right to vote from those people

who already have it. I think there

3:22:583:23:02

is a sensible cut-off point, but

what I will come onto later on is

3:23:023:23:08

that I do not believe that extending

that sensible cut-off point ad

3:23:083:23:12

infinitum is necessarily a sensible

way forward. I will come to this

3:23:123:23:19

point later on, that not all people

who have lived in this country and

3:23:193:23:23

have contributed to the economy of

this country are voting or have got

3:23:233:23:27

the means to vote or, indeed in many

cases, the right to vote. I will

3:23:273:23:32

give way.

Sitting on to select

committees with my right honourable

3:23:323:23:40

friend, and I gratefully enjoy his

contributions, but can I perhaps

3:23:403:23:43

urging today to limit his

contributions in line of the

3:23:433:23:48

important bill that is coming next

so we have a chance of dealing with

3:23:483:23:52

it?

I hear my honourable friend's

contribution. Unfortunately, I don't

3:23:523:23:57

agree with him. I think that whether

or not this bill proceeds is Atchley

3:23:573:24:01

more important than whether we get

to the next bill, I am sorry. So,

3:24:013:24:10

when somebody in this country votes

to elect a member of Parliament who

3:24:103:24:14

will share their views on taxes or

services in this country, will seek

3:24:143:24:18

to put into practice and overarching

political philosophy with which they

3:24:183:24:22

both agree, the issue is not whether

any particular or individual tax is

3:24:223:24:27

one which is levied on a particular

voter or any particular public

3:24:273:24:32

service is one which a particular

voter benefits from at any one time,

3:24:323:24:37

it is about whether the voter lives

within the jurisdiction of which

3:24:373:24:43

those decisions on tax and spending

holds sway. When I was unemployed,

3:24:433:24:48

and in receipt of benefits, I was

quite legitimately able to vote for

3:24:483:24:53

a political party which sought to

levy a proper level of taxation on

3:24:533:24:58

those who earned well above the

average on the understanding that I

3:24:583:25:03

was living with in such a polity, I

had a perfectly legitimate view

3:25:033:25:07

about how well should be distributed

within the polity in which I lived

3:25:073:25:11

and that it was entirely possible

that I would eventually be a

3:25:113:25:16

taxpayer myself. I have to say,

Madam Deputy Speaker, I have not

3:25:163:25:24

changed my views on benefit rates or

an taxation rates now that I am

3:25:243:25:27

earning significantly more in a

single year even after taxation,

3:25:273:25:30

national insurance, pension payments

and everything else than I've

3:25:303:25:33

received in benefits in all the time

that I claimed. I have to say, Madam

3:25:333:25:40

Deputy Speaker, that I believe I

ought to be paying considerably more

3:25:403:25:43

in taxation than I am, although I

need to point out that... As the

3:25:433:25:52

honourable member has given an

intervention from a seated position,

3:25:523:25:57

I will take the liberty of answering

that. I did not want to make it part

3:25:573:26:02

of my speech because I did not want

to blow my own trumpet, however I

3:26:023:26:05

have made a conscious and public

decision to donate part of my income

3:26:053:26:10

to good causes in Ipswich simply

because I don't believe I am paying

3:26:103:26:13

as much tax as I too and I'm sure

there are other honourable members

3:26:133:26:17

who do exactly same thing.

He will

be aware that if he wants to pay

3:26:173:26:25

more tax, he is perfectly entitled

to. You can write HMRC and pay more

3:26:253:26:30

tax if you personally believe you

are not paying enough. By all means,

3:26:303:26:33

go ahead and pay more.

I thank the

honourable member but I am in my own

3:26:333:26:38

way already doing such a thing

although not via HMRC. I will give

3:26:383:26:44

way.

I am slightly concerned that we

do seem to be meandering down some

3:26:443:26:48

sort of byways when I think rather

than concentrating specifically on

3:26:483:26:53

the honourable gentleman's speech

and the bill that is before us. I

3:26:533:26:57

have to say, as a passionate

pro-European remainder, I wish more

3:26:573:27:01

people overseas would have been able

to vote as I'm sure they would have

3:27:013:27:06

voted to do the sensible thing and

remain in Europe. This may seem a

3:27:063:27:10

philosophical point but it seems

very practical, if you live in

3:27:103:27:13

another country, should you not be

integrating within the polity of

3:27:133:27:16

that country? By all means, have 15

years to continue to vote for the

3:27:163:27:21

motherland, but after that,

shouldn't you be involved and

3:27:213:27:24

concerns in the politics of that

country? If you want to live there,

3:27:243:27:28

should you not be concentrating your

vote in the country in which you

3:27:283:27:30

live rather in the country in which

you used to live at least 15 years

3:27:303:27:38

ago?

I thank the honourable member,

and he makes exactly the point which

3:27:383:27:40

is at the centre of my argument. No,

I apologise for not having made it

3:27:403:27:47

as clear as I ought to have done

already. That is the main point I am

3:27:473:27:51

seeking to make. I am happy to give

way to the honourable lady.

I to sit

3:27:513:27:58

on the same select committee as the

honourable gentleman and the

3:27:583:28:02

honourable member for Swansea. I

detect some length in the remarks

3:28:023:28:07

that are coming from the honourable

gentleman at the moment which is

3:28:073:28:10

going to hold up reaching a very

important bill for his honourable

3:28:103:28:15

colleague. Can I just say, what

about the skilled engineers and

3:28:153:28:21

skilled people who go abroad to work

abroad, leaving their families here?

3:28:213:28:26

After 15 years working abroad, does

he say they have no right to vote

3:28:263:28:32

back here? If they are working

abroad and is merely come home to

3:28:323:28:34

visit? Are you going to exclude

them? Is that the idea, so that if

3:28:343:28:38

people do spread their skills and

expertise of British workmanship and

3:28:383:28:43

science, etc, you will remove their

right to vote?

I think the right

3:28:433:28:48

honourable lady is mistaken in this.

I hesitate to say that because I

3:28:483:28:56

know that she has been a member of

this House for a very, very much

3:28:563:28:59

longer time than I have and has a

wealth of experience which I do not

3:28:593:29:02

have, however, I believe it is the

case that if somebody has family in

3:29:023:29:06

this country and is resident in this

country but travels abroad for the

3:29:063:29:10

majority of the year, they still

remain a voter and a resident in

3:29:103:29:13

this country.

I am giving you the

example of someone being a resident

3:29:133:29:21

in another country because of a

long-term contract and long-term

3:29:213:29:24

expertise. Effectively, the

honourable gentleman is saying that

3:29:243:29:27

those people would have the right to

be removed after 15 years if he is

3:29:273:29:31

happy to even leave it to 15 years?

I thank the right honourable lady

3:29:313:29:35

Fred intervention, however I would

suggest to her that if somebody has

3:29:353:29:40

entered into a contract which lasts

for more than 15 years, which

3:29:403:29:47

involves them in living in another

country for the Hall of that more

3:29:473:29:51

than 15 year period and they take

their family out with them to live

3:29:513:29:54

in that other countries for more

than 15 years, then the overall

3:29:543:29:58

likelihood is that they are going to

stay in that other country and even

3:29:583:30:01

if they are not going to stay in

that other country, it would be

3:30:013:30:05

quite difficult to make a

distinction between a meaningful

3:30:053:30:10

distinction between moving to

another country with your family for

3:30:103:30:13

more than 15 years for emigration.

3:30:133:30:25

Clearly if the producers and lives

in another country for more than 15

3:30:253:30:28

years and then after 17 years moves

back to this country then clearly

3:30:283:30:31

they would regain their voting

rights once they moved back to this

3:30:313:30:34

country. I am happy to give way.

I

think it will give away and I thank

3:30:343:30:39

him for the speech today but it is

very confusing for people to listen

3:30:393:30:42

to and the expat community to listen

to because it is factually

3:30:423:30:47

incorrect. Spain, for instance, in

2006 signed a treaty with the UK

3:30:473:30:52

that means that residents can choose

whether to pay tax in the UK or

3:30:523:30:56

Spain and a great number of expats

actually play their tax to the UK

3:30:563:31:01

which sort of makes the core of his

argument null and void and I would

3:31:013:31:05

suggest that potentially here allows

the rest of the chamber to discuss

3:31:053:31:09

the merits of this very important

bill that will enfranchise

3:31:093:31:14

thousands, if not millions of

potential voters around the world.

I

3:31:143:31:20

thank the honourable lady for her

intervention but I doubt there are 3

3:31:203:31:25

million British expats living in

Spain and paying taxes to the

3:31:253:31:31

British Treasury. The vast majority

of the people who will be affected

3:31:313:31:35

by this bill are not people who are

paying taxes to Britain while living

3:31:353:31:39

in Spain. If there were a particular

statutory instrument or a particular

3:31:393:31:47

move to change the situation for

people in Spain it would be a

3:31:473:31:51

different matter.

It is

oversimplified because they could be

3:31:513:31:53

pensions that are still taxed at

source in the UK and the majority do

3:31:533:31:57

at that, being over the pensionable

age so the whole argument is

3:31:573:32:03

completely oversimplified and the

member is trying to base his

3:32:033:32:08

argument on linking voting to

taxation which is impossible to do.

3:32:083:32:13

Well, it is an interesting point and

I am sure we could have a very long

3:32:133:32:16

discussion about it across the table

and I would be very interested to be

3:32:163:32:20

educated in all of these matters by

the honourable lady, however the

3:32:203:32:25

bill itself is extremely simple and

it extends the franchise to every

3:32:253:32:31

British citizen everywhere in the

world for ever and I think that is

3:32:313:32:34

fairly simplified and certainly not

particularly nuanced towards the

3:32:343:32:40

individual cases that she is talking

about. I am happy to give way.

Does

3:32:403:32:44

he not find it strange that from a

party that has made registration in

3:32:443:32:49

this country as difficult as they

can make it and also are against

3:32:493:32:54

votes for 16 and 17-year-olds, it is

a strange paradox that they are in

3:32:543:32:59

favour of extending it to everyone

around the world.

I thank my

3:32:593:33:05

honourable friend for his

intervention and he is absolutely

3:33:053:33:06

right. It is clearly an issue and

there is a certain amount of double

3:33:063:33:11

standards going on here and it is an

issue I have already come to -- I

3:33:113:33:15

will come to later in my speech.

Further to that point, does he also

3:33:153:33:20

not think that it is rather strange

that we still do not give EU

3:33:203:33:26

citizens who may have lived here for

many years the vote the Conservative

3:33:263:33:33

Party opposite has no inclination at

helping people who live here and pay

3:33:333:33:36

taxes here and contribute to this

country to be able to vote and they

3:33:363:33:39

should be our first priority rather

than trying to reach out to people

3:33:393:33:43

who do not necessarily contribute to

this country any more.

I thank my

3:33:433:33:48

honourable friend for the

intervention and I think there is a

3:33:483:33:51

very important and powerful point

here. As part of the European Union

3:33:513:33:54

we have had a very good arrangement,

I believe, with other European

3:33:543:34:01

countries that where people are

voting in local elections they vote

3:34:013:34:04

in the local election where they

live and clearly if you are living

3:34:043:34:09

in a particular bar or a particular

district and you are voting for that

3:34:093:34:12

borough or that district you are

receiving services from the borough

3:34:123:34:17

or that district that you are voting

for and you are paying the council

3:34:173:34:20

tax level that you have voted for

and I think the arrangement works

3:34:203:34:24

extremely well. I have always found

it a little odd that people who have

3:34:243:34:29

been living in this country for many

years who are registered as French

3:34:293:34:37

citizens or Italian citizens should

be voting in French or Italian

3:34:373:34:40

elections if they have been living

here for 20 years and clearly are

3:34:403:34:44

not actually taking part in French

or Italian society. I think there

3:34:443:34:49

would be a very sensible move

towards people voting at every level

3:34:493:34:57

of vote for their party in which

they live and that is a central part

3:34:573:35:00

of what I'm trying to get it. When

we vote we are voting about things

3:35:003:35:03

that affect ourselves and when we

vote as MPs in this place we are

3:35:033:35:09

voting for things that affect our

constituents. We should not be

3:35:093:35:12

voting for things which do not

affect our constituents and people

3:35:123:35:17

who vote in general should not be

voting for things which will never

3:35:173:35:20

affect them, which will not affect

the shape of the society in which

3:35:203:35:25

they live and so, Madam Deputy

Speaker, I have had a very

3:35:253:35:33

legitimate view about how wealth

should be distributed where I was

3:35:333:35:38

living, even when I was underpaid

but I have not changed those views

3:35:383:35:47

and as I was about to say before the

various interventions in my view

3:35:473:35:54

that I should be paying more

taxation is actually not the policy

3:35:543:35:59

of my party. I am being a little bit

more radical here than my party

3:35:593:36:04

leadership because our taxation

proposals in the manifesto we put to

3:36:043:36:07

the British voters last year did not

increase personal taxation for

3:36:073:36:11

anyone on income under 80,000. Be

that as it may, I live in this party

3:36:113:36:17

and I voted for representatives in

the past and I am now able to take

3:36:173:36:21

my place to represent others who

wish me to secure a well regulated

3:36:213:36:25

country which pays its taxes, which

provides its services and which I am

3:36:253:36:35

intimately am personally involved

in. The issue of 15 years is clearly

3:36:353:36:41

crucial because if, as The Right

Honourable lady intimated, I cannot

3:36:413:36:51

remember where she represents, I am

so sorry, Chesham and Amersham. If

3:36:513:36:56

The Right Honourable lady for

Chesham and Amersham were to travel

3:36:563:37:01

to another country for two years on

sabbatical to show them for instance

3:37:013:37:07

how it would be sensible for them to

set up by bicameral parliamentary

3:37:073:37:13

system, I am sure that they would be

extremely grateful for the expertise

3:37:133:37:17

that she has in that area and I am

sure that our citizens of the world

3:37:173:37:22

who want to see other countries

being properly governed and

3:37:223:37:25

regulated we would all be delighted

that she had gone to show them that

3:37:253:37:30

expertise and it would be entirely

reasonable if a general election

3:37:303:37:34

were to come up during the course of

those two years for The Right

3:37:343:37:39

Honourable lady not to be allowed to

vote in the general election.

