20/03/2018 House of Commons


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20/03/2018

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including consideration of the Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill.


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any benefit that accrues from the

subsidiary actually goes to the NHS

0:00:000:00:02

because it is fully owned by the

public sector.

Order. Urgent

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question, Alistair Carmichael.

I'd

like to thank you for allowing this

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urgent question and giving us a

voice in this chamber today. I wish

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to ask the Secretary of State for

environment, food and rule affairs

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if you'd make a statement on the

progress of negotiations relating to

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future fisheries management

associations after the UK leaves the

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EU.

Thank you. I'd let to thank you

for this opportunity to update the

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house. Can I begin by paying tribute

to the hard work of ministers and

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especially the civil servants of our

country's negotiating team who

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concluded an agreement on the nature

and length of the implementation

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period which will help us to prepare

for life after Brexit. An agreed

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text will now go to the March

Council of the European Union and

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after that council at the end of

this week the Prime Minister will

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update the house on Monday. The

house will be aware there are

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important legal and technical

questions relating to fisheries

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management which means it occupies a

special position in these

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negotiations. Both the EU and our

negotiators were always clear

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specific arrangements would have to

be agreed for fisheries. Our

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proposal to the EU was there during

the implementation period we'd sit

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alongside other coastal states as a

third country and equal partner in

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annual quota negotiations and in

making that case we did so after

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full consultation with

representatives of the fisheries

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industry. We pressed hard during

negotiations to secure this outcome

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and we are disappointed that you

were not willing to move on this.

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However, it is the case that thanks

to the hard work of our negotiating

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team, the text was amended from the

original proposal and the commission

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have agreed to amendments to the

text which provide additional

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reassurance. The revised text

clarifies the UK's share of quotas

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will not change during the

implementation period and the UK can

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attend international negotiations.

The agreement includes an obligation

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on both sides to act in good faith

throughout the implementation period

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and any attempt by the EU to operate

in a way which would harm the

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fishing industry would breach that

obligation. These arrangements were

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all dig-mac only apply to

negotiations in December 2019 where,

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at the table, and in December 2020,

we will be negotiating fishing

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opportunities as a third country and

independent coastal state deciding

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who can access our waters and on

what terms for the first time in

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over 40 years. It is important we

use this transition period to ensure

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we can negotiate as a third country

and independent coastal state in

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2020 to maximise the benefits for

our coastal communities to ensure we

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can control who accesses our waters,

on what times and ensure we manage

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our marine resources sustainably. We

are already looking at a range of

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considerations for future fishing

opportunities. In the UK, exclusive

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economic zone. There is a

significant prize at the end of the

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implementation period and it is

important that all of us in every

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area accept this and period is

necessary. For our coastal

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environment, it is an opportunity.

It is critical that all of us in the

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interest of the whole nation keep

our eyes on that prize.

I'd like to

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thank the Secretary of State for

that answer. As recently as two

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weeks ago the Prime Minister didn't

see this as a necessary step. I have

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to tell him if he doesn't already

know it that the mood in fishing

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communities today is one of palpable

anger. This is not what they were

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promised. And the basic question the

Secretary of State has to answer

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today is this. If they can let us

down like this over the deal on a

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transitional period, how do we know

they will not do it again when it

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comes to the final deal? When it

comes to it, will they trade away

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access for waters to access for

markets or anything else? Mr

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Speaker, the house needs to hear

today how this bizarre arrangement

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is going to work in practice. The EU

Norway deal in macro is due to

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expire at the end of this year. We

thought it would be rolled over for

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12 months. Is it still going to be

the case? And Swat Valley will there

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be to the EU Commission agreeing

another bad heels for our feet? The

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Secretary of State should know that

British boats have a particular

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problem with hate as a choke

species. That is a problem for our

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fleet and nobody else. Does he

really expect the other 27 member

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countries are going to come up with

a solution to something that is a

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problem only for us and not for

them? Mr Speaker, it is reported the

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government's Chief Whip today turned

back yesterday told his backbenchers

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it isn't like the fishermen are

going to vote Labour. If that is

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true, it betrays a certain attitude

and the Secretary of State shouldn't

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be complacent. He should not take it

for granted that in the future they

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will be voting Tory either.

I'm very

grateful to the honourable gentleman

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Orchestra and detailed comments. The

first thing I'd happily acknowledge

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is there is disappointment in

fishing communities. I know as

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someone whose father was a fish

merchant and his grandparents went

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to see two fish I understand how

fishing communities feel about the

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situation. I share the

disappointment. The second thing is

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the honourable gentleman asks about

future negotiations and the role we

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will play. There is a unique

12-month period leading up to 2019

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when at the end of 2019 in the

December council the EU will argue

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on the UK's behalf the UK will be

there as part of the delegation,

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consulted in order to ensure all the

legitimate interests he raises are

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fairly represented. It's also the

case he raises the discard ban. The

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truth is every single fishing nation

is affected by it and buy a choke

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species and that we operate

collectively with our neighbours in

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order to ensure that we have the

correct means of marine conservation

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because unless we have a system that

involves the discard ban, we can

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have overfishing which has led in

the past to an unhappy outcome to

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fishing communities. The final point

is that of course no one takes any

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one vote for granted, certainly not

the votes of people who work so hard

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in order to make sure we have food

and played. The only party in this

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house actually committed to leaving

the common fisheries policy is the

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Conservative Party.

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I should say, in Fenners, our

colleagues in the Democratic

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Unionist Party share that as well.

It's critical that we ensure that

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leaving the common fisheries policy

at the end of that, means that the

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communities that all of us have the

one of representing benefit from

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what that will bring.

Another

secretary state knows that 45 years

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ago the fishermen felt they have a

very bad deal. They want their

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fishing rights back. Can I be

reassured by him that as we have

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this interim deal that we can

actually register ourselves as an

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independent coastal state, so that

on the 1st of January 21 we have

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complete control of our waters?

Yes,

my honourable friend the chairman of

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the select committee is absolutely

right. One of the things we can do

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is make sure that not just from the

1st of January 2021, but in December

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2020, that we are negotiating as an

independent coastal state and we

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will be able to join the fishermen

management association in advance of

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those, which any state has to be

part of to ensure that the marine

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environment is adequately protected.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I'm grateful

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to the right honourable member for

Orkney and Shetland for securing

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this urgent question and for the

secretary state's opening comments.

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But I still have several questions.

The secretary of state, alongside

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fisheries minister, have asserted

time and time again that the UK

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would take back absolute control of

the Borders after leaving the

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European Union and the London

Fisheries Convention. Following

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those announcements, we know that

the rest of the Government has been

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having very different conversations

with the EU 27. The announcement

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made by the sexual state for exiting

the European Union and the chief

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negotiator Michel Barnier, head of

the negotiations, made clear that

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the UK would continue to be part of

the fisheries policy in a

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post-Brexit transition period,

extended to 2020. The announcement

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that the total allowable catch will

remain unchanged during the

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transition period contradicts all

previous Government statements, and

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it is understandable that many

coastal MPs and fishing divinities

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feel so angry and let down. The

government backed's failure to meet

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previously stated aims through

negotiations is one that requires

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greater explanation and examination

on the floor of the house. This

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Government must be absolutely clear

about who is leading the

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negotiations on fishing and what its

position is. Has the government

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backed failed to secure the desired

position, as advocated by the

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fisheries minister, all was that

never the position of the

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negotiating team? If the red line

has moved, and the secretary of

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state tell the house if there has

been an exchange and what wasn't

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secured instead? Last week, I asked

the Fisheries Minister if he had

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seen the negotiation, and what was

the response? He said at the end of

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the day does not matter what the

European Union asks for, but what we

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are prepared to grant it. Can the

secretary of state be explicit in

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outlining what the Government is

prepared to grant the EU in relation

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to fisheries? Can he also inform the

house what the transition

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arrangement with EU will mean for

the London Convention? Sexual state

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will have seen the comments from the

less than satisfied fishing -- the

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Secretary of State will have seen

the comments from less than fishing

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amenities. It must have a

sustainable approach at its very

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core. What we now need from the

Government is a move away from the

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chaotic approach we have seen this

week, and instead honesty and

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clarity about the negotiating

position and exactly what that

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means, Mr Speaker, for the fishing

industry.

I am grateful to the

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honourable lady for her questions.

The first thing to make clear is

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that the London Fisheries Convention

we will be leaving, and we will be

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out of that, and the Common

fisheries policy, by the time the

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fermentation period ends. It is also

important to recognise that during

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the period that the fermentation

period covers, it will be the case

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that our share of total allowable

catch will not be altered. This is a

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protection during the period of 2019

for all of those that want to make

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sure that we have, during that

period, the stability required in

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order to prepare for the additional

opportunities that will come at the

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end of this fermentation period. The

critical point remains that the

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dividing line, I hesitate to say it

redline, but the dividing line

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between the Government and its

supporters and those that are its

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critics is that we believe when we

leave the European union we should

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leave the Common Fisheries Policy.

It is not the position of any other

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party in this house that we should

leave the Common Fisheries Policy

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and take advantage of the

opportunities that accrue. In that

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regard, the comments of my right

honourable friend about the capacity

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of the UK to say what it will accept

and what it will not accept refers

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clearly and unambiguously to what

will occur after the implimentation

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period ends and we are an

independent coastal state outside

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the European Union.

Thank you, Mr

Speaker, for granting this urgent

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question. I think it shows the level

of interest in this subject across

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the house. I am sure the secretary

of state will understand that there

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is no way I can sell this deal in

the transition period as anything

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like a success to fishing amenities

in Moray, Scotland or the UK. Can

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the Secretary of State confirm that

when we leave the Common Fisheries

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Policy in 2020 we will have full

control over fish stocks and vessel

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access? If fishing amenities feel

let down and anger that this

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Government is doing at the moment,

they need that guarantee.

That will

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be the case across the north-east of

Scotland and across the United

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Kingdom, people will be disappointed

that the proposal that we sought to

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ensure that would apply for 2019 did

not apply for that year. I think it

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is also important to recognise that

this is a 12 month additional

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extension to the maintenance of the

EU

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extension to the maintenance of the

EU, and we accept that to secure the

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greater prize, which he is right to

remind the house is only available

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if we leave the Common Fisheries

Policy, take back control and make

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absolutely clear to other countries

that access and quotas will be in

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our hands.

Mr Speaker, with the

Conservatives it is always somebody

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else's false, Mr Speaker. When the

Conservatives tag -- somebody else's

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fault. When they took us into the

Common Fisheries Policy, Scotland's

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fishermen were described as

expendable. We are used to Scottish

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Tory sell-outs, but even Scotland's

fishermen will be surprised how

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quickly that one was turned around.

Will the Minister tell me at what

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point the fishermen became a

bargaining chip, or has that been

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the case all along? Does he agree

with me that we are now in the worst

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of all worlds, that we are in the

Common Fisheries Policy, but no say,

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and will he also tell me why, over

the years, the SNP has proposed

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changes to bring greater control

over fishing policies, but they have

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been rejected? Does he agree with me

that it is because it is a big

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industry in Scotland, important to

the Scottish Government, but means

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nothing at Westminster?

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Mr Speaker, psychologists have a

phenomenon called projection, it

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means when you describe someone else

you are really talking about

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yourself. It is really interesting

that the Scottish National Party

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spokesman should talk about always

blaming somebody else. It always

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being somebody else's fault. For a

party that has raised grievance to

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an artform, they have a downed cheek

making that case. They have a

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particular cheek making that case,

because it is the Scottish

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Nationalists's policy to stay in a

customs union and the Common

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Fisheries Policy. The party that is

committed to giving Scottish

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fishermen and all fishermen across

the United Kingdom a brighter future

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by leaving the Common Fisheries

Policy is this party and this

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Government. I'm afraid the 90

seconds of concentrated... What is

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the word? It is probably

unparliamentary. The 90 seconds that

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we just heard from the gentleman, I

think, will be met with the contempt

0:16:210:16:26

it deserves.

I think it was 56

seconds. The honourable gentleman

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has involved in some statistical

rounding. John Redwood?

Will the

0:16:300:16:36

Government go to the council that we

can say the deal from the EU is

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unacceptable, that we voted to take

back control of fish, money, Borders

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and laws, we have accepted a two

year, nine month transitional

0:16:440:16:48

period, so will the Government just

get on with it?

I completely

0:16:480:16:52

understand the Right Honourable

Gentleman's feelings on this matter.

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I want to reassure him that our

negotiating team negotiated hard

0:16:540:16:58

coming good faith, and armed with

the support of our fisheries

0:16:580:17:09

industry to try to get the best

possible deal. We did not get

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everything we wanted, but it is the

case that it is the view of this

0:17:120:17:15

Government, and I think the majority

of people in this house, that we

0:17:150:17:17

need to make sure that this

negotiation period succeeds to get

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the greater prize that Brexit gives

at the end of it.

I would like to

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congratulate the honourable member

for submitting this urgent question.

0:17:230:17:26

The truth is that the Tories are

treating this industry as

0:17:260:17:30

expendable. The Secretary of State

talked about revival. But industry

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can't revive based on the status quo

the Government has delivered on the

0:17:330:17:37

CFP. Does he understand why my

constituency, Great Grimsby, will

0:17:370:17:41

see this as a total sell-out, with

not even a say at the negotiating

0:17:410:17:44

table for the next two years?

It is

not the case that anybody on this

0:17:440:17:49

side of the house regards fishing

communities or the fishing community

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as expendable. That is why we are

0:17:520:18:04

investing more in our top-level

marine scientific advisory bodies,

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why we are investing more in the

marine management organisations that

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will be responsible for making sure

our fisheries industry is effective.

0:18:120:18:14

Why we are investing more in

protection vessels to ensure that

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the opportunities, DC opportunity

from outside the CFP can be properly

0:18:160:18:19

taken advantage of. The idea we

don't care about fisheries and the

0:18:190:18:21

idea we are not investing in their

future, it is not true. The

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honourable lady may express

disappointment. I will frankly

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expressed his appointment that we

did not secure everything we wanted

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in these negotiations. It is vitally

important we all focus on the bigger

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prize ahead, and I can completely

understand why there are some

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people, and I exempt the honourable

lady, who wants to make partisan

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points. But the future of the

fishing industry is bigger than

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that.

Mr Speaker, why won't my right

honourable friend and Sir

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specifically the question raised by

our honourable friend for Moray? Why

0:18:480:18:53

will he not give a guarantee that in

2020 we will take back control over

0:18:530:18:57

our fishing and our waters?

I had

believed, and I must apologise to

0:18:570:19:03

the house if I did not make it

clear, that I made it clear in my

0:19:030:19:08

original statement that even before

the transition period ends, we will

0:19:080:19:12

be negotiating as an independent

coastal state. I hope that is

0:19:120:19:15

sufficient guarantee and reassurance

to my right honourable friend, as

0:19:150:19:18

well as my honourable friend, the

member for Moray.

Given we export

0:19:180:19:25

such a large proportion of prawns

and other shellfish to Europe,

0:19:250:19:28

shouldn't we have the freest

possible trade with Europe?

Yes.

0:19:280:19:35

Jacob Rees-Mogg?

0:19:350:19:36

I am slightly concerned by my right

honourable friend's tone in relation

0:19:400:19:44

to negotiations that the European

Commission would not allow us

0:19:440:19:47

something. In a negotiation, surely

it is a question of what importance

0:19:470:19:50

we put on something as to whether we

get it? Therefore, I ask my right

0:19:500:19:54

honourable friend what did we get in

return?

The big prize that we have

0:19:540:20:00

secured is an implimentation period

that allows us as a country to

0:20:000:20:03

prepare for all of the benefits

Brexit will bring. Having campaigned

0:20:030:20:05

with the Right Honourable Gentleman

ensure that Britain can leave the

0:20:050:20:15

European Union, it is important we

do so in good order. It allows us

0:20:150:20:18

the time and space to do just that.

As the sector stayed well knows,

0:20:180:20:21

meetings of the fisheries Council

tend to go on into the early hours.

0:20:210:20:25

-- the secretary of state. Could he

clarify, under the terms of the

0:20:250:20:31

transitional agreement, whether

Britain will have the possibility of

0:20:310:20:36

being in the room when those

decisions are made, or does Article

0:20:360:20:42

125 of the draft agreement mean that

we will be able to provide comment?

0:20:420:20:46

If we can only provide comments,

what impact does he expect the

0:20:460:20:50

comments to have one final decisions

are taken in the meeting itself?

It

0:20:500:20:54

is very clear we will be consulted,

not just consulted in a perfunctory

0:20:540:21:00

way. The scientific advice and

evidence that our top-level marine

0:21:000:21:05

scientists generate will also shape

the negotiations. It is only for one

0:21:050:21:09

year, December 19, that we will be

in that position. The principle of

0:21:090:21:14

the European Union operating in good

faith towards the UK is one that I

0:21:140:21:18

do take seriously, because if the

European Union were to act in a way

0:21:180:21:21

come in at one year, that would

demonstrate bad faith, apart from

0:21:210:21:25

the mechanisms that police the

withdrawal agreement and the

0:21:250:21:28

implantation period, it would also

be the case that Britain, having

0:21:280:21:30

taken back control of its waters,

might be in a position to be less

0:21:300:21:33

generous than the EU would want us

to be.

0:21:330:21:39

The economy of Cleethorpes and its

adjoining towns have never really

0:21:390:21:43

recovered from what locals see as

the betrayal in the original

0:21:430:21:46

negotiations to enter the EU. During

the times, successive governments

0:21:460:21:54

have not given sufficient attention

to coastal communities. Can the

0:21:540:21:58

Secretary of State assure me that he

and other government departments

0:21:580:22:01

will support these coastal

communities to a greater extent, but

0:22:010:22:05

a clean now they've got to wait that

little bit longer before the

0:22:050:22:11

benefits of leaving the EU are fully

felt?

I think my friend Mike is

0:22:110:22:15

right in two areas. Number-1-mac, we

are the waiting longer before we are

0:22:150:22:22

out of the common fisheries policy.

0:22:220:22:33

As we mentioned earlier, to reverse

that trend, it's important we

0:22:330:22:38

recognise the particular challenges

coastal communities face in the

0:22:380:22:41

decline of fishing is one of

acquiring attention from the

0:22:410:22:44

government.

I must declare an

interest. My daughter Lisa Roberts

0:22:440:22:55

and her partner Sean Williams bought

a fishing vessel master and they are

0:22:550:22:59

ambitious and excited at the start

of their business venture. What the

0:22:590:23:03

minister proposes means they now

face a maelstrom of perishable

0:23:030:23:08

foodstuffs held up at customs,

continued pressure on seafood

0:23:080:23:11

species and no say over quotas and

alternative catches. In what way has

0:23:110:23:17

and he used the fishermen and women

as Brexit bait?

May I wish the

0:23:170:23:26

honourable lady's all the very best

in taking to see. Coming from a

0:23:260:23:31

family with a fishing heritage

myself, I know the risks and rewards

0:23:310:23:35

that come from pursuing fishing

opportunities. In her very eloquent

0:23:350:23:41

question she conflated a variety of

issues, some to do with quotas, some

0:23:410:23:46

to do with trading opportunities.

When it comes to future negotiations

0:23:460:23:51

over trade should be separate

fishing.

It is just as well the

0:23:510:24:02

implementation period is shorter

than was sought, isn't it?

As

0:24:020:24:09

ever... I have to say that my

honourable friend sums up my

0:24:090:24:15

thoughts with more pith and

eloquence than I can aspire to.

0:24:150:24:24

Sometimes, the Minister is so able

he beguiles the house and we are

0:24:240:24:30

unsure what he believes. Following

the example he has just given, can

0:24:300:24:36

he offered two yess to these

questions, when we leave will be

0:24:360:24:43

control fishing waters totally?

Wilkie offer every fishing port

0:24:430:24:47

Freeport status?

I can say yes to

the first. On the second, that is

0:24:470:24:53

above my pay grade. As for knowing

what I believe, I think the best

0:24:530:24:59

guide has always been the honourable

gentleman's capacity to get to the

0:24:590:25:05

heart of the matter, as he does so

effectively on this issue.

Brixham

0:25:050:25:13

in my constituency lands the most

valuable catch in England so will

0:25:130:25:16

the Secretary of State visit it in

person to meet with all parts of the

0:25:160:25:20

sector to do dig-mac discuss the

serious concerns they have that the

0:25:200:25:28

final deal...

My honourable friend

has been persistent lobbyist for

0:25:280:25:37

Brixham and all those associated

with that industry privately and I'd

0:25:370:25:40

like to thank her for the work she

has done. The industry in Brixham

0:25:400:25:46

has a highly effective and able

advocate and of course I will visit

0:25:460:25:51

those fishermen in her constituency

to explain to them how we intend to

0:25:510:25:55

ensure that after the implementation

period the opportunities available

0:25:550:25:57

to them are theirs to enjoy.

When is

the Secretary of State going to

0:25:570:26:05

explain to the house article 157 of

the draft agreement that was

0:26:050:26:11

discussed between the Secretary of

State for exiting the EU and Michel

0:26:110:26:15

Barnier which sets out a new joint

committee between the EU and UK for

0:26:150:26:21

deciding all matters in relation to

the transition period including

0:26:210:26:26

fisheries, citizens' rights,

everything, but gives no power

0:26:260:26:28

whatsoever for Parliament to have

any say on any of those issues? How

0:26:280:26:34

can Parliament, having heard his

decision today, have this voice

0:26:340:26:39

during this transition period?

I

know the honourable gentleman takes

0:26:390:26:45

seriously his duties. One thing I'd

say is there is a draft agreement

0:26:450:26:50

which covers a variety of issues. I

am answering questions relating to

0:26:500:26:56

fishing. That draft agreement will

be agreed in March, I hope. The

0:26:560:27:02

Prime Minister will be here on

Monday and she will be giving a

0:27:020:27:05

statement then and there will be an

opportunity to have the honourable

0:27:050:27:09

gentleman's question answered fully.

Like many fishermen across Scotland,

0:27:090:27:15

I feel very badly let down by this

deal because not going to take

0:27:150:27:20

control of our waters as quickly as

we'd hoped. Wonder if my honourable

0:27:200:27:25

friend will give me the guarantee

that we will seek control of our

0:27:250:27:30

vessels and mortars after we finally

come out of this initial period as

0:27:300:27:35

we leave the EU?

Can I thank the

honourable gentleman for mentioning

0:27:350:27:39

and raising the role of the Scottish

Federation for fishing. I felt his

0:27:390:27:45

response to Dave balancing the

disappointment many felt that we got

0:27:450:27:51

the right deal at the end of this

process was a constructive approach,

0:27:510:27:55

reflected in the question put by my

honourable friend and it is the case

0:27:550:28:00

that we will seek to secure those

opportunities of the Scottish

0:28:000:28:05

fishermen 's Federation and others

want to secure.

What a load of

0:28:050:28:10

codswallop from the Secretary of

State who is all out at sea on this

0:28:100:28:14

issue. They will never be trusted

ever again by the Scottish

0:28:140:28:18

fishermen. He drew a lead line with

the leader of the Scottish

0:28:180:28:21

Conservatives which has gone

quicker. Can he save us time and

0:28:210:28:27

tell us what is the next thing the

Schoeman can expect from his

0:28:270:28:31

government?

I have enormous

affection for the honourable

0:28:310:28:36

gentleman. It doesn't diminish the

respecter of affection it has for

0:28:360:28:47

him. It is his party's policy to

remain in the single market and the

0:28:470:28:52

common fisheries policy. As a

result, his capacity to criticise

0:28:520:28:58

any other party in this house for

seeking to secure additional

0:28:580:29:03

opportunities for fishermen in

Scotland and elsewhere is undermined

0:29:030:29:05

by the fact he doesn't believe in

giving those opportunities to

0:29:050:29:09

anyone.

I thank the Secretary of

State for his statement but also

0:29:090:29:17

he'll remember his visit to New. I

hate to prolong the point but will

0:29:170:29:30

the Secretary of State categorically

confirm that in 2021 it'll be our

0:29:300:29:34

decision who fishes in UK waters

from 2021, that we regain and retain

0:29:340:29:43

control, and will he be announcing a

fund to improve and enhance our

0:29:430:29:48

vessels, airports and processing

plants to prepare for that date?

I

0:29:480:29:52

did enjoy my visit, and I'm grateful

for the honourable friend that he

0:29:520:29:57

does on behalf of his constituency.

It is the case Article 1 to five in

0:29:570:30:02

the draft agreement makes it clear

that we think fishing opportunities

0:30:020:30:08

for the period of the implementation

period, and given it ends in 2020,

0:30:080:30:14

the December 2020's councils

negotiations are not covered by this

0:30:140:30:19

agreement so I can give him the

reassurance he and constituents

0:30:190:30:22

seek.

Unlike some of those who have

been trying to work themselves into

0:30:220:30:29

a lather about this decision, I,

along with the Secretary of State,

0:30:290:30:33

did canvas to leave the common

fisheries policy and the EU in

0:30:330:30:39

totality but I must say to him I can

remember the promises made when we

0:30:390:30:43

visited Aberdeen. Many people will

be alarmed and concerned about this

0:30:430:30:47

particular agreement and I'd like to

ask you one thing. He has said that

0:30:470:30:55

during the transition period that EU

will act in good faith and not seek

0:30:550:30:59

to undermine existing fishing

communities. Given the record to

0:30:590:31:07

eight in these negotiations, how can

he be sure that legislation,

0:31:070:31:13

directive and rules will not be put

in place which will further

0:31:130:31:15

undermine the fishing industry?

First of all my honourable friend

0:31:150:31:20

has been a consistent campaigner to

leave the EU and the CFP and the

0:31:200:31:28

role he plays as a champion for

those who have argued for that is

0:31:280:31:31

exemplary. I sympathise with the

concerns people express about the

0:31:310:31:36

past record of governments with

respect to the fishing industry.

0:31:360:31:40

What I'd say is that the

opportunities that exist after we

0:31:400:31:45

leave our considerable and it is

only one year, December 2019, when

0:31:450:31:49

we will rely on that good-faith

provision, with respect to

0:31:490:31:54

fisheries. As I mentioned earlier in

response to the questions from

0:31:540:31:57

Labour colleagues, if the EU were to

choose to act in a way in that year

0:31:570:32:01

that acted against our interests,

the consequences that would follow

0:32:010:32:05

for all would not be happy.

For

decades, EU crawlers have plundered

0:32:050:32:12

our waters, fished in ways that have

caused damage to our marine

0:32:120:32:16

environment and it seems to be that

is the situation the Scottish

0:32:160:32:20

Government are prepared to accept in

perpetuity. Whilst I am... And,

0:32:200:32:27

indeed, we further comments they

don't trust the EU in the year, I'm

0:32:270:32:30

afraid I haven't trusted that EU in

its negotiation strategies over the

0:32:300:32:35

fisheries policy for a long time.

Can be Secretary of State confirm we

0:32:350:32:40

will have greater control not only

of our fisheries but our fishing

0:32:400:32:44

processes that have been so damaging

to the Marine environment and a lot

0:32:440:32:47

of us would like to see the end of?

Yes, it isn't the case of the

0:32:470:32:54

fishing industry benefiting by being

outside the CFP, but the marine

0:32:540:32:59

environment benefits. And the point

the Scottish Government who want to

0:32:590:33:03

keep us in the CFP, they want to

deny Scottish fishermen 's the

0:33:030:33:08

opportunities of leaving the CFP,

and, in that position, their

0:33:080:33:14

protestations ring hollow this

afternoon.

The paradox of this is

0:33:140:33:22

that conservative fishery ministers

have been very successful in the

0:33:220:33:26

common fisheries policy in

negotiating more sustainable

0:33:260:33:29

catches. In his 25 year environment

plan, he talks about all fish stocks

0:33:290:33:37

being recovered to and maintained at

levels that can produce their

0:33:370:33:40

maximum yield, which is an exact

replica of the EU's CFP. In that

0:33:400:33:48

plan, he neglects to mention the

linked application of the

0:33:480:33:52

precautionary principle to fisheries

management. Can he reassure the

0:33:520:33:56

house that in the future fisheries

fill there will be no return to the

0:33:560:34:01

bad old days of days at sea or

fishing effort?

A number of

0:34:010:34:08

important points raised in that

question. Yes, previous fishing

0:34:080:34:10

ministers in this government,

particular Richard Benning, have

0:34:100:34:16

done a lot to improve the CFP and

making a bad situation better. The

0:34:160:34:20

second point is she is right that in

the 25 year environment and there is

0:34:200:34:25

an commitment to ensuring we follow

the signs in order to ensure we have

0:34:250:34:28

the best approach to making sure

fish stocks are healthy and

0:34:280:34:32

sustainable in the future. The

broader point about the

0:34:320:34:35

precautionary principle, it's clear

during the time we've been in the

0:34:350:34:39

EU, there have been a number of

things that have worked against the

0:34:390:34:43

informal interests of this country,

the precautionary principle properly

0:34:430:34:46

applied can be a very powerful tool

in order to ensure our environment

0:34:460:34:52

is protected and enhanced and we

will be saying more about the

0:34:520:34:55

environmental principles that have

evolved in our time in the EU and

0:34:550:34:59

the means by which we will keep in

line with these principles in due

0:34:590:35:05

course.

I granted this urgent

question because I was clear in my

0:35:050:35:09

mind the matter warranted the

attention of the House of Commons

0:35:090:35:12

today. I think the judgment

vindicated by the level of interest

0:35:120:35:16

in participating. I am keen to

accommodate the inquisitorial

0:35:160:35:20

appetite of the house but that is

now a premium, given there are two

0:35:200:35:25

statements to follow, on a degree of

brevity. It is normally demonstrated

0:35:250:35:31

by the honourable gentleman the

member for New Forest West but he

0:35:310:35:36

has already asked his question. Can

I exhort Connex to follow his

0:35:360:35:40

excellent example.

I'll keep this

short. As my honourable friend agree

0:35:400:35:47

that we owe a debt to our fishing

communities? And that we must not

0:35:470:35:52

guaranteed to the EU at the end of

this implementation period any level

0:35:520:35:55

of access is in favour of a longer

term trade deal?