3:37:393:37:44

Unless, of course, she happened to

be elevated to the other House in

3:37:443:37:48

the meantime so as long as she is a

member of this House, like the rest

3:37:483:37:53

of us, she will be able to vote in

the next general election whether

3:37:533:37:58

she is in this country or abroad.

But I do think that there is a point

3:37:583:38:04

at which we have to ask whether

people are living in this country.

3:38:043:38:09

If you are abroad for more than 15

years I would venture to suppose

3:38:093:38:16

that if you have got family you

would want to take your immediate

3:38:163:38:20

family with you and anybody who

decides they want to live abroad

3:38:203:38:23

permanently for 15 years, completely

abroad for 15 years and not take

3:38:233:38:27

their family with obviously doesn't

want to stay with their family

3:38:273:38:30

anyway and the idea that you should

be able to vote for something for a

3:38:303:38:36

government that you thought would be

better for your family but you

3:38:363:38:39

actually do not when your family

with you is a bit bizarre. So

3:38:393:38:45

clearly somebody goes abroad unless

abroad for more than 15 years and

3:38:453:38:49

takes their family with them the

overwhelming assumption and the

3:38:493:38:52

clear picture that it gives to

people out there looking at what

3:38:523:38:58

people are doing would be that these

people have decided to live in

3:38:583:39:02

another country and these people had

emigrated. We have a proud history

3:39:023:39:08

of emigration in this country and

people have emigrated to Canada, to

3:39:083:39:13

South America, to South Africa, to

Australia, and they have helped to

3:39:133:39:19

build thriving society in all parts

of the globe and they all vote for,

3:39:193:39:25

or almost all of them, vote for the

governments of those countries and

3:39:253:39:30

quite rightly so. And when Canada

and Australia and South Africa were

3:39:303:39:36

dominions of this country they voted

for the governments of those

3:39:363:39:39

dominions and quite rightly so and

that was a sensible approach to

3:39:393:39:44

people's representative and

electoral rights because they were

3:39:443:39:47

voting for people who actually had

power to make decisions over the

3:39:473:39:52

lives they were leading in those

countries. If this bill had been

3:39:523:39:58

passed in 1815 and we had been given

people who moved abroad the right to

3:39:583:40:05

vote in the last constituency they

happen to be in before they

3:40:053:40:08

emigrated for the rest of their

lives, then how could we have set up

3:40:083:40:14

a thriving and independent political

body in those are other parts of the

3:40:143:40:18

world? How could we possibly have

expected the people of this country

3:40:183:40:22

who were still living in this

country to be happy with a situation

3:40:223:40:25

where every time there was a general

election all the people who had

3:40:253:40:29

decided to move to Canada or

Australia or South Africa and their

3:40:293:40:35

descendants had more of an electoral

say over how this country was

3:40:353:40:39

governed than the people who

actually stayed here and lift it? If

3:40:393:40:42

we give the right to vote in British

general elections to British

3:40:423:40:48

citizens for the rest of their

lives, irrespective of whether they

3:40:483:40:52

are living in this country, then it

presumably extends to their children

3:40:523:40:55

if their children are British

citizens, even though their children

3:40:553:40:57

are not living in this country and

if we were to do that for the

3:40:573:41:04

children of the children, where does

it end? You may well have a

3:41:043:41:08

situation where a file and had gone

down this route where there would

3:41:083:41:11

have been far more people in New

York voting in Irish general

3:41:113:41:15

elections than there were in Ireland

voting in Irish general elections.

3:41:153:41:18

The clear point is that if someone

is to vote in an election they need

3:41:183:41:23

to be affected by the vote that they

are taking and it needs to be... I

3:41:233:41:28

am happy to give way.

Does he not

agree with me that it is bizarre in

3:41:283:41:37

other countries when elections are

extended to generations after

3:41:373:41:42

generations and the election

actually takes place a large

3:41:423:41:44

proportion outside of the very

country that the electorate is

3:41:443:41:48

happening. An example would be the

Italian election. When I was in

3:41:483:41:53

Buenos Aires the other year the

situation was that the campaign in

3:41:533:41:57

Buenos Aires on the street was not

about an Argentinian election, it

3:41:573:42:02

was about an Italian election,

posters on the streets and election

3:42:023:42:06

campaigns and politicians flying

over from Italy to boil saris. A

3:42:063:42:10

rather bizarre situation where the

Italians have to start fighting

3:42:103:42:15

elections in other countries to win

an election in Italy. This was

3:42:153:42:21

surely undermining the concept of

ruling Britain for British sake and

3:42:213:42:24

in the end foreign influences would

come into this parliament which is a

3:42:243:42:29

bizarre situation.

I fully accept

and agree with my honourable friend

3:42:293:42:33

's intervention and in fact in 2016

we had a vote which was not one

3:42:333:42:43

exactly in the direction which I

would have supported but nonetheless

3:42:433:42:46

was about to take back control of

our own country and I think when

3:42:463:42:49

people were voting to take back

control of their own country they

3:42:493:42:52

were not voting to allow somebody

who has lived in the Caribbean or in

3:42:523:42:58

Australia or in South Africa and

intends to continue to live there

3:42:583:43:02

and has been there for more than 15

years to take back control of this

3:43:023:43:07

country. I think that the most of

the majority of this country would

3:43:073:43:12

not believe that people who are

clearly not going to be living in

3:43:123:43:15

this country in the future should

vote in elections in this country.

3:43:153:43:21

As I said, clearly, if somebody has

moved abroad for two or three or

3:43:213:43:26

four years and then we'll be coming

back it makes perfect sense for the

3:43:263:43:31

British citizen to allow them to

vote in elections for a national

3:43:313:43:36

government which will affect their

lives when they come back but we do

3:43:363:43:40

have to have a cut-off point. I know

that the cut-off point is currently

3:43:403:43:45

15 years. If it is not necessarily

the cut-off point that I would

3:43:453:43:51

choose, I think that all of these

arguments have been gone through

3:43:513:43:54

early Iraq when the cut-off point

was set so it would probably make

3:43:543:43:57

sense to keep it that way. --

earlier on when the cut-off point

3:43:573:44:01

was that. There is a clear sense

from the benches opposite that this

3:44:013:44:06

bill is designed to deal with an

injustice and so I want to address

3:44:063:44:12

the idea of injustice and in

particular the idea of injustice

3:44:123:44:17

with respect to pensions and I come

onto part of the points made by my

3:44:173:44:21

honourable friend sitting behind me

which is that if somebody has worked

3:44:213:44:29

for the majority of their lives in

this country and has contributed to

3:44:293:44:35

the economy of this country and

contributed to the Society of this

3:44:353:44:38

country and in particular has

contributed through the national

3:44:383:44:42

Insurance system, it is perfectly

legitimate and right that they

3:44:423:44:46

should collect the same pension

irrespective of whether they happen

3:44:463:44:50

to be living in this country or in

another country and we currently

3:44:503:44:55

have a situation across the world

which is deeply unjust about the

3:44:553:45:00

level of pensions that people can

collect. Most people, apart from the

3:45:003:45:04

people who actually live in those

countries, do not realise just how

3:45:043:45:07

I'm just the situation is.

3:45:073:45:12

Although, I'm sure I will be accused

by one of the members on the

3:45:123:45:17

opposite benches of being simplistic

or simple find this, it basically

3:45:173:45:20

boils down to the fact that if

people have retired to a

3:45:203:45:26

Commonwealth country, then the value

of their pension diminishes a way to

3:45:263:45:31

almost nothing whereas if they have

retired to the United States or

3:45:313:45:36

several other non-Commonwealth

countries, then they continue to get

3:45:363:45:39

their pension upgraded to match what

it would have been if they had

3:45:393:45:42

stayed in this country. I will

repeat that for those people who

3:45:423:45:45

didn't here is the first time or who

think I might have got it round the

3:45:453:45:50

wrong way because it is so

counterintuitive, so clearly and

3:45:503:45:54

manifestly unjust that it deserves

repetition. If somebody moves to a

3:45:543:46:01

Commonwealth country, then the value

of their pension diminishes away to

3:46:013:46:05

nothing whereas if they move to a

United States or some other

3:46:053:46:11

non-Commonwealth countries, then the

value of their pension continues to

3:46:113:46:15

grow alongside the value of pensions

in this country. This is just, it is

3:46:153:46:20

discriminatory against other members

of the Commonwealth. -- this is

3:46:203:46:27

clearly and just. I have no idea how

it arose. It should have been dealt

3:46:273:46:32

with years ago and it is time that

it is dealt with now. Why is that

3:46:323:46:37

not the issue that is being

addressed by this Bill? Why is this

3:46:373:46:40

bill addressing a manufactured

injustice about voting rights when

3:46:403:46:46

it should be addressing an injustice

about the level of pensions that

3:46:463:46:52

people ought to be receiving when

they are living in other countries?

3:46:523:46:55

I am happy to give way.

He has

referred to this as a manufactured

3:46:553:47:00

injustice. Can I say, as the

honorary president of Labour

3:47:003:47:06

International, Labour Party members

all over the world will be outraged

3:47:063:47:09

that he is referring to this as a

manufactured injustice. It is an

3:47:093:47:14

injustice, is maybe that there are

other injustices, many of them he is

3:47:143:47:18

referring to, but it is wrong to say

this is a issue.

Well, I apologise

3:47:183:47:26

if I have upset the honourable

member and I know that he has done a

3:47:263:47:31

lot of work with Labour voters and

potential Labour voters in other

3:47:313:47:37

countries. Clearly, if people are

living in other countries for

3:47:373:47:40

limited periods of time and, at the

moment, we have a 15 year cut-off,

3:47:403:47:46

clearly it makes perfect sense to

enable those people who are allowed

3:47:463:47:49

to vote up to that 15 years to vote

for the party that they want to vote

3:47:493:47:54

for and I honour and applaud the

work that he has done in encouraging

3:47:543:47:59

those people who are eligible to

vote within those 15 years to vote.

3:47:593:48:04

However, I think there has to be a

cut-off point. I do not think it

3:48:043:48:08

makes sense and I do not think it

would make sense whether it was a

3:48:083:48:12

Labour Government or a Conservative

Government, whether a Labour voter

3:48:123:48:15

or a conservative voter, whether

living in Spain or South Africa, I

3:48:153:48:19

do not think it makes sense for us

to assume that once somebody has

3:48:193:48:23

moved abroad and looks likely to

live in another country for the rest

3:48:233:48:28

of their lives, that they should

still be voting in this country

3:48:283:48:30

until the end of their lives. We

have situations where doctors, for

3:48:303:48:37

instance, a doctor who came to this

country from Jamaica and might have

3:48:373:48:41

worked all her life, put enormous

amount of money into her pension and

3:48:413:48:48

then decides when she retires to

move back to be with her family in

3:48:483:48:54

Jamaica and sees the value of her

pension dwindling into nothing

3:48:543:48:58

whereas somebody who may retire to

Florida with a very large sum of

3:48:583:49:04

money of their own will be able to

also see the value of their pension

3:49:043:49:09

upgraded year on year in line with

pensions in this country. If there

3:49:093:49:16

were any injustice that needed to be

addressed, this surely is one that

3:49:163:49:20

should be addressed first. Now, we

also have the issue of the security

3:49:203:49:26

of the poll. We have a clear

situation where the Government is

3:49:263:49:34

wanting people to show security ID

when they go to vote and I think

3:49:343:49:39

that makes a lot of sense, although

I would like the Government to be

3:49:393:49:43

doing more to make sure that

everybody who does go to vote is

3:49:433:49:48

enabled and encouraged and shown how

to carry their ID because we want to

3:49:483:49:52

make sure that when people vote,

they are eligible to vote. But I

3:49:523:49:55

fail to see how we can actually

ensured that anybody who is living

3:49:553:50:01

in another country doesn't register

more than once or doesn't vote more

3:50:013:50:06

than once or, indeed, how do we make

sure that they show their ID if they

3:50:063:50:10

are not actually in this country at

all? So we need to make sure that if

3:50:103:50:16

we are going to have the security of

the poll, all polling districts, all

3:50:163:50:28

electoral authorities, are joined up

together, have a central register so

3:50:283:50:32

that we can ensure that there is not

double voting from overseas voters

3:50:323:50:36

as well. I'm happy to give way.

Just

on that point about the security of

3:50:363:50:42

the register and making sure that

everybody possible is on the

3:50:423:50:46

register, leaving aside the issue of

the 15 year or more rules for

3:50:463:50:50

overseas voters, there is an

opportunity for the Government to

3:50:503:50:53

support my privates pilfer automatic

voter registration which is before

3:50:533:50:56

this House on the 7th of April. I

wonder if my honourable friend would

3:50:563:51:00

agree with me that that might

resolve some concerns that he is

3:51:003:51:04

raising?

I thank my honourable

friend for making that intervention

3:51:043:51:09

and I think she is absolutely right.

We need to pursue all means that we

3:51:093:51:15

possibly can, not only to ensure

that the poll is safe, but also to

3:51:153:51:19

ensure that everybody feels

comfortable and able to use it and I

3:51:193:51:23

think that our proposals have a

great deal of merit. Madam Deputy

3:51:233:51:30

Speaker, let's look at where the

people that live abroad and are

3:51:303:51:36

British citizens actually live.