Yes.

Splendid.

0:35:550:36:06

Today is Saint Cuthbert's Day so

it's right to celebrate the

0:36:060:36:09

wonderful seafood of Northumberland

from kippers to Lindisfarne oysters

0:36:090:36:14

injured by my constituents and

exported around the world but should

0:36:140:36:17

be coastal communities who depend on

them ever have believed that a Tory

0:36:170:36:21

party funded by the city would

provide and prioritise a deal on

0:36:210:36:25

fishing as highly as a deal on

finance?

It is Saint Cuthbert's day

0:36:250:36:34

and Saint Cuthbert was given a gift

of fish in order to sustain him. It

0:36:340:36:40

is a day resident for a number of

reasons. Actually, it is a

0:36:400:36:46

conservative government that has

been invested in all the steps

0:36:460:36:52

required in order to make sure we

can take advantage of the

0:36:520:36:56

opportunities when we leave the CFP.

We want to ensure her constituents

0:36:560:37:01

and others are protected when their

fishermen are engaged.

Jeeves used

0:37:010:37:09

to encourage Worcester to eat more

fish. It is good for the brain.

0:37:090:37:16

As the British fishing industry has

been hammered over decades with our

0:37:160:37:19

membership of the Common Fisheries

Policy, we have now been given a

0:37:190:37:23

guarantee we will be leaving towards

the end of the implantation period.

0:37:230:37:26

Could he use his good office to

ensure that we find imaginative ways

0:37:260:37:30

to get some support to the fishing

industry as we embark into this new

0:37:300:37:35

era.

Yes, my right honourable friend

is absolutely right. The point was

0:37:350:37:39

made very well by the member for St

Ives as well. We will be saying

0:37:390:37:44

more, with the publication of a

fisheries White Paper, but

0:37:440:37:48

additional steps to prepare for life

after the transition period.

When

0:37:480:37:54

will we actually know the detail

about the great future he is

0:37:540:38:00

referring to, before or after the

29th of March 2019?

Before.

I share

0:38:000:38:09

the disappointment of north-east

fishermen, with a transition deal

0:38:090:38:13

that falls short of what they hoped

for. Can the secretary of state

0:38:130:38:17

guarantee that the first January

2021 we will leave the Common

0:38:170:38:21

Fisheries Policy, take back control

of our waters, set our own fisheries

0:38:210:38:26

management policies, and quotas?

Will he looks including that in a

0:38:260:38:30

fisheries Bill? Does he share the

concern that I have, and the

0:38:300:38:35

Scottish fishermen is federation,

that the SNP Scottish Government

0:38:350:38:36

will keep us in the Common Fisheries

Policy in perpetuity, and it would

0:38:360:38:41

sell Scotland's fishermen out, in

perpetuity?

My honourable friend is

0:38:410:38:48

absolutely right in every

particular. It was instructive when

0:38:480:38:51

the chief executive of the Scottish

fishermen is federation was

0:38:510:38:54

interviewed on the radio, he made it

clear how disappointed he was in the

0:38:540:38:57

Scottish Government's determination

to keep us in the Common Fisheries

0:38:570:39:03

Policy.

Given the assurances that I

and others over the past year were

0:39:030:39:06

given right from the Prime Minister

down that we would leave the Common

0:39:060:39:09

Fisheries Policy in March 2019, who

actually was negotiating this? And

0:39:090:39:16

did they really care about fishing?

It seems to me, and I would like the

0:39:160:39:21

Secretary of State to answer this,

did the officials actually argue

0:39:210:39:25

that we could be left out right away

and it would be nothing to do with

0:39:250:39:28

the implementation period?

A very

direct question, absolutely it was

0:39:280:39:37

the case. I shan't... Well, we had

an immensely hard-working team of

0:39:370:39:44

officials that negotiated incredibly

hard on our behalf. They were in

0:39:440:39:47

constant touch with ministers every

step of the way. They encountered

0:39:470:39:52

intransigence on the part of the EU,

which was disappointing. I make no

0:39:520:39:56

bones about it. One thing that

cannot be faulted is the hard work,

0:39:560:40:00

determination, mastery of detail and

determination to get the very best

0:40:000:40:02

deal for Britain of the civil

servants, and I will not hear a word

0:40:020:40:07

said against them.

Going forward,

what confidence or guarantee can you

0:40:070:40:18

give that control of our seas will

not be sacrificed on the altar of

0:40:180:40:27

Brexit?

My honourable friend is

absolutely right to stress that one

0:40:270:40:32

of the great prizes of Britain

leaving the European Union is taking

0:40:320:40:35

back control of our territorial

waters. That is why we must maintain

0:40:350:40:38

our eyes on that great prize at the

end of the process.

Mr Speaker, I am

0:40:380:40:50

a daughter of a man that was a

member of the Grimsby deep sea

0:40:500:40:53

fishing fleet, so I know it is one

of the hardest jobs in the world. It

0:40:530:40:56

does not stop me understanding that

the processing side of the industry

0:40:560:41:02

is incredibly important to coastal

communities such as Grimsby and

0:41:020:41:05

Peterhead. On that basis, will the

Secretary of State guarantee that

0:41:050:41:09

the processing side of the fishing

industry will not be sacrificed to

0:41:090:41:13

other priorities in trade deal

negotiations?

The honourable lady

0:41:130:41:20

makes a very good point. I have had

productive talks with

0:41:200:41:24

representatives of fish processing

organisations. Absolutely, we

0:41:240:41:27

appreciate they have specific

demands in terms of access to other

0:41:270:41:30

markets and also for Labour, which

we will do everything possible to

0:41:300:41:37

help them achieve.

The SNP have

admitted they would hand powers of

0:41:370:41:45

fisheries not to Edinburgh or

London, but to Brussels. Can my

0:41:450:41:48

right honourable friend assure me

that wouldn't happen?

I can give a

0:41:480:41:51

guarantee that under no

circumstances would I ever adopt the

0:41:510:41:55

craven and abject surrender that the

Scottish Government take towards the

0:41:550:42:01

European Union by accepting that the

Common Fisheries Policy should

0:42:010:42:03

persist ad infinitum.

The future of

the fishing industry as a

0:42:030:42:10

politically sensitive issue in Hull,

and Ukip have talked about a fishing

0:42:100:42:17

fleet being re-established there.

Wasn't one of the main promises that

0:42:170:42:19

we would see our removal... Sorry,

we would retain territorial rights

0:42:190:42:26

around fishing from day one. Isn't

that a promise that has been broken

0:42:260:42:31

to the people Hull?

We will, when

implantation period ends, the

0:42:310:42:37

exclusive economic zone that is ours

to police and control will be ours

0:42:370:42:40

to police and control.

If during

plantation period they can't cut the

0:42:400:42:48

quota, what is to stop them

increasing their quota? Having said

0:42:480:42:52

that, those that were bitterly

disappointed with this outcome will

0:42:520:42:55

take no lectures from those that

never wants to take back control.

I

0:42:550:43:00

entirely understand my right

honourable friend's position. I

0:43:000:43:04

explained a little bit earlier the

good faith provisions and other

0:43:040:43:07

guarantees that are there. The

outcome is not what we wanted, but

0:43:070:43:11

it is one that affords fishermen

protection during implantation

0:43:110:43:13

period.

Fishermen in Plymouth feel

utterly betrayed by the decision

0:43:130:43:23

announced yesterday. What does this

mean for the reform of the

0:43:230:43:29

unworkable discards ban, especially

for mixed fisheries in the

0:43:290:43:33

south-west?

The discard ban is

necessary in order to ensure we have

0:43:330:43:35

responsible management of all

species. We are working on ways that

0:43:350:43:44

it is applied in a way that makes

sure that concerns on behalf of his

0:43:440:43:52

constituents are addressed.

The

fishermen in Cornwall do feel very

0:43:520:43:56

disappointed, and in some cases

angry, and yesterday's announcement.

0:43:560:43:59

Can I ask, when he is visiting

Devon, if he would come further and

0:43:590:44:03

meet with the fishermen of Cornwall

as well? Will he lay out clearly for

0:44:030:44:07

the fishermen of Cornwall that the

fermentation period would only

0:44:070:44:11

affect one year's quota

negotiations, that the quotas will

0:44:110:44:13

be protected during the time, and

that by the end of the transition

0:44:130:44:18

period we will be taking back

control of fishing waters.

Hits the

0:44:180:44:22

nail on the head and I look forward

to meeting him later this year.

0:44:220:44:28

In defence of this negotiating

debacle, the secretary of state says

0:44:320:44:35

that we always knew that there would

be important legal technical

0:44:350:44:39

questions to be resolved. If that is

so, why, less than ten days ago, did

0:44:390:44:45

he and Ruth Davidson promise

fishermen across the UK that we

0:44:450:44:50

would be leaving the CFP in March

2019?

It is the case that there are

0:44:500:44:57

important questions that need to be

resolved. The one thing that the SNP

0:44:570:45:00

are promising is that we will never

leave the CFP. What is instructive

0:45:000:45:10

about the SNP is that in so many of

their questions they talk about Ruth

0:45:100:45:13

Davidson. They never talk about a

single fishermen, species, they

0:45:130:45:17

never talk about a single community.

They only attacked the leader of the

0:45:170:45:22

Scottish Conservatives. Why? They

are feart!

0:45:220:45:30

Will he confirm that in the

transition agreement we will

0:45:310:45:37

continue to market fish and fish

products seamlessly and frictionless

0:45:370:45:41

leak into the EU, and that is his

aim for the time after it ends?

We

0:45:410:45:48

wanted to have it as friction free

as possible, the trade agreement

0:45:480:45:51

with the EU and with other nations.

On Friday, the topic of the day was

0:45:510:45:58

let us never negotiate out of fear,

but let us never fear to negotiate.

0:45:580:46:02

When we joined the Common Market

effort, he sold the fishing sector

0:46:020:46:07

for a bowl of potage. Can he give

the guarantee that they will not and

0:46:070:46:15

have not been sold out by a

transitional agreement that leaves

0:46:150:46:21

the EU in control of fishing policy?

I appreciate the issues he raises

0:46:210:46:26

and I will do everything possible to

address the concerns of fishermen,

0:46:260:46:31

and I look forward to working with

him and colleagues across the

0:46:310:46:34

political divide in Northern Ireland

to provide that reassurance.

My

0:46:340:46:39

right honourable friend is

absolutely right to highlight the

0:46:390:46:45

prize in agreeing a implimentation

period. How will the UK voice be

0:46:450:46:50

heard and respected in the quota

allocation for 2020?

In 2020, my

0:46:500:46:57

honourable friend will be reassured

to know, I hope, the UK will be

0:46:570:47:03

negotiated and as an independent

coastal state. It will be the case,

0:47:030:47:08

the negotiations in 2019 will take

place on the basis that we will be

0:47:080:47:12

consulted, that our science will be

part of the process by which a great

0:47:120:47:15

Enigma code arrangements are

reached, and the good-faith

0:47:150:47:18

guarantees that I discussed earlier

will be there in order to safeguard

0:47:180:47:21

UK interests for the limited

12-month period.

0:47:210:47:24

The quotas for 2020 will now be set

by the European Union with some

0:47:290:47:34

consultation from the British

government. Now that the ball has

0:47:340:47:37

been handed back to the European

Union, what guarantees, Secretary of

0:47:370:47:41

State give to the industry that we

will get the ball back?

My

0:47:410:47:46

honourable friend again reasserts

the vitally important point, worthy

0:47:460:47:52

EU for any reason in 2019 to behave

in a way that were contrary to our

0:47:520:47:56

long-term interests, it would also

be contrary to their long-term

0:47:560:48:02

interests. I agree that the

opportunities the transition deal

0:48:020:48:05

provides... Forgive me, the

opportunities at the transition deal

0:48:050:48:09

are critically important and we must

secure them. We have accepted a sub

0:48:090:48:14

optimal outcome, but it is only for

an additional 12 months and we must

0:48:140:48:17

keep our eyes on the prize.

Far from

to use his own words a sea of

0:48:170:48:23

opportunity, all this deal does is

underline what the heath, Thatcher

0:48:230:48:28

and major governments did when they

preceded this, that the Tories are

0:48:280:48:31

happy to throw Scotland's fishing

industry over the side. Isn't it the

0:48:310:48:37

time that he and his other Tory

sprats were also discarded?

Again, I

0:48:370:48:44

have noticed in questions from the

Scottish Nationalists ventures,

0:48:440:48:52

there have been more mentions of the

Scottish Tory leader, and more bad

0:48:520:48:57

puns, than any references to science

or economic. They will need to do

0:48:570:49:00

better than name-calling and joke

making if it is going to be taken

0:49:000:49:03

seriously as a defender of the

interests of Scottish fishermen.

0:49:030:49:10

Wolf-fish and minute is up and down

this country will be hanging their

0:49:100:49:14

heads in shame at this discussion so

far. Ted Heath in the 1970s said

0:49:140:49:19

fishermen were expendable. Margaret

Thatcher in the 80s signed up to the

0:49:190:49:24

original Common Fisheries Policy.

That consigned fishermen to decades

0:49:240:49:27

of mismanagement. John Major signed

up to be revised Common Fisheries

0:49:270:49:31

Policy, scrapping vessels and

destroying livelihoods. Given this

0:49:310:49:35

continued betrayal, will things be

any different post Brexit?

0:49:350:49:44

Absolutely, I have enormous respect

and affection for the honourable

0:49:440:49:47

gentleman, who I think is a great

campaigner. Respectfully, I must

0:49:470:49:49

point out, I don't doubt his

commitment at all, but the party

0:49:490:49:55

platform on which he stands would

keep imprisoned in the Common

0:49:550:49:58

Fisheries Policy, as opposed to the

opportunities outside, which we and

0:49:580:50:02

our friends in the Democratic

Unionist Party support.

I think I

0:50:020:50:08

make at five different Conservative

Scottish MPs that asked for the same

0:50:080:50:11

promise from the Secretary of State.

He has been so obsessed with this

0:50:110:50:19

#SNP line that he hasn't given the

guarantee. Is not the case that

0:50:190:50:24

Scotland could have devolved power

over immigration if they left the

0:50:240:50:28

European Union. Same Secretary of

State promised that we would

0:50:280:50:30

definitely leave the Common

Fisheries Policy on March 20 19.

0:50:300:50:35

That promise is worthless. Isn't

that the case that any promise he

0:50:350:50:39

makes to the people of Scotland in

future will be just as worthless as

0:50:390:50:42

those made in the past?

I think it

is the case that the promise that

0:50:420:50:47

the Scottish National Party have

made to keep us on the Common

0:50:470:50:49

Fisheries Policy and the European

union was come pensively rejected at

0:50:490:50:56

the ballot box. There is a simple

choice, that Scotland faces. Does it

0:50:560:51:01

remain within the European Union or

the Common Fisheries Policy under

0:51:010:51:05

the SNP, or liberated if this

Government has its way? On that

0:51:050:51:09

choice, so much hangs, including the

future of the SNP.

Again, just goes

0:51:090:51:15

to show that at any negotiating

table you want some of there that

0:51:150:51:18

will stand up for the issues that

matter to you, the Brexit or the

0:51:180:51:27

CFP, and if Scotland's fishing

community is expendable to the

0:51:270:51:30

government. At what stage did the

secretary of state know that

0:51:300:51:33

fisheries were going to be a

bargaining chip, and what did the

0:51:330:51:36

Government secure in return?

0:51:360:51:41

Both sides made it clear fishery

would have to be handled separately

0:51:410:51:46

from the other issues in this

implementation period and it was

0:51:460:51:48

always clear we would have to have

specific arrangements and one of the

0:51:480:51:51

things that is different about

fisheries is even before the

0:51:510:51:55

implementation period ends we will

operate independently outside the

0:51:550:51:58

constraints of the EU. It is also

the case that in having that

0:51:580:52:04

capacity in 2020, we are in a

position to secure the larger prize,

0:52:040:52:11

which the SNP rejects.

Right...

Thank you, Mr Speaker. We know Heath

0:52:110:52:25

said fishermen are expendable and

Thatcher got us into the CFP. A

0:52:250:52:34

quote from the head of the Danish

fishermen's association. He said,

0:52:340:52:40

Britain has never ever challenged

the quotas. We have in every

0:52:400:52:46

negotiations. It doesn't matter

whether we are in the CFP not, the

0:52:460:52:51

UK Government cannot be trusted.

Does he agree?

I enjoyed hearing the

0:52:510:52:56

same quotes in the honourable

gentleman's questions a few minutes

0:52:560:53:02

ago. Getting repeats from the SNP is

quite something. But in particular

0:53:020:53:10

the point in his question he

betrayed a misunderstanding of the

0:53:100:53:14

relative stability which underpins

the quotas.

I've suggested over the

0:53:140:53:21

years that only when all the fishing

waters of Europe are returned to

0:53:210:53:24

their own countries will the fish

industries be saved and the UK must

0:53:240:53:29

lead the way in that process. Will

the government publicly urged the

0:53:290:53:33

abolition of the CFP which has been

a disaster?

My admiration for the

0:53:330:53:42

honourable gentleman knows no bounds

and the CFP has been bad not the

0:53:420:53:45

Britain but for fishing across the

EU. My only hope is that he will

0:53:450:53:50

have an opportunity not just to see

our shared ambition be fulfilled but

0:53:500:53:58

I'm hoping he will be able to

persuade European colleagues to

0:53:580:54:01

reform their own governments in a

way which is genuinely liberating.

0:54:010:54:07

Looking at the faces on the Scottish

Tories opposite, never before has

0:54:070:54:13

done up like a keeper been more

appropriate. The UK Government

0:54:130:54:20

betrays Scottish fishing communities

once again. Could the Secretary of

0:54:200:54:24

State explain to the bewildered

constituents of my constituency will

0:54:240:54:31

why he's signed them up as a

disastrous -- why he signed them up

0:54:310:54:36

to something he described as

disastrous on worse conditions than

0:54:360:54:41

they currently experience now? Can

he explain why he has done that?

0:54:410:54:48

Listening once again to another

Scottish National Party 's spokesman

0:54:480:54:51

denying the reality of their

adherence to the Common fisheries

0:54:510:54:55

policy, and also attempting to cover

it up with a weak pun I felt what I

0:54:550:54:59

was witnessing was yet another

audition for someone to appear on

0:54:590:55:01

Alex Salmond's arty .com talk show,

a combination of bad taste and poor

0:55:010:55:08

humour exhibited by so many on those

benches.

Order. Statement, the

0:55:080:55:16

leader of the house. Andrea Letson.

-- Andrea Letson.

I should like to

0:55:160:55:30

make a very short statement

regarding business for tomorrow. The

0:55:300:55:34

business for tomorrow will now be

consideration of a business of the

0:55:340:55:36

house motion followed by proceedings

on the Northern Ireland regional

0:55:360:55:40

rates and energy Bill. The house

will then be asked to consider a

0:55:400:55:45

further business of the house motion

before moving on to proceedings on

0:55:450:55:50

the Northern Ireland assembly

members pay bill. Thursday's

0:55:500:55:54

business will remain as previously

announced, a general debate on the

0:55:540:55:57

economy and I will make my usual

statement announcing further

0:55:570:56:00

business on Thursday.

I concur.

I am grateful to the

0:56:000:56:11

shadow leader. That is probably the

shortest statement and response in

0:56:110:56:19

recent history of the house. Order,

statement, the Minister for small

0:56:190:56:28

business consumers and corporate

responsibility. Andrew Griffiths!

0:56:280:56:35

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I

am pleased to announce two

0:56:350:56:42

honourable members and Right

Honourable members the government

0:56:420:56:45

has today published a consultation

on corporate governance and

0:56:450:56:48

insolvency. Copies of the

consultation have been placed in the

0:56:480:56:52

libraries of the house. The UK is

recognised as having a leading

0:56:520:57:00

international reputation for

corporate governance. It gives us an

0:57:000:57:03

international competitive advantage

and is an important factor in making

0:57:030:57:07

the UK the best place in the world

in which to invest and do business.

0:57:070:57:11

The government is determined to

ensure our corporate governance

0:57:110:57:16

regime remains the envy of the

world. Large corporate failures

0:57:160:57:21

happen rarely but when they do their

affect on stakeholders, such as

0:57:210:57:26

employees and smaller suppliers, can

be very damaging. In those

0:57:260:57:30

situations, it is important to

ensure those in charge of the

0:57:300:57:34

company acted properly and fully

discharge their responsibilities.

0:57:340:57:39

The government is determined to

ensure our corporate governance

0:57:390:57:43

framework clarifies those

responsibilities, protect the

0:57:430:57:46

economy and enhances public

confidence while continuing to

0:57:460:57:49

foster conditions for business to

thrive. Last year we announced a

0:57:490:57:53

number of reforms to strengthen the

corporate governance framework in

0:57:530:57:56

relation to executive pay, the voice

of employees and wider stakeholders

0:57:560:58:02

in the boardroom and corporate

governance in large, privately held

0:58:020:58:06

businesses. These are now being

delivered and all of them will

0:58:060:58:10

contribute to more robust and well

founded decision-making in our large

0:58:100:58:14

companies. We are determined Mr

Speaker to learn the lesson from

0:58:140:58:17

corporate failures such as Karelian

and we believe we can do more to

0:58:170:58:22

strengthen the corporate governance

framework as it implies -- applies

0:58:220:58:29

in corporations. We want to reduce

the risk of companies failing. And

0:58:290:58:35

to strengthen the responsibilities

of directors of firms when they are

0:58:350:58:40

in or approaching insolvency. The

consultation will focus on green

0:58:400:58:44

measures. Number one, considerable

public concern arises when owners of

0:58:440:58:48

a distressed business, including

within a group of companies, sell on

0:58:480:58:52

that business without proper regard

for its future prospects or the

0:58:520:58:57

interests of its creditors or

employees. We propose to require

0:58:570:59:01

directors, including directors of

holding companies in respect of

0:59:010:59:05

sales of subsidiaries, to have a

greater regard to any future

0:59:050:59:09

consequences of the sale of an

insolvent or near insolvent company

0:59:090:59:13

for which they are responsible. In

doing so we will ensure we do not

0:59:130:59:17

put barriers in the way of credible

business rescue efforts. We don't

0:59:170:59:22

want to make it impossible to rescue

businesses in distress. Secondly,

0:59:220:59:27

considerable public concern has been

raised where a company in financial

0:59:270:59:32

difficulty has been rescued by new

investment only to find when it

0:59:320:59:37

subsequently fails that the new

investors have set up a series of

0:59:370:59:42

complex financial schemes to protect

their investment or minimise their

0:59:420:59:45

losses at the expense of other

creditors. We will give insolvency

0:59:450:59:53

practitioners the additional

necessary powers to claw back for

0:59:530:59:56

the benefit of creditors money which

has been siphoned off through

0:59:561:00:00

complex financing arrangements.

Third, concerns have been raised

1:00:001:00:05

including by a number of Honourable

members about the difficulties

1:00:051:00:09

raised when a company has been

dissolved but is then found to have

1:00:091:00:13

outstanding debts or allegations of

director misconduct. Often these

1:00:131:00:18

devolved companies will reappear. If

UNIX like in a slightly different

1:00:181:00:23

form with a slightly differently and

start operating again. At present,

1:00:231:00:28

the insolvency service doesn't have

the powers necessary to investigate

1:00:281:00:31

these cases. We are determined they

will. These measures will complement

1:00:311:00:37

those published yesterday by the

Department for Work and Pensions in

1:00:371:00:40

a White Paper entitled Protecting

Defined Benefit Pension Schemes,

1:00:401:00:45

which puts forward stronger powers

for the pensions regulator to

1:00:451:00:48

prevent and punish those

deliberately endangering a pension

1:00:481:00:53

scheme. Corporate failures like

Carillion have raised concerns about

1:00:531:00:56

other aspects of corporate

governance framework. I don't wish

1:00:561:01:01

to anticipate the current

investigations leading up to the

1:01:011:01:03

failure of Carillion but I intend to

use this consultation to seek views

1:01:031:01:08

on a number of areas where it may be

that we can do more to strengthen

1:01:081:01:13

the rules within which UK companies

operate. These are areas including

1:01:131:01:16

whether steps should be taken to

improve governance, accountability

1:01:161:01:22

and internal controls within complex

company group structures, whether

1:01:221:01:27

there are further opportunities to

strengthen the role of shareholders

1:01:271:01:30

in stewarding the companies in which

they have investments, and third

1:01:301:01:34

whilst the payment of dividends

should remain for the directors to

1:01:341:01:39

decide, having regard to their

obligations and guidance, whether

1:01:391:01:43

legal and technical framework within

which these decisions are made could

1:01:431:01:47

be improved and made more

transparent and fair. Whether

1:01:471:01:51

decommissioning and use of

professional advice by directors is

1:01:511:01:54

done so without proper awareness of

director's duties. And how the

1:01:541:02:00

supply chain and other creditors can

be better protected in the event of

1:02:001:02:04

major insolvency whilst preserving

interests of shareholders. The

1:02:041:02:07

reforms we are proposing will help

prevent corporate failure,

1:02:071:02:12

strengthen the UK's business

environment, contributing to the

1:02:121:02:14

success of our industrial strategy

and cement our reputation as one of

1:02:141:02:19

the best places to work, invest, and

do business. Mr Speaker, I commend

1:02:191:02:25

the statement to the house.

Order.

Can I gently point out that members

1:02:251:02:33

who were not present for the

statement can't come into the

1:02:331:02:37

chamber and expect to be called to

ask a question. That is not on,

1:02:371:02:42

sorry.

I thank the Minister for his

statement and for making it so on

1:02:421:02:49

time, as he was. There are to make

substantive proposals on claw back

1:02:491:02:54

and disqualification of directors.

That is revision already in

1:02:541:02:58

insolvency law for claw back of

assets for example assets sold at

1:02:581:03:03

undervalue. There is also provision

in company law for disqualification

1:03:031:03:08

of directors due to incompetence or

recklessness. There are proposals

1:03:081:03:11

set out by the Minister on claw back

are extremely unclear so can the

1:03:111:03:16

minister explain how these

provisions added to existing rights

1:03:161:03:19

rather than repeat them? Second,

there are a number of much vague

1:03:191:03:24

promises, what do these mean given

the insolvency law powers? How will

1:03:241:03:32

these new powers stop reckless

behaviour? The consideration of

1:03:321:03:38

legal and technical framework within

which decisions are made on payment

1:03:381:03:42

of dividends and how it could be

improved and made more transparent,

1:03:421:03:45

what does this mean? How can they

been made more transparent and how

1:03:451:03:50

would that protect against the greed

and excessive payments of dividends,

1:03:501:03:54

as we saw with Carillion?

Strengthening the role and

1:03:541:03:58

responsibility of shareholders in

stewarding the companies in which

1:03:581:04:02

they have investment. What does this

even mean? Frankly, it is

1:04:021:04:08

meaningless platitude. Third, the

government appears to be consulting

1:04:081:04:12

rather than acting. Does the

government agree it is time for

1:04:121:04:17

action not consultation? They are

consulting on the Taylor review

1:04:171:04:20

which in itself was a consultation.

What good are these consultations to

1:04:201:04:24

people currently working in

companies providing public services

1:04:241:04:28

at risk of collapse? Fourth, the

government isn't known for being

1:04:281:04:32

proactive. Rather, it is always

mopping up after the event. None of

1:04:321:04:36

these problems are new. Companies

going insolvent and leaving pension

1:04:361:04:42

deficit or asset stripping are not

novel, look at the case of BHS.

1:04:421:04:47

These are problems the government

should have already anticipated and

1:04:471:04:50

I ask the Minister why it's taken

the government until now to begin to

1:04:501:04:53

act and only make tentative steps?

Fifth, we must have a bolder and

1:04:531:04:59

more imaginative approach to

corporate governance. Large

1:04:591:05:03

companies are not the toys of

directors and shareholders, they

1:05:031:05:06

don't exist merely to make a small

group of people extremely wealthy.

1:05:061:05:10

They are the product of the hard

work and effort of their workforce

1:05:101:05:14

and suppliers. They provide services

which the public use. Is at the

1:05:141:05:21

heart of shareholder decisions so

how do today's Triposo safeguard the

1:05:211:05:25

long-term interests of companies for

the workforce and for the public

1:05:251:05:30

good? Six, has the government made

any assessment of the viability of

1:05:301:05:35

inter-server and any companies with

public sector contracts? What steps

1:05:351:05:38

is the government taking to ensure

these companies don't collapse? Will

1:05:381:05:41

the government Institute Project

bank accounts? Mandate and enforce

1:05:411:05:49

payment of public sector contract is

within 30 days and set up a new

1:05:491:05:52

model which allows the government to

step in when construction companies

1:05:521:05:56

collapse has met all of which Labour

has called on the government to do.

1:05:561:06:02

Lastly, Mr Speaker, how would any of

these proposals meaningfully have

1:06:021:06:07

helped the workers, pensioners and

suppliers of Carillion? The amount

1:06:071:06:10

paid in dividends at ten two was the

same as the pensions deficit over

1:06:101:06:14

the same period. Has the government

done any assessment of what more the

1:06:141:06:20

workers, pensioners and suppliers

would have received under these new

1:06:201:06:22

plans. If not, why not?

A little bit

like a machine gun, those questions

1:06:221:06:33

came thick and fast and I thank the

honourable lady for them. I am

1:06:331:06:39

somewhat surprised, Mr Speaker. Went

two went into insolvency, the

1:06:391:06:44

honourable lady at a party demanded

we learn the lessons from the

1:06:441:06:47

Carillion failure. We, today, just a

few weeks later, have come forward

1:06:471:06:54

with proposals to prevent something

similar from happening and she

1:06:541:06:58

criticises us for failure. The

collie, her frontbencher who shadows

1:06:581:07:06

me, criticised us for yet another

consultation in their press freeze

1:07:061:07:11

and then says Labour has launched

our own consultation into corporate

1:07:111:07:16

review.

1:07:161:07:21

Mr Speaker, the measures here will

make a massive difference to the

1:07:211:07:30

prospects and the way companies are

regulated to ensure a more robust

1:07:301:07:35

and accountable regime in the

boardroom. Yesterday, the Department

1:07:351:07:43

for Work and Pensions brought

through a White Paper that

1:07:431:07:45

introduces a huge number of extra

regulations and gives powers to the

1:07:451:07:51

pension regulator to impose punitive

fines, several faience, criminal

1:07:511:07:56

sanctions, director

disqualification. She says, what

1:07:561:08:01

have we been doing over the period

of time we have been in office? Of

1:08:011:08:05

course, we have brought through pay

ratio reporting, a new register of

1:08:051:08:12

companies, we enforce shareholder

opposition, strengthening the voice

1:08:121:08:18

of the employees and representatives

in the boardroom. She talks about

1:08:181:08:29

Interserve. It would be

inappropriate to give a case-by-case

1:08:291:08:34

probity on businesses, because it

could impact on their share price,

1:08:341:08:38

and I'm sure somebody of her would

understand that. She talks about

1:08:381:08:43

Project bank accounts. She will be

well aware that, in January, the

1:08:431:08:48

consultation the Government have

launched in relation to Project bank

1:08:481:08:53

accounts closed, and we will be

coming forward with our proposals in

1:08:531:08:56

relation to that consultation in the

coming weeks. She talks about

1:08:561:09:02

payment within the public sector. I

can inform her that the special

1:09:021:09:06

manager in relation to PwC has

already agreed that for companies

1:09:061:09:11

that are providing services for

Carillion, there will be paid in 30

1:09:111:09:18

days. It is a requirement for all

contractors that accept government

1:09:181:09:22

contracts to pay their supply chain

within 30 days. We will be coming

1:09:221:09:25

forward with further proposals about

how we can improve that and make it

1:09:251:09:29

robust. She talks about the

disqualification. Of course,

1:09:291:09:34

directors can be disqualified for up

to 15 years. That prevents them from

1:09:341:09:39

acting as a director, taking part

directly or indirectly, anyone

1:09:391:09:46

contravening it is altercation is

committing a criminal offence. These

1:09:461:09:50

are real, punitive powers. She talks

about dividends. Of course, there is

1:09:501:09:54

nothing wrong, Mr Speaker, in

healthy companies paying dividends.

1:09:541:09:59

In fact, many of our pension schemes

rely on the profits that are paid

1:09:591:10:05

from dividends. She talks about

dividends as if they are a dirty

1:10:051:10:08

word. Actually, they are something

and a healthy business to be

1:10:081:10:10

applauded. Mr Speaker, the house can

be reassured that this is just the

1:10:101:10:15

next step in a robust, detailed, for

some review of our corporate

1:10:151:10:23

government regime, to make sure that

we protect the taxpayer, we protect

1:10:231:10:27

pensioners and we protect the

workers in all of those companies

1:10:271:10:32

that do such a good job. Thank you.

What is his ambition for when his

1:10:321:10:39

excellent proposals will actually be

implemented?

As the honourable

1:10:391:10:45

gentleman will know, we have not

hang about in relation to

1:10:451:10:48

improvements within the corporate

governance structure. We will

1:10:481:10:55

shortly be laying a further CFP,

which will enhance even further the

1:10:551:11:01

measures we have brought in. The

consultation will take place within

1:11:011:11:06

the normal rules of a consultation

and we hope to bring forward the

1:11:061:11:11

proposals as a matter of urgency.

Can I thank the Minister for

1:11:111:11:15

advanced sight of his statement. In

terms of engagement, will the

1:11:151:11:19

Government consider proposals to

force chief executives and company

1:11:191:11:23

directors to engage directly with

small-business owners or groups

1:11:231:11:26

affected individuals? In the recent

instances of the global

1:11:261:11:31

restructuring group and Royal Bank

of Scotland branch closures, there

1:11:311:11:34

has been a refusal on the part of

directors to meet those. Affected As

1:11:341:11:39

my honourable friend from Glasgow

North pointed out, a lot of the

1:11:391:11:42

problems which this consultation

seeks to address could have been

1:11:421:11:44

avoided simply through engagement

with those in charge. With costs

1:11:441:11:54

preventing individuals from pursuing

legal options after being affected

1:11:541:11:59

by insolvency, will the government

back a strategy look of ways of

1:11:591:12:01

ensuring that legal recourse is

available to those that will already

1:12:011:12:04

be in financial difficulties as a

result of insolvency? In terms of

1:12:041:12:11

contracts and pensions protections,

small businesses should not be the

1:12:111:12:13

ones to suffer when a failed large

company goes bust, and it should not

1:12:131:12:17

only be high-profile cases where the

Government steps in to protect

1:12:171:12:22

pensions. What measures will this

strategy take to ensure that small

1:12:221:12:27

and medium-sized enterprises are

protected when contract or payments

1:12:271:12:33

are halted due to large companies

collapsing, and that any protection

1:12:331:12:38

for creditors is mirrored by

protection for workers and pension

1:12:381:12:42

holders? Finally, these proposals

are aimed at improving the range of

1:12:421:12:46

options available following a

company becoming insolvent. However,

1:12:461:12:50

a proactive approach can help

prevent this happening in the first

1:12:501:12:52

place. Would he agree that one way

to ensure this would be for

1:12:521:12:58

organisations to take profit warning

seriously, and not continue to hand

1:12:581:13:02

out contracts to firms that issue

them?

I thank the honourable

1:13:021:13:08

gentleman for those detailed and

very, very important questions. He

1:13:081:13:13

asks a number of questions,

particularly in relation to small

1:13:131:13:17

businesses. As the Small Business

Minister, I take those questions

1:13:171:13:19

extremely seriously. What we see is

not just large corporate collapses

1:13:191:13:24

that affect small businesses. We saw

that in the case of Carillion,

1:13:241:13:29

thousands of small businesses in the

supply chain. Actually, the collapse

1:13:291:13:35

of small business affecting other

small businesses. I think we will

1:13:351:13:37

all have seen in our own

constituencies cases of small

1:13:371:13:42

businesses who lose money because of

a Phoenix business, we have seen

1:13:421:13:45

them before, they change their name,

they go into liquidation, we see

1:13:451:13:49

them reappearing again, the same

people, selling the same products,

1:13:491:13:53

fleecing people, time and time

again. The abilities we are giving

1:13:531:13:56

the solvency services, investigating

companies that have already been

1:13:561:14:05

dissolved, will go a long way to

sending a very, very clear message

1:14:051:14:10

to directors that think they can get

away with it in that way and fleece

1:14:101:14:14

small businesses, that the

insolvency service will come and get

1:14:141:14:16

them. He talks about pensions. I

think it is very, very important

1:14:161:14:20

that directors very clearly

understand, through this white paper

1:14:201:14:23

and through this consultation, and

through the DWP White Paper, that

1:14:231:14:28

there are consequences if you fleece

your pension fund. That those are

1:14:281:14:32

not only finds, those are not only

penalties, but you will spend time

1:14:321:14:36

in prison if you have been found to

be fleecing your pension fund in a

1:14:361:14:40

way that is unacceptable. Finally,

he talks about the need for us to

1:14:401:14:52

ensure ethical business in relation

to the way small businesses are

1:14:521:14:54

treated. We saw in the spring

statement just last week the

1:14:541:15:02

Chancellor, a clear recognition,

clear understanding, that small

1:15:021:15:05

businesses are being fleeced,

particularly in relation to late

1:15:051:15:07

payments. The Chancellor said that

he would consult on how we could end

1:15:071:15:11

the scourge of late payments. If we

could do that, not only would we see

1:15:111:15:18

£14 billion taken from the pockets

of big businesses and put into the

1:15:181:15:23

pockets of small business, but we

could also see that when

1:15:231:15:26

insolvencies do happen, like

Carillion, it is not 128 days of

1:15:261:15:31

payments that are in the bank

accounts that go bust, it is only

1:15:311:15:36

30.

Can I welcome this announcement?

As a former business owner myself, I

1:15:361:15:44

have seen the impact on small

businesses and large companies

1:15:441:15:50

become insolvent. Does the Minister

agree with me that we need to

1:15:501:15:54

protect small businesses and those

in the supply chain?

I agree with

1:15:541:15:59

the honourable gentleman. That is

why we are specifically consulting

1:15:591:16:04

in this document about what more we

can do to protect small businesses.

1:16:041:16:11

We have seen lots these failures

were clever directors, with clever

1:16:111:16:17

advisers, clever lawyers, cleverest

tax accountants, put in place a

1:16:171:16:21

regime that allows them to walk away

scot-free, while hard-working

1:16:211:16:23

businessmen and women in our

constituencies pay the price. This

1:16:231:16:29

consultation looks at how we can put

an end to that and be on the side of

1:16:291:16:35

the small guy.

Will the Minister

consider extending the consultation

1:16:351:16:42

to other non-governmental contract,

just so it is a new way of doing

1:16:421:16:48

business? Secondly, what will he do

to protect apprentices from court in

1:16:481:16:54

that subcontracting chain, losing

the apprenticeship with an SME, the

1:16:541:17:01

lifeblood of the economy?

Two

important questions. As a customer,

1:17:011:17:07

the Government has a role to play.

We give billions of pounds of

1:17:071:17:13

contracts, and we have the power in

our own hands to ensure that it is

1:17:131:17:16

treated properly. We will be coming

forward in the very near future with

1:17:161:17:22

a clearer set of principles and

clearer set of tools in which we

1:17:221:17:25

will ensure that the supply chain is

treated properly, paid fairly and

1:17:251:17:31

those 30-day terms is what we expect

of our suppliers. In relation to

1:17:311:17:37

apprentices, I agree with her that,

unfortunately, in the case of

1:17:371:17:42

business collapse, and we accept

that businesses will always go bust,

1:17:421:17:46

it is a case of the realities of the

way that they work...

There were

1:17:461:17:54

enough in the 90s!

The way in which

the business environment works. The

1:17:541:18:00

employees are at the heart of this

consultation and the heart of the

1:18:001:18:03

decisions that we make.

Can I

congratulate the Minister on the

1:18:031:18:11

statement and also on launching the

much-needed consultation. As a

1:18:111:18:13

member of the select committee that

is requiring the route inquiring

1:18:131:18:17

into the collapse of -- that is

inquiring into the collapse of

1:18:171:18:25

Carillion, the company did not even

give the insolvency service the

1:18:251:18:30

names of all of the parts of the

group. Should steps be taken to

1:18:301:18:36

improve governance and

accountability in groups of

1:18:361:18:38

companies with complex structures.

I

think the honourable gentleman has

1:18:381:18:46

hit the nail on the head. I commend

the work that his select committee

1:18:461:18:50

has been doing in shining a light

into the realities of the weight

1:18:501:18:55

Carillion operated. In the very

early days of the Carillion

1:18:551:19:01

collapse, when the Government

welcome to protect vital services

1:19:011:19:03

that were being delivered and

protect the 18,500 people employed

1:19:031:19:07

by them, it became very clear this

was a hellishly complicated

1:19:071:19:10

business, with a hellishly

overcomplicated structure. It is

1:19:101:19:18

still a difficult job in trying to

untangle that web that we saw in the

1:19:181:19:26

Carillion business structure. If it

is, so many weeks on, difficult for

1:19:261:19:29

the insolvency agency to untangle

this business, how much more

1:19:291:19:34

difficult must it have been to run

it? It is very clear that we need

1:19:341:19:39

clear, accountable business

structures in our businesses today.

1:19:391:19:43

Can I welcome ace sensible set of

proposals, particularly on value

1:19:451:19:48

extraction through complex

arrangement. Can I ask the minister

1:19:481:19:52

what he currently can do, and will

in future be able to do, in respect

1:19:521:19:57

of companies like Toys "R" Us, where

we had a management team led by a

1:19:571:20:03

man called Frank, who, over a long

period of time, were able to loot

1:20:031:20:08

the company, loading it up with

debt, using complex and tax havens,

1:20:081:20:14

and leaving behind a legacy of 580

million pension funds and 3000

1:20:141:20:19

redundancies. What can he do?

I like

the Right Honourable Gentleman for

1:20:191:20:26

that. -- I thank. He has vast

experience our Secretary of State

1:20:261:20:30

for our department. He is right in

identifying the value extraction

1:20:301:20:33

element in this document. As I

alluded to earlier, we see that when

1:20:331:20:41

a businesses particularly taken

over, the directors of the company

1:20:411:20:45

purchased it often put in place

complicated measures in order to

1:20:451:20:49

protect their own back, in order to

make sure whatever happens to that

1:20:491:20:52

business, they are not impacted. The

powers within this would allow us to

1:20:521:21:04

recoup and recover that amount of

money, not just for directors, for

1:21:041:21:11

shareholders, but for contractors

and creditors within the supply

1:21:111:21:14

chain. In relation to toys -- Toys

"R" Us, he recognises that some

1:21:141:21:22

businesses will always fail. This

Government is very clear that this

1:21:221:21:27

set of measures, particularly

putting the emphasis on the

1:21:271:21:33

responsibility not just of directors

but also our shareholders, and I

1:21:331:21:37

think this is a very important

point, that shareholders,

1:21:371:21:40

particularly institutional

shareholders, have a voice in the

1:21:401:21:42

Could I ask him to extend this

consultation or perhaps a future on

1:21:551:22:03

into the forced liquidations of

often small and sometimes slightly

1:22:031:22:06

vulnerable businesses, by

1:22:061:22:19

banks and other creditors, which are

totally unnecessary and could be

1:22:211:22:23

resolved by other means and retain

jobs as opposed to leaving bust

1:22:231:22:28

businesses which should be thriving.

Mr Speaker, we have seen over recent

1:22:281:22:30

weeks the impact the banks can have

on small businesses when they act

1:22:301:22:34

inappropriately. I've been meeting

with the PPP recently to see how we

1:22:341:22:38

can get more accountability -- the

APPG. Eye would be delighted to meet

1:22:381:22:50

with the honourable gentleman to

find out what ideas he has.

Mr

1:22:501:22:57

Speaker, can I ask for some

clarification please. Could you tell

1:22:571:23:01

me if it is usual when an MP from a

constituency visits a different

1:23:011:23:05

constituency for them to let that

member no because in the last ten

1:23:051:23:09

days two MPs from the benches

opposite have visited my

1:23:091:23:13

constituency and I've had no notice.

You never know, we might have

1:23:131:23:17

another visit coming up shortly.

The

short answer to the honourable lady,

1:23:171:23:25

and I thank her for it, is a member

visiting another member's

1:23:251:23:29

constituency on public business

should notify and it should be done

1:23:291:23:39

in a timely way. It is a matter of

Parliamentary courtesy, a

1:23:391:23:43

long-standing convention of the

House. It's about -- a regrettable

1:23:431:23:51

situation if honourable members feel

the need to raise this on the floor

1:23:511:23:55

of the House. Members should simply

show a basic level of courtesy and

1:23:551:24:00

respect for each other in these

matters. If there are no further

1:24:001:24:03

points of order we come now to the

presentation of Bill Secretary

1:24:031:24:09

Bradley.

1:24:091:24:19

Northern Ireland anticipation and

adjustment spill.

1:24:201:24:31

I beg to move leave be given to

bring in a bill to bring in fire

1:24:381:24:46

information for occupants of

high-rise buildings. Following the

1:24:461:24:52

tragic events at Grenfell Tower

there's been a great deal of

1:24:521:24:56

attention focused on the urgent need

to improve fire safety including

1:24:561:25:00

materials for construction, the

effectiveness of building

1:25:001:25:03

regulations and the need for string

close. The safety of residents of

1:25:031:25:07

high-rise buildings is the

overriding concern and our efforts

1:25:071:25:13

should be concentrated on ensuring

that they are afforded the best

1:25:131:25:17

protection. To this end, the setting

up of the independent review of

1:25:171:25:21

building regulations and fire safety

was a vitally important step and we

1:25:211:25:29

look forward to seeing her report

and recommendations which are

1:25:291:25:32

believe expected in the spring. In

the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower

1:25:321:25:38

fire, like many other members of

Parliament, I made inquiries about

1:25:381:25:43

the high-rise residential buildings

in my own constituency, their

1:25:431:25:51

physical safety but also the extent

to which residents knew what to do

1:25:511:25:55

in the event of a fire. I would like

to put on record my gratitude to

1:25:551:26:01

Hampshire Fire and rescue and the

excellent work they did to carry out

1:26:011:26:04

inspections of high-rise buildings

and also making home safety visits,

1:26:041:26:11

and importantly responding to

fantastic way to residents'

1:26:111:26:21

concerns. However it became clear to

me that one of the issues causing

1:26:211:26:26

concern was the lack of transparency

about who was responsible for fire

1:26:261:26:29

safety in their building. And the

lack of information made available

1:26:291:26:35

to them. This lack of information

and transparency was first raised

1:26:351:26:40

with me by a constituent in

Basingstoke who was renting a flat

1:26:401:26:45

from a leaseholder in a privately

owned high-rise residential block.

1:26:451:26:54

He was seeking to satisfy himself

about the safety of the building in

1:26:541:26:58

which he lived but he found it

incredibly difficult to access this

1:26:581:27:01

sort of information. In the first

place it was unclear who was

1:27:011:27:05

responsible for fire safety, and the

managing agent would not tell him

1:27:051:27:09

who even owned the freehold of the

building. It transpired the managing

1:27:091:27:16

agents were the responsible person

but refuse to give him access to

1:27:161:27:19

fire risk assessments on the basis

they didn't routinely make them

1:27:191:27:24

available to residents. Eventually

when I secured a copy of the fire

1:27:241:27:28

risk assessment and sent it to my

constituents, he was very concerned

1:27:281:27:32

to find out that a number of fire

risks had been raised within the

1:27:321:27:37

report, including serious faults on

the vent control panel which the

1:27:371:27:43

report identified as a hazard for

escape routes and evacuation. He

1:27:431:27:48

went on to try and find out whether

remedial actions had been taken but

1:27:481:27:53

then received conflicting

information. One way in which he

1:27:531:27:56

could have raised these issues would

be if the managing agent for the

1:27:561:28:01

building, the responsible person,

were to hold a residents meeting to

1:28:011:28:05

enable occupants to receive

information and to scrutinise what

1:28:051:28:09

action had been taken. However the

managing agents didn't feel it

1:28:091:28:13

necessary to hold such a meeting and

instead issued correspondence which

1:28:131:28:23

in practice was with the leaseholder

of the individual flat and not the

1:28:231:28:26

actual occupants. When I worked with

my local authority, I found out...

1:28:261:28:30

Try to find out how other high-rise

buildings were managed in my

1:28:301:28:34

constituency with regards to fire

safety. The borough council are very

1:28:341:28:38

supportive of the proposition that

the responsible person should hold

1:28:381:28:42

an annual meeting to clarify fire

safety strategy for the building and

1:28:421:28:46

to allow an opportunity for

residents to raise any queries they

1:28:461:28:49

might have. It was clear the

practice in my constituency varies

1:28:491:28:58

greatly. On managing agents said

they hold annual meetings with

1:28:581:29:04

residents on an annual basis and the

fire safety arrangements issue was

1:29:041:29:08

on the agenda, and in fact a meeting

had been held just prior to the

1:29:081:29:12

Grenfell Tower fire. Other

organisations, including for the

1:29:121:29:21

building where my constituent lives,

didn't see the need for such a

1:29:211:29:23

meeting so the main purpose of this

bill is to require the responsible

1:29:231:29:28

person for all high-rise residential

buildings to hold an annual meeting

1:29:281:29:34

for all residents to inform them of

the fire risk assessment and to

1:29:341:29:38

address all the fire safety issues

that might have been raised.

1:29:381:29:42

Currently the responsible person for

any high-rise building is required

1:29:421:29:46

to have fire risk assessments of the

building carried out regularly.

1:29:461:29:50

These will identify any fire risks

in the building and require remedial

1:29:501:29:55

works to be carried out. However,

there is no requirement currently

1:29:551:30:00

for these assessments to be shared

with residents, no transparency

1:30:001:30:03

which might help improve the safety

of people living in high-rise

1:30:031:30:07

accommodation. From the experience

in my constituency, there is some

1:30:071:30:14

good practice but that is not

necessarily widespread. I believe

1:30:141:30:17

residents have a right to know where

the fire risks have been identified

1:30:171:30:21

in their building and to be allowed

to come to their own conclusions of

1:30:211:30:27

the level of risk they are willing

to accept. An annual meeting should

1:30:271:30:33

be held to go through the fire risk

assessment and to review and report

1:30:331:30:37

on the measures being taken to

address any risks identified. In

1:30:371:30:42

this way, progress on rectifying

problems will be transparent to

1:30:421:30:45

residents. An annual residents

meeting would also be a useful form

1:30:451:30:50

of communication about fire safety

with residents who may not be the

1:30:501:30:57

leaseholders of those flats. When

the interim report was published in

1:30:571:31:02

December last year, it recognised

the need to reassure residents an

1:31:021:31:10

effective system was in place to

maintain safety and the buildings

1:31:101:31:15

which were their homes. This bill

will ensure the responsible person

1:31:151:31:19

holds an annual meeting for

residents to share with them the

1:31:191:31:22

fire risk assessment and make sure

residents are aware of how fire

1:31:221:31:26

safety is being managed in their own

home. This should be in line with

1:31:261:31:30

the direction of travel of the

independent review but goes a step

1:31:301:31:34

further. It provides residents with

more information and a greater

1:31:341:31:39

degree of transparency than has been

the case to date. Everyone who lives

1:31:391:31:43

in a high-rise building has the

right to know if there are fire

1:31:431:31:47

issues that have been identified,

how they have been tackled and most

1:31:471:31:52

importantly what they should do in

the event of a fire. At the moment

1:31:521:31:56

there is no transparency, Apache

practice, residents deserve better

1:31:561:32:04

and I recommend the proposed bill to

the House.

The question is that the

1:32:041:32:12

right honourable member have leave

to bring in the bill. As many of

1:32:121:32:15

that opinion say I... On the

contrary know. The ayes have it. Who

1:32:151:32:25

will prepare and bring in the bill?

Mr Iain Duncan Smith, Stephen

1:32:251:32:31

Hammond, Theresa Villiers, Sarah

Champion, Harriet Harman, David

1:32:311:32:35

Lammy, just Phillips, Lucy Powell

and myself, Madam Deputy Speaker.

1:32:351:32:40

Mrs Maria Miller.

1:32:401:32:51

Fire safety information Bill.

Second

reading what day?

26th of October.

1:33:091:33:19

26th of October. We now come to the

Northern Ireland budget anticipation

1:33:191:33:26

and adjustments bill. Business of

the House motion. Minister to move?

1:33:261:33:34

The question is the Northern Ireland

budget anticipation and adjustments

1:33:341:33:41

bill motion as on the order paper.

As many of that opinion, say aye. On

1:33:411:33:54

the contrary no. The ayes have it.

The clerk will now proceed to read

1:33:541:34:04

the orders of the day.

Northern

Ireland budget anticipation and

1:34:041:34:08

adjustments bill, second reading.

Somebody say now.

Now!

Secretary of

1:34:081:34:23

State Mrs Karen Bradley.

As I set

out to the House in my statement

1:34:231:34:26

last week, in order for the UK

Government to uphold its commitments

1:34:261:34:29

in the interest of all parts of the

community in Northern Ireland, there

1:34:291:34:33

are series of steps required to

safeguard public services and

1:34:331:34:37

finances. The bill before the House

today represents the first of those

1:34:371:34:41

steps with the legislation scheduled

to followed tomorrow. I take these

1:34:411:34:48

measures with the greatest of

reluctance, I have deferred action

1:34:481:34:51

until it was clear it would not be

possible for a restored executive to

1:34:511:34:56

take this legislation forward but as

we approach the end of the financial

1:34:561:34:58

year it is important we proceed now

to give certainty that the Northern

1:34:581:35:03

Ireland civil service look to

continue to protect and preserve

1:35:031:35:06

public services. Last year the UK

Government had to step in and asked

1:35:061:35:11

parliament to legislate for 2017/18

budget for Northern Ireland. Again,

1:35:111:35:15

not a step we wanted to take but it

gave the Northern Ireland this --

1:35:151:35:23

Northern Ireland civil service the

ability to perform what they needed

1:35:231:35:30

to do. No direction were set out for

how spending decisions should be

1:35:301:35:35

made, instead they set out in more

1:35:351:35:38

departmental spending allocations

within which permanent secretaries

1:35:381:35:40

could deliver on their respective

responsibilities. That act was bat

1:35:401:35:45

in November, since then the Northern

Ireland civil service have continued

1:35:451:35:48

assessing where pressure is like

across the system and reallocated

1:35:481:35:51

resources as required. In addition

the UK Government is committed in

1:35:511:35:56

November to providing £50 million of

support arising from the agreement

1:35:561:36:02

to address pressures. Of that, we

agreed £20 million would be made

1:36:021:36:11

available in 2017/18 with the

remainder to form part of the

1:36:111:36:13

resource totals available in 20

18th/ 19th and that additional

1:36:131:36:18

funding was confirmed in the supply

and appropriation anticipation and

1:36:181:36:22

adjustments act which received Royal

assent last week. Those changes must

1:36:221:36:30

now be reflected in the legal

spending authority provided to the

1:36:301:36:34

Northern Ireland Administration and

that is what this bill does. In

1:36:341:36:39

addition, the Bill provides for a

vote on account of the early months

1:36:391:36:44

of next year to give legal authority

for managing day-to-day spending in

1:36:441:36:47

the run-up to that Estimates

process. Honourable and right

1:36:471:36:52

honourable members may recall there

was no such action this year with no

1:36:521:36:56

budget legislation for Northern

Ireland before November. This meant

1:36:561:37:00

the Northern Ireland civil service

had to rely on section 59 of the

1:37:001:37:03

Northern Ireland act to issue cash

and resources. These are emergency

1:37:031:37:12

powers intended to be used only in

the absence of more orthodox legal

1:37:121:37:16

authority. As we take forward

legislation to formalise the budget

1:37:161:37:20

for last year, I don't consider it

would be appropriate if we didn't

1:37:201:37:23

provide the usual vote on account

facility. A facility provided to UK

1:37:231:37:29

Government departments through our

own spring supplementary Estimates

1:37:291:37:31

process.

1:37:311:37:35

To be very clear, this is not a

budget for the overhead. The bill

1:37:351:37:39

does not seek to set out in the

legislation the guidelines I sat in

1:37:391:37:46

March. They will be taken forward in

a budget bill in the summer, as is

1:37:461:37:50

the case for the United Kingdom

finances as a whole. Of course, I

1:37:501:37:53

have this budget bill will be

brought forward by an executive but

1:37:531:37:57

we must be prepared for the

potential it would be game foot to

1:37:571:38:01

this Parliament to gain budget

certainty. Nor does it seek to vote

1:38:011:38:07

any new money is the Northern

Ireland. The total to which it is

1:38:071:38:10

related at either locally raised or

have been subject to previous vote

1:38:101:38:15

in parliament, most recently in the

supply and appropriation adjustments

1:38:151:38:20

bill. Instead, the bill looks back

to confirm spending totals for

1:38:201:38:25

2017-18 to ensure Northern Ireland

civil service has a secure legal

1:38:251:38:28

basis for its spending in the past

year. As such, it formally allocates

1:38:281:38:33

the £20 million of confidence and

supply funding already committed for

1:38:331:38:38

2017-18. It is not concerned with

any of the £410 million set out in

1:38:381:38:43

my budget statement last week which

will be a matter for the UK

1:38:431:38:47

estimates in the summer and foreign

Northern Ireland budget bill

1:38:471:38:50

thereafter. Taken as a whole, it

represents the minimum necessary

1:38:501:38:54

intervention to secure public

finances at this juncture.

1:38:541:38:57

I will turn very briefly to the

content of the bill, as it will

1:38:571:39:00

largely rehearse the discussions my

predecessor, who I know will be with

1:39:001:39:06

us when he has finished a piece of

secondary legislation he is involved

1:39:061:39:09

in upstairs. He is here, still here,

good. Bringing forward the Northern

1:39:091:39:15

Ireland budget before this house.

I'm delighted to see he is here and

1:39:151:39:19

know he will contribute later when

he has served on the secondary

1:39:191:39:22

legislation observes.

In short, it authorises Northern

1:39:221:39:26

Ireland departments and other bodies

to incur expenditure and use

1:39:261:39:29

resources for the financial year

ending on 31st of March, 2018.

1:39:291:39:33

Clause one authorises the money out

of the Consolidated fund of Northern

1:39:331:39:39

Ireland. The allocation levels for

each Northern Ireland department and

1:39:391:39:43

the other bodies in receipt of these

funds are set out in schedule one

1:39:431:39:47

which also states the purpose for

which these funds are to be used.

1:39:471:39:50

Clause two authorises the use of

resources amounting to £80 million

1:39:501:39:58

by the Northern Ireland departments

and other bodies listed in clause

1:39:581:40:03

three, subsection two. Clause three

sets revise limits on accruing

1:40:031:40:08

resources including operating a

non-operating resources in the

1:40:081:40:11

current financial year. These are

all largely as they appeared in the

1:40:111:40:15

Northern Ireland budget 2017 and the

revised totals for departments

1:40:151:40:19

appear in schedules one and two the

bill." McGrath does not have a

1:40:191:40:23

parallel in that act. It sets out

the power for the NIC efforts to

1:40:231:40:28

issue out of the NI Consolidated

fund some £7.35

1:40:281:40:41

billion in cash for the forthcoming

financial year. This is the voting

1:40:451:40:48

account provision I have audio line.

It is linked across six which does

1:40:481:40:50

the same in terms of resources. The

value is set as a standard at around

1:40:501:40:53

45% of the sum is available in both

regards in the previous financial

1:40:531:40:56

year. Schedules three and four

operate on the same basis, with each

1:40:561:40:59

department to allegation set at 45%

of the previous year. Clause five

1:40:591:41:01

permit some temporary borrowing

powers the cash management purposes.