Where are the people who are already

3:51:363:51:40

voters abroad? These are people who

in many cases... All people who have

3:51:403:51:47

lived abroad for less than 15 years

who are eligible to vote but who, in

3:51:473:51:51

the course if this bill were to go

through, would be able to vote for

3:51:513:51:56

the rest of their lives. There are

six thousandths overseas electors in

3:51:563:52:05

the City of London. That is nearly

3% of the voters. -- 6000 overseas

3:52:053:52:15

voters. In Kensington and Chelsea,

it is 2.5%. In Oxford, 2.1%. In

3:52:153:52:24

Westminster, 2.2%. These are quite

substantial figures, quite

3:52:243:52:27

substantial numbers of people. For

instance, in Westminster, there are

3:52:273:52:33

2600 overseas voters. In Camden,

there are 3300 overseas voters,

3:52:333:52:41

2.37% of the electorate. This is

enough to make a difference to the

3:52:413:52:46

person who is elected as a member of

Parliament in those constituencies.

3:52:463:52:51

However, Madam Deputy Speaker, if we

work at one of the constituencies

3:52:513:52:57

which have a lower level of overseas

voters, who have registered to vote

3:52:573:53:03

living in other countries, rather

Rotherham has just 0.2 of the vote

3:53:033:53:17

registered in that constituency. I

am not a great expert on the

3:53:173:53:22

demographics of Rotherham, however I

believe I am right in saying that

3:53:223:53:25

there are a large number of people

from British common law of nations

3:53:253:53:30

who have chosen to make their lives

in Rotherham and I would be very

3:53:303:53:33

surprised if a large number of them

has not decided to move back to the

3:53:333:53:39

countries where their families came

from or, in some cases, where they

3:53:393:53:42

had come from and yet they are not

registered as overseas voters

3:53:423:53:48

because, actually, if you look at

it, the people who choose to

3:53:483:53:52

register as overseas voters tend to

be people who are capable,

3:53:523:53:59

professional, accomplished and, in

many cases, in courage to do so by

3:53:593:54:06

the Conservative Party. I don't

think that the demographic of people

3:54:063:54:12

actually living abroad is at all

reflected by the people who are

3:54:123:54:16

actually registered as overseas

voters and, again, I absolutely

3:54:163:54:21

applaud and encourage the work of my

honourable friend in trying to get

3:54:213:54:26

those members who are living abroad

and who have lived abroad for less

3:54:263:54:30

than 15 years who would be likely to

vote Labour to register, but that

3:54:303:54:35

doesn't alter the fact that actually

the vast majority of the ones who

3:54:353:54:38

are registered as overseas voters

are not people from Rotherham or,

3:54:383:54:45

indeed, Middlesbrough or, indeed,

Stoke-on-Trent or any of these other

3:54:453:54:48

places where there are substantial

new Commonwealth populations and

3:54:483:54:53

where you would expect there to be

large numbers of people who could

3:54:533:54:56

vote when they were moving back to

the countries where the rest of

3:54:563:55:00

their family lived. So this is not a

politically equivalent or a

3:55:003:55:07

politically balanced measure. This

is not a measure which will treat

3:55:073:55:14

voters or potential voters who might

want to support one party similarly

3:55:143:55:18

to voters who might want to vote for

another party. And I just also would

3:55:183:55:26

like to put this forward, that some

people decide to move to other

3:55:263:55:30

countries precisely because the

levels of taxation in this country

3:55:303:55:34

are higher than they are in other

countries. If somebody decides that

3:55:343:55:38

they want to move to Bermuda because

they pay less tax in Bermuda than

3:55:383:55:43

they do in this country, then the

overwhelming likelihood is that they

3:55:433:55:48

actually have a significant amount

of money because otherwise they

3:55:483:55:51

would not have been able to afford

to move to Bermuda in the first

3:55:513:55:54

place. I would be happy to give way.

Certain countries, Portugal for

3:55:543:56:02

instance, give an incentive to you

that you will not pay tax-free

3:56:023:56:04

period of time if you move a certain

amount of your wealth over there.

3:56:043:56:10

Thank you. Absolutely, that makes

the point, that we are not just

3:56:103:56:14

talking about people moving to other

countries, we are talking about

3:56:143:56:18

significant amounts of wealth moving

to other countries as well and in

3:56:183:56:22

the most part moving to countries

where taxation is paid at very low

3:56:223:56:26

rates or indeed not at all. Why

should people who have decided for

3:56:263:56:32

tax purposes to move to another

country so that they don't pay taxes

3:56:323:56:36

in this country, do not support

services in this country, why should

3:56:363:56:39

they have a say in not only the tax

level in this country and the level

3:56:393:56:43

of services in this country, but

also, of course, have a say in

3:56:433:56:47

whether or not the Government of

this country actually does something

3:56:473:56:54

about our relationship with those

countries or those overseas

3:56:543:56:56

territories and tries to ensure that

they do pay their taxes? We have a

3:56:563:57:00

situation where people who are

deliberately avoiding... I think

3:57:003:57:04

avoiding is the right word? Can I

ask for a ruling? Avoiding is not a

3:57:043:57:10

non-Parliamentary words, is it?

Avoiding tax things is

3:57:103:57:14

Parliamentary? The other one is

non-Parliamentary? Where people are

3:57:143:57:18

deliberately avoiding paying taxes

in this country are actually making

3:57:183:57:21

decisions about who will represent

them and who will govern a country

3:57:213:57:25

and who will make decisions about

how easy it is for them to avoid

3:57:253:57:29

those taxes. Another issue that has

been raised on the opposite benches

3:57:293:57:35

is about voting on behalf of our

children. Clearly, when people move

3:57:353:57:41

abroad, very often their children do

not move with them. Their adult

3:57:413:57:45

children may have families of their

own in this country and maybe making

3:57:453:57:47

lives of their own in this country

and it is a point, but I don't

3:57:473:57:52

actually believe it is a very good

point. If I had a child living in

3:57:523:57:57

Scotland, I would not expect to be

able to vote in a Scottish election

3:57:573:58:03

in the constituency in which my

child live as well as voting in my

3:58:033:58:06

own constituency. I would not expect

my vote to be able to count towards

3:58:063:58:12

what polity that my child was living

in and I see no good reason why we

3:58:123:58:16

should expect people who have

decided to live in other countries

3:58:163:58:18

to be able to vote in elections in

this country in order to reinforce

3:58:183:58:23

the value of the vote of their adult

children. Clearly, when people vote,

3:58:233:58:27

they should be voting for

themselves, they should be voting

3:58:273:58:31

for the services that they get and

they should be voting for the taxes

3:58:313:58:34

that they pay and they should be

voting for the society in which they

3:58:343:58:40

live, which levies those taxes and

which delivers those services. I

3:58:403:58:48

understand that the substance of

this bill, although it is a Private

3:58:483:58:56

member's Bill, was actually

enshrined or may be enshrined is the

3:58:563:59:02

wrong word, was indicated in a

promise that was made by the

3:59:023:59:06

Government party in their manifesto

for the election last year. I am

3:59:063:59:11

only surmising that there are people

within the leadership of the

3:59:113:59:18

Government that do not particularly

want this to be a Government bill

3:59:183:59:21

because it might be a little

embarrassing, showing that they are

3:59:213:59:25

giving the vote to people who have

chosen not to pay their taxes in

3:59:253:59:29

this country and so they have

decided that it should be a Private

3:59:293:59:33

member's Bill instead. Of course,

there were quite a lot of other

3:59:333:59:36

issues that were in that manifesto

last year which equally have not

3:59:363:59:41

come up and shown no indication of

coming up during the course of the

3:59:413:59:45

next year or two, such as the

dementia tax, such as the vote on

3:59:453:59:51

fox hunting, such as reintroducing

grammar schools. I think it is a

3:59:513:59:58

little disingenuous of the

Government to urge its own

3:59:584:00:04

backbenchers to bring forward

backbench bills which they had

4:00:044:00:06

previously promised in their

manifesto but which they now decided

4:00:064:00:09

were too embarrassing to be able to

bring forward themselves.

4:00:094:00:18

I hope we don't get more of these

embarrassment bills, but I haven't

4:00:184:00:23

looked through the list of all the

bills that are on the private

4:00:234:00:25

members bill list so I don't know if

there is one there bringing back fox

4:00:254:00:31

hunting or reintroducing grammar

schools Britain introducing the

4:00:314:00:35

dementia tax, but I suspect not. --

or introducing. I hope they will be

4:00:354:00:41

dealt with by a house which has

already shown and the electorate

4:00:414:00:50

which has all the shown this as

though they did not have any truck

4:00:504:00:53

with such proposals. -- shown this

house. The member proposing this

4:00:534:01:01

bill has said and said in his

summing up that he wanted the people

4:01:014:01:08

living abroad, British citizens who

had made a decision to live abroad

4:01:084:01:14

and had been living abroad for more

than 15 years, and their children,

4:01:144:01:21

to be able to continue to vote until

whenever it is reasonable to do so.

4:01:214:01:26

I would suggest to him that there

has to be a cut-off point and

4:01:264:01:31

reasonable to do so is a qualitative

decision but 15 years is a very

4:01:314:01:40

reasonable amount of time. I can't

believe there are many places where

4:01:404:01:45

it makes sense for someone to not do

something for more than 15 years and

4:01:454:01:49

still have the right, the same

right, over the people who have been

4:01:494:01:54

doing it constantly, and if I was to

walk out of this house for 15 years

4:01:544:01:58

and not come back I would not expect

to be able to speak in a debate like

4:01:584:02:02

this in the way that I have, and I

would did he love to be able to go

4:02:024:02:07

on for 15 years but unfortunately I

have pretty much ran out of things

4:02:074:02:12

to say -- dearly love. In

conclusion, I actually do not

4:02:124:02:21

believe that there is any

justification for a bill which

4:02:214:02:28

encourages people to move to other

countries to stop paying taxes in

4:02:284:02:31

this country, to no longer have any

interest in whether or not services

4:02:314:02:35

are delivered in this country and

yet to vote for the government that

4:02:354:02:39

levies those taxes and delivers

those services. Any reasonable

4:02:394:02:44

person looking at it from the point

of view of practicality and as to

4:02:444:02:50

what a vote is for, which is to

create a government and a quality

4:02:504:02:56

which governs taxes, any person

would say it doesn't make sense, and

4:02:564:03:01

I can any guess there are some

powerful and wealthy people who

4:03:014:03:05

desperately want the government to

give them the right to vote for

4:03:054:03:10

evermore and I think we should

resist it. Thank you.

Sir Roger

4:03:104:03:16

Gale.

Earlier we had a dignified

debate about organ donation and that

4:03:164:03:26

Bill was named Maxis and I would

like to think this one could be

4:03:264:03:34

Schindler. I hope that the member

for Ipswich having spoken for 45

4:03:344:03:44

minutes will find the time to meet

Harry Schindler. I'm proud, very

4:03:444:03:50

proud, to be allowed to call Harry

Schindler a friend, he is 97 and he

4:03:504:04:03

fought in the war and returned to

the UK to raise his family and he

4:04:034:04:07

retired to Italy where some of his

family were living. He has

4:04:074:04:12

deliberately avoided taking Italian

citizenship although he could have

4:04:124:04:17

done so. Because he regards himself

proudly until his last breath as

4:04:174:04:22

British. He could have fraudulently

registered in the UK, he has enough

4:04:224:04:30

friends and family to do so, but

he's honest. He is honestly British.

4:04:304:04:39

He has fought tooth and nail as the

oldest living member of the Labour

4:04:394:04:47

Party, for his right to vote in

Britain. And while doing that, he

4:04:474:04:53

has also spent his energy and his

waking hours searching for the

4:04:534:05:01

remains of British service and women

who fell in Italy, identifying them

4:05:014:05:05

and making sure that they are

properly remembered and recorded --

4:05:054:05:10

service men and women. I don't think

you could find anybody more British

4:05:104:05:16

or with more right to vote than

Harry Schindler. I hope the

4:05:164:05:23

honourable gentleman will have the

courage to look Harry in the eye and

4:05:234:05:27

to tell him why he would like to

deny that old man the right to vote

4:05:274:05:31

again in Britain before he dies.

Harry will have heard that. To take

4:05:314:05:41

my friend's point and so we'll

millions of expat UK citizens living

4:05:414:05:48

around the world, by not tax exiles,

and many of them are paying taxes in

4:05:484:05:54

the UK and many of them have taxed

pensions and other incomes in the UK

4:05:544:05:59

but are denied after 15 years the

right to vote. That is taxation

4:05:594:06:03

without representation. If the

honourable gentleman had read the

4:06:034:06:08

bill he would have discovered that

while there is a committee if we are

4:06:084:06:18

allowed to get there, he would have

found there are provisions to make

4:06:184:06:22

sure that those who have not been

resident in the UK cannot vote. I'm

4:06:224:06:28

sorry that the member for Ealing

North has left the chamber for some

4:06:284:06:32

time. But he did mention the

possibility of bombed buildings or

4:06:324:06:40

demolished buildings, but it is very

clear in the bill that the address

4:06:404:06:45

has to be the last known address in

the UK, wherever that was. The idea

4:06:454:06:51

that the honourable gentleman is

putting forward that somehow this

4:06:514:06:55

will load the balance of power and

that of the members of Parliament in

4:06:554:06:59

a relatively few clustered

constituencies is a complete

4:06:594:07:03

nonsense. Frankly it is a

discourtesy to those millions of

4:07:034:07:11

people living overseas who want to

have the right to vote and those of

4:07:114:07:16

his colleagues on his own benches,

no, he has spoken for far too long,

4:07:164:07:21

I'm not giving an inch. It was a

discourtesy to those of his

4:07:214:07:28

colleagues who are supporting this

course, including the member for

4:07:284:07:32

Ilford North. Whose constituency he

couldn't remember. Ilford South, I

4:07:324:07:42

beg your pardon. We all fallible.