1:41:011:41:02

As I have already noted, these sums

relate to those that have ready been

1:41:021:41:05

voted by Parliament, together with

revenue generated locally in

1:41:051:41:08

Northern Ireland. There is no new

money contained within this bill.

1:41:081:41:12

There is simply the explicit

authority to spend involve the

1:41:121:41:14

monies that have already been

allocated. Of course.

1:41:141:41:19

Thank you. I am grateful to the

Secretary of State for allowing me

1:41:191:41:23

to intervene. She will be well aware

under the allocation to the

1:41:231:41:27

executive office, it actually, in

detail, expresses actions associated

1:41:271:41:35

with the preparation and

implementation of the historical

1:41:351:41:40

institutional abuse inquiry report

on findings. What exactly is going

1:41:401:41:46

to be implemented and done? It is

long overdue, very long overdue,

1:41:461:41:49

what is going to happen in Northern

Ireland as a result of today's bill?

1:41:491:41:55

Madam Deputy Speaker I thank the

honourable lady for her

1:41:551:41:57

intervention. We have, the two of us

have discussed this at the select

1:41:571:42:04

committee and also in this house. As

I have said, what this bill does is

1:42:041:42:08

agrees the money that has already

been spent in regard to the heart

1:42:081:42:13

inquiry. That was an inquiry set up

by the executive and therefore it is

1:42:131:42:18

quite right that in this bill we

agree that that money that has been

1:42:181:42:24

spent has been properly unlawfully

spent. In terms of the treatment of

1:42:241:42:29

the victims of historical abuse, and

she will know, as we all do, we'll

1:42:291:42:32

wish to seek those victims see the

justice that they so rightly deserve

1:42:321:42:40

but she will also know that this was

an inquiry set up by the executive

1:42:401:42:44

and is therefore quite right that it

should be, the recommendations dealt

1:42:441:42:48

with by the executive. It's a great

shame we don't have an executive to

1:42:481:42:51

deal with these things. It would be

constitutionally inappropriate for

1:42:511:42:55

this house to determine the actions

that should be taken in regard to

1:42:551:43:01

those recommendations, because this

house did not set up that inquiry,

1:43:011:43:05

it was set up by the executive, and

that is the right place for the

1:43:051:43:09

recommendations to be considered and

decisions taken about those

1:43:091:43:12

recommendations. But I'm unaware of

the point she races and I know we

1:43:121:43:15

will continue to discuss this point.

Going back to the bill, it would

1:43:151:43:19

ordinarily have been taken through

the assembly and as such at clause

1:43:191:43:23

seven there are a series of

adaptations that ensure

1:43:231:43:35

that once approved by both houses of

Westminster the bill will be treated

1:43:351:43:38

as though it were an assembly budget

at, enabling Northern Ireland public

1:43:381:43:40

finances to continue to function,

notwithstanding the absence of an

1:43:401:43:42

executive. Alongside the bill itself

I have also laid before the House as

1:43:421:43:45

a command paper a set of

supplementary Estimates for the

1:43:451:43:47

departments and bodies covered by

the bill. These estimates which have

1:43:471:43:49

been prepared by the Northern

Ireland finance set out in greater

1:43:491:43:53

detail. As honourable and right

honourable members may note, this is

1:43:531:43:58

a different process to that which we

might ordinarily see that estimates

1:43:581:44:02

at Westminster, where the estimates

documents precedes the former budget

1:44:021:44:08

document and is proved. This will be

the case as the assembly. As was the

1:44:081:44:11

case in November, the bill provides

the layering of the command paper

1:44:111:44:14

takes the place of an estimates

document laden approved before this

1:44:141:44:18

assembly. Again, to enable public

finances to flow smoothly.

1:44:181:44:25

Thank you and I thank the Secretary

of State for giving way. Could I

1:44:251:44:30

asked my right honourable friend,

assuming an executive was

1:44:301:44:33

reconstituted at some stage during

the year, perhaps say in six months'

1:44:331:44:38

time, would members of that

executive have any ability to

1:44:381:44:43

fiddle, change, adjust the budget

she is proposing or is it set for

1:44:431:44:50

the year?

No, my honourable and gallant friend

1:44:501:44:55

is correct. The members of the

assembly and members of the

1:44:551:44:58

executive would have the power to

change the allocations as set out in

1:44:581:45:03

the budget and to change decisions

taken. He will know, as I said in my

1:45:031:45:08

statement last week, that's what I

did last week was the bare minimum

1:45:081:45:14

required to allow the NIC S to be

able to continue to function and

1:45:141:45:22

deliver public services but there

are many political decisions and it

1:45:221:45:25

would not be appropriate to take on

this place as we do not have the

1:45:251:45:28

executive power to do so. But the

executive would do, and I would

1:45:281:45:31

therefore urge numbers of the

assembly to do what they can as the

1:45:311:45:39

comeback to Stormont and to take

executive decision-making powers. So

1:45:391:45:48

I hope honourable and right

honourable members will agree this

1:45:481:45:51

is very much a technical step we are

taking as we approach the end of the

1:45:511:45:55

financial year. It looks backwards

rather than forward, though it does

1:45:551:45:58

avoid the use of emergency powers

for the forthcoming financial year.

1:45:581:46:01

Of course I will give away.

I am

very grateful, thank you again. I'm

1:46:011:46:07

extremely grateful to the Secretary

of State for allowing me to move

1:46:071:46:10

onto different topic, the

Independent reporting commission.

1:46:101:46:13

Given the rise in North Down

regrettably of loyalist paramilitary

1:46:131:46:21

activity in North Down I'm curious

to know of the independent reporting

1:46:211:46:24

commission set up by the previous

Secretary of State, to distinguish

1:46:241:46:29

Secretary of State, who I think was

present and is not present just at

1:46:291:46:32

the moment in the chamber. What

exactly does the independent

1:46:321:46:36

reporting commission do for its

money, since paramilitary activity

1:46:361:46:41

seems to be increasing instead of

decreasing, which was its remit when

1:46:411:46:45

set up?

Madam Deputy Speaker, I have the

1:46:451:46:50

honour of meeting Mitchell trees

while I was in the US last week. I

1:46:501:46:54

think there were a number of members

opposite who also may have had the

1:46:541:46:59

chance to meet him. I expect the

independent reporting Council,

1:46:591:47:05

commission to report shortly with

interim findings. I know the members

1:47:051:47:09

will be visiting Northern Ireland

shortly and I hope to have a meeting

1:47:091:47:12

at that point but I'm well aware of

the point she races Poistogova

1:47:121:47:15

something I discussed with Mr Reece

whilst in the United States.

1:47:151:47:23

Can she just clarify for me, funding

apparently for implementing the

1:47:231:47:30

recommendations of the Hart Report

is on schedule two but also on

1:47:301:47:38

schedule three which conflict

slightly with the point made

1:47:381:47:40

earlier. I wonder if she can clarify

that, Saint schedule three appears

1:47:401:47:44

to anticipate spend on the Hart

inquiry, which we would all welcome

1:47:441:47:51

but the Secretary of State hasn't

said so explicitly.

1:47:511:47:54

I thank my honourable friend. As I

said it might earlier remarks,

1:47:541:48:02

forward-looking expenditure is

merely approving in the way we were

1:48:021:48:06

doing the normal budget process for

here in this house. 45% of spending.

1:48:061:48:13

We have done exactly the same

allocations as was spent in the

1:48:131:48:15

previous year, to enable the money

is to be spent but it is not giving

1:48:151:48:22

decision-making power to say this is

how the money should be spent. It is

1:48:221:48:25

merely giving approval that monies

can be spent by those departments. I

1:48:251:48:33

appreciate it's not an entirely

satisfactory situation but it is

1:48:331:48:36

what is required to be done to

enable departments to continue to be

1:48:361:48:40

able to function and provide public

services and we will in the summer,

1:48:401:48:44

of course, come through with the

full budget process, which I hope

1:48:441:48:47

will be done at Stormont by a

restored executive but if not it

1:48:471:48:51

will have to be done in this house.

I thank the Secretary of State for

1:48:511:48:55

giving way. She will know it is the

perpetrator that pays and is

1:48:551:49:01

punished not the taxpayer. Poggi

ensure that going forward, if there

1:49:011:49:04

is not an assembly in six months'

time that it will be the

1:49:041:49:08

institutions who perpetrated those

faults and indeed those horrible

1:49:081:49:14

pernicious attacks on individuals,

that they will be the people made to

1:49:141:49:17

pay, not the taxpayer picking up the

bill.

1:49:171:49:20

Madam Deputy Speaker, I think the

honourable gentleman's comments

1:49:201:49:23

indicate to this house that there is

not perhaps universal support for

1:49:231:49:28

every recommendation that has been

made in the Hart inquiry and that is

1:49:281:49:33

why it is important we have a

restored executive in Stormont back

1:49:331:49:37

and make decisions about those

recommendations and enable justice

1:49:371:49:39

to be delivered. If I may, I will

conclude my remarks. Of course I

1:49:391:49:44

will.

I thank the Secretary of State. She

1:49:441:49:50

confirmed the legal position is for

is this bill is concerned and what

1:49:501:49:53

it purports to do and will do if

past. Can she confirmed that in

1:49:531:49:58

terms of the written ministerial

statement allocating £410 million of

1:49:581:50:01

the money at the start of the

financial year, governments and

1:50:011:50:07

northern Ireland can plan on

spending that money?

1:50:071:50:10

I thank the right honourable

gentleman. He is right. This

1:50:101:50:13

statement sets out the Dippenaar

mental allocations, what this bill

1:50:131:50:18

does is give Parliamentary approval.

-- departmental allocations. It

1:50:181:50:22

gives approval to start spending

money. It is what is required for

1:50:221:50:25

that at the start of the financial

year but not setting the final

1:50:251:50:30

allocations, it is merely giving

approval that departments can start

1:50:301:50:32

to spend. We are saying this money

can now be spent to public services

1:50:321:50:38

can be delivered. His absolute

right, the £410 million delivered

1:50:381:50:44

from the confidence and supply

agreement for 2019-20 years in the

1:50:441:50:48

allocations as set out in the

ministerial statement on the

1:50:481:50:51

departments can work on the basis

that they can start to spend that

1:50:511:50:53

money.

The point again comes, this bill

1:50:531:50:58

supplied it provides a secure

footing for the Northern Ireland

1:50:581:51:02

civil service. It is on that

platform might budget of six to

1:51:021:51:05

build. That will need to be the

subject of formal legislation in the

1:51:051:51:09

summer, as a further Northern

Ireland budget bill. That is one I

1:51:091:51:13

sincerely hope, as I have or

dissent, will be taken forward by

1:51:131:51:17

restored executive, but if required,

that is something we as the UK

1:51:171:51:20

Government would be prepared to

progress, as we uphold our

1:51:201:51:23

responsibilities to the people of

Northern Ireland.

1:51:231:51:26

In the meantime, it is those

allocations, if I may finish my

1:51:261:51:30

sentence, which that the NICS to

prepare and plan for the year ahead.

1:51:301:51:38

Which she agree with me we all want

to see the executive being restored

1:51:381:51:42

but in the absence of that in the

medium-term, which agreed the way we

1:51:421:51:46

bring for this process, it is not

satisfactory, is at least progress

1:51:461:51:52

but we need to see further progress

as to how that money is spent on the

1:51:521:51:56

ground? For much-needed services?

I thank the honourable gentleman for

1:51:561:52:02

his contribution. I agree with him,

we all want to see devolution

1:52:021:52:05

restored. As I have said, I do this

reluctantly, but I am doing what is

1:52:051:52:11

required to enable public spending

to continue and public services to

1:52:111:52:16

be delivered. I pay tribute to the

civil servants and other public

1:52:161:52:22

servants who have worked tirelessly

for the last 14 months doing that,

1:52:221:52:26

exactly that work and I want to make

sure they can continue to do

1:52:261:52:28

It is probably mean being thick but

I wonder if you can explain the

1:52:351:52:39

difference between scheduled three

and schedule four, resource is

1:52:391:52:44

authorised and resources granted for

the year ending 31st of March 2000

1:52:441:52:49

19. Many figures look the same but

clearly there's a difference in the

1:52:491:52:52

form of words used and I would be

grateful for clarification on that

1:52:521:52:57

point.

I suspect this is a deeply

technical point, it would be helpful

1:52:571:53:03

if I wrote to the honourable

gentleman and set out exactly what

1:53:031:53:06

the difference was but I want to

assure him we are proving that

1:53:061:53:11

spending can start but not approving

final numbers nor how that spending

1:53:111:53:15

happens as part of this process for

2018/ 19. We are proving today the

1:53:151:53:21

monies that have already been spent

and making sure they are on a proper

1:53:211:53:26

statutory footing so the finances of

Northern Ireland and the NICS can be

1:53:261:53:32

dealt with properly. As I conclude,

I will set out once again a point

1:53:321:53:37

I've made several times before. The

UK Government is steadfastly

1:53:371:53:41

committed to the Belfast agreement

and completely committed to working

1:53:411:53:44

to remove the barriers for

devolution and that's because

1:53:441:53:49

Northern Ireland need strong local

leadership. But in its absence, this

1:53:491:53:56

bill is a reminder of the UK

Government will always uphold its

1:53:561:54:00

responsibilities for political

stability and good governance and I

1:54:001:54:03

commend it to the House.

The

question is the Bill be now read a

1:54:031:54:08

second time. Owen Smith.

Madam

Deputy Speaker, Mrs a technical step

1:54:081:54:20

today and for instant clarity we

will be supporting these technical

1:54:201:54:23

measures and supporting the

provisions in the Bill. I wanted to

1:54:231:54:27

begin today by remembering on behalf

of all of us in the House Jonathan

1:54:271:54:32

ball and Tim Parry who lost their

lives in the IRA atrocity at

1:54:321:54:38

Warrington this 25 years ago today

and I know there's been a

1:54:381:54:45

commemoration today where they have

been honoured along with the other

1:54:451:54:49

people injured on Monday. I wanted

to do that to mark their tragic

1:54:491:54:54

deaths and remind us of the terrible

cost of the troubles, and the

1:54:541:54:59

reminder to complete the journey to

reconciliation between communities

1:54:591:55:05

and to get to political stability in

Northern Ireland because it is

1:55:051:55:09

something we should be reminded of

today.

Can I thank the honourable

1:55:091:55:14

gentleman, and I want to put on the

record my condolences and thoughts

1:55:141:55:20

to his... He's absolutely right, to

reflect... That today marks the 25th

1:55:201:55:27

anniversary of a shocking event none

of us who lived through that time

1:55:271:55:30

will forget and it's a stark

reminder of how far we have come.

Of

1:55:301:55:38

course, I welcome those words. The

bill we have before us today in

1:55:381:55:45

itself reflects the instability we

have presently in Northern Ireland,

1:55:451:55:50

the fact that reconciliation is

required. We should remind ourselves

1:55:501:55:54

too it is the seventh year out of

the 18 years of the Assembly when

1:55:541:55:58

it's been in suspension in some form

or another, a measure of some of the

1:55:581:56:03

problems we face that we still in

suspension is -- now after 14

1:56:031:56:11

months. The commemorations remind us

too of the desperate need we still

1:56:111:56:18

have for true reconciliation between

communities because although the

1:56:181:56:23

piece is robust, we all feel that,

the reconciliation I think it's all

1:56:231:56:27

too fragile. Not withstanding the

fact it is a technical budget, a

1:56:271:56:35

technical set of measures today, not

formally a budget. I think there are

1:56:351:56:40

lots of questions about it and I

hope to pose some of them about the

1:56:401:56:44

form of the Bill, what is in it, and

what isn't in it and what should be

1:56:441:56:49

in it, reflecting some of the

comments already made by honourable

1:56:491:56:54

and right honourable members of the

House. The first is about the form

1:56:541:56:57

of the Bill because the Secretary of

State said they have done something

1:56:571:57:00

different this year, not on what

their predecessors did, and moved to

1:57:001:57:07

what is in effect a version of the

budget and the Estimates process we

1:57:071:57:14

have for the rest of the UK at

traditional points in the year. I

1:57:141:57:21

think that begs a question the

Secretary of State has partially

1:57:211:57:24

explained as to why she's done much

because it's an emergency measure,

1:57:241:57:29

but I didn't completely understand

why we have gone down that route and

1:57:291:57:32

I think it begs a question about

whether this is a further staging

1:57:321:57:38

post on that famous glide path to

direct rule. And if it is that that

1:57:381:57:43

is in mind of the Government when

they went down this route, I would

1:57:431:57:47

urge them to think harder about how

they redouble their efforts to get

1:57:471:57:51

things back up and running. If it

isn't straightforwardly a budget

1:57:511:57:55

that we are dealing with today, and

if it's only allocating 45% of the

1:57:551:58:02

spending for 2018/ 19th as I

understand it, I think the Secretary

1:58:021:58:06

of State said we would have to have

another budget bill before the

1:58:061:58:09

summer which equally I think makes

the point it's a pretty poor

1:58:091:58:14

substitute for the sort of scrutiny

and intelligence and direction we

1:58:141:58:19

would have, had we got the Stormont

executive and Assembly setting and

1:58:191:58:24

scrutinising a budget. I think some

of the confusion we have perhaps

1:58:241:58:29

heard today about the difference

between locations and appropriations

1:58:291:58:34

and the schedule three and four and

whether we are allowing for spending

1:58:341:58:40

on the HIA for example is

effectively because we have a

1:58:401:58:47

cut-and-paste piece of legislation

here. It is the same schedule with

1:58:471:58:51

the same description of objectives

and tasks facing the individual

1:58:511:58:56

departments in Northern Ireland as

we had in the Northern Ireland

1:58:561:59:00

budget 2017.

Those listed in that

document... She will not the

1:59:001:59:12

significant change year on year

because that is the scope of those

1:59:121:59:18

particular departments where they

can spend, that doesn't change in

1:59:181:59:22

this document.

She is exactly right,

that's the point I was coming onto,

1:59:221:59:25

and the point I was going to make is

what a poor substitute that is for

1:59:251:59:30

proper budget process because we

don't have any real insight into how

1:59:301:59:33

the money is to be spent or where

the priorities lie beyond those

1:59:331:59:38

broad headings. I think we have had

some confusion around HIA funding

1:59:381:59:45

today because I think it's clear

there is an implication of 45% of

1:59:451:59:49

the money available to address the

HIA... And I will come onto the HIA

1:59:492:00:04

more later on. But it's a poor

substitute and I think with nothing

2:00:042:00:07

should have a better degree of

scrutiny on transparency and

2:00:072:00:11

accountability and we can only have

that because this place can not

2:00:112:00:14

properly form a substitute. Want if

we get the executive back up and

2:00:142:00:19

running. I would also like to say

that all of this places Northern

2:00:192:00:27

Ireland's civil servants in a very

invidious position because they are

2:00:272:00:32

taking responsibility for providing

services, making now increasingly

2:00:322:00:36

autonomous decisions about services,

without really having a political

2:00:362:00:44

master to serve or anything to watch

their back if there is a crisis in

2:00:442:00:48

the services they are providing and

that's not a situation we would wish

2:00:482:00:51

to place them in and not one that

can continue indefinitely so I know

2:00:512:00:58

the Secretary of State is mindful of

that and that is one thing that will

2:00:582:01:02

spur on the department to redouble

their efforts, and indeed spur on

2:01:022:01:05

the parties. The civil servants will

be left carrying the can unless we

2:01:052:01:15

are able to get an executive back up

and running. There are three areas

2:01:152:01:19

of expenditure not included in the

budget today or only refer to

2:01:192:01:23

obliquely in the case of the HIA

that I think could be included in

2:01:232:01:27

the budget and could have been dealt

with more fully today, and in the

2:01:272:01:32

coming months. The first is the

historical institutional abuse

2:01:322:01:36

inquiry conducted by Sir Anthony

Harton which right honourable

2:01:362:01:41

members have referred to already

today and it of course made this

2:01:412:01:44

recommendation before the executive

collapsed. It recommended the

2:01:442:01:48

hundreds of men and women who

survived historical abuse in the 20

2:01:482:01:54

institutions in Northern Ireland

should be commemorated and also

2:01:542:01:57

crucially compensated for the abuse

they experienced.

Would the member

2:01:572:02:05

agree that his taxpaying

constituents in Pontypridd and mine

2:02:052:02:15

in Northampton should actually pay

the compensation or does he believe

2:02:152:02:19

the institutions who carried out the

abuse should be made to pay the

2:02:192:02:23

compensation, given the vast amounts

of money some of those institutions

2:02:232:02:28

actually possess?

It will be for the

Government and hopefully the

2:02:282:02:32

executive to make a determination

but my view is it will be both that

2:02:322:02:36

will have to bear some cost, some of

the institutions that were involved,

2:02:362:02:41

as happened in the Irish Republic,

will have to bear some of the cost.

2:02:412:02:47

Where we have state run

institutions, that will be a cost

2:02:472:02:50

borne by the taxpayers but I think

the reality is that what we have all

2:02:502:02:54

got to recognise, and I know the

honourable gentleman does, is the

2:02:542:02:58

abuse suffered by those individuals

was heinous and there must be way

2:02:582:03:03

found for them to be properly

compensated. The fact we have this

2:03:032:03:08

impasse in Northern Ireland, it can

get in the way of that and we need

2:03:082:03:11

to move forward which is why have a

particular question for the

2:03:112:03:15

Secretary of State because my

impression on hearing the evidence

2:03:152:03:18

given David Stirling, the head of

the Northern Ireland civil service,

2:03:182:03:27

giving evidence of the Northern

Ireland affairs select committee

2:03:272:03:30

just a month or so ago was that he

was preparing, is preparing

2:03:302:03:35

legislation in respect of the HIA

and he said explicitly that if there

2:03:352:03:40

is no executive in place by the

summer, was the implication is that

2:03:402:03:44

is when the legislation will be

ready, then he will be asking the

2:03:442:03:48

Secretary of State to bring forward

legislation in this place, in

2:03:482:03:52

Westminster, in order to give effect

to the recommendations of the hard

2:03:522:03:56

inquiry. I thought there was a gap

left there, and I want to be sure

2:03:562:04:05

she will bring forward list nation

notwithstanding the fact we would

2:04:052:04:09

like Stormont to do so.

To be clear,

I heard the evidence given by David

2:04:092:04:17

Stirling as well and I have spoken

to him about this matter. But

2:04:172:04:23

constitutionally this was an inquiry

set up by the executive, it reported

2:04:232:04:28

to the executive, unfortunately the

executive was unable to take

2:04:282:04:31

decisions before it collapsed on the

recommendations and he will

2:04:312:04:34

understand I know, because of his

closeness to this issue throughout

2:04:342:04:38

his long political career, that the

constitutional implications of the

2:04:382:04:44

Westminster Parliament or government

taking a decision about something

2:04:442:04:48

set up by a devolved institution are

not ones to be taken lightly but of

2:04:482:04:53

course if David Stirling should

write to me making specific requests

2:04:532:04:57

I would consider them at that point.

I am grateful for the Secretary of

2:04:572:05:04

State for the clarification but

effectively she double down on what

2:05:042:05:08

she said earlier and my response is

to say I don't think that's good

2:05:082:05:11

enough. I believe this is an issue

where those people have waited long

2:05:112:05:15

enough. I think the report was

before the Assembly claps, I think

2:05:152:05:20

there is widespread political

support across the piece that there

2:05:202:05:24

should be compensation paid and I

hope therefore, notwithstanding the

2:05:242:05:31

complications and in some sense you

would be rescinding measure of

2:05:312:05:34

devolution, we would find it in this

place to legislate and provide the

2:05:342:05:38

resources. That's the view of this

side of the House and I'm sure the

2:05:382:05:43

Secretary of State will reflect on

that.

The report from Judge Hart who

2:05:432:05:52

headed that inquiry came a short

time after the collapse, and it was

2:05:522:05:55

a point raised to Sinn Fein in terms

of the timing of the collapse

2:05:552:05:59

because we established that with

Sinn Fein, they knew the report was

2:05:592:06:02

coming and we wanted to hold on in

order to make decisions.

The

2:06:022:06:08

honourable lady is right, it was a

matter of days after the executive

2:06:082:06:15

collapse but it doesn't change my

point, that there is widespread

2:06:152:06:18

political support for action on

this. David Stirling clearly thinks

2:06:182:06:22

it would be acceptable to legislate

in this place and I put on the

2:06:222:06:26

record that on this side of the

House we think it would be

2:06:262:06:29

acceptable to legislate in this

place and we think the Secretary of

2:06:292:06:32

State should do so. The second area

of omission I wish to bring to the

2:06:322:06:38

House's attention is the legacy of

the troubles and again I know this

2:06:382:06:42

is something the Secretary of State

is reflecting on, we know it was

2:06:422:06:49

part of discussion between the

parties in the recent talks that

2:06:492:06:52

have stalled unfortunately, but in

the light of the failure of the

2:06:522:06:54

talks I wonder of the Secretary of

State could say more about whether

2:06:542:06:57

and how she might bring forward

resources and legislation to take

2:06:572:07:01

forward the issue of dealing with

the legacy of the past. If she wants

2:07:012:07:05

to entertain -- intervene that would

be great.

I think it is worth

2:07:052:07:13

confirming what I have said

previously about this and no doubt

2:07:132:07:17

we will talk about it again tomorrow

during Oral Questions, but I have

2:07:172:07:21

been clear the UK Government is

committed to setting up the

2:07:212:07:26

institutions that were agreed in the

Stormont house talks process. We

2:07:262:07:30

will consult on how to set those

institutions up shortly but we

2:07:302:07:34

remain committed to doing that.

2:07:342:07:38

I'm grateful for that confirmation.

I'm sure people in Northern Ireland

2:07:382:07:42

will find it reassuring. I would ask

you to consider the plea that the

2:07:422:07:46

Lord Chief Justice made in respect

of a separate set of resources to

2:07:462:07:50

allow the few remaining legacy

inquests to be taken in a timely

2:07:502:07:54

fashion, because some of the people

affected of course are ill, some

2:07:542:07:58

have died already and every passing

month, frankly, injustice hanging in

2:07:582:08:03

the air. We could be dealing with

that to in this place.

2:08:032:08:09

Third, the bill could and in our

view should have included financial

2:08:092:08:13

provision to provide for a pension

for the seriously injured victims

2:08:132:08:17

and survivors of the troubles.

There were of course around 500 or

2:08:172:08:24

still presently 500 seriously

injured physically injured

2:08:242:08:27

survivors, many of whom live in is

significant financial hardship

2:08:272:08:31

because of their injuries and loss

of earnings in their lives as a

2:08:312:08:35

result of the legacy of the

Troubles. Some believe we can

2:08:352:08:38

provide a pension for all of those

500 as among them there are some who

2:08:382:08:44

were injured by their own hand. I

believe we think there are six

2:08:442:08:49

loyalists and four Republicans

injured by their own actions in the

2:08:492:08:53

Troubles and I acknowledge those

concerns on the difficulty it poses

2:08:532:08:56

and I acknowledge honourable members

have considerable issues about what

2:08:562:09:02

that would mean for the treatment of

victims and how we move forward in

2:09:022:09:09

respect of victims legislation. I

will give way.

I thank the

2:09:092:09:14

honourable gentleman for allowing me

to intervene. I'm thinking also of

2:09:142:09:19

soldiers that many people have

actually had compensation and indeed

2:09:192:09:24

pensions. Is the honourable

gentleman thinking of them included

2:09:242:09:28

in this 500, or are they separate?

The 500 relate to civilian victims,

2:09:282:09:36

but there are, of course, as you say

separate provisions in respect of

2:09:362:09:40

injured soldiers. I think the

reality is many of the 500 have, of

2:09:402:09:44

course, received some form of

financial compensation but for many

2:09:442:09:48

of them that is money that has long

since run out and the loss of

2:09:482:09:54

earnings over a protracted period

has left significant hardship as the

2:09:542:09:58

daily reality for many men and women

in Northern Ireland. I believe this

2:09:582:10:01

is another area where we cannot

allow the perfect to be the enemy of

2:10:012:10:07

the good, and notwithstanding the

difficulties, I think the Secretary

2:10:072:10:10

of State in particular right now

should be thinking about how we

2:10:102:10:13

provide for those people.

I wonder if he is equally concerned

2:10:132:10:19

about the military covenant and the

full implementation of that in

2:10:192:10:22

Northern Ireland and will he pushed

the Secretary of State to make sure

2:10:222:10:25

that occurs also?

Of course, that is another very

2:10:252:10:28

important issue. I don't think it's

necessarily related to the substance

2:10:282:10:32

of this bill, which is largely about

financial measures but I'm sure the

2:10:322:10:36

Secretary of State will have heard

it and I will also be continuing to

2:10:362:10:39

talk about the military cabinet and

its importance to all of those in

2:10:392:10:45

Northern Ireland. On pensions,

however, the Secretary of State

2:10:452:10:50

should know some of the victims, in

particular those represented by the

2:10:502:10:54

Wave group will be here to listen to

our proceedings,. I would urge her

2:10:542:10:58

to show leadership on this issue and

to find the resources to provide

2:10:582:11:01

them with the amount of money they

need, because it will be a tiny

2:11:012:11:06

amount of money in the scheme of

things but for individuals it will

2:11:062:11:12

be a life-saver. I will.

I thank the Secretary of State for

2:11:122:11:18

giving way. He will of course no it

isn't just a question of financial

2:11:182:11:23

provision, but we will require

legislation. This party is prepared

2:11:232:11:27

to put forward a private members

Bill, to propose such a pension for

2:11:272:11:32

seriously injured victims and

survivors in Northern Ireland will

2:11:322:11:35

his party that bill?