The honourable gentleman referred to

4:07:424:07:48

the fact that people living in, well

countries did not have their

4:07:484:07:51

pensions upgraded but I am the

chairman of the all-party group on

4:07:514:07:55

frozen pensions and I don't recall

the gentleman attending any of those

4:07:554:07:58

meetings. That we have held to try

and redress the injustice to which

4:07:584:08:05

he refers but had he attended he

would have got his facts right

4:08:054:08:12

because there are, well countries,

like --, well countries like

4:08:124:08:22

Jamaican webby pensions are operated

and we want to see them operated

4:08:224:08:24

across the board -- Commonwealth

countries like Jamaica where

4:08:244:08:30

pensions. He has been very wrong and

everything he has said. I don't need

4:08:304:08:39

to say any more, I want Harry

Schindler and those millions of

4:08:394:08:42

expats like him who are proudly

British and who take a keen interest

4:08:424:08:46

in this country and who regard it as

their mother country, who have

4:08:464:08:52

children and grandchildren living

here, who may want to return to vote

4:08:524:09:00

but wish to vote while they are

overseas, as well, I want them to

4:09:004:09:02

have that right. I don't believe

that this house will find any favour

4:09:024:09:09

or any part of this house will find

any favour not just with those

4:09:094:09:16

people but with their very many

residents UK members of families who

4:09:164:09:20

are living here, and I hope the

house will remember that if we get

4:09:204:09:24

the chance to vote today. This is a

good measure. Its time has come,

4:09:244:09:29

redressing the injustice, and we

should let it pass.

I would like to

4:09:294:09:38

start by congratulating the member

for this bill which I wholeheartedly

4:09:384:09:44

support and at the court in my view

of this bill is not just about

4:09:444:09:49

enfranchised but also about identity

and that was the fact that the

4:09:494:09:56

member to my right has not entirely

appreciated. I'm an example of

4:09:564:10:02

someone who comes from a family that

has been affected by the 15 year

4:10:024:10:08

limit. My father went to work for

the European Commission when I was

4:10:084:10:14

one and we left this country at that

point as a proud Brit when that was

4:10:144:10:19

the thing that if you wanted to

change the world, that is what you

4:10:194:10:22

did, you went to work for one of

these great organisations. Over the

4:10:224:10:27

years we were lucky enough to be

able to come back so that he proudly

4:10:274:10:32

could vote for me to become an MP

but for so many of his colleagues in

4:10:324:10:37

Brussels and across the world that

we have met as expats, moving from

4:10:374:10:45

country to country, they are every

bit as British as the people in this

4:10:454:10:50

room and they have made incredible

contributions as Brits across the

4:10:504:10:55

world and so many of them have lost

their voice because they have lost

4:10:554:10:59

their vote as a result of this

outdated notion that you need to be

4:10:594:11:05

sat on a piece of land in order to

love it. We know full well that is

4:11:054:11:11

not what it means to be British.

Because that is not what this bill

4:11:114:11:16

was about. Let me perhaps give a

moment to some of the voices of my

4:11:164:11:26

collectors and constituents who are

abroad and also a few who are about

4:11:264:11:29

to not be will become again.

Collectors in Oxford West, which is

4:11:294:11:35

one of the constituencies that the

member was talking about with tiny

4:11:354:11:40

majorities where they make a

difference and boy were they happy

4:11:404:11:42

to be able to. Ruth in Spain says

she lived in Spain for 40 years and

4:11:424:11:49

she is so lucky to still just being

titled to vote in the UK but she

4:11:494:11:53

makes an important point where I

think this bill could have gone

4:11:534:11:58

further, I understand I'm happy to

accept the intervention, but this

4:11:584:12:01

bill will not extend the franchise

to referendum, and it is clear that

4:12:014:12:06

so many have registered to vote from

abroad as a result of the Brexit

4:12:064:12:10

turmoil. Every single e-mail I've

had from constituents has been about

4:12:104:12:15

this point, and so I would be

interested to know from the minister

4:12:154:12:19

if that is part of the plan

because... I shall.

Looking at the

4:12:194:12:28

franchise, I just want to say, when

it comes to its referendum, the

4:12:284:12:33

franchise is set individually by a

referendum and it is described and

4:12:334:12:38

detailed by its own separate piece

of legislation so even if you wanted

4:12:384:12:43

to come at you could not add this

into the bill because referendum are

4:12:434:12:49

individually described which is how

the franchise is slightly different

4:12:494:12:52

from the Scottish referendum in

2016.

I'm grateful for that

4:12:524:12:57

intervention, I was not aware, and I

also imagine that if they weren't on

4:12:574:13:03

the register at all they could not

have been included. Yes, I will.

4:13:034:13:09

Some of us tried to extend the

franchise for the European

4:13:094:13:13

referendum to the local government

base but we were defeated and

4:13:134:13:19

therefore it was simply based upon

those eligible to vote in the

4:13:194:13:22

general election.

I'm grateful for

that intervention and the Liberal

4:13:224:13:28

Democrats would has afforded that

because we believe European citizens

4:13:284:13:31

should have had a say in that

referendum. -- would have supported

4:13:314:13:36

that. Ruth in Spain has highlighted

the injustice of the current

4:13:364:13:42

situation, many were denied a vote

in the general election, much of

4:13:424:13:49

which was affected by Brexit, so

these British are dozens who have

4:13:494:13:55

chosen to move from one part of the

EU to another on the basis that

4:13:554:13:58

there are rights of freedom of

movement was guaranteed and that was

4:13:584:14:02

the basis of so many e-mails. It is

not just that, Julian, a foreign

4:14:024:14:09

correspondent, years lived in many

countries as a Brit, the soft power

4:14:094:14:14

that the member was talking about,

is very clear in his career, he goes

4:14:144:14:18

onto say that expats are not all

pensioners sipping cocktails the

4:14:184:14:22

Costa Del Sol, many of them are also

useful contributors to the British

4:14:224:14:27

economy and they add to the image of

Britain abroad. Only this month, for

4:14:274:14:33

example, he says, a French food

magazine chose a rural bistro owned

4:14:334:14:36

and run by a British chef as its

cafe of the year, and Britons abroad

4:14:364:14:43

are often popular and useful members

of their own adopted community. I

4:14:434:14:47

would agree with points made about

them being allowed a vote in summer

4:14:474:14:50

elections in those countries as I

believe it is right for us to

4:14:504:14:56

continue to allow EU citizens they

vote in local elections here.

4:14:564:15:04

Finally, and I think this speaks to

an important point, we live in an

4:15:044:15:08

increasingly globalised world. It is

ridiculous to suggest that some

4:15:084:15:12

families have a choice to move back.

House prices in the UK are

4:15:124:15:16

expensive. Not just in the UK, but

across the world, so Ian in Canada

4:15:164:15:21

says, sadly, I am retraining as a

medical doctor after a career as a

4:15:214:15:26

neuroscientist and have been out of

the UK since 2004. I say sadly

4:15:264:15:30

because, as you will be aware, that

means the period under which I am

4:15:304:15:38

able to cast votes in the UK is

coming to a close under the current

4:15:384:15:41

rule. I may not have been able to

afford living in the UK on a

4:15:414:15:45

postdoctoral salary. That is why he

had to move. But I haven't given up

4:15:454:15:48

on the old country yet and I would

like to continue trying to shake

4:15:484:15:52

things for the beater the set-mac

better.

Will be honourable member

4:15:524:15:58

accept that the case that she

mentions is clearly someone who has

4:15:584:16:04

contributed immensely not only to

this country but also to the world,

4:16:044:16:08

that it must be quite difficult for

her to be able to make decisions in

4:16:084:16:12

Oxford West which affect his life in

Canada.

I don't quite understand.

4:16:124:16:20

Affect his life in Canada? If he is

going to find ways of affecting his

4:16:204:16:24

life in Canada then he will be able

to do that there. I actually think

4:16:244:16:27

the gentleman, whose name is Ian,

would very much be able to affect

4:16:274:16:33

some decisions made at this level of

politics. I should say I do not

4:16:334:16:37

think it is right that it should

necessarily be in the stigma

4:16:374:16:41

extended to local elections and if

he was talking about bin collection,

4:16:414:16:46

then fair enough. But the recent

general elections have been about

4:16:464:16:50

major issues in this country, the

direction of this country, the

4:16:504:16:54

flavour that this country put out

the rest of the world. I think it is

4:16:544:16:58

entirely right that if you feel

British and if you are British and

4:16:584:17:01

you are born into a British family,

then you should have that right. In

4:17:014:17:05

the same way that I am half

Palestinian and I regret that I am

4:17:054:17:09

not at all able to engage with the

country that my mother grew up in.

4:17:094:17:15

She was born in Tripoli and then

grew up in Jerusalem. I feel this

4:17:154:17:20

very keenly. Just because I have

never lived in Palestine does not

4:17:204:17:23

make me any less Palestinian and

equally I think those who have spent

4:17:234:17:28

a lot of their life abroad have a

lot to say about being British.

4:17:284:17:32

Being British is more than just

being on this land. It is loving

4:17:324:17:36

this land and feeling that you are

from this land. I will draw my

4:17:364:17:41

remarks to a very quick close

because I'm very keen to hear the

4:17:414:17:47

next bill but I only co-sponsor off,

but the last thing I wanted to touch

4:17:474:17:50

on was also why we have not

considered having an overseas

4:17:504:17:58

electors' constituency in the same

way they do in France, and I think I

4:17:584:18:01

would be interested to hear from the

minister if that is something we

4:18:014:18:04

would be looking at. One of the

reasons we know that people do not

4:18:044:18:08

register to vote from abroad is

because it is incredibly

4:18:084:18:10

bureaucratic. It is very hard. They

may live in countries where postal

4:18:104:18:14

systems don't work very well,

frankly, is finding a way to make it

4:18:144:18:19

much easier, I would wholeheartedly

agree with as has been mentioned in

4:18:194:18:26

an intervention, perhaps being able

to give the vault back to the

4:18:264:18:29

embassy or the consulate rather than

having to get it back into the local

4:18:294:18:32

authority I think would be an

excellent idea. I will end simply by

4:18:324:18:35

saying I think it is an

extraordinary privilege to be

4:18:354:18:38

British and I think across the

House, as a new member of

4:18:384:18:42

Parliament, what strikes me is how

much we all love this country but I

4:18:424:18:46

think what this bill shows and

demonstrates from the numerous

4:18:464:18:51

numbers of constituents that I'm

sure have contacted us from abroad,

4:18:514:18:54

is that you do not have to be on the

slant to love it and therefore I

4:18:544:18:59

would wholeheartedly back this bill.

The Liberal Democrats wholeheartedly

4:18:594:19:01

backed bill. We get a look at it

today.

I am grateful to catch you in

4:19:014:19:10

this debate. I would like to start

by paying tribute to my friend, the

4:19:104:19:17

member for Montgomeryshire, for

bringing forward this bill. I think

4:19:174:19:19

although he did not say it, quite

contrary to what was insinuated by

4:19:194:19:23

the member for Ipswich earlier, it

was entirely his wish to bring

4:19:234:19:27

forward this bill because he, like

me, like the honourable member for

4:19:274:19:32

Thanet, believe it is the right

thing to do. This should not be

4:19:324:19:36

considered as a political issue. In

a year when Emily Pankhurst has the

4:19:364:19:44

centenary of her efforts to

campaign, of in very difficult and

4:19:444:19:51

violent circumstances to get the

women the full vote in this country,

4:19:514:19:55

for certain members of the party

opposite to want to try and deny

4:19:554:19:59

women who have lived overseas for

more than 15 years the vault I think

4:19:594:20:03

is a disgrace, frankly. I will

happily give way.

What makes a

4:20:034:20:09

16-year-old woman in this country

any less valuable than a 70-year-old

4:20:094:20:13

woman living in Spain who is a

British national? She can have a

4:20:134:20:17

vault but the 16-year-old woman's

ear can't.

I entirely respect of the

4:20:174:20:23

sincerity with which the honourable

lady Cole Skuse, if she does, that

4:20:234:20:27

people of 16 should have the vote

and I think that is a legitimate

4:20:274:20:32

debate to be had but it is nothing

whatsoever to do with this bill as

4:20:324:20:36

set down by my honourable friend. If

she wishes to introduce a bill into

4:20:364:20:41

this Parliament and a Private

member's bill or a ten minute spell

4:20:414:20:43

or any other procedure, she is more

than willing to do so and speak and

4:20:434:20:47

supported but it is nothing to do

with this bill. There have been one

4:20:474:20:51

falsehoods peddled in the debate so

far this morning. It has been said

4:20:514:20:55

several times that children of those

living overseas for more than 15

4:20:554:21:01

years will be eligible to vote. I

have read my honourable friend's

4:21:014:21:05

bill and I cannot see anything in

the provision in it and I cannot see

4:21:054:21:11

anything that would make those

children able to vote. The bill is

4:21:114:21:15

very specific as to be

qualifications that somebody has to

4:21:154:21:18

have built. In 2012, I gave the

House the figures. We think the

4:21:184:21:28

Institute for Public Policy Research

says that there are 5.6 million

4:21:284:21:31

British citizens living abroad. The

shocking truth is that as of last

4:21:314:21:37

December, about 4.4 million of them

were of voting age. At that time,

4:21:374:21:43

only about 23,000 had actually

register to vote. I am delighted to

4:21:434:21:51

say that since then, and it may, as

the honourable member for Oxford

4:21:514:21:55

West and Abingdon has already

indicated, it may be something to do

4:21:554:21:58

with EU referendum, but the number

who are registered to vote had

4:21:584:22:05

increased to a huge 285,000 people.