Well, I think it would depend, map

2:11:352:11:43

Madam Deputy Speaker on the nature

of that bill, and on how all members

2:11:432:11:48

are treated. I said earlier on about

the concerns people have on the

2:11:482:11:54

definition of victim and some

individuals who might benefit from

2:11:542:11:57

such a pension. My view is clear, I

don't think we can allow the perfect

2:11:572:12:01

to be the enemy of the good. I think

even if it means some people who

2:12:012:12:06

were injured by their own hand...

Were eventually in receipt of a

2:12:062:12:09

state pension, then I think that

would be a price worth paying in

2:12:092:12:13

order to provide the necessary

resources for the vast majority of

2:12:132:12:16

innocent

Finally Madam Deputy Speaker... I

2:12:162:12:20

will.

-- majority of innocent

victims. The select committee did

2:12:202:12:25

meet with Wave and look at their

proposals. As he looked at the issue

2:12:252:12:30

of how he can design a pension that

suffered mental health problems as a

2:12:302:12:36

result of the Troubles, because I

suspect it may include more people

2:12:362:12:40

than the 500 formally impound the

year he quotes but I don't see how

2:12:402:12:44

you could have a scheme that

helpless people as well.

The

2:12:442:12:48

honourable gentleman I know from his

time in the select committee is very

2:12:482:12:51

familiar with this issue. He's

absolutely right, the numbers I

2:12:512:12:54

referred to are the 500 seriously

physically injured victims and

2:12:542:13:00

survivors and the 2- £3 million

quantum is annual sum associated

2:13:002:13:06

with them receiving some form of a

pension. He is right, there is also

2:13:062:13:10

a further significant issue to be

considered, those people who have

2:13:102:13:14

been injured permanently and

psychologically as a result of the

2:13:142:13:17

Troubles. No, I don't have an

absolute idea as to how that would

2:13:172:13:20

be done. I have read the

commission's report on how it might

2:13:202:13:26

be achieved and I think that would

need to be taken into account, but I

2:13:262:13:29

say again, I think time is passing

for all of these victims of the

2:13:292:13:34

Troubles and time is the one thing

they cannot afford and therefore I

2:13:342:13:38

would urge all of us in this house

to get past these difficulties and

2:13:382:13:42

see a way clear to providing the

resources that are needed.

2:13:422:13:48

Thank you for giving way. When we

had the debate, the honourable

2:13:482:13:53

gentleman said in his response you

would go back to Sinn Fein to see

2:13:532:13:59

how we could move the thing forward.

In that period of time has he had

2:13:592:14:05

the opportunity to talk to Sinn Fein

to see what their position on the

2:14:052:14:08

Northern Ireland government is?

I

haven't. Finally, Madam Deputy

2:14:082:14:16

Speaker. Can I say I know the

Secretary of State agrees with media

2:14:162:14:19

should be the last year when we are

passing a budget in this place

2:14:192:14:23

instead of via Stormont but can I

ask her to do a little more to

2:14:232:14:26

outline what she is doing now to

ensure that isn't the case. For our

2:14:262:14:32

part, notwithstanding the slightly

less than successful intervention by

2:14:322:14:34

the Prime Minister in February we

believe the role for the Prime

2:14:342:14:42

Minister to galvanise parties in

Northern Ireland, to act as a

2:14:422:14:45

rallying point to try and bring

people together, ideally in some

2:14:452:14:48

sort of prime ministerial summit of

all of the parties is important.

2:14:482:14:53

These things have worked in the past

and we cannot understand why they

2:14:532:14:57

have been refused so much in the

last 14 months. We also believe the

2:14:572:15:03

issue of an independent chair to

come in and try and take on those

2:15:032:15:06

talks to fruition is something the

Secretary of State should be

2:15:062:15:11

considering. If we simply continue

with the cycle of failure that we

2:15:112:15:14

have seen in the last year, if we do

not try and change things up somehow

2:15:142:15:19

and injected new energy and dynamism

into this process than we can all

2:15:192:15:23

see the danger that we do drift

towards direct rule, and I know she

2:15:232:15:28

feels that would be grossly

retrograde step for Northern

2:15:282:15:31

Ireland, so I would urge her to tell

the House today and in the coming

2:15:312:15:34

days what she's doing to make sure

that isn't where we end up.

2:15:342:15:38

Thank you. Can I congratulate my

right honourable friend bringing for

2:15:422:15:46

this measure. She is right to say

this is something none of us wanted

2:15:462:15:49

to seek, but it is preferable to

section 59 of the Northern Ireland

2:15:492:15:54

act, not least because it means a

crude resources can be used and

2:15:542:16:00

schedules two, three and four make

sure those sums of money are

2:16:002:16:03

substantial. But clearly this bill

requires a budget to be set at some

2:16:032:16:09

point. We hope in the future it will

be set in Stormont are not here but

2:16:092:16:14

it needs to be set. It would be

useful to hear from the minister

2:16:142:16:18

when she replies to the speeches of

right honourable members that what

2:16:182:16:24

timetable she envisages. I think we

have grown used to timetables but

2:16:242:16:28

somewhat flexible in recent months,

indeed years, but it would be nice

2:16:282:16:32

to have a sense of when she intends,

as she has to bring forward a bill

2:16:322:16:37

here, off when she will do that.

I would like to thank the Secretary

2:16:372:16:43

of State for her letter to me on

March the 13th on the Northern

2:16:432:16:48

Ireland supplementary estimate,

following mine on the 28th of

2:16:482:16:49

February. I think she satisfied all

points that I raised on behalf of

2:16:492:16:53

our select committee. Can I pressed

her a little on efficiency savings?

2:16:532:16:58

It is understood from the letter

that the Northern Ireland

2:16:582:17:01

administration has already scored

the official review for 2017-20

2:17:012:17:07

against that target, but that

efficiency targets are still

2:17:072:17:15

expected my question is how would

this be ensured, will implement it

2:17:152:17:19

and a it and what role she believes

the auditor has in this respect? I

2:17:192:17:24

will come back to talk about the

role of the auditor in just a few

2:17:242:17:28

minutes, if I may. In my letter I

drew attention to the 79 million

2:17:282:17:33

discrepancy between the cash grant

and the estimate. The explanation is

2:17:332:17:41

perfectly satisfactory, but my

committee's scrutiny work would have

2:17:412:17:44

been greatly assisted by early

notification of that apparent

2:17:442:17:48

discrepancy. Be sure, we will

scrutinise this bill closely and the

2:17:482:17:54

figures it contains and the budget

when it appears. It is very

2:17:542:17:59

important if there are discrepancies

that those discrepancies are brought

2:17:592:18:02

to the attention of my committee, or

indeed the House, since scrutiny in

2:18:022:18:07

current circumstances in this place

is vitally important. Are we any

2:18:072:18:12

further in quantifying the cost of

systems envisioned under option two

2:18:122:18:18

of paragraph 49 in December's joint

report? If so, where and when will

2:18:182:18:23

they appear in the subsequent

estimates question but that is to

2:18:232:18:28

say, the costs that will be involved

in creating alternative solutions in

2:18:282:18:32

order to ensure that the border in

Northern Ireland is as frictionless

2:18:322:18:38

and seamless as possible. Those

costs are likely to be significant,

2:18:382:18:42

if indeed such a solution can be

created and it would be good to know

2:18:422:18:47

that sufficient budgetary

accommodation has been made for

2:18:472:18:52

them. On the 8th of March in her

written ministerial statement the

2:18:522:18:58

Secretary of State announced 100

million from capital resource. It is

2:18:582:19:01

uncommon. The Treasury dislikes and

very good reason, so why precisely

2:19:012:19:05

as it is unnecessary against a

relatively generous Northern Ireland

2:19:052:19:09

settlement this occasion, to

introduce a capitalisation? The

2:19:092:19:14

Treasury has made a rather unusual

call for evidence in a piece of work

2:19:142:19:18

it is doing an tourism. It wants

evidence and VAT, APD to support and

2:19:182:19:26

improved position for tourism in

Northern Ireland. I very much

2:19:262:19:29

welcomed that. My select committee

took evidence on the subject

2:19:292:19:36

recently and the Treasury

documentation refers to that. It

2:19:362:19:38

does seem to be an unusual

intervention. Indeed, since many of

2:19:382:19:42

the things that will help to be done

as a response to any such report of

2:19:422:19:49

the Treasury will be devolved. How

does the Secretary of State see that

2:19:492:19:53

work being carried forward? I'm sure

she'd like me would not wish the

2:19:532:19:56

Treasury to be embarked upon a piece

of work that was not at the end of

2:19:562:20:00

the day going to result in

recommendations that could be

2:20:002:20:03

carried forward. I imagine therefore

that she, in collaboration with the

2:20:032:20:06

Treasury, have worked out a pathway

between recommendations that may

2:20:062:20:11

come out of this piece of work and

how they are going to be implemented

2:20:112:20:15

and we can't necessarily assume, I'm

sure she doesn't, that we will have

2:20:152:20:18

an executive up and running within a

time frame that will be suitable for

2:20:182:20:22

this report. Of course I will.

Of course, the honourable member is

2:20:222:20:30

right, in respect of some of the

recommendations that may come out of

2:20:302:20:34

that report and whether ministers

responsible to this house or to the

2:20:342:20:38

assembly take those decisions as a

matter we will have to wait and see

2:20:382:20:43

what happens. In terms of the air

passenger duty and value-added tax,

2:20:432:20:47

the main purpose of having these

reports, those are matters that this

2:20:472:20:51

house. Those are matters for the

Chancellor and for the Treasury,

2:20:512:20:56

therefore the main purpose of the

report will be a matter for this

2:20:562:20:59

house.

But the call for evidence goes much

2:20:592:21:04

further than that and it isn't that

chiefly I am concerned about. It

2:21:042:21:09

does imply that competences will be

available in the event that there is

2:21:092:21:12

no executive in place that will

carry that, otherwise it would be a

2:21:122:21:17

fairly tight and narrow call for

evidence.

2:21:172:21:21

The Northern Ireland audit office

this year will report on a number of

2:21:212:21:24

things. It is a very, very busy

office and we were very pleased

2:21:242:21:29

indeed to be able to meet keirin

Dominique recently in Belfast for

2:21:292:21:34

evidence on the work of his

department. -- Mr Donnelly. It will

2:21:342:21:40

be reporting on digital

transformation in Northern Ireland,

2:21:402:21:43

welfare reform in Northern Ireland,

speeding up avoidable delays in the

2:21:432:21:46

justice system, financial health,

schools and social investment fund.

2:21:462:21:51

A lot of this has to do with

increasing productivity in Northern

2:21:512:21:56

Ireland and rebalancing the economy.

It is not discretionary work it is

2:21:562:22:00

of vital importance. It has to do

with achieving value for money. My

2:22:002:22:04

question really is, where will this

work is leading? Sent if there is

2:22:042:22:10

nobody to scrutinise the auditor,

let alone in a body to take forward

2:22:102:22:19

his recommendations, he may be

crying in the wilderness. It is a

2:22:192:22:22

bit of an irony that his work is

geared towards value for money,

2:22:222:22:26

since under those circumstances,

that is to say those recommendations

2:22:262:22:29

not being taken forward, some

question would be revolving around

2:22:292:22:32

the value for money posed by the

auditor himself. It would be very

2:22:322:22:37

useful to know what thought the

Secretary of State have about how

2:22:372:22:41

his reports can be properly examined

by perhaps a shadow PAC made up by

2:22:412:22:51

MLA members so some comments can be

made on those

2:22:512:23:08

I'd like to ask the Secretary of

State is a little bit about the

2:23:082:23:13

guidance she has recently offered

permanent secretaries and the state

2:23:132:23:15

of the guidance. On the 12th of

March, the Secretary of State in

2:23:152:23:24

answer to my question about budget

granularity city had a permanent

2:23:242:23:28

secretaries about her guidance on

how money should be spent, she cited

2:23:282:23:34

specifically health transformation

money as an example one such was

2:23:342:23:36

taking legal advice on the powers

that might be available to her. I

2:23:362:23:41

sympathise to her, dealing with

lawyers is a tricky business at the

2:23:412:23:44

best of times and this is I assume a

legal minefield and she will want to

2:23:442:23:49

make sure this is got right, not

least because if it goes wrong there

2:23:492:23:55

is every prospect of judicial

review. I know very well she won't

2:23:552:23:58

publish legal advice, but I wonder

if she could publish the guidance

2:23:582:24:02

that she has issued to permanent

secretaries because my select

2:24:022:24:05

committee and this House will want

to know what guidance she has

2:24:052:24:11

issued, the status of that guidance

and the extent to which permanent

2:24:112:24:17

secretaries will be acting upon it.

In the measure we had today in the

2:24:172:24:21

schedules, a whole raft of things

are listed with big sums of money

2:24:212:24:25

attached to them and it's important

to understand whether we are dealing

2:24:252:24:31

with governance by guidance or

whether in fact this is simply

2:24:312:24:35

helpful suggestions the permanent

Secretary may be guided by because

2:24:352:24:39

of course if he is judicially

reviewed at some point for decisions

2:24:392:24:44

made, the court will want to

determine what status that guidance

2:24:442:24:48

has and at the moment it appears to

me that that is obscure. It becomes

2:24:482:24:54

important in areas like

infrastructure, and in the schedules

2:24:542:24:58

to the bill we are discussing today,

very large sums of money are

2:24:582:25:02

attached to the Department for

infrastructure and we know the

2:25:022:25:05

Minister wishes to pass £400 million

for particular infrastructure

2:25:052:25:12

projects in connection with the

confidence and supply agreement,

2:25:122:25:17

particularly in two parts, £200

million in one financial year and

2:25:172:25:22

200 in another. It is not clear to

me what happens if within the time

2:25:222:25:26

frame of the agreement that money is

not spent, and the reason I ask that

2:25:262:25:30

is like most honourable and right

honourable members, the natural

2:25:302:25:38

tendency is for these things to run

and run. In the event the money is

2:25:382:25:43

not spent, does the money accrued to

the Treasury, is it spent on other

2:25:432:25:48

things, as it sit at Stormont

waiting for the glorious day of the

2:25:482:25:52

restoration of the executive, what

happens to those unspent funds. Can

2:25:522:25:58

we also know more about what

big-ticket items the Secretary of

2:25:582:26:02

State has in mind since the wish

list published by the executive

2:26:022:26:05

before the collapse of the executive

can't integrate or more than the

2:26:052:26:09

York Street interchange which the

Secretary of State has mentioned

2:26:092:26:12

recently her remarks. Does the

guidance issued for the permanent

2:26:122:26:17

Secretary of the Department for

infrastructure site perhaps in

2:26:172:26:20

priority order what things are

Secretary of State might think is

2:26:202:26:23

important, that which she is aware

is difficult because some of the

2:26:232:26:29

parties in Northern Ireland are not

keen on some of the projects and

2:26:292:26:33

rather see other things so it is

politically sensitive and it would

2:26:332:26:36

be good to know what guidance the

Secretary of State has issued to the

2:26:362:26:41

Department for infrastructure on

this important item of public

2:26:412:26:44

expenditure. Can I ask the Secretary

of State little bit about health

2:26:442:26:50

transformation, in relation to the

100 million in the confidence supply

2:26:502:26:53

agreement, it is most welcome, but

we have to understand what

2:26:532:27:00

transformation means. It isn't

simply about opening clinics or

2:27:002:27:05

hospitals, it's also about closing

them. Point me last week by the

2:27:052:27:09

honourable member for Pontypridd,

and he was right to make the point,

2:27:092:27:12

that there is nothing more political

in what we do than the opening and

2:27:122:27:17

closing of health care institutions.

I know that very well from my own

2:27:172:27:24

constituency experience. And as it

really reasonable to expect

2:27:242:27:27

permanent secretaries to be making

decisions of that sort? Indeed would

2:27:272:27:31

they make decisions of that sort?

And if they weren't the risk is then

2:27:312:27:36

go will be put on ice. Under those

circumstances everybody loses it

2:27:362:27:44

seems to me. One way forward with

the legal avenue in which the

2:27:442:27:48

Secretary of State can offer

guidance that will perhaps be a

2:27:482:27:52

little more prescriptive than might

otherwise be the case. We won't know

2:27:522:27:57

that in this place unless we have

sight of the guidance that has been

2:27:572:28:00

issued and are able to examine it.

Does the Secretary of State share my

2:28:002:28:08

concerns on policy drift and do

nothing becoming the default option?

2:28:082:28:15

The honourable lady the Member for

Vauxhall who is not in her place

2:28:152:28:18

gave a great example last week on

the decisions needed to secure the

2:28:182:28:23

Commonwealth youth games in 2021 and

I know my right honourable friend

2:28:232:28:28

because of her previous portfolio

experience in this matter is acutely

2:28:282:28:32

aware of the difficulties around

this. A number of decisions have to

2:28:322:28:36

be made around that and yet at the

moment there is nobody to make those

2:28:362:28:40

decisions. It's a poignant example

around why it is so necessary for

2:28:402:28:45

somebody, somewhere to be able to

make those sorts of decisions and I

2:28:452:28:49

know my right honourable friend was

recently in Londonderry. It just

2:28:492:28:55

happened she was visiting at the

same time as my select committee on

2:28:552:28:58

she will have learned from people in

that fine city how frustrated they

2:28:582:29:03

are that nobody appears to be making

any decisions right now. This goes

2:29:032:29:09

across community to regardless of

community I would say almost, people

2:29:092:29:12

just want things to happen. They see

society being pulled back and the

2:29:122:29:22

province has made so much progress

over the years in every conceivable

2:29:222:29:29

way, essentially marking time whilst

the executive gets its act together

2:29:292:29:32

and they will come a point where,

with a heavy heart and the greatest

2:29:322:29:37

of reluctance, ministers here will

have to start to make decisions. We

2:29:372:29:41

can all hope for a restoration of

the executive but we might be hoping

2:29:412:29:46

for a restoration of the executive

in three years' time. In three

2:29:462:29:50

years, the world will look very

different place. Bengoa will

2:29:502:29:58

probably have been forgotten. Some

of the infrastructure projects may

2:29:582:30:02

well have fallen by the wayside. All

of this good stuff will not have

2:30:022:30:06

happened and Northern Ireland will

have slipped further behind, in

2:30:062:30:10

every way imaginable. I think that

would be a huge failure and I know

2:30:102:30:14

the Secretary of State feels the

same way.

The honourable gentleman

2:30:142:30:20

is absolutely 100% correct in what

he has just said and he's right to

2:30:202:30:25

point out that of course want

devolution and efforts must continue

2:30:252:30:32

to ensure that but in the meantime

there are community suffering as a

2:30:322:30:39

result of a lack of decision-making

and as he is rightly said, in the

2:30:392:30:42

meantime he must ensure decisions

are made for the good of everyone

2:30:422:30:46

and that is an extremely important

point which I'm sure the Secretary

2:30:462:30:51

of State will have heard very

clearly.

The honourable gentleman is

2:30:512:30:59

absolutely correct. Can I finish my

remarks on the hard inquiry.

2:30:592:31:05

Honourable members are absolutely

right to mention this in connection

2:31:052:31:08

with the business before us today.

The programme for government offers

2:31:082:31:13

a very helpful pointer to ministers

who may otherwise feel not

2:31:132:31:18

particularly on safe ground in

relation to making decisions and the

2:31:182:31:21

Secretary of State and other

ministers say it provides some basis

2:31:212:31:27

on which they can take note of the

last expressed democratic view on a

2:31:272:31:32

number of issues. However, on the

12th of March at column 653 which

2:31:322:31:39

deals with the hard inquiry, the

Secretary of State suggested it is

2:31:392:31:44

not the business of UK ministers or

this place to consider

2:31:442:31:48

recommendations of bodies set up by

the executive, let alone implement

2:31:482:31:53

them and she's repeated those

sentiments today. It would be

2:31:532:31:56

helpful just to have a bit of

clarification because I fear we

2:31:562:31:59

cannot have it both ways. We either

observe what previous democratically

2:31:592:32:04

elected bodies have determined

before they crumbled or we don't and

2:32:042:32:09

that extends to any bodies they may

have established. I think it's an

2:32:092:32:13

important principle because it seems

to me that it is legitimate to take

2:32:132:32:16

note of decisions previously made

and the clear will of those bodies,

2:32:162:32:23

particularly if there is no great

controversy around them and I think

2:32:232:32:27

it would be useful if the Secretary

of State could clarify this point so

2:32:272:32:31

we are a little bit clear going

forward as to what we can rely upon

2:32:312:32:35

and indeed what she will be relying

upon in making any decisions and

2:32:352:32:40

indeed issuing any guidance she

might wish to reflect upon. Of

2:32:402:32:47

course I will, just before I was

about to sit down.

I commend my

2:32:472:32:53

honourable friend for his work and

the work of his committee but would

2:32:532:32:55

he acknowledge one of the challenges

is there are no recommendations that

2:32:552:32:59

have been agreed by the outgoing

executive which obviously makes the

2:32:592:33:04

job of the Secretary of State in

determining the right way forward

2:33:042:33:09

into this hugely sensitive issue of

the hard inquiry, the

2:33:092:33:12

recommendations that it has sought

to bring forward, extremely

2:33:122:33:15

difficult and why she needs to think

carefully in terms of how best to

2:33:152:33:21

assess the right way forward.

My

right honourable friend is

2:33:212:33:26

absolutely right but if you read

Hansard from last week you will see

2:33:262:33:30

the argument extended not just to

decisions may -- made by the

2:33:302:33:42

Assembly but also the hard inquiry

on the issue is whether we are

2:33:422:33:46

guided by the recommendations made

by those organisations or not and

2:33:462:33:53

particularly if there appears to be

generally cross-party cross

2:33:532:34:00

community acceptance of those

recommendations and findings. It's

2:34:002:34:06

the best we have to work on the

question really is whether we are

2:34:062:34:11

guided by what happened before the

collapse of the executive or we are

2:34:112:34:16

not. I don't think we can easily be

selective.

Firstly can I start by

2:34:162:34:31

echoing the comments about the

recent 25th anniversary

2:34:312:34:35

commemoration of a truly terrible

event and I thank him for making

2:34:352:34:38

that point. Why tall are taking

decisions that should rightly be

2:34:382:34:50

taken in Belfast. I take the

opportunity to repeat the decision

2:34:502:34:55

that policy decisions should be

taken by ministers and the devolved

2:34:552:34:59

administrations rather than in

Whitehall. Unfortunately there are

2:34:592:35:03

no ministers in the Stormont

administration so I find myself in

2:35:032:35:07

reluctant agreement with the

Secretary of State that legislation

2:35:072:35:09

must be passed here which will allow

public services to operate in

2:35:092:35:12

Northern Ireland. I have to say

though, the parties elected to

2:35:122:35:18

Stormont have failed the people who

have put the trust in them and

2:35:182:35:23

loaned them their votes. Plenty of

excuses are being offered, posturing

2:35:232:35:27

has been done but nobody has come

out of negotiations with credit and

2:35:272:35:31

the fact Stormont is still in

suspended animation is a disgrace.

2:35:312:35:40

People risked their huge amount to

pursue peace. It is to be hoped the

2:35:402:35:45

current set of politicians in

Northern Ireland find the strength

2:35:452:35:48

and the humility to get themselves

back to the negotiating table to

2:35:482:35:52

thrash out a deal and restart the

Assembly so the budgets don't have

2:35:522:35:56

to be passed here in the future. No

matter what the reasons or excuses

2:35:562:36:00

for the current position, that is

the least effective should be

2:36:002:36:06

entitled to expect. Turning to the

bill itself, can I thank the

2:36:062:36:10

Secretary of State for providing it

yesterday afternoon, it's always

2:36:102:36:13

good to have sight of legislation

before it starts its progress. I'd

2:36:132:36:18

like to take just a few moments to

talk about the rational behind us

2:36:182:36:22

tracking as laid out in the

explanatory notes. I accept there

2:36:222:36:26

should be no further delay. I

acknowledge there is a need to allow

2:36:262:36:32

continued spending on public

services and I of course appreciate

2:36:322:36:35

confidence in the supply is

important. I find it difficult

2:36:352:36:39

however to accept the delay we have

witnessed so far. I will quote

2:36:392:36:45

paragraph in the Explorer in the

true notes for -- in the explanatory

2:36:452:36:55

notes for clarity. The need for this

bill arises from the lack of an

2:36:552:36:59

agreement and the appointment of an

executive within the timescale

2:36:592:37:02

required for a budget bill to be

brought through the Northern Ireland

2:37:022:37:06

Assembly. It's taken forward at the

latest possible points before the

2:37:062:37:10

risk to public services could

manifest. It's not been possible to

2:37:102:37:14

give Parliament more time to

scrutinise this bill without risking

2:37:142:37:17

the delivery of public services in

Northern Ireland or distracting from

2:37:172:37:22

and undermining the talks aimed at

restoring an executive.

2:37:222:37:28

We have watched this situation

grinding on for a long time now. We

2:37:292:37:31

haven't been kept in the dark by

issues real fabricated and we knew

2:37:312:37:37

it was likely we were trundling

towards this point. This

2:37:372:37:41

legislation, in my view, should have

been prepared and started in good

2:37:412:37:44

time for it to be considered

properly. It could have been

2:37:442:37:47

abandoned if agreement had been

reached. I can't accept the progress

2:37:472:37:50

of the budget bill would distract

from or undermined the talks aimed

2:37:502:37:55

at restoring power-sharing and

getting ministers in place. It might

2:37:552:37:59

well have focused attention and

sharpened the negotiations. The

2:37:592:38:04

Secretary of State, to be fair, is

not long in the job, a couple of

2:38:042:38:06

months, but I think this should have

been foreseen and her or her

2:38:062:38:10

predecessor should have started the

process. The drafting could have

2:38:102:38:13

started without compromising

anything. That said, we have arrived

2:38:132:38:16

at this point and we have to deal

with the situation we have, rather

2:38:162:38:19

than the situation we would have

preferred to have had. We have to

2:38:192:38:23

provide the civil servants in

Belfast with the resources they need

2:38:232:38:26

to do their job properly and the

public servants across Northern

2:38:262:38:33

Ireland some certainty about the

funding they need to continue

2:38:332:38:35

operating. Literally, in some cases.

I offer no amendment to this bill

2:38:352:38:38

nor seek to impede its progress. I

will accept it on the recommendation

2:38:382:38:46

of the head of the civil service in

conjunction with the Northern

2:38:462:38:49

Ireland civil service board. Their

knowledge of what is likely to be

2:38:492:38:52

needed on the ground over the next

financial year I think will outweigh

2:38:522:38:56

any considerations that members here

might have. The challenges that will

2:38:562:39:00

lie ahead for them in the near

future will be large, I do not envy

2:39:002:39:05

them their tasks. As I said earlier,

these decisions would be better

2:39:052:39:11

taken by politicians are elected by

that purpose by the people who will

2:39:112:39:14

be affected by these decisions and

is to be hoped, devoutly hoped, that

2:39:142:39:18

this will be the last budget for

Northern Ireland that gets set here.

2:39:182:39:22

I urge all sides in the negotiations

over power-sharing to get back to

2:39:222:39:26

the table and find a resolution. In

the meantime, this bill should be

2:39:262:39:31

approved for the sake of keeping the

lights and the heating and for

2:39:312:39:35

public services.

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Can

2:39:352:39:41

I start with an observation? It is

interesting the way we are talking

2:39:412:39:46

about Northern Ireland in this place

and Brexit, that the benches are

2:39:462:39:50

absolutely heaving and yet when we

are talking about the budget for

2:39:502:39:53

Northern Ireland, which is making a

real impact on the day to day lives

2:39:532:39:56

of the people in Northern Ireland

right now, the benches are less

2:39:562:39:59

fault. So I welcome the bill. Having

served on the Northern Ireland

2:39:592:40:05

affairs committee, and I have heard

first-hand from some of the

2:40:052:40:09

witnesses who came and attended how

difficult life has been for people

2:40:092:40:13

in Northern Ireland without a budget

being in place. We heard from the

2:40:132:40:16

Chief Constable of the PSN I how

even in ordinary times life is

2:40:162:40:21

difficult in the public sector, but

when you are working to a budget

2:40:212:40:25

that has not been set, it is almost

impossible, and he explained how

2:40:252:40:28

they were -- there were days, weeks

or months where he did not know if

2:40:282:40:33

he had the money to pay his

officers. That is an unacceptable

2:40:332:40:37

place to be.

We also heard from the business

2:40:372:40:40

community in Northern Ireland in the

affairs committee around the

2:40:402:40:45

difficulties that not having an

assembly, not having a budget, not

2:40:452:40:48

having an executive was putting on

them. They gave a good example of

2:40:482:40:52

the apprenticeship levy, where

businesses are paying into it but

2:40:522:40:56

because there is no budget in place,

they have no access to the funds and

2:40:562:41:01

apprenticeships in Northern Ireland

are hugely at risk. This, for a part

2:41:012:41:05

of the United Kingdom where

apprenticeships are needed for all

2:41:052:41:09

communities more than ever, and

businesses are finding because of a

2:41:092:41:13

lack of a budget that that

apprenticeship levy is falling into

2:41:132:41:19

a type of additional taxation for

them.

2:41:192:41:21

Having met the charities in Northern

Ireland, particularly Addiction

2:41:212:41:26

Northern Ireland, working with

people trying to combat alcohol and

2:41:262:41:29

drug addiction, not having a budget

in place is having a huge impact on

2:41:292:41:33

their ability not to provide an

immediate service said much, but to

2:41:332:41:37

plan long-term. These are difficult

times for charities and not knowing

2:41:372:41:40

where the next pennies are coming

from and what direction they

2:41:402:41:45

Northern Ireland government would be

going in makes it almost impossible.

2:41:452:41:49

Then we have the Belfast city deal,

announced in the UK's budget late

2:41:492:41:55

last year, but which is going

absolutely nowhere as far as I know.

2:41:552:41:59

Which is an opportunity for Belfast

to build on its infrastructure,

2:41:592:42:03

creates jobs, help... I will give

way.

2:42:032:42:11

I thank the honourable lady for

giving way. Can I assure her that

2:42:112:42:17

the Belfast City deal is going

forward, that is being led by a

2:42:172:42:23

consortium of the local councils.