So it must be right that we should

4:22:054:22:13

actually, if we believe that people

who are British citizens have the

4:22:134:22:17

right to vote up to 15 years, it

must be right to remove that

4:22:174:22:23

arbitrary limit so that the day

after they become over 15 years,

4:22:234:22:27

they have no right at present. It

must be right to do that on every

4:22:274:22:32

sort of grounds, but I believe on

the grounds of extending the

4:22:324:22:35

franchise. I think totally contrary

to what the honourable member for

4:22:354:22:39

Ipswich said in his rather overly

long remarks, I think that most

4:22:394:22:43

overseas citizens do have a real

interest in the way that this

4:22:434:22:48

country is governed. They look at

BBC world, they listen to the BBC

4:22:484:22:55

World Service, they get British

newspapers often in the countries in

4:22:554:22:57

which they reside. I will give way

once, briefly to the honourable

4:22:574:23:01

member and that is it.

I thank him

for letting intervene. I had a real

4:23:014:23:07

interest in what happens in

Scotland, I have a real interest in

4:23:074:23:10

what happens in India and in Spain.

I was watching the news in Barcelona

4:23:104:23:15

very closely. It does not give me

the right to vote for people in

4:23:154:23:18

those countries or vote how they

raise their taxes or how they

4:23:184:23:25

deliver their services.

I think the

honourable member's argument is

4:23:254:23:27

totally wrong. Those people who are

British citizens have every right to

4:23:274:23:33

British taxpayer provided services,

as I said in an intervention to him

4:23:334:23:36

earlier. If they have lived abroad

for more than 15 years, they have no

4:23:364:23:41

right to vote by Hubble services are

provided? How can that be correct? I

4:23:414:23:47

think the whole argument is that he

made was totally fallacious in that

4:23:474:23:49

respect. After all, there are 1.8

million students who do not pay

4:23:494:23:57

council tax, but nobody would ever

suggest that those students should

4:23:574:24:01

be denied the vote on the grounds

that they do not pay council tax.

4:24:014:24:04

That is a nonsense argument. So

moving on from the honourable member

4:24:044:24:10

from Ipswich, let's look at an

international comparisons. From my

4:24:104:24:15

research, the only countries that

have stricter rules on overseas

4:24:154:24:18

voting are Ireland, Greece and

Malta, paragons I would say, or

4:24:184:24:23

rather not, of democratic values.

The real countries that have real

4:24:234:24:27

democratic values, the US, France,

Japan, South Africa, they all have

4:24:274:24:33

no limits on when their citizens

living overseas can vote. As has

4:24:334:24:37

been said by the honourable member

for Oxford West and Abingdon, with

4:24:374:24:42

the advent of the European... With

Brexit and the UK leaving the

4:24:424:24:48

European Union, it is more

imperative than ever that we

4:24:484:24:51

actually embrace all of our citizens

living overseas, wherever they are,

4:24:514:24:55

but particularly in the European

Union, so that they feel part of

4:24:554:24:58

this country and surely the way to

do that is to give them the vault.

4:24:584:25:04

The expat vote, I would suggest the

honourable gentleman has, has never

4:25:044:25:08

been more important and it is our

combined duty to further consolidate

4:25:084:25:13

the influence that British influence

over those citizens and make them

4:25:134:25:16

feel part of a British family

because as has been said, despite

4:25:164:25:20

what the honourable member for

Ipswich says, they are soft power

4:25:204:25:24

for this country. They are

ambassadors for this country around

4:25:244:25:28

the world and they gained this

country a lot of influence, whether

4:25:284:25:31

it be cultural, diplomatic, in terms

of pure imports and exports and

4:25:314:25:40

inward investment into this country.

So, finally, in my brief remarks, I

4:25:404:25:45

would just say that I hold my

honourable friend get this bill

4:25:454:25:48

today. I think it is absolutely the

right thing to do. It is not a

4:25:484:25:53

political issue, it is something on

which a number of us have campaigned

4:25:534:25:56

very hard for a number of years and

I just hope that the honourable

4:25:564:26:00

members opposite will find it in

their hearts, just as they want

4:26:004:26:03

women to get the vote, just as they

want votes for 16, to give our expat

4:26:034:26:09

is the same right so they can vote

in our elections and have a say in

4:26:094:26:12

how the politics in this country is

run.

Thank you. I will try to be

4:26:124:26:18

brief because I want to get this

bill through. I believe that there

4:26:184:26:23

is an injustice with the arbitrary

15 year rule. But actually, I think

4:26:234:26:30

there are also many other injustices

about the way in which many people

4:26:304:26:35

living overseas are treated who are

British citizens. The member from

4:26:354:26:39

Ipswich was right to highlight some

of those. But what is not right is

4:26:394:26:44

what battery. What is not right is

the best being the enemy of the

4:26:444:26:52

good. What is not right is to use

false hairs and arguments in order

4:26:524:26:59

to discredit this bill and implied

that all of the people supporting it

4:26:594:27:04

were against, for example, vote for

16. I voted for 16 on the Private

4:27:044:27:09

member's bill and that will come.

But the point is, in our

4:27:094:27:17

parliamentary procedure, we do not

have an all-encompassing electoral

4:27:174:27:19

reform Bill. The only opportunities

we have got to deal with this

4:27:194:27:28

injustice is today to support the

second reading to allow this bill to

4:27:284:27:32

make progress. And I think my friend

from Montgomeryshire has done an

4:27:324:27:36

excellent job in bringing it

forward. I have been pressing the of

4:27:364:27:43

Labour international and in response

to communications I have had with

4:27:434:27:46

Harry Shindler, who has already been

mentioned, for some months. Wipe the

4:27:464:27:50

Government were not bringing forward

their commitments in their

4:27:504:27:57

manifesto? I was asking questions

about it in October last year and I

4:27:574:28:05

was referred to answers given in

September to the member for Halifax

4:28:054:28:09

who had also from the Labour benches

being and is being questioned about

4:28:094:28:13

this issue. There is a bipartisan

and a cross Parliament, all-party

4:28:134:28:21

interest in these matters and all of

us, even those who only have a few

4:28:214:28:27

constituents who have gone to live

in other countries, will have had

4:28:274:28:31

communications from people from

Spain, France, Belgium, Bulgaria,

4:28:314:28:40

Canada, from wherever. About these

matters. And the reality is that

4:28:404:28:47

there are international

organisations within the political

4:28:474:28:49

parties that represent our party

members living abroad. I have the

4:28:494:28:56

honour to be the honorary president

of Labour international. And I just

4:28:564:29:02

want to convey a few words from an

e-mail which Lorraine Hardy, who

4:29:024:29:08

actually was not registered to vote

in Oxford or Westminster but was

4:29:084:29:13

actually a Labour Party activist in

Leeds before she went to live in

4:29:134:29:16

Alicante with her husband many years

ago. She says to me, votes for life

4:29:164:29:25

will be even more important post

Brexit as we will have no

4:29:254:29:31

opportunity to vote for a national

representative in the UK, nor in our

4:29:314:29:36

country of residence, as there will

no longer be an option to vote for

4:29:364:29:40

an MEP. And, frankly, it is an

outrage that large numbers of

4:29:404:29:50

British people whose future in

Europe was affected by the

4:29:504:29:57

referendum were not able to vote in

that referendum because they had

4:29:574:30:03

been living abroad in a European

Union country for more than 15

4:30:034:30:06

years.

4:30:064:30:10

That democratic outrage was not

manufactured, it was a fact, and

4:30:104:30:19

therefore this is an opportunity to

make sure that we can remedy that

4:30:194:30:23

outrage and make a small step

towards allowing those people to

4:30:234:30:28

express their views at the next

election. As to whether they think

4:30:284:30:35

their Parliamentary representatives

are right to damage their position

4:30:354:30:39

in Europe and I think many of them

might have something to say about

4:30:394:30:46

that but I'm not going to go down

there. I'm of the view that this is

4:30:464:30:51

all of one side, that is completely

wrong, none of us know what the

4:30:514:30:57

views of people living in other

countries are, who have not

4:30:574:31:00

expressed positions and are not

registered to vote and this is just

4:31:004:31:05

made up and manufactured. I will be

very brief, I will take one.

Would

4:31:054:31:16

he also agree that the opinions of

people in a country like Canada or

4:31:164:31:21

America who inform our political

discourse because if that country,

4:31:214:31:24

in that country they have service

animal production, which I'm calling

4:31:244:31:28

for today, and that could inform our

debate.

Given the Skype and the

4:31:284:31:38

other means of communication,

Facebook, they already informed the

4:31:384:31:41

debates in many ways but I actually

think there's a democratic

4:31:414:31:47

principle. We also should recognise

what the Labour international

4:31:474:31:55

committee and the motion they passed

and they asked me to bring to the

4:31:554:31:58

attention of the house when they

said, many of the concerns about

4:31:584:32:03

voting are related to fears and

anger about the loss of rights

4:32:034:32:10

normally associated with citizenship

such as pensions and health care and

4:32:104:32:14

the right to family life. This

should be dealt with by the

4:32:144:32:19

government allocating these issues

to a minister and by establishing a

4:32:194:32:28

forum for the concerns of overseas

UK citizens. Reference has always

4:32:284:32:32

been made to France -- already been

made to France. There are senators

4:32:324:32:38

in the French citizen who represent

overseas French territories and the

4:32:384:32:44

are members of Parliament in the

National Assembly who represent

4:32:444:32:51

French citizens living in other

countries in Europe. Therefore we

4:32:514:32:58

need to address that issue as part

of the wider question of the reform

4:32:584:33:01

of our second chamber but that is

not for today. Today is to remedy

4:33:014:33:07

the problems and to write the

injustice and is said to British

4:33:074:33:13

people where ever they are in the

world, you have equal rights in our

4:33:134:33:17

democracy.

Minister Clarrie Smith.

I

am here and ready. Thank you for

4:33:174:33:31

calling me.

-- Chloe.

Thanks for

introducing this bill and the doing

4:33:314:33:40

so much work to bring this to the

point of debate, and I do hope this

4:33:404:33:44

bill will command the cross-party

support it deserves alongside the

4:33:444:33:47

support of the government. At the

moment... No, I will not. I need to

4:33:474:33:59

be able to continue. And an

important bill is coming afterwards.

4:33:594:34:06

I will say in brief, British

citizens who live overseas can find

4:34:064:34:11

themselves abruptly disenfranchised

after they have lived abroad for 15

4:34:114:34:17

years and that even happens where

they still feel closely connected to

4:34:174:34:21

our country and still have every

right to take part in elections that

4:34:214:34:24

can affect them like any other

citizen and to many this is a

4:34:244:34:28

terrible injustice. These changes

today have the support of the

4:34:284:34:33

government and they are part of our

wider ambition to strengthen our

4:34:334:34:38

democracy by making sure that every

voice can be heard within it.

4:34:384:34:42

British expats are estimated to have

amongst the lowest levels of voter

4:34:424:34:46

registration of any group with only

20% of eligible expats registered to

4:34:464:34:55

vote for the June 2017 general

election and we think that is very

4:34:554:34:59

low and we would like to see more

encouraged to be registered to vote

4:34:594:35:04

by today's work. We have already

introduced online electoral

4:35:044:35:11

registration which makes it easier

for people overseas to register to

4:35:114:35:15

vote and indeed makes it easier for

those to do so here, contrary to

4:35:154:35:20

some very negative points that have

been made in the course of this

4:35:204:35:23

debate. We are interested in making

it easier for people to vote and to

4:35:234:35:28

encourage them to do so. But as a

patient in our tomography is a

4:35:284:35:33

fundamental part of being British --

participation in our democracy is a

4:35:334:35:39

fundamental part. What has changed

since we last discussed the topic,

4:35:394:35:46

it is easier to stay in touch with

your home country, food cheap air

4:35:464:35:49

flights or through the internet, the

soft power that we began talking

4:35:494:35:55

about earlier -- through cheap air

flight. Soft power is important to

4:35:554:36:02

this country and we should be

welcoming our citizens around the

4:36:024:36:04

world. Mr Schindler foremost amongst

those and I'm delighted to have

4:36:044:36:09

heard his case so eloquently put in

the chamber. Harry Schindler and

4:36:094:36:16

others have asked for this rule to

be changed over the years with

4:36:164:36:20

dignity and with compassion and it

is our opportunity to deliver that

4:36:204:36:23

change for them. I will not give

way. It is important we finish this

4:36:234:36:30

work and move onto the that comes

after. I'm proud to be able to do my

4:36:304:36:37

small part today on behalf of the

government to welcome this bill and

4:36:374:36:39

give this the government's support

and to allow those campaigners who

4:36:394:36:44

feel the abrupt sense of injustice

when they are disenfranchised after

4:36:444:36:48

15 years to be able instead to

contribute, not only to their

4:36:484:36:54

interests as represented by the

government, which they love, has put

4:36:544:36:57

so well by the lady for oxygen, but

also to help them promote Britain

4:36:574:37:02

and this great country around the

world -- for Oxford.

Kat Smith.

4:37:024:37:12

Thank you. I would like to thank the

member for Montgomeryshire for

4:37:124:37:19

bringing forward this bill to debate

the extension of extending voting

4:37:194:37:24

rights to overseas electors. As a

modern progressive Socialist party

4:37:244:37:31

we are committed to building a truly

global Britain and champion our core

4:37:314:37:36

values of equality and social

justice and opportunity for

4:37:364:37:38

everyone. Globalisation has led to a

broad section of British citizens

4:37:384:37:45

now living around the world and

despite settling in all corners of

4:37:454:37:49

the globe overseas electors do make

a contribution to British society.