Belfast City Council, Antrim

2:42:232:42:27

Newtownabbey and some others. And

Middle East and from. So the absence

2:42:272:42:35

of a devolved government is not in

any way inhibiting the progress with

2:42:352:42:41

the City deal, that is directly

between central government and local

2:42:412:42:45

government in Northern Ireland.

I am very pleased to hear that

2:42:452:42:49

because it is a huge opportunity for

Belfast, but a huge opportunity for

2:42:492:42:53

Northern Ireland and if it works

well in Belfast, could be a huge

2:42:532:42:56

opportunity for other parts of

Northern Ireland in the future. So I

2:42:562:42:59

am extremely pleased to hear that.

So there is a huge impact in not

2:42:592:43:04

having a budget set for this

financial year, but I am greatly

2:43:042:43:09

concerned that we do not have a

budget for the next financial year

2:43:092:43:13

because we have heard time and time

again how difficult it has been for

2:43:132:43:16

the charity sector, public services,

for businesses. This constant

2:43:162:43:21

uncertainty, a bit like the

uncertainty around Brexit, is just

2:43:212:43:23

not feasible for the long-term. I

will give way.

2:43:232:43:29

I appreciate the point the member is

making, but we should be totally

2:43:292:43:33

pessimistic. Unemployment is the

lowest it's been a Northern Ireland,

2:43:332:43:40

3.9%, exports are up. We are not the

only region of the world that from

2:43:402:43:46

time to time doesn't have a stable

government. Indeed, Germany didn't

2:43:462:43:49

have a government first several

months earlier this year.

2:43:492:43:53

I thank the honourable gentleman. He

makes a valid point, but this... I

2:43:532:43:57

have heard him say himself, Madam

Deputy Speaker, that he wants some

2:43:572:44:04

certainty and some direction of

travel. It isn't just about setting

2:44:042:44:07

the budget, it's about the scrutiny

about how that money is going to be

2:44:072:44:11

spent, because the civil servants in

Northern Ireland are doing a

2:44:112:44:14

fantastic job. I think we are all

putting on record to date our thanks

2:44:142:44:19

to their dedication and hard work,

but there does need to beat

2:44:192:44:23

political decisions about how that

money is allocated and there does

2:44:232:44:27

need to be political scrutiny about

how that money is being spent. So I

2:44:272:44:30

do agree with my friend the

honourable member for South West

2:44:302:44:35

Wiltshire when he said currently

there is a sense of Northern Ireland

2:44:352:44:39

treading water and standing still,

and actually the good work that is

2:44:392:44:43

being done in reducing unemployment

and creating jobs, the great Place

2:44:432:44:49

Northern Ireland is is down to the

hard work of people in the councils,

2:44:492:44:57

elected members at council level who

are continuing on, despite their not

2:44:572:45:01

being an assembly or an executive,

and the civil servants. But so much

2:45:012:45:06

more could be achieved if there was

an executive in place. So I have

2:45:062:45:10

three asks of the ministers, because

I don't want to be a pessimist and I

2:45:102:45:17

hope I am not sounding too

pessimistic but I don't think there

2:45:172:45:20

is honestly a realistic possibility

the assembly being re-formed just in

2:45:202:45:24

the next few months. There does need

to be serious consideration about

2:45:242:45:33

the impact of not having a long-term

budget for the next financial year.

2:45:332:45:37

So, for the first ask, if there are

members who will not get background

2:45:372:45:42

that table and restore an assembly,

could an assembly be restored with

2:45:422:45:46

those who are willing to do that?

And as is the case in this place, if

2:45:462:45:51

MLAs choose not to get on that

table, that is a personal decision

2:45:512:45:55

for them. Is there a possibility of

setting a budget for the next

2:45:552:45:59

financial year, not just the first

few months, so that public sectors

2:45:592:46:03

like the PSNI and charities such as

Addiction Northern Ireland, such as

2:46:032:46:09

communities who really desperately

need to know the direction of travel

2:46:092:46:11

for their funding at some certainty?

And, as was said by the honourable

2:46:112:46:17

member for Edinburgh and Leith, that

budget could be set and abandoned if

2:46:172:46:21

an assembly suddenly came back to

being.

2:46:212:46:25

My third ask if could the Northern

Ireland affairs committee be given

2:46:252:46:28

some sort of task and authority to

scrutinise out that spending is

2:46:282:46:35

currently happening? Because without

any scrutiny whatsoever, are we

2:46:352:46:40

really sure that the money is being

spent in the best interests of the

2:46:402:46:46

people of Northern Ireland weather

do welcome bill today, it is much

2:46:462:46:49

needed but there is still a huge

amount of work to do. I want to put

2:46:492:46:54

on record my congratulations and

thanks to the Secretary of work to

2:46:542:46:57

do. I want to put on record my

congratulations and thanks was doing

2:46:572:47:00

so much to try make progress happen.

These are difficult circumstances.

2:47:002:47:02

None of us want to be here passing

this bill. It is unnecessary

2:47:022:47:06

necessity, but there is still so

much work to be done.

2:47:062:47:12

Thank you. Can I may be just

personable start by making something

2:47:122:47:20

clear about this debate? It is a

technical debate, and I have to say,

2:47:202:47:28

the misconceptions which have been

in the chamber from some speakers

2:47:282:47:31

today are not uncommon, because as a

member for North Belfast will know,

2:47:312:47:39

when we were in the Northern Ireland

assembly and in the Department of

2:47:392:47:43

Finance job, very often this debate

degenerated into a budget debate,

2:47:432:47:48

where people came forward with all

the things they wanted to spend

2:47:482:47:53

money on, when in actual fact it was

nothing to do with setting a budget.

2:47:532:47:57

It was a misconception which the

Shadow Secretary of State fell into.

2:47:572:48:03

I don't want to go through all of

his mistakes. He talked about this

2:48:032:48:08

being a pretty poor way of dealing

with above it. We are not actually

2:48:082:48:12

dealing with the budget, and, of

course, this would have been an

2:48:122:48:15

essential step even if it had been

in the Northern Ireland assembly.

2:48:152:48:21

Also he talked about these general

headings and how it hadn't changed,

2:48:212:48:24

and of course quite right, unless

you change the remit of the

2:48:242:48:30

department you would not change the

kind of headings of expenditure.

2:48:302:48:35

Though there are significant points

that need to be addressed in the

2:48:352:48:38

future by the Secretary of State. So

this debate is really about first of

2:48:382:48:44

all, how did departments spend their

money last year? And, of course, as

2:48:442:48:50

these figures will show, some of

them spent more than what was

2:48:502:48:56

originally allocated. Some spent

significantly less than what was

2:48:562:49:00

originally allocated, for example

spent over a third less than what

2:49:002:49:03

had been originally allocated.

Though I note that this year it is

2:49:032:49:08

going to be allocated the same

amount of money as it was given last

2:49:082:49:12

year, even though it underspent by

third. Maybe the Secretary of State

2:49:122:49:17

can tell us why that decision was

made when there was such a high

2:49:172:49:21

underspend. So it looks back at the

past. What was allocated, what was

2:49:212:49:29

spent, what additional money had to

be given to some departments, for

2:49:292:49:34

example health and education, and

where did that money come from? It

2:49:342:49:39

came from some departments which

underspent. And, of course, that

2:49:392:49:44

additional expenditure or that

reduction in expenditure has to be

2:49:442:49:48

authorised. This is what this

particular bill is doing. Then,

2:49:482:49:52

looking forward, a budget actually

has been set for Northern Ireland.

2:49:522:50:01

The Secretary of State did that a

couple of weeks ago. Each department

2:50:012:50:04

knows at -- its expenditure limits

the next year but until a budget

2:50:042:50:12

bill goes through, and that will

take some time, department up to

2:50:122:50:15

have legal authority to spend up

until the time that that bill goes

2:50:152:50:21

through. Hence the reason why 45% of

the budget is allocated in this

2:50:212:50:27

particular bill, so that departments

can, with confidence, spend as they

2:50:272:50:35

know how much money is available to

them and they know the kind of

2:50:352:50:40

limits within which they have to

spend the money. So I think it's

2:50:402:50:45

important that we can understand

what we are actually debating here

2:50:452:50:49

today. This is not about, well you

should have given more money to the

2:50:492:50:56

Department for Education. Or the

Department for Education should be

2:50:562:50:59

spending money on this, or the

inquiry should have more money

2:50:592:51:02

allocated to it. Those are

decisions... Though having said and

2:51:022:51:07

having raised those issues, the

members who did raise those issues

2:51:072:51:11

have illustrated a very important

point, which the Secretary of State

2:51:112:51:17

needs to address. That is that

simply giving departments the

2:51:172:51:22

information about the amount of

money which they are going to have

2:51:222:51:26

available to them next year does not

give them the ability to spend that

2:51:262:51:32

money, because there are some things

which civil servants are going to

2:51:322:51:37

need direction about. So having

taken the first step, that the

2:51:372:51:43

Secretary of State has taken, namely

selling the -- setting departmental

2:51:432:51:52

budget limits, giving us the

statement, now going through this

2:51:522:51:55

Bill, which authorises expenditure

last year, which is historical, but

2:51:552:52:01

giving some money to start off next

year, the big important step and the

2:52:012:52:05

big important political step is that

in the absence of an assembly, when

2:52:052:52:13

is she going to then either give

permanent secretaries more power, or

2:52:132:52:22

have ministers take responsibility

for spending the money which is

2:52:222:52:26

actually allocated? We can bore the

House without this afternoon, but

2:52:262:52:32

let me take one example of the

Department of the economy.

2:52:322:52:34

Here are some of the things listed

the Department of economy will get,

2:52:382:52:43

roughly 1000 million pounds and some

of that will be spent on air access.

2:52:432:52:49

If we want to authorise new routes,

that is going to require a

2:52:492:52:54

ministerial decision, no civil

servant will do that. It's going to

2:52:542:52:59

have to develop regulatory reform on

minerals and petroleum licensing. We

2:52:592:53:08

are sitting on one of the most

lucrative gold mines not in Europe

2:53:082:53:17

but in the world. There are issues

around it and they will not be

2:53:172:53:20

resolved by civil servants. There

are hundreds of jobs in the west of

2:53:202:53:34

the province where our role in

employment is difficult to obtain

2:53:342:53:38

but to make decisions about that

it's not enough to simply say to the

2:53:382:53:44

Department of the economy there is a

thousand million pounds. Decisions

2:53:442:53:48

have to be made about and direction

has to be given as to the

2:53:482:53:54

development of the regulations and

decisions where controversies are

2:53:542:53:58

going to arise. Assistance of the

gas and electricity industries,

2:53:582:54:05

particularly relevant to my own

constituency. As a result of the

2:54:052:54:14

auction, a power station is likely

to close, supplying on occasions 45%

2:54:142:54:19

of the power to Northern Ireland.

And a decision has to be made

2:54:192:54:26

because the regulator wants it kept

open for three years but there is no

2:54:262:54:30

guarantee it will sell one kilowatt

of electricity, and quite rightly

2:54:302:54:35

the owners are saying we are not

going to keep it open for three

2:54:352:54:38

years if we are not guaranteed any

seals -- any sales.

2:54:382:54:49

Telecommunications infrastructure,

it's not included in this bill but

2:54:492:54:55

there has been £150 million

allocated for infrastructure and

2:54:552:55:01

broadband in Northern Ireland. But

again, the decisions will require

2:55:012:55:08

ministerial direction. We give 60%

or 40% of the budget, yet here we

2:55:082:55:24

have a cross-border body. Is it

advertising and promoting tourism in

2:55:242:55:31

Northern Ireland? No, tourism in the

Irish Republic. The ministerial

2:55:312:55:36

decision is do we continue to spend

money to the amount we do on a

2:55:362:55:40

cross-border body like that when it

is to the detriment of Northern

2:55:402:55:45

Ireland? Is the member saying very

clearly to the House the Secretary

2:55:452:55:55

of State should make those

ministerial decisions or that she

2:55:552:55:59

should appoint other ministers from

here to make those decisions?

2:55:592:56:06

I'm only taking at random through

one department you can do the same

2:56:062:56:13

with every other department. When it

comes to spending the money, the

2:56:132:56:24

Secretary of State has a

combination. We need a mechanism,

2:56:242:56:41

which will require intervention.

Otherwise we will find that the

2:56:412:56:46

departments receive the money and be

either continue to spend it as they

2:56:462:56:51

are doing at present without any

policy development, without looking

2:56:512:56:55

at the changes which have occurred

in Northern Ireland, changes in

2:56:552:57:01

situations, and then undertake to

spend the money in that particular

2:57:012:57:04

direction.

Thank you, Mr Deputy

Speaker. There are actually three

2:57:042:57:15

options, the third option is we all

want to see and that the DUP getting

2:57:152:57:20

back into talks with Sinn Fein to

establish the executive and the

2:57:202:57:24

Assembly. So what exactly is holding

up the DUP?

Let me comment because

2:57:242:57:32

that is where I was wanting to go

to. Unfortunately the decisions we

2:57:322:57:41

have had to date, a budget statement

two weeks ago, in Northern Ireland

2:57:412:57:50

budget anticipation and adjustments

bill, and a full budget bill

2:57:502:57:54

probably in June is the inevitable

consequence not of reluctance by the

2:57:542:58:02

DUP to do the work which is

required. From the day the election

2:58:022:58:07

was held last year, the very next

morning we were saying let's get

2:58:072:58:14

back into Stormont on let's do these

things. We didn't lay down any

2:58:142:58:19

conditions. Sinn Fein laid down

conditions which fell nothing short

2:58:192:58:27

of blackmail. Blackmail insofar as

they make demands for things which

2:58:272:58:33

the new have they gone into an

Assembly and asked for some of the

2:58:332:58:36

things which they had asked for in

talks, they would never have got

2:58:362:58:41

through the Assembly. They could

never have persuaded of the parties,

2:58:412:58:44

even when it came to Irish language,

they could never have persuaded the

2:58:442:58:47

other parties must of whom they have

said are sympathetic, they could

2:58:472:58:53

never have persuaded those parties

to give them the kind of Irish

2:58:532:58:57

language bill they wanted so they

made a decision - let's not go back

2:58:572:59:01

into the Assembly until we have been

given an assurance that there will

2:59:012:59:09

be delivered as a price of us going

into the Assembly something we could

2:59:092:59:13

never have negotiated, we couldn't

have debated, we could never have

2:59:132:59:17

argued for, we could never have

persuaded anybody to give us had we

2:59:172:59:22

been using the Assembly mechanism. I

know the lady from North Down

2:59:222:59:28

continually tries to share the blame

on this but let me make something

2:59:282:59:32

clear. The reason why we have this

debate here today is not because of

2:59:322:59:39

any reluctance on behalf of my

party, it is because we will not

2:59:392:59:43

give into the of blackmail that we

have experienced by Sinn Fein. Then

2:59:432:59:50

of course they make it even more

difficult because they create such a

2:59:502:59:56

toxic atmosphere in Northern Ireland

that even if you were daft enough to

2:59:563:00:00

give them what they wanted, you

would have been pilloried for it.

3:00:003:00:06

When you have for example an MP

elected to this House but not

3:00:063:00:13

attending, dancing around a garage

at midnight, mocking the victims of

3:00:133:00:20

IRA terrorism, people who were taken

out by a minibus on their way home

3:00:203:00:25

and gunned down, and then you say we

want to sit down and talk to you

3:00:253:00:29

about the way forward and about

respect. And when you have the

3:00:293:00:34

former finance minister of the

Assembly doing the same, then of

3:00:343:00:39

course it's impossible to reach the

kind of agreement that would get us

3:00:393:00:52

back into an Assembly and for that

reason we welcome the fact she has

3:00:523:00:55

acted. She hasn't been tardy in this

because had this bill being

3:00:553:01:03

presented to the Assembly, it would

have been presented around this time

3:01:033:01:08

of the year anyway. Some poor

finance minister in the Assembly

3:01:083:01:11

would have been standing up and

would have probably endured, and I

3:01:113:01:20

use the words deliberately, probably

have endured a six hour debate about

3:01:203:01:23

what should be in the budget and

would be gnashing his teeth and

3:01:233:01:28

continually reminding the Speaker

this is not what the debate is

3:01:283:01:32

about, and members would have

ignored him or her and continued to

3:01:323:01:37

talk about it anyway. If this had

been brought forward earlier, we

3:01:373:01:46

would not have known how much

departments would have been

3:01:463:01:53

underspent or overspent. This is as

close to the end of the year as we

3:01:533:01:57

can possibly get and when it comes

to June the final accounts will be

3:01:573:02:00

made available so we will know that

if there had been changes in the

3:02:003:02:03

last couple of weeks of the month

and adjustments to be made, they can

3:02:033:02:07

be reflected in the figures which

are given.

Thank you, again. The

3:02:073:02:22

honourable gentleman has painted a

bleak picture sadly about the

3:02:223:02:25

prospects for the restoration of a

devolved Assembly and an executive

3:02:253:02:30

this side of the summer. That being

the case, what the right honourable

3:02:303:02:34

gentleman confirm on the record for

the victims of historical

3:02:343:02:42

institutional abuse, that it will be

an order for the Secretary of State

3:02:423:02:48

to implement the Hart proposals?

These victims are elderly and infirm

3:02:483:02:57

and many don't suffer good health.

It should be intolerable that they

3:02:573:03:02

be kept like this.

That would be a

matter for the Secretary of State,

3:03:023:03:07

though I think it has been pointed

out regularly during this debate,

3:03:073:03:13

one of the considerations she should

be making when coming to that

3:03:133:03:17

decision is whether or not some of

those institutions which at least

3:03:173:03:21

turned a blind eye to the abuse

should also be held culpable and

3:03:213:03:27

should have to make some

contribution towards the

3:03:273:03:31

conversation. It should not fall

totally on the public purse but that

3:03:313:03:36

is a decision which the Secretary of

State would have to make, the view

3:03:363:03:40

which we would have on that if we

were consulted on it would be that

3:03:403:03:45

yes, there is a role for the state

but there is also a role for those

3:03:453:03:50

institutions which at least turned a

blind eye to some of the terrible

3:03:503:03:54

abuse that went on and therefore

allowed so many victims to

3:03:543:04:01

experience the terrible things which

happened to them. In conclusion, Mr

3:04:013:04:07

Deputy Speaker, I welcome this. But

I warn the Secretary of State, it is

3:04:073:04:15

but a first step. It is one thing to

allocate money to departments, it's

3:04:153:04:19

another thing to ensure that

departments and civil servants

3:04:193:04:24

within those departments of the

guidance, the direction and the

3:04:243:04:28

authority to spend the money.

As

always, it's a pleasure to follow

3:04:283:04:35

the right honourable gentleman from

East Antrim, who spoke with great

3:04:353:04:38

authority and eloquence and of

course he speaks with authority as

3:04:383:04:40

he said as a former minister for

Finance in Northern Ireland and he

3:04:403:04:46

and I both have the experience of

serving within that office in the

3:04:463:04:50

Northern Ireland executive so I

empathise with his frustration when

3:04:503:04:53

it comes to replying to some of

these kind of debates because I well

3:04:533:05:00

remember civil servants are

preparing a host of answers to

3:05:003:05:03

possible questions that might arise

in the course of this kind of debate

3:05:033:05:06

and I remember after a year or to of

experience being able to tell them

3:05:063:05:11

they could discard all those

preparations since the same issues

3:05:113:05:15

would arise as had risen in every

previous debate of this type which

3:05:153:05:18

would be totally relevant to the

debate and they should just get on

3:05:183:05:22

and prepare the press release.

Thankfully that hasn't been as much

3:05:223:05:26

of that in this debate so far and

the right honourable gentleman has

3:05:263:05:31

clearly set out what this bill

actually does. I too welcome the

3:05:313:05:37

fact the Secretary of State has

brought this bill to the House

3:05:373:05:42

today. I think it is timely and it

is the start of decision-making for

3:05:423:05:50

Northern Ireland, ending the drift

and it's an important milestone in

3:05:503:05:54

that regard. I fully empathise with

the point that was made by the

3:05:543:05:58

honourable member for Lewis when she

spoke earlier about the empty

3:05:583:06:03

benches. I suppose in one way you

could say it is actually quite a

3:06:033:06:07

good sign in the sense that it seems

after all taking decisions at

3:06:073:06:12

Westminster isn't that

controversial. At the end of the day

3:06:123:06:15

there seems to be a broad consensus

in the sense there is nobody here

3:06:153:06:19

that I heard talking about how

terrible it would all be, even here

3:06:193:06:27

to make these points so it is a

significant development. And also

3:06:273:06:34

who those who she alluded to him

speak about their concern for the

3:06:343:06:38

economy and the future and about

having no hard border, when it comes

3:06:383:06:43

to the nitty-gritty financial

management and decisions for

3:06:433:06:46

Northern Ireland, they are not here.

These are people who speak a lot

3:06:463:06:51

about Northern Ireland in terms of

Brexit but who never show interest

3:06:513:06:56

at another time. It raises questions

in our mind to what extent Brexit...

3:06:563:07:03

Northern Ireland and the Belfast

agreement and our political

3:07:033:07:07

situation is being used by some

people to thwart Brexit or to shape

3:07:073:07:13

a Brexit they would like for the

whole of the UK.

3:07:133:07:20

So I commend those members of the

House on both sides who are here

3:07:203:07:24

today and who are making a

contribution on this important

3:07:243:07:29

matter, and it is an important

matter. I reiterate the point the

3:07:293:07:34

right honourable member for East

Antrim has made already, that we do

3:07:343:07:37

not wish to be in this situation. We

would far rather these matters were

3:07:373:07:41

being decided and decisions being

taken in Stormont and indeed it is

3:07:413:07:48

ironic that in late December 2016

when the then Finance minister, the

3:07:483:07:55

member of Sinn Fein, had the ability

to bring forward measures in the

3:07:553:07:59

budget he refused to do so

consistently, to bring matters even

3:07:593:08:03

to the Northern Ireland executive in

the fall and certain knowledge they

3:08:033:08:08

would crash the institutions early

in January over matters that were

3:08:083:08:12

totally extraneous to the programmes

of government or anything they had

3:08:123:08:17

raised in discussion with us prior

to that point. I give way.

3:08:173:08:22

Had the member who he is referring

still being finance minister and

3:08:223:08:28

this situation arisen, he would

probably be breathing a sigh of

3:08:283:08:31

relief because he hadn't the courage

to take the political decisions to

3:08:313:08:34

bring forward, the only finance

minister ever to do so, would rather

3:08:343:08:40

whinge and point the finger at the

party opposite.

3:08:403:08:45

The right honourable gentleman makes

an interesting point, because it is

3:08:453:08:48

clear that unlike ourselves, and

there is a fairly good illustration

3:08:483:08:54

which proves the point that the

right honourable gentleman has made,

3:08:543:08:57

and it is over the issue of welfare

reform. In which we were faced with

3:08:573:09:02

a very difficult situation in

Northern Ireland, where because of

3:09:023:09:05

welfare cuts and changes to welfare

benefits, there were mitigations

3:09:053:09:10

that were negotiated by the then

Minister, which certainly helped the

3:09:103:09:15

situation as far as Northern Ireland

was concerned, but generally

3:09:153:09:18

speaking presented at difficult

position for all the parties in

3:09:183:09:24

Northern Ireland but the parties,

including Athos, to those hard

3:09:243:09:26

decisions and brought them to the

assembly and Sinn Fein refused to go

3:09:263:09:29

along with it, because of the

make-up of the assembly and the veto

3:09:293:09:33

principle, they were able to block

it. The institutions almost

3:09:333:09:38

collapsed as a result. We had to

have the Stormont house negotiations

3:09:383:09:42

on the fresh start negotiations in

order to prevent the collapse of the

3:09:423:09:46

assembly, because as the right

honourable gentleman points out,

3:09:463:09:50

there is a refusal on the part of

Sinn Fein in particular to actually

3:09:503:09:54

take our decisions. To work within

the parameters of a devolved

3:09:543:09:59

legislature that has to set budgets

and work within the block grant.

3:09:593:10:03

That is part of the problem. One of

the reasons we are now in this

3:10:033:10:07

situation. As far as we are

concerned, we have always been in

3:10:073:10:13

the position that we were in

December 2016, at the time of the

3:10:133:10:18

elections in March 2017 and every

day since: we stand ready in this

3:10:183:10:25

party to get back into the

Government immediately, without any

3:10:253:10:30

preconditions, without any red

lines, to tackle the issues which

3:10:303:10:34

matter to the people of Northern

Ireland and that any survey and any

3:10:343:10:39

poll done right across both

communities, the issues that matter

3:10:393:10:42

to people are the issues that matter

to people everywhere... Health

3:10:423:10:49

spending, education, infrastructure,

housing, the environment. These are

3:10:493:10:52

things people care about and they

want their politicians to be

3:10:523:10:55

delivering on them and dealing with

them, and so do we. That is why we

3:10:553:11:00

are mystified and why most people in

Northern Ireland are bewildered at

3:11:003:11:04

the fact that Sinn Fein could very

narrow partisan political issues

3:11:043:11:09

above dealing with these issues.

When we put forward a proposition

3:11:093:11:13

that we could do with those issues

of concern to Sinn Fein in parallel

3:11:133:11:16

with getting the institutions up and

running, with dealings are big

3:11:163:11:20

issues that affect all of us, and

would even time-limit the duration

3:11:203:11:24

of the assembly to ensure there was

no bad faith on our part, that was

3:11:243:11:27

rejected out of hand. So let us be

very, very clear. Devolution is our

3:11:273:11:34

first option and is our clear

preference. We are not the barriers

3:11:343:11:38

to devolution in Northern Ireland,

nor I believe are other smaller

3:11:383:11:41

parties like the Ulster Unionists.

It is very clear what is blocking

3:11:413:11:49

devolution. But the point that we

also make over and over again, and

3:11:493:11:54

it's a point that was emphasised

strongly by the chairman of the

3:11:543:11:57

Northern Ireland's select affairs

committee in his contribution

3:11:573:12:01

earlier. He is absolutely correct in

this, is that without prejudice

3:12:013:12:06

kitting devolution up and running,

without prejudice efforts to get

3:12:063:12:11

that happening, we do need decisions

to be made. A point also alluded to

3:12:113:12:16

by the honourable lady from Lewis.

It is the fact there are no

3:12:163:12:20

ministers in place that is causing

drift and putting Northern Ireland

3:12:203:12:24

into limbo. It is the reason that we

don't have some of the decisions

3:12:243:12:28

made in the Department of the

economy that my right honourable

3:12:283:12:31

friend referred to. It isn't the

absence of an executive per se but

3:12:313:12:37

the absence of ministers, and as the

chairman of the Northern Ireland

3:12:373:12:45

select affairs committee said, this

situation cannot go on for much

3:12:453:12:48

longer. The various decisions that

need to be made by ministers are

3:12:483:12:52

decisions basically about allocation

and prioritisation. Civil servants

3:12:523:12:58

cannot make those decisions, because

otherwise they are just making

3:12:583:13:04

personal decisions, they are not

accountable. That cannot continue.

3:13:043:13:08

So therefore we do need to ensure

that something is done about that

3:13:083:13:12

and done about it in a relatively

short space of time.

3:13:123:13:18

I thank my right honourable friend

for giving way. Would he agree with

3:13:183:13:21

me that what is part of the problem

in the wider community in Northern

3:13:213:13:28

Ireland, many disillusioned with

politics, but disillusion and the

3:13:283:13:32

very lack of what he has outlined as

ministerial decision making in order

3:13:323:13:40

to address the issues of everyone,

not just a small part of the

3:13:403:13:45

community?

The honourable member is absolutely

3:13:453:13:48

right. When I have constituency

surgeries and meet with them and

3:13:483:13:52

discuss with them as we all do as

members of parliament, the matters

3:13:523:13:57

of individual concern or wider

issues, over and over again, it

3:13:573:14:00

doesn't matter whether people from a

nationalist or unionist background,

3:14:003:14:03

but what they are lamenting is the

fact that decisions are not being

3:14:033:14:07

made. The recent lobby of this place

by a large group of people

3:14:073:14:13

interested and affected by mental

health issues was a glaring example.

3:14:133:14:17

They made a cross-party, cross

community plea which was - please

3:14:173:14:25

give us some one that we can lobby.

Please give us and that can take

3:14:253:14:30

decisions on a trauma centre for

Northern Ireland, and as someone who

3:14:303:14:35

represents the constituency that has

the highest rate of suicide in

3:14:353:14:39

Northern Ireland, and indeed the

United Kingdom, this is an issue

3:14:393:14:42

which I feel very, very strongly

about and there needs to be

3:14:423:14:45

something done about it, in terms of

decision-making. We have secured, as

3:14:453:14:50

a result of the confident supply

agreement, extra money to be spent

3:14:503:14:55

on mental health specifically in

Northern Ireland, but when you talk

3:14:553:15:00

to the civil servants in the

Department of Health and elsewhere,

3:15:003:15:03

they are not able to outline how

they are going to spend that because

3:15:033:15:07

they have no ministerial direction

to stop the money can be allocated,

3:15:073:15:12

as my right honourable friend has

said, but decisions within the

3:15:123:15:15

department need to be made by a

minister.

3:15:153:15:18

Yes, I will give way.

Thank you. I thank my right

3:15:183:15:24

honourable friend from Belfast North

for giving weight, and also the

3:15:243:15:29

contribution from my right

honourable friend for Antrim East. I

3:15:293:15:34

don't quite understand why a

minister will not come to make such

3:15:343:15:44

decisions shortly. We are not at

that stage yet, as far as I can

3:15:443:15:48

ascertain, but there seems to me no

reason why a minister should not

3:15:483:15:54

take that decision. We're not going

back to direct rule, we might be

3:15:543:16:01

going to pragmatic and also legal

decisions required to look after the

3:16:013:16:07

community of Northern Ireland. And

that might come about, surely,

3:16:073:16:11

relatively shortly.