4:37:494:37:56

As the member for Montgomeryshire

outline, in the current system

4:37:564:38:02

British citizens who have moved

abroad can register to vote in the

4:38:024:38:06

last constituency in which they were

entered on the electoral register.

4:38:064:38:11

Under the current system British

seasons who have lived overseas for

4:38:114:38:15

more than 15 years cannot register

to become an overseas voter. On the

4:38:154:38:22

opposition side, we are committed to

taking radical steps to make sure

4:38:224:38:27

that all eligible voters are

registered and able to use their

4:38:274:38:31

votes. The question of extending

voting rights for overseas electors

4:38:314:38:40

must be considered properly. Not

that these because we have seen a

4:38:404:38:45

rise in the number of overseas

electors registered to vote, at a

4:38:454:38:50

record high of 285 thousand. But

also, as has been mentioned, this is

4:38:504:38:59

the centenary of the start of

women's suffrage and again the

4:38:594:39:05

suffrage of many working class men,

as well, and I would encourage

4:39:054:39:09

members in the house to reflect on

that journey towards equal suffrage

4:39:094:39:12

and wider suffrage. The extension of

overseas voter rights has come a way

4:39:124:39:20

since 1985 when British citizens

living outside the UK were not able

4:39:204:39:24

to register to vote in any

elections. The representation of the

4:39:244:39:29

people act introduced new provisions

to allow British citizens living

4:39:294:39:33

overseas to qualify as an elector in

the constituency where they were

4:39:334:39:38

last registered to vote before

moving with a time limit then in

4:39:384:39:42

1985 of just five years. This was

later extended to 20 years in 1989

4:39:424:39:49

before being reduced again to 15

years in 2002. And then in the 2015

4:39:494:39:56

general election and 2017

collection, the Conservative Party

4:39:564:40:03

made a manifesto commitment to

abolish the 15 year rule and allow

4:40:034:40:08

British citizens a vote for life in

Parliamentary elections. I will give

4:40:084:40:12

way.

I don't understand why, if this

was in the Conservative Party

4:40:124:40:19

manifesto, it introduces

legislation, why are we debating a

4:40:194:40:23

private members bill? They could

have taken the opportunity to have

4:40:234:40:28

an all encompassing electoral reform

Bill to include voter registration

4:40:284:40:32

being automatic and votes at 16 and

online voting as well as extending

4:40:324:40:36

the lifetime of expat voting.

Thanks

for that intervention. I support

4:40:364:40:46

your private members bill and hope

that those across the house who want

4:40:464:40:49

to see a more inclusive democracy

where every eligible voter is on the

4:40:494:40:55

electoral roll will continue to

support my friend's private members

4:40:554:40:57

bill. She raises the interesting

point about why is this before us on

4:40:574:41:04

a Friday as a private members bill

because in this context it is deeply

4:41:044:41:09

concerning that this is a private

members bill put forward by the

4:41:094:41:12

member for Montgomeryshire and it is

being used to push government

4:41:124:41:15

business. Private members bills

serve an important function in our

4:41:154:41:20

Parliamentary process by enabling

backbench members of Parliament

4:41:204:41:24

rather than the government of the

day to initiate legislation and

4:41:244:41:28

indeed private members bills have

brought a significant change to the

4:41:284:41:33

law over the years, for example the

abolition of the death penalty act

4:41:334:41:38

in 1965 and the abortion act in

1967. But with limited time

4:41:384:41:43

available for the consideration

private members bills we cannot

4:41:434:41:47

allow this government to disrespect

an important part of the

4:41:474:41:49

Parliamentary process and an

important power. On the opposition

4:41:494:41:59

side we are committed to building a

political franchise that works for

4:41:594:42:01

the many and not for the few. It is

also vital we maintain the integrity

4:42:014:42:06

of the electoral process but

unfortunately this has been

4:42:064:42:12

undermined by this government who

have pushed local authority election

4:42:124:42:15

teams to the absolute limit damaging

their ability to deliver elections

4:42:154:42:18

effectively. The introduction of

individual electoral registration

4:42:184:42:24

added significant cost pressures by

making it more expensive to compile

4:42:244:42:29

the register and electoral

administrators have criticised the

4:42:294:42:34

government for massively

underestimating the scale of the

4:42:344:42:37

task at hand. I will give way for

the moment.

This is an important

4:42:374:42:46

point on registration, and

experience has said that poorer

4:42:464:42:51

areas, that is where registration

has dogged by the largest amounts,

4:42:514:42:55

in Northern Ireland. -- has fallen.

That is a very valid point. This is

4:42:554:43:03

in the context of local government

funding which has been significantly

4:43:034:43:07

reduced over the years and that has

forced local authorities to review

4:43:074:43:12

their services, and this has led to

significant reductions in core

4:43:124:43:16

service funding and staffing levels

with growing number of skilled

4:43:164:43:20

professionals leaving local

authority election teams. The impact

4:43:204:43:26

of austerity was recently evidenced

by the University of East Anglia

4:43:264:43:29

which found that 43% of local

authorities have experienced real

4:43:294:43:33

terms funding cuts to their budget

for running elections from 2010

4:43:334:43:41

until 2015 and according to a survey

responses from 254 local election

4:43:414:43:49

authorities administering the EU

referendum only a quarter of

4:43:494:43:52

official said they had enough

funding to support their work on the

4:43:524:43:55

electoral register. I will give way.

4:43:554:44:01

Report on the 2017 general election

was on the risk to well-run

4:44:014:44:08

elections which have become

increasingly apparent due to reduced

4:44:084:44:12

resources and skilled vessels were

leaving teams. Would my right

4:44:124:44:17

honourable friend agree that it is

due to cuts that have affected the

4:44:174:44:22

service?

I thank my friend for that

intervention and the report she

4:44:224:44:26

raises is very worrying and should

be of concern to members from across

4:44:264:44:31

the House. When 43% of local

authorities agree that they do not

4:44:314:44:35

have sufficient funds to administer

it all, I think we should all be

4:44:354:44:39

worried about the integrity of our

electoral system. What the

4:44:394:44:42

Government fails to understand is

that cuts to public services can

4:44:424:44:47

have devastating consequences and,

indeed, last year the electoral

4:44:474:44:49

committee report warned of a wider

risks to the administration of

4:44:494:44:54

well-run elections which is dated

were becoming increasingly apparent.

4:44:544:45:01

Problems in some places have caused

some voters to receive an inadequate

4:45:014:45:04

service. I think this was evidenced

most recently in Newcastle on the

4:45:044:45:09

line where to council officials were

suspended after almost 1500 people

4:45:094:45:15

were unable to vote in last year's

general election. I give way.

It has

4:45:154:45:23

been estimated that probably 7

million people in this country are

4:45:234:45:25

not registered to vote. Shouldn't we

be concentrating on them and making

4:45:254:45:29

sure that they are on the register

rather than what we are talking

4:45:294:45:33

about?

Order, order! The honourable

gentleman has intervened several

4:45:334:45:38

times. He must talk about this bill

and not other matters.

Thank you. My

4:45:384:45:47

honourable friend's intervention was

particularly about the capacity with

4:45:474:45:50

which a local election officers

have. For this bill to be

4:45:504:45:56

successful, the impact on local

elections offices in councils up and

4:45:564:46:00

down the country would be huge

because the process of registering

4:46:004:46:02

and overseas elector can take up to

two hours if they were to see a huge

4:46:024:46:10

increase in the number of overseas

electors registering at a time when

4:46:104:46:14

local councils have huge funding

cuts, the pressure would be

4:46:144:46:19

absolutely huge. But to refer to the

pressures on local elections

4:46:194:46:25

officers, there was further

evidence, of course, just in June

4:46:254:46:28

about how under resourced these

elections that are and the

4:46:284:46:32

honourable member for Newcastle

underlying describes the issues on

4:46:324:46:34

polling day as a shambles.

Significant issues have also

4:46:344:46:39

occurred in Plymouth with hundreds

of voters unable to cast their votes

4:46:394:46:42

in the June general election either.

Findings of an independent

4:46:424:46:48

investigation found that 35,000

postal vote holders had received two

4:46:484:46:51

polling cards, a postal card and a

polling station card. In addition,

4:46:514:46:59

331 people who had received a

polling card issued on May the 5th

4:46:594:47:03

were removed from the register after

that point. These feelings clearly

4:47:034:47:09

illustrate that more action must be

taken now to Devon estate might deal

4:47:094:47:14

with the increasing challenges that

returning officers are facing in

4:47:144:47:18

delivering elections effectively.

These concerns have been raised on

4:47:184:47:22

multiple occasions by the

Association of Electoral

4:47:224:47:25

Administrators who have called on

the Government for a full and

4:47:254:47:28

thorough review of funding of the

delivery of electoral services as a

4:47:284:47:32

matter of urgency. Not only is this

impacting on voters, but may also be

4:47:324:47:38

having a significant impact on the

health and well-being of the

4:47:384:47:42

electoral administrators and public

servants that work in local

4:47:424:47:44

elections offices. Following the

2017 general election, the

4:47:444:47:50

Association of Electoral

Administrators wrote, we have been

4:47:504:47:54

collectively concerned for the

health and well-being of our

4:47:544:47:57

members. As a result, we contracted

the medical care Association to

4:47:574:48:04

provide members with three of care

access to confidential counselling

4:48:044:48:07

services. This is not an indication

of a healthy elections offices up

4:48:074:48:11

and down the country. In this

context of austerity, we cannot

4:48:114:48:17

allow the Government to dismantle

our electoral system any further.

4:48:174:48:21

The existing provision of checking

registration against ER or records

4:48:214:48:26

within 15 years is already

challenging and results in intensive

4:48:264:48:31

processes. Some applications contain

vague or incorrect previous

4:48:314:48:36

addresses which can cause problems

in checking the register. So much so

4:48:364:48:42

that the Association of Electoral

Administrators has estimated that it

4:48:424:48:44

takes roughly two hours to register

one overseas elector. And because

4:48:444:48:51

overseas electors fall off the

register after 12 months, the vast

4:48:514:48:54

majority of registration

applications occur immediately ahead

4:48:544:48:58

of a general election when the

pressure on electoral administrators

4:48:584:49:01

is at its most intense. Abolishing

the 15 year rule, and therefore

4:49:014:49:09

presumably increasing the number of

British citizens overseas who can

4:49:094:49:11

register to vote would completely

overstretch electoral administrators

4:49:114:49:16

who are already being pushed to the

limit. In addition, the requirement

4:49:164:49:22

to keep copies of previous revisions

of registers for more than 15 years,

4:49:224:49:27

whether it be in date or paper

formats, will also have a resource

4:49:274:49:33

implication in the format of

increased ICT server capacity or a

4:49:334:49:36

physical storage area. In light of

these concerns, I would like to...

4:49:364:49:45

Order, order, as we need to consider

the next bill, could I let the House

4:49:454:49:54

know that there will be a public

demonstration outside in which

4:49:544:49:58

democracy will work and will have a

debate on the cruel effects of the

4:49:584:50:01

present bill of... The present law

and young children and those in

4:50:014:50:12

serious health difficulties,

including a young boy who is

4:50:124:50:15

suffering and his parents are

suffering in a terrible way. What

4:50:154:50:19

has happened here today has been a

filibuster organised by one party

4:50:194:50:23

and I'm ashamed to say that I am a

member of that party...

Order,

4:50:234:50:27

order! I have allowed the honourable

gentleman to make his point of order

4:50:274:50:34

about his bill, although he is knows

it is not a point of order but I

4:50:344:50:39

appreciated that he had a point to

make and I have allowed him to make

4:50:394:50:42

it. I will not take criticism of the

chair by use of the word filibuster.

4:50:424:50:48

Kat Smith.

To turn to the bill which

we are currently debating, I think

4:50:484:50:56

that the Government bench has some

questions which I would like to put

4:50:564:51:01

to it, specifically these three

questions. Firstly, of the estimated

4:51:014:51:08

5 million Britons living abroad,

does the Government have any

4:51:084:51:11

indication of how many will apply to

be overseas electors in the run-up

4:51:114:51:15

to UK parliamentary elections? Or a

national referendum if they were to

4:51:154:51:20

be included in that if the 15 year

rule was to be removed? Secondly,

4:51:204:51:25

how does the Government in to fund

DROs for the additional costs

4:51:254:51:29

incurred by these proposals? And

thirdly, what steps is the

4:51:294:51:34

Government going to take to ensure

that elections seems have the

4:51:344:51:37

resources and capacity to manage

that increased volume of electors?

4:51:374:51:45

Madam Deputy Speaker, the devil is

also in the detail which this

4:51:454:51:48

Government has also failed to

provide. According to the bill, and

4:51:484:51:53

overseas vaulter qualified as the

resident is, quote, the person has

4:51:534:51:57

at some time in the past been

entered in an electoral register in

4:51:574:52:02

respect of an address at a place

that is situated within the

4:52:024:52:07

constituency. However, many

questions remain unanswered. For

4:52:074:52:12

example, if an overseas elector was

registered as a previous address but

4:52:124:52:15

then moved to a different address

before leaving the UK whereby they

4:52:154:52:19

did not actually register to vote,

at which addresses should they be

4:52:194:52:23

registering to vote? And as time

goes by, potentially over several

4:52:234:52:29

decades, it can be very difficult

for the ER alls to check previous

4:52:294:52:36

revisions of registers due to

ever-changing localities. This

4:52:364:52:40

includes local Government

reorganisation, appalling understood

4:52:404:52:42

reviews, ward boundary reviews, the

demolition or redevelopment of

4:52:424:52:46

properties, street naming, house

renumbering and limited local

4:52:464:52:52

authority records being available.

Can we seriously expect someone who

4:52:524:52:57

has not lived in this country for,

for example, 40 years to remember

4:52:574:53:02

the exact date they were last

register to vote and their precise

4:53:024:53:06

address that they lived? I think

not. I also question if the current

4:53:064:53:12

deadline to apply to register as an

overseas elector and absent voter

4:53:124:53:16

arrangements are sufficient in the

context of the abolishing of the 15

4:53:164:53:21

year rule. The Association of

Electoral Administrators has also

4:53:214:53:27

urged the Government to consider

bringing forward the voter

4:53:274:53:30

registration deadline for overseas

electors which would allow

4:53:304:53:32

sufficient time to process and check

previous revisions of the register.

4:53:324:53:39

So what steps is the Government

going to take to address these

4:53:394:53:42

concerns? Not only is there a

likelihood of error extremely high,

4:53:424:53:48

but we are leaving our democracy

wide open to potential fraudulent

4:53:484:53:52

activity. In response to the Cabinet

Office policy statements regarding

4:53:524:53:57

overseas voters, the Association of

Electoral Administrators warned that

4:53:574:54:01

scrapping of the 15 year rule would

increase the potential for electoral

4:54:014:54:04

fraud. As part of the Government's

proposals, applicants cannot provide

4:54:044:54:11

a national insurance number or UK

passport can have their identity

4:54:114:54:16

verified by another registered

overseas elector using an

4:54:164:54:20

attestation. This is a signed a

written statement from another

4:54:204:54:24

British citizens overseas who is

registered to vote in the UK. But

4:54:244:54:28

can we honestly expect this to be

sufficient security to prevent

4:54:284:54:32

fraudulent applications? And when

the tester, as well as the applicant

4:54:324:54:37

live abroad, what is the likelihood

of a false declaration resulting in

4:54:374:54:40

prosecution proceedings? My guess

would be very low. There is also no

4:54:404:54:46

way of checking if an overseas voter

is living at the stated address

4:54:464:54:53

abroad. Overseas voters who own and

live in more than one home can

4:54:534:54:57

register more than once and we can

have no way of knowing if people are

4:54:574:55:01

registered multiple times.

What

checks, if there is concern, or will

4:55:014:55:09

the people in Spain or whatever

country who will go and check

4:55:094:55:13

whether these addresses actually

exists or not?

In the context of the

4:55:134:55:20

overstretch nature of elections

officers up and down the country, I

4:55:204:55:23

suspect that there would not be the

capacity for that level of check.

4:55:234:55:27

Given that the Government is

currently, this may, planning to

4:55:274:55:32

trial requiring ID at polling

stations, it seems that the

4:55:324:55:36

requirements approve the identity of

an elector in the UK is far greater

4:55:364:55:39

than...

On the point of order, I beg

at the point of order now be put.

4:55:394:55:50

The question is that the question be

now put.

4:55:504:55:55

As many as are of the opinion, say

"aye". To the contrary, "no".

4:55:554:56:04

Division, division! Clear the lobby.

4:56:044:56:15

F. The question is that the order

now be put. As many as are of the

4:58:174:58:25

opinion, say "aye". To the contrary,

"no". I think the ayes have it. The

4:58:254:58:33

ayes have it. The ayes have it.

Division off. The question is that

4:58:334:58:52

the bill be now read a second time,

as many are of that opinion CI, to

4:58:524:59:01

the contrary know. -- As many as are

of the opinion, say "aye". To the

4:59:014:59:08

contrary, "no". I think the ayes

have it. The ayes have it. The ayes

4:59:084:59:11

have it.

Thank you, Madam Deputy

Speaker.

I will and usually delay

4:59:114:59:26

for a moment to see if the

honourable member who was in the

4:59:264:59:31

chamber until just a few minutes ago

is in fact in the vicinity and I

4:59:314:59:37

will make it clear to the House that

I am not creating a precedent in so

4:59:374:59:44

doing, but I am aware that the

honourable gentleman in question was

4:59:444:59:49

in a wheelchair and it may therefore

take him a little longer to reach

4:59:494:59:56

the chamber. Point of order, Mrs

Gillan.

4:59:565:00:03

Thank you for allowing me to make a

point of order, can I ask what voice

5:00:035:00:13

to -- ask your advice, because some

members were seeking to shout

5:00:135:00:21

against the bill but could the chair

advised me if that is good practice

5:00:215:00:27

in this house because when there is

a body of people shouting no, surely

5:00:275:00:34

normally tethers would be put in

position by those members shouting

5:00:345:00:37

no.

I understand the point that the

lady is making. But it is perfectly

5:00:375:00:48

proper for those opposed to a Bill

to not see the matter through to a

5:00:485:00:53

division. It is not a question of

whether it is bad practice or good

5:00:535:01:00

practice, it is practice which is in

order which is my consideration.

The

5:01:005:01:10

legalisation of cannabis medicinal

purposes Bill, second reading.

I

5:01:105:01:19

have to say, we are now past the

moment of interruption and it would

5:01:195:01:25

have made no difference to his bill

earlier, I was giving him the

5:01:255:01:30

opportunity of just a few seconds to

introduce his bill. The objection

5:01:305:01:36

has been made objection taken,

second reading, what day?

The 6th of

5:01:365:01:45

July.

Object.

Objection taken,

second reading, what day?

Friday the

5:01:455:02:01

16th of March.

Service animals

offences Bill, second reading.

5:02:015:02:11

Objection taken, what day?

The 16th

of March.

Friday the 16th of March

5:02:115:02:24

buses and coaches Bill, second

reading. Objection taken. What day?

5:02:255:02:34

Friday the 22nd of April.

Voter

registration number two reading.

5:02:345:02:43

Object.

I'm glad the honourable

gentleman has moved the bill before

5:02:435:02:50

I can take the objections. Objection

is taken, second reading what day?

5:02:505:03:00

Friday the 16th of March.

Leases,

second reading.

Object.

Objection

5:03:005:03:11

taken, what day?

Friday March the

16th.

Petition, Mr Tom Perce club.

5:03:115:03:22

Thank you. This is a petition being

brought on by half available in

5:03:225:03:29

command half of fiscal who are

concerned that the library will be

5:03:295:03:38

closed -- being brought on behalf of

students at a school who are

5:03:385:03:50

concerned their library will be

closing. I'm sure the shootings of

5:03:505:03:55

the school will be watching the

discipline with

5:03:555:03:57

-- I'm sure the students at the

school will be watching that

5:04:015:04:06

discipline with interest. The

petition is requested that the House

5:04:065:04:09

of Commons urges the government to

compel Northamptonshire County

5:04:095:04:13

Council to make sure that the

library remains open. The petition

5:04:135:04:16

remains.

Petition for the library.

I

beg to move that this house does now

5:04:165:04:36

adjourned.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

It

is a pleasure to be here on a Friday

5:04:365:04:45

afternoon after that excitement and

I hope to take you and the house on

5:04:455:04:51

a slightly different action. We

might think of St Francis of Assisi

5:04:515:04:54

as the original saintly animal

conservationist but while he

5:04:545:04:58

preached to the birds, St Cuthbert

is believed to have some of the

5:04:585:05:07

Eider duck population in

Northumberland enjoy his protection.

5:05:075:05:13

There was a famous episode involving

Cuthbert standing neck deep in the

5:05:135:05:19

sea and praying after which two

otters dried his feet with their

5:05:195:05:22

first. The animals were rewarded

with a blessing and went on their

5:05:225:05:27

way but perhaps the animal most

associated with St Cuthbert is the

5:05:275:05:30

Eider duck. The first we hear of

their association with Cuthbert is

5:05:305:05:38

in the 12th century, 500 years after

his death. The monks had a small

5:05:385:05:44

cell and chapel on the island, one

of the beautiful farm islands now

5:05:445:05:48

visited by hundreds of thousands of

visitors every year in my

5:05:485:05:52

constituency, they shared this

island home with a large nesting

5:05:525:05:56

population of Eider ducks and

Cuthbert is said to have tamed these

5:05:565:05:59

duck so well that they would nest

everywhere, even next to the chapel

5:05:595:06:01

altar without fear. Cuthbert had

also placed the ducks under his

5:06:015:06:07

protective grey so that no one

should eat or even disturb them and

5:06:075:06:10

it is the case that every spring on

the many islands in my constituency

5:06:105:06:16

you will find the Eider ducks in a

shallow area of the ground safe from

5:06:165:06:25

predators thanks to the careful work

of the RSPB and the National Trust

5:06:255:06:29

Rangers who look after the silent

reserves. The ducks cannot have

5:06:295:06:33

remained entirely understood by the

monks as we note the appearance of

5:06:335:06:42

inventory in Durham. Perhaps the

sacred purpose of the plot feathers

5:06:425:06:48

excuse the necessary disturbance to

the ducks and certainly other monks

5:06:485:06:51

who had eaten are as back harassed

Eider ducks were struck down by

5:06:515:06:57

Cuthbert's curse. And so it is that

the association with place is very

5:06:575:07:04

strong and I have a great privilege

of being the Eider duck's advocate

5:07:045:07:09

today, and only the ducks are in a

farm were protected in Cuthbert's

5:07:095:07:14

time but the other ducks weren't.

However in modern protection terms

5:07:145:07:20

today many other species of our

spectacular island bird are

5:07:205:07:23

protected but not the Eider duck.

The creation in recent years of 50

5:07:235:07:31

marine conservation zones with more

planned by this government will no

5:07:315:07:36

doubt received the approval of

Cuthbert, bridge to won providing

5:07:365:07:45

protection for wildlife, protecting

important marine wildlife and their

5:07:455:07:51

habitats, forming part of what is

known as the blue belt. Our

5:07:515:07:57

spectacular Northumberland coast is

teeming with wildlife on sea birds

5:07:575:08:02

-- from sea birds including the

boffin who flies like a fast jet,

5:08:025:08:09

two porpoises and the grey seal --

puffin. Below the surface the blue

5:08:095:08:17

belt is a bustling city of

crustaceans and molluscs, alongside

5:08:175:08:21

an extensive and healthy fish

population and it is wonderful that

5:08:215:08:25

the creation of this means that our

rich and diverse sea life will now

5:08:255:08:29

be further protected from the

effects of dredging and trolling is

5:08:295:08:32

so that many future generations can

enjoy explore and learn about

5:08:325:08:38

nature's world under the waves but

St Cuthbert would be disappointed to

5:08:385:08:41

discover that within the uninhabited

island which does not yet include

5:08:415:08:50

amongst its protected species the

Eider duck. The common idea is a

5:08:505:08:56

large sea. Which is to did in the

northern coast of Europe and North

5:08:565:09:00

America to eastern Siberia, -- which

is found. It can form large flocks

5:09:005:09:07

on coastal waters, and our duck can

fly up to 70 miles prowl, and their

5:09:075:09:14

nest is built close to the sea and

is lied with eiderdown, plucked from

5:09:145:09:18

the female's breast -- blind.

Although eiderdown pillows are now a

5:09:185:09:27

rarity, eiderdown harvesting

continues and when it is done with

5:09:275:09:30

no harm to the birds. The common

idea is the largest of the four

5:09:305:09:37

species and the largest duck found

in Europe and North America and the

5:09:375:09:40

Mavis unmistakable with his black

and white plumage and the female is

5:09:405:09:44

a brown bird -- the mail is a

mistake though. -- the mail is

5:09:445:09:51

unmistakable. The Eider will eat

mussels by swallowing them whole,

5:09:515:09:55

the shells are then crashed and

excreted, and while eating a crab

5:09:555:10:00

the Eider will remove its claws and

legs and is the body in this

5:10:005:10:03

fashion. They are colonial breeders

and they nest on these islands, in

5:10:035:10:10

size from a hundred to up to a

thousand in some parts of the world.

5:10:105:10:16

They returned to breed on the same

island where they were hatched, and

5:10:165:10:19

this can lead to a high degree of

relations between individuals

5:10:195:10:23

nesting on the same island so I feel

the Eider ducks are very much part

5:10:235:10:27

of our family. They fly from here

and across the sea use the mudflats

5:10:275:10:36

as a feeding ground for the young,

and it's a true sea duck and rarely

5:10:365:10:42

found away from coasts, and they

feed in the intertidal zone of the

5:10:425:10:47

Northumberland Shore side of

scientific interest and late in the

5:10:475:10:53

year, other Eider migrated here.

Colonies benefit from production of

5:10:535:11:01

these sites only provide protection

on the land -- Colonies benefit from

5:11:015:11:08

this protection but the sites only

provide protection on the land. This

5:11:085:11:12

number dropped to around 300 and the

site is now being managed to address

5:11:125:11:16

this long-term decline and make it

an important winter feeding area for

5:11:165:11:20

Eider from across Europe. They are

listed as nearly threatened globally

5:11:205:11:25

and vulnerable in Europe, a species

is one which has been categorised as

5:11:255:11:31

likely to become in -- endangered.

These declines are thought to be

5:11:315:11:41

driven by a range of threats

including overharvesting of aquatic

5:11:415:11:44

resources and pollution and

disturbance and hunting. In Britain

5:11:445:11:47

they are classified they are at risk

and disturbance is the primary

5:11:475:11:54

threat to our Eider resulting in

loss of access to feeding areas and

5:11:545:11:59

increased predation at breeding

grounds, there are several studies

5:11:595:12:01

considering the common idea in

relation to human disturbances. The

5:12:015:12:05

study of the effects of human

disturbance at breeding sites found

5:12:055:12:08

that when disturbed some ducklings

and sometimes the mother dived and

5:12:085:12:13

the breeding Connelly was

temporarily dispersed. During the

5:12:135:12:19

disturbance attacks by predators

increased, the study found that

5:12:195:12:22

predation of chicks by seagull

attacks was more than 200 times

5:12:225:12:26

higher than >> STUDIO: -- more than

200 times higher on disturbed

5:12:265:12:35

Colonies. This disturbance has been

addressed. They can protect

5:12:355:12:45

biodiversity and they are intended

to allow a wider spectrum of

5:12:455:12:49

protection and they form a key part

of the wider suite of management

5:12:495:12:53

measures including marine planning

and ecosystem objectives and

5:12:535:12:55

licensing and fisheries management.