The honourable gentleman makes a

3:16:113:16:16

very sensible and reasonable and

pragmatic point, if I may say so,

3:16:163:16:20

and he does it, as always, given his

strong interest in affairs to do

3:16:203:16:25

with Northern Ireland. I know he

speaks from the heart and from an

3:16:253:16:29

interest to make sure Northern

Ireland keeps moving forward. And

3:16:293:16:32

that is our only concern. We want to

make sure that everybody

3:16:323:16:40

across-the-board is not

detrimentally affected by the lack

3:16:403:16:42

of ministers. Likewise, it was back

concerned to ensure people

3:16:423:16:46

across-the-board, in both

communities, had their lives

3:16:463:16:49

improved that we argued that the

confidence and supply arrangements

3:16:493:16:54

should include an extra £1 billion

in cash resources for Northern

3:16:543:17:01

Ireland, to be spent across a range

of subjects which would benefit

3:17:013:17:06

everybody. That is in addition to

the extra half £1 billion in

3:17:063:17:11

flexibilities, in terms of previous

monies allocated.

3:17:113:17:17

I welcome the fact the Secretary of

State in recent days has announced

3:17:173:17:21

the budget for Northern Ireland to

include the £410 million, the first

3:17:213:17:26

tranche of the substantial part of

that confidence and supply

3:17:263:17:30

arrangement. There were people who

said over and over again in the

3:17:303:17:33

media and elsewhere that that money

would never come to Northern

3:17:333:17:36

Ireland. That it was a pipe dream.

It has now been delivered. They also

3:17:363:17:43

said it wouldn't come in the absence

of an executive. That has been

3:17:433:17:46

proved wrong as well, although I

don't hear them saying much about

3:17:463:17:50

it, though they were very vocal

previously. And they also said that

3:17:503:17:55

it couldn't come because there was

no Parliamentary authority for it,

3:17:553:18:00

but we are now getting Parliament

authorities through this bill for

3:18:003:18:03

the money that is to be spent this

financial year, and there will be

3:18:033:18:09

proper Parliamentary authority given

to all the rest of it, just as is to

3:18:093:18:13

be expected and is the normal

process.

3:18:133:18:20

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I'm

grateful to the honourable gentleman

3:18:203:18:24

for letting me intervene. I have

listened carefully to what the

3:18:243:18:28

honourable gentleman has had to say

and he made it quite clear that on

3:18:283:18:32

behalf of his party there are no red

lines. He has also made it quite

3:18:323:18:37

clear that his constituents, indeed

my constituents, people across

3:18:373:18:43

Northern Ireland are anxious to see

their assembly back again and

3:18:433:18:45

ministers making decisions. So what

exactly is holding up the DUP

3:18:453:18:51

getting back into talks with Sinn

Fein and seeing successfully the

3:18:513:18:55

restoration of devolution in

Northern Ireland, for the benefit of

3:18:553:19:00

everybody?

Well, I could believe everything the

3:19:003:19:05

right honourable member for East

Antrim said. The honourable lady has

3:19:053:19:09

said please don't, so I won't. If

she didn't understand it the first

3:19:093:19:13

time, I don't think she is going to

understand it even though I repeat

3:19:133:19:16

it. The fact of the matter is we are

no barrier to devolution, neither

3:19:163:19:25

are the Ulster Unionists or the DUP.

Perhaps more pressure exerted on

3:19:253:19:29

those who are the barrier would be

more productive and sensible.

3:19:293:19:33

The fact of the matter is this is a

very positive move, in terms of

3:19:333:19:39

breaking the logjam and the drift

that has continued for too long in

3:19:393:19:42

Northern Ireland. It sends a very

strong message to everyone,

3:19:423:19:46

including the parties that have been

reluctant so far in terms of forming

3:19:463:19:51

the executive. That decisions will

be taken. Decisions will be taken

3:19:513:19:55

for the good of the people of

Northern Ireland.

With the right

3:19:553:19:59

honourable gentleman give way?

I

will.

3:19:593:20:02

Thank you. It is exceedingly

generous of the right honourable

3:20:023:20:08

gentleman. I wanted him to reflect

for a few moments on the fact I

3:20:083:20:12

think it is tomorrow which marks the

first anniversary of the death of

3:20:123:20:15

Martin McGuinness.

Martin McGuinness

sat in a very successful period of

3:20:153:20:21

devolved government with his then

party leader, in Paisley senior.

3:20:213:20:25

Sadly both of them are no longer

with us. There was remarkable

3:20:253:20:29

generosity of spirit shown by both

gentleman at the time. Could the DUP

3:20:293:20:33

indicate a general state of spirit

to get back into talks without any

3:20:333:20:36

hesitation or red lines?

The honourable lady is right to

3:20:363:20:42

refer to the efforts that were made

by the previous leader in Northern

3:20:423:20:49

Ireland and my previous leader, the

great efforts made, and to their

3:20:493:20:55

successors, Peter Robinson, who led

the executive to seven years, and to

3:20:553:20:59

Arlene Foster and to Martin

McGuinness during that period of

3:20:593:21:04

time as well. I served in the

executive, both under Doctor Paisley

3:21:043:21:11

and Mr Robinson so I am aware of the

efforts the DUP have made to reach

3:21:113:21:15

out across the communities, to serve

with people who for many, many years

3:21:153:21:21

attacked our communities, and indeed

attacked us personally, in terms of

3:21:213:21:24

trying to assassinate members of our

party and myself and others. So this

3:21:243:21:31

was no easy task. I think generosity

of spirit is something which we have

3:21:313:21:37

exhibited in many, over many, many

years, many, many years. The fact of

3:21:373:21:44

the matter is that we are still,

despite all of what the right

3:21:443:21:49

honourable gentleman from East

Antrim alluded to above the toxicity

3:21:493:21:54

of the atmosphere Sinn Fein created,

we are still prepared to go into

3:21:543:21:58

government and work devolved

government. That shows a pretty

3:21:583:22:01

generous spirit. The fact of the

matter is that there are no red

3:22:013:22:05

lines for us because we believe in

going about the people's business

3:22:053:22:07

and getting government up and

running, and that is what matters.

3:22:073:22:12

And just as an aside, could I say,

though it's more than an aside, she

3:22:123:22:16

referred to an anniversary tomorrow,

but we have already rightly referred

3:22:163:22:24

to the anniversary today of the

Warrington bombing, the anniversary

3:22:243:22:28

yesterday of the savage murder of

two army corporal 's, which

3:22:283:22:34

everybody who was alive at the time

will remember seeing the footage of

3:22:343:22:38

two young British soldiers who

stumbled into a funeral and were

3:22:383:22:45

almost literally torn to death.

3:22:453:22:46

And we should remember that in the

eulogies to Martin McGuinness, a

3:22:513:22:56

movement that he led, carried out

those atrocities.

My right

3:22:563:23:04

honourable friend refers to one of

the darkest days to the British Army

3:23:043:23:09

during the troubles but will he join

me in contrasting that day to the

3:23:093:23:12

scenes we saw in Lisbon last week

when my battalion was welcomed back

3:23:123:23:20

with such great enthusiasm.

I'm sure

even 30 years ago the good people of

3:23:203:23:29

Lisbon would have given the same

welcome to the soldiers he refers

3:23:293:23:33

to. The fact of the matter is that

in praise of the peace process and

3:23:333:23:38

the political process in Northern

Ireland, the far too little respect,

3:23:383:23:45

far too little praise is given to

the members of the Army, the

3:23:453:23:48

services, the police and so on who

over many, many decades held the

3:23:483:23:56

ring, protected innocent life both

Catholic and Protestant, unionist

3:23:563:24:01

and nationalist, were courageous in

their efforts. Only for them we

3:24:013:24:06

wouldn't enjoy the peace we enjoy

today. So why rightly there are

3:24:063:24:12

individuals in the political sphere

and others who are praised and given

3:24:123:24:15

plaudits and the rest of it, the

real heroes are the people of our

3:24:153:24:22

emergency services, our security

forces who put on their uniforms,

3:24:223:24:26

and went out and defended people at

great cost to themselves. Some

3:24:263:24:30

people asked to bearing the cost in

mental and physical trauma ever

3:24:303:24:37

since.

It might be appropriate to

say Gillian Johnson was murdered by

3:24:373:24:47

the IRA as well and with the family

we should remember those, there are

3:24:473:24:55

many forgotten victims.

The

honourable gentleman is absolutely

3:24:553:24:58

right to draw attention to that

particularly brutal slaying as well.

3:24:583:25:05

It's right to remember all of the

victims of the troubles in Northern

3:25:053:25:09

Ireland and it's all too easy to

gloss over these. We remember them

3:25:093:25:14

not because we want to indulge in

talking about the past but because

3:25:143:25:22

it's important to remember the

victims and that their sacrifice is

3:25:223:25:26

never forgotten and that we redouble

our efforts to try to keep moving

3:25:263:25:30

Northern Ireland forward. That is

why we want devolution restored, why

3:25:303:25:36

we want to get the institutions back

up and running. I sometimes say to

3:25:363:25:41

those who say let's just get it

done, let's call a meeting of the

3:25:413:25:45

Assembly on Monday. Let's call a

meeting of the Assembly on Monday.

3:25:453:25:50

Let's go through the process for

forming the executive. Let's see who

3:25:503:25:56

stepped forward to form the

executive, let's see who refuses to

3:25:563:25:59

step forward, and then all of those

who say why can't you all just get

3:25:593:26:06

together, who lump all of the

politicians into one group and say

3:26:063:26:10

you are all to blame, then you can

all see for yourselves who it is

3:26:103:26:15

that refuses to form the Government.

So with this high close, Mr Deputy

3:26:153:26:22

Speaker, let's get this process

passed today. Let's get the

3:26:223:26:27

legislation passed tomorrow, let's

start getting decisions made, let's

3:26:273:26:30

keep on with the efforts to get

devolution and perhaps the Secretary

3:26:303:26:37

of State, encouraged by her efforts

in getting this legislation through,

3:26:373:26:40

will come forward with a proposal to

get the executive and call the

3:26:403:26:45

Assembly together and invite those

who wish to to form a coalition of

3:26:453:26:49

the willing and those who refuse to

answer why they are not prepared to

3:26:493:26:54

take on the responsibility of the

Government of Northern Ireland.

It

3:26:543:27:00

is a pleasure to follow the

excellent speeches we have heard

3:27:003:27:05

across the halcyon today,

particularly the speeches by my

3:27:053:27:09

right honourable colleagues for

north Belfast on the Sandringham. I

3:27:093:27:12

feel they have strongly put across

the key issues involved in the

3:27:123:27:16

current situation in Northern

Ireland and I would heed their

3:27:163:27:18

advice. It's not often you do sit on

the same benches of no fewer than

3:27:183:27:27

two former finance ministers and I'm

very conscious that they in the

3:27:273:27:33

House have no doubt, as did

officials and I can see some from

3:27:333:27:37

Northern Ireland here today, and I

know they will have sat here year

3:27:373:27:40

after year and heard the issues

people raise and I don't want to

3:27:403:27:47

breach that too much today but I

cannot promise. Before I get into is

3:27:473:27:54

the substance of some of the issues

discussed, this is a particularly

3:27:543:27:59

sad day for Northern Ireland because

once again we are standing in this

3:27:593:28:02

chamber discussing the business of

Northern Ireland when what we want

3:28:023:28:06

is for the Northern Ireland Assembly

to be restored from locally elected

3:28:063:28:12

Northern Ireland politicians to be

sitting in the local Northern

3:28:123:28:15

Ireland Assembly making decisions

for people from Northern Ireland.

3:28:153:28:19

That is what I hear from people all

of the time, that is what I hear

3:28:193:28:22

from people on the ground and I

think it has been a very good strong

3:28:223:28:26

point that has been raised by the

honourable member for Lewis in

3:28:263:28:34

relation to the interest shown by

Northern Ireland because I hear, as

3:28:343:28:37

we all do every day from across the

benches and the House around the

3:28:373:28:44

interest in Northern Ireland and the

interest in the economy and what's

3:28:443:28:47

good for Northern Ireland and how we

don't know what's good for Northern

3:28:473:28:51

Ireland, but that is an incredible

and stark fact is that there has

3:28:513:28:56

been no government in Northern

Ireland for over 14 months at this

3:28:563:29:00

point. In this great democracy we

are in, which is the United Kingdom,

3:29:003:29:06

there is a region, Northern Ireland

are part of that UK, where there is

3:29:063:29:11

a democratic deficit. We have

neither ministers to be accountable

3:29:113:29:16

to the people, we have senior civil

servants trying to get by because

3:29:163:29:19

that's all they are doing, and they

are under intolerable pressure

3:29:193:29:24

because this is a legal minefield.

They don't know and it's not clear

3:29:243:29:27

what decisions can and cannot be

made but what they do know is they

3:29:273:29:32

should not and cannot take decisions

that ministers ought to be taking,

3:29:323:29:38

yet after 14 months we still don't

have ministers in place and that is

3:29:383:29:42

simply not sustainable. Although I

welcome the technical bill brought

3:29:423:29:49

forward today and as articulated by

my right honourable colleagues,

3:29:493:29:52

there is a lot of confusion at times

about these types of technical bill

3:29:523:29:59

is, however it doesn't take away

from the fact decisions need to be

3:29:593:30:03

made. It is not sustainable in

Northern Ireland for those decisions

3:30:033:30:06

not to be made.

She has outlined it

very well but the bottom line is

3:30:063:30:14

there is one party who was holding

Northern Ireland to ransom, has held

3:30:143:30:19

Northern Ireland to ransom for many

years through their previous

3:30:193:30:23

violence but now economically

holding the company to ransom and

3:30:233:30:28

that is Sinn Fein.

I absolutely

agree with my honourable friend and

3:30:283:30:32

I will go on to talk about that a

little later in more detail but I do

3:30:323:30:37

want to highlight two key issues.

The first is in relation to the

3:30:373:30:42

process involved in this and the

process as we lead up to the budget

3:30:423:30:47

which will hopefully be presented in

and around June time. Although we

3:30:473:30:52

have two former ministers of

finance, I was the last chairperson

3:30:523:30:56

of the Finance committee and the

Northern Ireland Assembly on

3:30:563:31:00

collapse and my right honourable

friend from north Belfast spoke

3:31:003:31:03

about this in terms of the behaviour

of the then finance minister who was

3:31:033:31:08

the Sinn Fein finance minister.

There were concerns by Sinn Fein in

3:31:083:31:13

relation to a number of matters. It

became clear Sinn Fein were

3:31:133:31:17

intending to bring down the Assembly

unilaterally. The only way they

3:31:173:31:20

could do that was by resigning and

that was the resignation of Martin

3:31:203:31:25

McGuinness. We and the committee, I

and the committee, made strong

3:31:253:31:33

recommendations and representations

to the finance minister in writing

3:31:333:31:36

and on the floor of the Northern

Ireland Assembly to say the decision

3:31:363:31:40

about the timing of this collapse is

yours. They were the only party that

3:31:403:31:46

wanted the collapse. They chose the

timing of the collapse and that is

3:31:463:31:50

vitally important for two of the

issues mentioned here today. The

3:31:503:31:54

first in relation to the reports of

the historical institutional abuse

3:31:543:31:58

inquiry. I as a special adviser and

junior minister for a period of

3:31:583:32:06

time, I had responsibility for that

policy area. I spoke to many victims

3:32:063:32:11

on an ongoing basis of historical

and institutional abuse and their

3:32:113:32:16

stories are powerful stories.

Incredibly sympathetic accounts and

3:32:163:32:22

that's why they the executive

jointly moved with Sinn Fein to put

3:32:223:32:26

in place legislation and an

independent body to deal with these

3:32:263:32:36

matters. When the executive agreed

those terms of reference, it was the

3:32:363:32:41

date in which the report would come

forward because unlike some of the

3:32:413:32:44

public inquiry legislation, the

historical institution legislation

3:32:443:32:52

had a deadline, a period of time

with a discretionary power to the

3:32:523:32:55

extent but only for one year. So

from the outset of the inquiry, Sinn

3:32:553:33:01

Fein knew exactly when that report

would come forward and furthermore

3:33:013:33:06

the chairperson I want to put on

record my thanks to the excellent

3:33:063:33:13

work done in that inquiry. He

brought the inquiry report in on

3:33:133:33:24

time. Whenever they collapsed it was

just days to go until got that

3:33:243:33:33

report. And second issue which I

raised directly with the finance

3:33:333:33:39

minister is wide view not hold on

for a further week to allow for the

3:33:393:33:44

budget to be presented to this

Assembly, for the budget to be

3:33:443:33:47

passed on to give certainty for the

people of Northern Ireland, for the

3:33:473:33:52

public services of Northern Ireland.

There is no reason and I make this

3:33:523:33:56

clear, one week would have made no

difference in terms of that

3:33:563:33:59

collapse. We did not want the

collapse to happen but they chose to

3:33:593:34:04

collapse it Sinn Fein the timing.

That timing was an already widely

3:34:043:34:14

over -- overdue budget. Sinn Fein

will go down as the only party in

3:34:143:34:18

Northern Ireland who failed to

produce their number on duty, which

3:34:183:34:25

is to reduce the budget for Northern

Ireland. The second important issue

3:34:253:34:29

in relation to the scrutiny of the

finance committee is that that

3:34:293:34:34

opportunity is no longer there. It

is slightly different from the

3:34:343:34:40

statutory duties of the select

committees of this House but there

3:34:403:34:43

is a statutory duty on those

committees to scrutinise, to ask for

3:34:433:34:47

evidence which we did. They have

called stakeholders departments, we

3:34:473:34:52

took a look at the overall budget

position and we would make

3:34:523:34:57

recommendations, and that process

simply does not exist under the

3:34:573:35:01

current situation. That is not good

for Northern Ireland, not good for

3:35:013:35:04

the budget not to have that process.

The DUP are absolutely clear, we are

3:35:043:35:13

prepared to go into government right

now. It is as simple as that and if

3:35:133:35:17

there was a calling of the Northern

Ireland Assembly tomorrow, we would

3:35:173:35:21

be there. We are not asking for

anything. However it is not just the

3:35:213:35:27

DUP, it is the entire of Northern

Ireland being held to ransom by one

3:35:273:35:31

party, one party, Sinn Fein, who are

being clear - we will not go in

3:35:313:35:42

unless our demands are met and that

is not the way to do business. I

3:35:423:35:45

would ask any interested member

across this House to look at the

3:35:453:35:49

programme for government, which is

agreed between the two parties and I

3:35:493:35:54

have been very only way to make

governments work, to make this type

3:35:543:35:59

of power-sharing agreement work, is

to focus on what we agree on and not

3:35:593:36:05

to get sidelined or obsessed with

the things we don't agree on. Nobody

3:36:053:36:10

will ever say Sinn Fein and DUP are

the same party in relation to a

3:36:103:36:15

whole range of policy areas. We

accept that in the power-sharing

3:36:153:36:24

agreement so let's get on and focus

on what we can agree on, and what we

3:36:243:36:28

can agree on was contained within

the last programme for government.

3:36:283:36:31

That is what we should be doing,

what we should be implementing.

3:36:313:36:33

There are plenty of issues we know

Sinn Fein did not agree with the DUP

3:36:333:36:38

on. We could say we refuse to go

into government unless you agree X,

3:36:383:36:46

Y and Z but we don't do that because

the people of Northern Ireland need

3:36:463:36:52

key decisions in relation to health,

education, access to drugs, in terms

3:36:523:36:58

of the support of their public

services. Although this is welcome

3:36:583:37:02

today in relation to a budget bill,

what is vital are the decisions that

3:37:023:37:06

need to be made, which haven't been

made for 14 months. No government

3:37:063:37:12

can continue like that, no

department can continue like that.

3:37:123:37:16

It is not sustainable and not fair

on the senior civil servants and

3:37:163:37:23

those trying to exercise and walk

this incredibly different line

3:37:233:37:26

between what is legal and what's not

with the fear they may end up in

3:37:263:37:29

court at any time in terms of those

decisions they are to make.

3:37:293:37:37

I want to very briefly, despite the

advice of my colleagues not to get

3:37:373:37:40

into some of the issues, but I do

want to raise a number of points of

3:37:403:37:45

concern that have been articulated

to me.

3:37:453:37:48

First of all, as mentioned by some

others across the House already, we

3:37:483:37:51

will have the victims, severely

disabled victims of the Troubles

3:37:513:38:02

with us in the next two days and I

have said that with the members and

3:38:023:38:06

I am glad they have shown an

interest. It is clear there are

3:38:063:38:09

great needs out there, particularly

that they need somebody to listen to

3:38:093:38:17

them, they need somebody to say, can

you take up my course customer and

3:38:173:38:21

they need action, most importantly.

These are the people who are

3:38:213:38:24

suffering most. Others want to focus

on divisive issues. Bit is the

3:38:243:38:35

devices -- on divisive issue on the

ground. If they say it is your fault

3:38:353:38:39

because he won't rule over and agree

that, that simply cannot be the

3:38:393:38:42

case. We need to listen to people

and build consensus. It is a

3:38:423:38:46

divisive issue. Plenty of divisive

issues in Northern Ireland, we know

3:38:463:38:52

that, divisive issues all over. We

can take the time to talk about it

3:38:523:38:55

but in the meantime, our politicians

must get on and should get on with

3:38:553:38:59

doing what they need to do, which is

delivering aid to these people who

3:38:593:39:05

have needs, the likes of people who

went through the abuse inquiry. I

3:39:053:39:10

would take listening to people

throughout that process, they said

3:39:103:39:14

to be very clear, we are not

interested in the money, it is not

3:39:143:39:17

about the compensation. This is

about truth, this is about getting

3:39:173:39:20

to the bottom of what happened. But

I also acknowledge it is important

3:39:203:39:24

that something happens at the end of

that inquiry. That report has

3:39:243:39:28

that something happens at the end of

that inquiry. That report has, Alain

3:39:283:39:28

has been -- the report has been out.

And the education sector, schools

3:39:283:39:37

are contacting all of is at this

time worried about their budgets,

3:39:373:39:43

particularly in relation to special

educational needs. We are seeing a

3:39:433:39:46

rise of conditions such as autism.

We are seeing big challenges in

3:39:463:39:51

relation to the mental health of our

young people. There are issues that

3:39:513:39:55

need to be addressed, but those

required decisions cannot constantly

3:39:553:40:00

be a roll on. I am asking the

Secretary of State today, therefore,

3:40:003:40:05

there is a programme at the moment

out there. We have gone too long, 14

3:40:053:40:10

months plus is far too long and I am

asking the Secretary of State that

3:40:103:40:14

because of the current situation, a

situation that we don't want in

3:40:143:40:19

Northern Ireland, a situation where

the negotiations has not produced

3:40:193:40:23

agreement, I'm appealing to the

Secretary of State to step up and to

3:40:233:40:27

put in place and to ask her

colleagues to put in place ministers

3:40:273:40:31

to make those vital decisions for

the good of all of the people across

3:40:313:40:36

both communities and all communities

in Northern Ireland.

3:40:363:40:42

A pleasure to follow my colleague

from south Belfast. I just want to

3:40:423:40:47

put on record the point that we are

here and the title of this is

3:40:473:40:53

Anticipation. There has been a lot

of anticipation associated with

3:40:533:40:57

this. I don't want to really

regurgitate because I am one of

3:40:573:41:01

those members in the previous

assembly who, yes, were told we were

3:41:013:41:06

here to talk about not what you want

to spend the money on but on the

3:41:063:41:09

budget and what had happened

historically, and you just glibly

3:41:093:41:14

went ahead to go through back the

detail of what you had as a wish

3:41:143:41:18

list for your own constituency. But

I welcome the ability presented

3:41:183:41:23

before the House today. In doing so,

I want to really go back over some

3:41:233:41:27

of the crowd that has already been

put forward. We had a difficulty

3:41:273:41:32

last year where we did not have a

budget set. As a consequence, that

3:41:323:41:39

left those permanent secretaries and

apartments in a very difficult

3:41:393:41:43

position, making spend where they

were allowed to make a spend up

3:41:433:41:50

until about 75% of their budget at a

certain point. Ultimately we were

3:41:503:41:54

being told they could only spend up

to 95% of their total budget,

3:41:543:42:00

leaving Northern Ireland with a

black hole, in the region of 600

3:42:003:42:04

million accounted in one year if we

had no budget set. Thankfully we

3:42:043:42:09

were able to get a budget put

through this house in November of

3:42:093:42:14

2017, to allow the total amount

allocated to be spent. I appreciate

3:42:143:42:19

that that does create its own

difficulties, in that department 's

3:42:193:42:24

cut their cloth accordingly, knowing

where they can and cannot make their

3:42:243:42:28

spend. But unfortunately,

decision-making is the main area

3:42:283:42:33

where we have had a deficit. The

difficulty we have had in the year

3:42:333:42:39

past are there were many projects

put on the back burner. Some civil

3:42:393:42:45

servants used the excuse of no

political direction as a reason to

3:42:453:42:48

do nothing. I can say that as far as

my area is concerned, we have roads

3:42:483:42:55

that need repair. Unfortunately,

whenever it comes to monitoring

3:42:553:43:00

rounds we didn't have the

opportunity to have the flexibility

3:43:003:43:03

to actually move money where it was

needed. That is a big, big problem

3:43:033:43:07

that has occurred. It is not just in

Northern Ireland, that is an issue

3:43:073:43:12

that has happened throughout the

United Kingdom. But without having

3:43:123:43:16

direction, we have problems within

our education sector, problems

3:43:163:43:21

within our health sector. Two of our

biggest areas of spend. I had

3:43:213:43:28

occasion in the last month to meet

with a delegation of principles from

3:43:283:43:33

schools right across my

constituency, representing every

3:43:333:43:41

sector of education, Irish medium

included. I can only say there is a

3:43:413:43:43

total on fairness in the way the

education funding, and this is

3:43:433:43:47

something which is coming forward,

and unfortunately the department are

3:43:473:43:51

saying they cannot make an

adjustment because they need

3:43:513:43:54

ministerial direction. We have

schools, primary schools that

3:43:543:43:57

receive £2242 per pupil. You have

another sector of education that

3:43:573:44:02

will receive five times that per

pupil. Where is the equality in

3:44:023:44:11

relation to that matter? Where one

pupil is valued at five times the

3:44:113:44:14

level that another pupil is in the

ordinary controlled sector of

3:44:143:44:18

education. I think that is something

that really needs to be looked at.

3:44:183:44:22

The message that came through from

that meeting is principles don't

3:44:223:44:26

necessarily want more money, they

want it spread more fairly and

3:44:263:44:29

evenly throughout the education

sector, and therefore you will have

3:44:293:44:35

the same outcomes with whatever

sector of education you are dealing

3:44:353:44:38

with. That was the message that came

out very loud and clear and it is

3:44:383:44:41

something I want to see being driven

forward.

3:44:413:44:44

I appreciate we have had all sorts

of options being brought forward in

3:44:443:44:48

how we deal with the way forward.

All I can say is we are rolling down

3:44:483:44:53

a track and there is a buffer. I

appreciate that decisions up to be

3:44:533:44:56

made in June of this year, when we

said a budget, but to allow that

3:44:563:45:03

budget to be spent, and I cannot see

as having an assembly up by that

3:45:033:45:07

time, we cannot, we will not have

3:45:073:45:11

ministers in position in Northern

Ireland to give direction. As a

3:45:113:45:15

consequence, and let's be honest,

not all of us have the same faith

3:45:153:45:19

they would deliver it, so as a

consequence we need to ensure we

3:45:193:45:23

have direct input from Westminster

in relation to ensuring there is

3:45:233:45:30

spend and the spend is made

correctly.

3:45:303:45:34

As has been said by our leader in

Westminster, the member for North

3:45:343:45:41

Belfast, great play was made in

relation to the confidence and

3:45:413:45:44

supply money. One of the messages

that we have been very, very sure in

3:45:443:45:49

putting forward with this is not our

money, this is money for the whole

3:45:493:45:55

of Northern Ireland and it is to

deliver for the whole of Northern

3:45:553:45:59

Ireland in areas where it is going

to have the most benefit. I want to

3:45:593:46:03

say that that is something vitally

important. It was interesting to

3:46:033:46:06

hear the chair of the Northern

Ireland select committee made

3:46:063:46:10

reference to actually the public

accounts department, the controller

3:46:103:46:15

and auditor general and public

accounts department within Northern

3:46:153:46:18

Ireland and some of the scrutiny

rules that might be required. He

3:46:183:46:22

made a suggestion of having, and

this is something, he made a

3:46:223:46:26

suggestion that we might well have a

scrutiny committee set up which

3:46:263:46:30

would be made up of MLAs from the

Northern Ireland assembly. Can I

3:46:303:46:33

say, that is not, your predecessor

already made a suggestion at one

3:46:333:46:39

stage this might be a way forward to

give the assembly some form of

3:46:393:46:44

business that it would be involved

in the scrutiny role of both

3:46:443:46:47

departments and also associated with

the PAC. But I think that borrowers

3:46:473:46:55

Northern Ireland is concerned, there

are those who actually said that

3:46:553:46:58

they welcome the budget coming

forward, but the rot goes Dutch but

3:46:583:47:04

there are those, mention has been

made of the previous Minister Foster

3:47:043:47:07

Martin O'Neill has been an local

media stating how sad it is to see

3:47:073:47:16

austerity being driven forward in

Northern Ireland. Can I say when I

3:47:163:47:19

look at this budget there is an

increase carried forward through

3:47:193:47:23

this budget to Northern Ireland, so

as a consequence we are getting our

3:47:233:47:27

enquiries. The money is additional

we have received for our confidence

3:47:273:47:32

and supply are over and above

anything else that is fair and we

3:47:323:47:36

will ensure that that does have some

direct benefits to Northern Ireland.