But the designation of protected

5:12:555:13:00

areas is the best means of securing

the necessary commitment from marine

5:13:005:13:03

managers to make sure that

activities can be restricted where

5:13:035:13:08

necessary to protect biodiversity.

Whilst the area used by Eider around

5:13:085:13:16

Northumberland overlaps with an

existing European marine site they

5:13:165:13:19

do not receive any legal protection

from the existing designation within

5:13:195:13:22

the new marine conservation zone.

The RSPB has asked the government to

5:13:225:13:26

add the Eider duck to the list of

protected species and our friends

5:13:265:13:34

reside in this zone all year round

but they are not covered with the

5:13:345:13:38

legislation. The populations have

continued to decline over the last

5:13:385:13:43

few decades and so protection of

their sea -based feeding is

5:13:435:13:50

essential. The island colony is all

the more in need of protection and

5:13:505:13:56

in so doing the list will allow

protection and management for the

5:13:565:14:01

special birds to be put into place.

Adding Eider to the existing list

5:14:015:14:05

will enable proactive management to

reduce the disturbance, they can

5:14:055:14:15

carry out monitoring and enforcement

where necessary such as speed

5:14:155:14:17

restrictions and limiting boat

traffic in sensitive areas.

5:14:175:14:25

This would also raise awareness of

sensitive PCs which would benefit

5:14:255:14:30

tourism, therefore proposal should

also include education. I would ask

5:14:305:14:38

that the Minister consider that the

Government is willing to include our

5:14:385:14:41

eider ducks and to go further and

commits to also giving them

5:14:415:14:47

protection across the farm islands,

too, as these unique islands and

5:14:475:14:51

surrounding areas become integrated

into the NT said as it reaches

5:14:515:14:58

further north in the months ahead. I

understand conversations are already

5:14:585:15:00

taking place on this and I would

like the Minister to drive these

5:15:005:15:06

forward so that her feathered

residents, whom I consider

5:15:065:15:12

constituents worthy of

representation, can live in a place

5:15:125:15:15

of safety for their long-term

species kick survival to the

5:15:155:15:21

insured.

Can I begin by

congratulating my honourable friend,

5:15:215:15:25

the member for Berwick-upon-Tweed,

or securing this debate and I think

5:15:255:15:29

it is a very nice, uplifting debate

to finish on after a number of

5:15:295:15:33

rather fractious points of order in

the last business we have. As she

5:15:335:15:39

said, the common eider ranges widely

across the Arctic and Northern

5:15:395:15:43

Europe, but is listed as threatened

by the International union for

5:15:435:15:46

conservation of nature. As she

pointed out, the eider duck has a

5:15:465:15:50

long established association with

the county of Northumberland where

5:15:505:15:54

it was the subject of one of the

first acts of conservation. My

5:15:545:15:59

honourable friend said that it was

in the eighth century that Saint

5:15:595:16:03

Cuthbert took action to protect this

wonderful species. I am reliably

5:16:035:16:06

informed by my department at Saint

Cuthbert actually is reported to

5:16:065:16:11

have established protection laws,

the very first protection whilst we

5:16:115:16:15

had in this country for wildlife,

for Northumberland's eiders as early

5:16:155:16:22

as 676, so this is a very important

species. As Saint Cuthbert is the

5:16:225:16:27

patron state of Northumberland, it

was natural that the eider should be

5:16:275:16:30

chosen as the county's Engelbert and

eiders are still often called Scotty

5:16:305:16:37

dogs in the area, this being the

familiar of Cuthbert. -- ducks. Is

5:16:375:16:46

that swindle commemorates this and

about 5000 eiders are still to be

5:16:465:16:51

found in Northumberland, about a

third of the English population.

5:16:515:16:55

Collection of eiderdown for use in

quilt is recorded as far back as the

5:16:555:16:59

14th century and the practice almost

led to the eider's extinction in the

5:16:595:17:04

19th century. These days, the

biggest threat to eider ducks are a

5:17:045:17:09

prediction and degradation of

nesting habitats. Adults can also be

5:17:095:17:13

disturbed by boat traffic at seat

which disrupts their bleeding as my

5:17:135:17:16

oral friend pointed out. Eider ducks

are already protected in the islands

5:17:165:17:26

sites of special scientific interest

and also in the Lindisfarne special

5:17:265:17:30

protected area. They are also

protected in other designated sites

5:17:305:17:34

in England, Scotland and Northern

Ireland. As a wild bird, common

5:17:345:17:39

eider are also protected under the

wildlife and countryside act.

5:17:395:17:43

Land-based conservation measures are

currently provided to protect eider

5:17:435:17:51

duck populations. Principal

activities ensure the continuation

5:17:515:17:55

of suitable nesting habitat,

bio-security checks and lethal

5:17:555:17:59

control measures for rats and goals

were necessary. Marine conservation

5:17:595:18:04

is important to protect our seas, to

protect underwater habitats and to

5:18:045:18:09

help Seelye flourish. Oceans are our

greatest natural asset and must be

5:18:095:18:14

protected for the health of our

planet and for the disparity of

5:18:145:18:18

future generations. In our 25 year

environment plan that we published

5:18:185:18:22

last month, we set out how we will

soon fill our ambition to leave the

5:18:225:18:27

environment and a better state than

we found it, building on existing

5:18:275:18:32

strategies and identifying key areas

of focus. We want even cleaner air

5:18:325:18:37

and water, richer habitats for

wildlife, and an approach to

5:18:375:18:42

fishing, agriculture and land use

which puts the environment first.

5:18:425:18:45

Plastic in the sea is of course a

hazard for our sea birds. We

5:18:455:18:49

regulated for the world's toughest

ban so far against plastic micro

5:18:495:18:54

beads in cosmetics and personal care

products. We must reduced the public

5:18:545:19:00

reliance on plastics and also

incentivised recycling and to

5:19:005:19:05

prevent harmful materials entering

the sea. The UK is at the forefront

5:19:055:19:10

in establishing marine protected

areas. We are committed to providing

5:19:105:19:14

a well-managed blue belt around her

cost. We currently have nearly 300

5:19:145:19:19

sites protecting 23% of UK waters

and around 133 of those cover 35% of

5:19:195:19:26

English inshore and offshore waters.

We have 50 Marine conservation zones

5:19:265:19:30

already protecting a range of marine

animals and plants and the sea bed

5:19:305:19:35

habitats they depend on. The UK is

particularly blessed with sea birds.

5:19:355:19:41

The UK host over half the sea birds

in the EU during the breeding season

5:19:415:19:45

with approximately 3.5 million pairs

across 26 different species. Our sea

5:19:455:19:52

birds are principally protected by

sites of special scientific interest

5:19:525:19:56

is set up under domestic

legislation. And also by special

5:19:565:20:00

protection areas set up under the EU

birds directive. Across the EU, we

5:20:005:20:06

now have... Across the UK, rather,

we now have 106 marine special

5:20:065:20:11

protection areas protecting birds

and 18,000 square kilometres of the

5:20:115:20:19

marine habitats that they depend on.

The EU withdrawal bill, we will make

5:20:195:20:22

sure that marine protected area set

up under EU directives will continue

5:20:225:20:25

to be effectively protected after we

have left the EU. We aim to complete

5:20:255:20:29

our blue belt and our conservation

to the international ecologic recall

5:20:295:20:35

network of marine protection areas

with the third and final tranche of

5:20:355:20:38

marine conservation efforts. This

will also fulfil our domestic

5:20:385:20:44

obligation to find a network of

sites which it sees. The tranche of

5:20:445:20:50

green conservation zones will be

consulted on this, with

5:20:505:20:55

consultations taking place in 2019.

It is at this point that I would

5:20:555:20:59

like to turn to the specific

proposal from my honourable friend

5:20:595:21:04

relating to the M C Z. Our general

view has always been that MCZs are

5:21:045:21:15

best featured to protect features

rather than highly mobile species

5:21:155:21:20

however, not exclusively, and a

number of years ago we established

5:21:205:21:23

criteria against which we could

judge where it is appropriate for

5:21:235:21:26

MCZs to be used to protect birds. As

part of this third tranche, we

5:21:265:21:32

didn't have an opportunity to

include some designations for highly

5:21:325:21:35

mobile species and that could

include, for instance, the eider

5:21:355:21:40

ducks where this is supported by

evidence that there conservation

5:21:405:21:46

would be supported by site-based

measured. This is likely to be the

5:21:465:21:49

exception rather than the rule, but

by this end, we invited conservation

5:21:495:21:54

charities to have an opportunity to

propose a number of sites to us and

5:21:545:21:58

I can say that we had 21 proposals

for sites that were recommended by

5:21:585:22:05

NGOs who claims that they fitted the

criteria that we had set out. 11 of

5:22:055:22:09

those sites were from the RSPB and

this does include one relating to

5:22:095:22:14

eider ducks which I am going to

return to a little later. We

5:22:145:22:18

established, as I said, a couple of

years ago, some criteria from which

5:22:185:22:22

we would judge where it is

appropriate to use the MCZ process

5:22:225:22:26

to protect mobile species. First of

all, we need to ensure that area

5:22:265:22:30

-based protection will be the most

effective approach to protecting

5:22:305:22:32

highly mobile species rather than

measures which could be applied more

5:22:325:22:37

widely. This is likely to be the

case where the species using

5:22:375:22:41

specific area for part of their life

cycle, for example, and this could

5:22:415:22:46

include nesting and feeding areas

which is why we already have

5:22:465:22:49

protection for many sea bird

breeding colonies and the adjacent

5:22:495:22:51

foraging areas that they use. Other

criteria is that are important in

5:22:515:22:55

our consideration of the proposals

are the year-on-year presence of the

5:22:555:22:59

species within the site in

significant numbers and the

5:22:595:23:03

suitability of the size of that

site. In selecting which sites may

5:23:035:23:07

be suitable as marine conservation

zones, we are also looking very

5:23:075:23:11

carefully at what it will mean in

terms of possible restrictions on

5:23:115:23:15

people who use the area to make

their living or use it for

5:23:155:23:19

recreation. We are aiming to strike

the right balance, achieve our

5:23:195:23:23

ambitious marine conservation aims,

but do so in a way that has the

5:23:235:23:26

least impact on sea users. The RSPB

have specifically proposed that

5:23:265:23:32

eider ducks are added as a

protective feature to the existing

5:23:325:23:39

marine conservation zone,

principally to protect them while

5:23:395:23:42

foraging. We are considering this

proposal very carefully and the

5:23:425:23:46

comments that my honourable friend

has made in highlighting this debate

5:23:465:23:50

to date have been well made and I

will ensure that my honourable

5:23:505:23:55

friend, the member for Suffolk

Coastal, who leads on this issue and

5:23:555:23:59

the officials dealing with the MCZ

process are informed of the boys she

5:23:595:24:06

has made. In our consultation this

problem was leg summer, we will set

5:24:065:24:10

out which conservation zones we are

proposing to include in the third

5:24:105:24:15

tranche and we will explain why they

are important for protecting our sea

5:24:155:24:19

life and the likely impacts on sea

users. I hope that honourable

5:24:195:24:24

members will ask their constituents

to take part in that important

5:24:245:24:31

constitution for a large group of

new cars with the conservation

5:24:315:24:35

zones. It is not enough to set up

these areas, we must ensure they are

5:24:355:24:39

well-managed. So far, 29 new bylaws

and 70 voluntary measures have been

5:24:395:24:44

implemented in marine protected

areas specifically for marine

5:24:445:24:48

conservation purposes and a further

21 bylaws are expected before the

5:24:485:24:51

end of this year. As we complete our

network of marine protected areas,

5:24:515:24:57

we will make sure that the new sites

are well-managed, too. If eider

5:24:575:25:01

ducks are included in the Marine

conservation zone, then management

5:25:015:25:06

is likely to principally focused on

reducing both disturbance of eider

5:25:065:25:11

while they are foraging, giving them

a better chance to survive and read

5:25:115:25:14

successfully. I am informed that one

of the key concerns is that because

5:25:145:25:19

they are a very large and heavy

duck, frequent disturbance when they

5:25:195:25:24

are trying to forage by speedboat

and the like can actually mean that

5:25:245:25:28

they expend a lot of energy and that

can affect their survival. I think

5:25:285:25:34

we have had a very good debate. My

honourable friend has raised some

5:25:345:25:38

important points. I hope she will

understand that I am not able to say

5:25:385:25:42

today exactly what the conclusion of

that consultation will be, nor

5:25:425:25:47

indeed exactly what the shape of

that consultation will be, but I

5:25:475:25:50

hope I have been able to reassure

her that my department is very much

5:25:505:25:56

cited on this issue, passionate

about the importance of the eider.

5:25:565:25:59

And I can assure her that this

particular proposal she makes is

5:25:595:26:03

receiving very close attention

indeed.

The question is that the

5:26:035:26:09

House does now adjourned. As many as

are of the opinion, say "aye". To

5:26:095:26:12

the contrary, "no". The ayes have

it. Order, order!

5:26:125:26:27

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons including the second readings of the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill, the Overseas Electors Bill and the Legalisation of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes) Bill.


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