3:47:363:47:40

Also a point but I think we need to

be very careful about is that we do

3:47:403:47:45

not stand back and say we don't want

to see the Northern Ireland assembly

3:47:453:47:50

back. I for one having been a former

member of the Northern Ireland

3:47:503:47:56

assembly, see the benefits of

devolution. I believe it is the

3:47:563:47:59

right way forward for Northern

Ireland. Unfortunately, we have a

3:47:593:48:04

Damocles held to the back of our

necks here and has been held by one

3:48:043:48:08

party, and that party is Sinn Fein.

I really believe that we have got to

3:48:083:48:11

actually stand up to them and drive

forward and have even an assembly as

3:48:113:48:16

has been mentioned by the member

from Lewes, an assembly of the

3:48:163:48:24

willing. Let's be honest, there are

those who are willing to go in and

3:48:243:48:29

run Northern Ireland. We are willing

and wanting to go into an assembly

3:48:293:48:33

tomorrow. Unfortunately, there are

those who have set the red lines. We

3:48:333:48:37

hear red lines being mentioned all

the time now but they have set their

3:48:373:48:40

red lines, for issues which they

believe they could not drag through

3:48:403:48:45

the Northern Ireland assembly so

they used the talks process to drive

3:48:453:48:48

forward their own agenda with their

own issues. I believe that Irish

3:48:483:48:54

language is totally toxic to my

community and as a consequence, they

3:48:543:48:58

knew it would be totally toxic. I

for one believe those are issues

3:48:583:49:01

that were just being put on the

table to actually drive us further

3:49:013:49:05

down the road with the Irish

Republic proposing to have elections

3:49:053:49:11

in the Irish Republic, I believe

Sinn Fein were of a view to ensuring

3:49:113:49:14

that they did not let the Northern

Ireland assembly get up and running.

3:49:143:49:19

They were keeping their eye on what

was happening in the Republic of

3:49:193:49:22

Ireland. I will.

I thank the honourable member for

3:49:223:49:26

giving way. On that point to about

the Irish language. The DUP made

3:49:263:49:31

Frittelli we do not object to people

speaking the Irish language, having

3:49:313:49:35

their children educated in the Irish

language and, indeed, the Government

3:49:353:49:40

in Northern Ireland has contributed

millions of pounds towards the Irish

3:49:403:49:44

language and its promotion in

education. The fact is when a Sinn

3:49:443:49:49

Fein spokesperson says that every

word spoken in Irish is another

3:49:493:49:52

bullet fired in the cause of Irish

unity, they politicise a language

3:49:523:49:59

that means it becomes a very

divisive issue in Northern Ireland.

3:49:593:50:03

I thank the honourable member for

bringing that forward this

3:50:033:50:08

afternoon, but I can't say I agree

with him 100%. I don't necessarily

3:50:083:50:16

hold to speaking Irish but I

wouldn't be against those who want

3:50:163:50:18

to learn it and speak it, but I

believe there should be a fairness

3:50:183:50:22

and equality in relation to how

these cultural issues are funded,

3:50:223:50:26

and I think that is something else

that needs to be locked up. That is

3:50:263:50:30

something that I think meets

political direction for the

3:50:303:50:33

following year's budget. I

appreciate we are dealing with areas

3:50:333:50:36

where there were major, whenever we

look at what has been put forward in

3:50:363:50:42

the bill, there are areas and

departments that did not make their

3:50:423:50:45

full spend. There were other

departments that if you are coming

3:50:453:50:47

forward to the assembly, you'd be

having their accounts being

3:50:473:50:53

qualified in relation to overspend

and we would have to make a comment

3:50:533:50:57

in the account associated with

overspend some departments have

3:50:573:51:02

made. I can see there are those who

probably should have learned a

3:51:023:51:07

lesson and a little bit more prudent

accounting.

3:51:073:51:11

I appreciate negotiations have gone

on in bringing forward the statement

3:51:113:51:15

which came forward, the Budget

Statement which came forward last

3:51:153:51:17

week. I note departments will have

had some input in relation to what

3:51:173:51:22

that entailed. I want to say that we

want to seek political direction in

3:51:223:51:29

ensuring that the spend is made to

benefit the whole of Northern

3:51:293:51:32

Ireland for the forthcoming 2018-19

year and I, for one, Assad we are

3:51:323:51:42

here to discuss this. It will be

worse when we're having to discuss

3:51:423:51:45

the budget in June. -- are sad we're

here to discuss this. Of us will

3:51:453:51:52

have a pet pet project we want to

include in that debate and we might

3:51:523:51:55

drag it out but I can say the debate

today, I hope the messages going

3:51:553:51:59

forward is loud and clear that we

are here because one party failed to

3:51:593:52:03

deliver a budget in 2018-19 and

20,000 17-18 and all the blame

3:52:033:52:11

should be laid at the House of Sinn

Fein over what they have caused

3:52:113:52:15

Northern Ireland to suffer in the

last year. Thank you.

3:52:153:52:19

Always a pleasure to speak at any

stage in any debate in this house. I

3:52:223:52:27

do look forward to the opportunity

to be very rear gunner, to use

3:52:273:52:36

terminology very apt in the Armed

Forces and services. This debate is

3:52:363:52:39

not one we wanted to bring to this

house, but it is one we have here

3:52:393:52:44

and we must do it. I congratulate

and thank the Secretary of State and

3:52:443:52:48

the Minister of State for their

contributions to make this happen.

3:52:483:52:53

I am not here either to plead for

direct rule because I am as

3:52:583:53:03

committed to devolution as this

party, and as part of the old

3:53:033:53:07

Assembly from 1988. The work in the

Assembly was always hard, to try to

3:53:073:53:16

plough forward against cost and

opposition, and sometimes in this

3:53:163:53:18

place as well, and yet it was

workable over that period of time

3:53:183:53:24

because people knew they were

elected to do a job. There are MLAs

3:53:243:53:34

who have more than capable of doing

their job but stopped by a red line

3:53:343:53:38

which may as well be the Red Sea.

The problem is we haven't got Moses

3:53:383:53:42

to step forward. Nonetheless the

people who are being caught in this

3:53:423:53:48

are everyday people from all sides

of community, rich and poor,

3:53:483:53:54

catholic and Protestant, Jew and

Muslim, healthy and sick, old and

3:53:543:53:59

young, or are paying the price for

the red line erected by Sinn Fein

3:53:593:54:02

which says nothing is more or

greater than the Irish language act.

3:54:023:54:10

No child that needs a classroom

assistant, no rope that needs

3:54:103:54:18

prepared supersedes the importance

of an Irish language act. It is for

3:54:183:54:24

this reason I have set the budget,

made the ministerial decisions, get

3:54:243:54:29

the process in place and do what we

are capable of doing ourselves and

3:54:293:54:33

prevented from doing back home in

the Assembly. Too many constituents

3:54:333:54:38

are need for this to be prolonged

any more. At the end of the day we

3:54:383:54:43

are doing this for all of the people

of the province. Members said last

3:54:433:54:48

week, I suppose that money will go

to unionist areas, it will go to all

3:54:483:54:53

parts of the province. It is very

clear where it will be allocated and

3:54:533:54:57

for the record we put that in place.

Would be honourable member agree

3:54:573:55:05

with me there is a substantial

contrast win the narrow focus Sinn

3:55:053:55:08

Fein talks to bring the Assembly

down and the much wider and

3:55:083:55:12

comprehensive focus we took in terms

of the confidence and supply motion

3:55:123:55:17

which benefits everybody without

exception in Northern Ireland?

That

3:55:173:55:24

is absolutely correct, and we were

committed to bringing advantages for

3:55:243:55:29

everyone across the whole of the

province and did so so all of the

3:55:293:55:32

people of this province, this money

has been committed to them. The

3:55:323:55:39

losers are people from all corners

of the province. Northern Ireland is

3:55:393:55:47

a disadvantage today because of Sinn

Fein's negativity so the people to

3:55:473:55:52

blame for this are quite rightly

them. I have parents tearing their

3:55:523:55:57

hair out, that their child could not

have help from teaching assistants.

3:55:573:56:13

The need for a classroom assistant,

the need for education assessments

3:56:133:56:17

are very clear. Schools such as

those who provide specialists and

3:56:173:56:25

help children

3:56:253:56:35

thrive. This should not happen, the

school has raised money and they

3:56:363:56:47

don't know what is happening. This I

believe is unacceptable and yet our

3:56:473:56:51

schools are forced to accept this,

with the caveat blame the

3:56:513:56:57

politicians on the Hill, it is Sinn

Fein to blame. The blame lies with

3:56:573:57:05

Sinn Fein. Special schools is a big

issue on the news yesterday. I had a

3:57:053:57:14

number of phone calls, as the

members will have had as well, and

3:57:143:57:25

parents in my constituency phoned to

say they are concerned about where

3:57:253:57:30

their child will lend up and what

will happen. Those who do great work

3:57:303:57:39

with disadvantaged young adults as

well, and we have problems which are

3:57:393:57:43

very apparent and need addressed

right now. Money is flowing in for

3:57:433:57:49

the Irish language schools and other

budgets, this is before an Irish

3:57:493:57:55

language act comes into being. I

have constituents saying where is

3:57:553:58:00

the quality for my school, when

Irish language schools are as happy

3:58:003:58:07

as Larry because they get all the

money they want. Where is equality?

3:58:073:58:12

We hear Sinn Fein talk about

equality, let's have equality for my

3:58:123:58:17

constituents and constituents across

the rest of the province. Where is

3:58:173:58:23

the fairness? How can I explain this

to a child who does not speak Irish?

3:58:233:58:37

One college were waiting for a new

build, the decision over that stance

3:58:373:58:43

clear as well so these are problems

we have got to deal with and every

3:58:433:58:48

school in my constituency and

everybody's constituency across the

3:58:483:58:53

whole of the province deals with

these issues, people complaining

3:58:533:58:56

they cannot access their GPs, and

then GPs complaining they cannot get

3:58:563:59:04

work done urgently. We need to

relieve the burden on GP surgeries.

3:59:043:59:13

These are things we are dealing with

everyday. Hopefully this budget and

3:59:133:59:18

the allocation of money and

ministerial decisions that will come

3:59:183:59:21

will eventually make sure these

systems are sorted. Again we have

3:59:213:59:27

A&Es bursting at the seams, and then

in holes above the normal. I

3:59:273:59:35

remember my partner telling me the

story about hospitals, with two

3:59:353:59:42

people to bed in every ward.

Something needs to be done.

3:59:423:59:50

Regarding funding which would

improve life for people with

3:59:503:59:57

diabetes, monies need to be released

for the nurses who specialise in

3:59:574:00:01

this field and they need to be

budgeted for. Type one diabetics in

4:00:014:00:05

my area those with the largest

number of type one diabetics

4:00:054:00:12

percentage-wise in Northern Ireland

in the whole of the UK, these are

4:00:124:00:17

key issues in our constituency, in

my constituency and constituencies

4:00:174:00:22

across the whole of the province. We

need to bridge the pay gap for

4:00:224:00:26

nurses and this will not be done

without ministerial approval. We

4:00:264:00:30

need care packages to allow Alderley

people to retain independence for as

4:00:304:00:36

long as possible. This cannot be

signed off without ministerial

4:00:364:00:40

direction. We need to ensure people

on restricted diets can access food

4:00:404:00:45

without having to make the case. We

also have the sugar levy tax which

4:00:454:00:50

until that monies will come to

Northern Ireland, we need someone in

4:00:504:00:57

place to make those decisions.

4:00:574:01:07

The scheme can do well addressing

the issue of obesity, and I know my

4:01:084:01:13

honourable friend and members are

well aware of that but we want to

4:01:134:01:16

six a scheme like this across the

whole of Northern Ireland. It is

4:01:164:01:20

something we should be doing. We

also need to... And the funding we

4:01:204:01:25

secured, that 1.4 billion. We need

to have the allocated on put in

4:01:254:01:32

place as well. We need the Bella

Hitch bypass that benefit so many

4:01:324:01:36

people in my constituency and in

Southdown. The MP refuses to come

4:01:364:01:48

here. We are making the point, we

are here to speak role of those

4:01:484:01:53

people, I speak from my constituents

and maybe some of his constituents.

4:01:534:01:58

I'm very grateful to my honourable

friend for giving way, and the

4:01:584:02:01

things I've asked to intervene

because I want to put forward an

4:02:014:02:05

alternative proposal in the road

widening scheme, that is not the

4:02:054:02:12

case. But my honourable friend has

mentioned on a number of occasions

4:02:124:02:16

that something and many things

cannot progress because there's a

4:02:164:02:20

lack ministerial appointments. Does

the honourable friend agree it would

4:02:204:02:25

be useful for the Minister to

indicate whether he is considered

4:02:254:02:30

paragraph four of article four of

the departments of Northern Ireland

4:02:304:02:35

order 1999 which indicates a senior

official can take the decisions for

4:02:354:02:39

those which fault of their

departments in the absence of a

4:02:394:02:43

minister.

I banged my honourable

friend for his intervention and for

4:02:434:02:47

his solution, and direction to the

Minister and the ministers will

4:02:474:02:52

fiercely correspond with their civil

servants to find out how it works.

4:02:524:02:57

On more than one occasion we have

seen it in action, so if it can

4:02:574:03:02

happen in one department it can

happen in all departments so let's

4:03:024:03:04

get that in place. The permanent

secretary needs ministerial

4:03:044:03:10

direction. Will someone sign off on

a bypass please because I would love

4:03:104:03:16

to see that happening. Too many

potholes in roads are damaging cars,

4:03:164:03:26

bringing people to my office who

have never seen an elected

4:03:264:03:32

representative before but do so over

this matter. I mention one because

4:03:324:03:36

miraculously after a lot of

correspondence there was pothole

4:03:364:03:42

which I referred to the Department

on a number of occasions and the

4:03:424:03:45

last time I referred dimension to

the gentleman that if we don't fix

4:03:454:03:49

that potholes soon, we will be

shaking hands with an Australian

4:03:494:03:53

because it was so deep. Cars were

getting damaged everyday. Now it is

4:03:534:03:57

fixed and thank the Lord for that.

We want to remain competitive

4:03:574:04:03

globally through the Brexit

uncertainty. We decision-makers to

4:04:034:04:08

bring us in line with mainland

practices. Someone needs to make

4:04:084:04:13

this decision. We have a budget in

front of us referring to the

4:04:134:04:21

agriculture sector which is very

important and when it comes to

4:04:214:04:24

capital build, I asked the question,

where is the monies for the build

4:04:244:04:30

scheme? The scheme you have in

England, Scotland and Wales but we

4:04:304:04:37

don't have it in Northern Ireland so

we would like to see that in place

4:04:374:04:42

as well. Organisations are doing a

tremendous job but cannot operate

4:04:424:04:47

under uncertainty. Again, we look to

the budget and to perhaps the

4:04:474:04:57

permanent secretary with the

blessing of the Minister of State

4:04:574:04:59

and the Secretary of State doing

that. For all of these reasons, Mr

4:04:594:05:04

Deputy Speaker, I'm bringing to you

what I should have brought to the

4:05:044:05:08

ministers and safe while setting the

budget allocates the powers as well,

4:05:084:05:11

as my right honourable friend for

east Belfast referred to and

4:05:114:05:15

referred to very well. To those

capable of making decisions and will

4:05:154:05:18

make the decision to stop this

floundering about which has left our

4:05:184:05:22

constituents frustrated,

unrepresented on second-class

4:05:224:05:27

citizens. I would ask consideration

is given to the issues raised today

4:05:274:05:30

when signing the budget of more than

this, that the system is enacted to

4:05:304:05:35

run again as a country instead of

being in limbo and no man's land,

4:05:354:05:40

the austerity programme. They have

tried to break the Assembly, they

4:05:404:05:46

have tried to destroy Northern

Ireland, and no matter what language

4:05:464:05:49

you say that in, it is wrong. Let's

hope this is the first stage in

4:05:494:05:55

stopping just that. I conclude with

this last comment. Northern Ireland

4:05:554:05:59

has weathered the last year but that

heavy price has been paid by

4:05:594:06:04

voluntary sector workers, by

community groups, by our NHS, our

4:06:044:06:09

education boards and schools. They

are done paying for someone else's

4:06:094:06:13

refusal and I look to the Secretary

of State and the Minister of State

4:06:134:06:17

and this Government to take the

power, make the decisions, get the

4:06:174:06:21

country back on its feet and put

Sinn Fein back in the corner they

4:06:214:06:28

already skulk in.

Thank you for

calling me in this debate,

4:06:284:06:35

understand the Minister of State

will be replying to many of the

4:06:354:06:38

points made throughout this debate

and I want to add to his list of

4:06:384:06:41

replies that I think are absolutely

vital for going forward. I know the

4:06:414:06:48

Minister of State since he's been

appointed in looking at the budget

4:06:484:06:51

and how we have got to this point,

he's also created an expectation

4:06:514:06:56

because he's been very diligent,

he's been going around Northern

4:06:564:06:59

Ireland and visiting the Police

Service of Northern Ireland, and

4:06:594:07:04

with many other groups and along

with the Secretary of State making a

4:07:044:07:08

case of listening to needs, and I

suppose creating an expectation

4:07:084:07:13

those needs will rightly be

addressed. Of course to echo

4:07:134:07:17

everything that has been said by

every other member in this House, we

4:07:174:07:22

would rather those expectations were

being addressed by a functioning

4:07:224:07:26

Northern Ireland executive and

Assembly. However, we have to smell

4:07:264:07:31

the coffee at some point and

recognise that is not the case at

4:07:314:07:34

the present time and will probably

not be the case for the remainder

4:07:344:07:37

part of this year realistically

speaking. If that is the case, I

4:07:374:07:45

think that given between now and

June the Minister is going to have

4:07:454:07:49

to look at the next budget and how

we deal with the incoming

4:07:494:07:54

expenditure and setting targets, I

think it is important he does cast

4:07:544:07:57

his mind onto certain matters.

4:07:574:08:03

I want to focus on one part of the

portfolio which I have

4:08:034:08:07

responsibility for, the issue of

sport. We have a very successful

4:08:074:08:11

sport tourism portfolio. In a

moment...

4:08:114:08:14

Indeed, in the coming year we are

about to have the northern Ireland

4:08:144:08:21

golf tourism really take off. And,

of course, that has been started in

4:08:214:08:25

the last week by the success of Rory

McIlroy setting a particular

4:08:254:08:30

standard of achievement. Of course,

I will give away.

I thank the

4:08:304:08:36

honourable member for giving way.

When he speaks of smelling the

4:08:364:08:40

coffee and the importance to our

economy of driving things forward,

4:08:404:08:43

will be aware that one of the

success stories, one of many in

4:08:434:08:49

Northern Ireland's success stories

in the past 14 months is the pure

4:08:494:08:52

roast coffee company in my

constituency, which has now struck a

4:08:524:08:56

deal to supply coffee across China.

So there is good news and we should

4:08:564:09:01

welcome it.

The vast amount of tea drunk in the

4:09:014:09:11

population it is good we are now

exporting Coffey! And indeed to the

4:09:114:09:15

largest market in the world. But

turning very specifically to the

4:09:154:09:19

issue of golf tourism, we will have

an influx of golf tourists coming to

4:09:194:09:24

Northern Ireland for the Irish open

and indeed the Open in 2019. The

4:09:244:09:32

organisation but more importantly

golf clubs in Northern Ireland and

4:09:324:09:35

Royal Portrush in particular will

need certainty about the finance for

4:09:354:09:46

those organisations and tournaments.

I am asking the Minister of State to

4:09:464:09:49

make sure that immediately and that

there is no delay on this, and that

4:09:494:09:54

immediately those organisations get

certainty and clarity about finance

4:09:544:09:58

expenditure for golf tourism, in

particular. This is going to be the

4:09:584:10:02

single largest shop window for

Northern Ireland going forward. A

4:10:024:10:07

very positive shop window and it

needs to therefore been properly

4:10:074:10:12

underwritten by the terms of

expenditure.

4:10:124:10:14

I thank my honourable friend for

giving way. Would my honourable

4:10:144:10:18

friend agree with me that we have an

excellent number of ambassadors for

4:10:184:10:22

golf in Northern Ireland? Including

extending congratulations to our

4:10:224:10:27

very own Rory McIlroy, and that this

is the perfect time with Rory

4:10:274:10:35

McIlroy back on form and winning

across the world to maximise in

4:10:354:10:38

terms of tourism and golf in

Northern Ireland, yes, it would

4:10:384:10:42

always be we mentioned Rory, Darren

and Graeme but now there are so

4:10:424:10:49

many, I can't get into naming them

all the time because you might at

4:10:494:10:53

offend one of them for leaving them

out!

4:10:534:10:56

The member for South Belfast is

absolutely right, we do have a great

4:10:564:10:59

golf ambassador in Rory and many

others. Of course I will give way

4:10:594:11:04

stop here I am very grateful indeed,

Mr Deputy Speaker.

4:11:044:11:08

I'm sure the honourable member is

coming to the line in his comments

4:11:084:11:11

that makes it quite career

that Rory

McIlroy trained in the Holyrood golf

4:11:114:11:23

club and to put it on the map and

I'm sure there will be tourism to go

4:11:234:11:27

and see where he trained to be so

successful.

That's not where I want

4:11:274:11:34

to be, come on Mr Paisley.

I will put the sandwich away and

4:11:344:11:40

come to another discipline, Mr

Deputy Speaker, if you don't mind.

4:11:404:11:45

The last executive, in a wisdom,

before they were put out of their

4:11:454:11:50

position, very kindly pointed me

chairman for motorsport. There are

4:11:504:12:02

motorsport events for January occur

in Northern Ireland and before June,

4:12:024:12:07

very significantly the North West

200 will require financial certainty

4:12:074:12:11

from the Minister of State. I would

like to make sure he is able to give

4:12:114:12:16

that financial certainty and ensures

he talks to the relevant departments

4:12:164:12:21

and indicates that proper finance

will be put in place for the largest

4:12:214:12:24

outdoor sporting event that occurs

not only in Northern Ireland, but in

4:12:244:12:30

the entire island of Ireland. It

attracts over 100,000 people

4:12:304:12:35

annually to the triangle and a

significant for sport in Northern

4:12:354:12:45

Ireland and the community relations.

Motorsport is one of those things

4:12:454:12:48

that attract all people of all

classes and creeds and is something

4:12:484:12:53

Northern Ireland excels in and it is

something that requires certainty,

4:12:534:12:56

in terms of the provision of support

to allow that race to go ahead. The

4:12:564:13:03

Ulster Grand Prix is also

significantly also requiring

4:13:034:13:14

certainty before the August

timetable. I would ask the Minister

4:13:144:13:17

of State to look into that and to

ensure that those departments are

4:13:174:13:22

properly told by him, told by an

Minister, that funding must be put

4:13:224:13:27

in place.

Looking forward to 2021, the youth

4:13:274:13:30

Commonwealth Games, plans are

already being put in place now for

4:13:304:13:36

the Youth Commonwealth Games. It is

a central certainty is given to the

4:13:364:13:40

organisation so they can market

Northern Ireland around the world as

4:13:404:13:44

the location, as the destination for

those Games. That won't happen in

4:13:444:13:48

the six months before it, that has

to happen years in advance and I

4:13:484:13:52

would ask the Minister of State to

put his mind to making sure the

4:13:524:13:56

department is put on notice that he

will be breathing down their necks

4:13:564:14:00

to make sure there are proper

resources for these proper showcase

4:14:004:14:05

event for Northern Ireland is in

place. Thank you.

4:14:054:14:11

Thank you very, very much indeed Mr

Deputy Speaker. May I say, we've had

4:14:114:14:16

an extraordinarily interesting

afternoon which started off with

4:14:164:14:18

almost a political first, almost a

Parliamentary first. A Secretary of

4:14:184:14:22

State came to the dispatch box

longing to give up power. Desperate

4:14:224:14:27

to actually Slough off some of the

responsibilities of office when the

4:14:274:14:32

rest of us, obviously I excuse

myself and honourable colleagues

4:14:324:14:36

present, most of us are climbing the

greasy pole with rapidity but no,

4:14:364:14:40

the Secretary of State spurns the

trappings of authority and wants to

4:14:404:14:43

have no part of it. I have to say, I

have an enormous amount of sympathy,

4:14:434:14:47

because in all honesty, what we have

heard this afternoon is almost an

4:14:474:14:51

admission of failure. We've heard an

admission whereby there are issues

4:14:514:14:55

we are discussing here that we

simply shouldn't be discussing. We

4:14:554:15:01

actually do need to talk about the

things that really matter to this

4:15:014:15:05

house and four representatives in

Northern Ireland to talk about

4:15:054:15:07

things that matter there.

We heard an extremely forensic

4:15:074:15:11

analysis from the member for South

West Wiltshire on the bill. He'd

4:15:114:15:15

brought to the build the same

scalpel like skill he used to bring

4:15:154:15:19

to human beings, most of whom

survived. I have to say that in this

4:15:194:15:23

particular case, to break down the

bill in the wake he did,

4:15:234:15:27

particularly in his comments on the

role of the audit office, and he

4:15:274:15:31

said quite correctly that permanent

secretaries should not be dealing

4:15:314:15:35

with the closure of health facility.

I think in many ways that brought us

4:15:354:15:39

to the nub of what we were talking

about this afternoon. The honourable

4:15:394:15:41

lady for Edinburgh said she was

reluctant agreement, but I think in

4:15:414:15:47

a very potent phrase she said, we've

got to somehow keep the light and

4:15:474:15:51

heat on. We don't normally talk

about heating in these debates, but

4:15:514:15:55

in this particular case, keeping the

lights on heat and was entirely

4:15:554:16:00

appropriate. I think the

contribution from the honourable

4:16:004:16:03

member of Lewes has attracted much

support and comment. I think she

4:16:034:16:06

spoke not just from the heart and a

position of authority that I think

4:16:064:16:10

she spoke the essential truth in her

contribution. I think the references

4:16:104:16:15

she made to the bill ferocity deal

were very, very potent, Mr Deputy

4:16:154:16:21

Speaker, because it is matters like

that that really concern the people

4:16:214:16:24

of Northern Ireland rather more than

what we are saying here in this

4:16:244:16:27

chamber.

I have to say, the honourable member

4:16:274:16:32

for East Antrim showed it again what

an immense loss he is to the world

4:16:324:16:36

of higher education. When I think

there is an entire education of

4:16:364:16:40

schoolchildren in Northern Ireland

who learned that his feet, and

4:16:404:16:42

studied underneath him and

survived... But he gave us a

4:16:424:16:50

masterclass again, but he also

talked about misconceptions and I

4:16:504:16:54

think he is absolutely right to

refer to that. And like his pupils,

4:16:544:16:58

I feel honoured and a better person

for having heard that.

4:16:584:17:03

The honourable member for North

Belfast, I have to say, widened the

4:17:034:17:08

scope of the bill somewhat and

brought us to Brexit among other

4:17:084:17:12

things. He incorporated an

extraordinary amount of detail but

4:17:124:17:15

in many ways this is quite correct,

because this bill does impact on so

4:17:154:17:19

many other areas. He also talked

about going about the peoples

4:17:194:17:24

business. Mr Deputy Speaker, that is

a very potent phrase. He is actually

4:17:244:17:29

talking about, we should be going

about the people's business in our

4:17:294:17:33

constituencies, whether they be in

Northern Ireland or here. Shouldn't

4:17:334:17:36

be doing this and I think the right

honourable member for North Belfast

4:17:364:17:42

spoke not just good sense but with

great, with a sense of rightness on

4:17:424:17:47

inside and I think it was very, very

good to hear it.

4:17:474:17:50

The honourable lady from Belfast

South, please I hope she will not

4:17:504:17:55

think me patronising when I say in

the short she has been in this House

4:17:554:17:59

she has grown in stature and spoken

superbly again. She said, again from

4:17:594:18:03

the heart, that today was a

Saturday. In that I think she

4:18:034:18:07

enunciated the spirit of the House.

She talked about the demographic

4:18:074:18:11

deficit and I think in passing she

referred to the paucity of members

4:18:114:18:17

here present. Mr Deputy Speaker,

that is their loss, because we have

4:18:174:18:22

heard some excellent speakers today,

including the honourable member for

4:18:224:18:25

Belfast South, who also talked about

the impact on SEM and education,

4:18:254:18:30

which are issues we should be

concentrating on. We should actually

4:18:304:18:32

talking about them.

The honourable member for South

4:18:324:18:36

Antrim talked about the roads that

needed repairing and problems in

4:18:364:18:40

health and higher education and may

I prevail upon your legendary

4:18:404:18:46

generosity of spirit, Mr Deputy

Speaker, to say was a great pleasure

4:18:464:18:48

yesterday to meet the Honourable

gentleman from South Antrim with

4:18:484:18:54

Grayson Nesbitt, who worked in the

Department of Finance, who came here

4:18:544:18:57

to receive her well-deserved OBE,

accompanied by her delightful

4:18:574:19:01

daughter. Normally when the

honourable gentleman the Strangford

4:19:014:19:07

stands I feel we have saved the very

best for last.

4:19:074:19:11

I thought he was to be the last

week. He introduced us to the giant

4:19:114:19:15

pothole of Newton arts. Now this

will, I have no doubt, be one of the

4:19:154:19:23

signature destinations in Northern

Ireland before long. We had the

4:19:234:19:27

giant 's Causeway and the walled

city and we will soon have the giant

4:19:274:19:31

pothole of Newton arts. It would be

difficult not to score a hole in one

4:19:314:19:39

where that giant pothole is

concerned, but the thought of the

4:19:394:19:43

DUP opening an Australian branch

accidentally is one that doesn't

4:19:434:19:50

worry me over much but I understand

a certain concerns being expressed

4:19:504:19:54

in the Antipodes. He spoke about

important things, like bursaries for

4:19:544:19:58

medical students, and I think it is

that combination of the local, the

4:19:584:20:06

minute I, the real bread and butter

issues of his local politics with

4:20:064:20:10

the big issues that make him such an

excellent speaker.

4:20:104:20:13

The honourable gentleman for North

Antrim, I have to say, suddenly led

4:20:134:20:19

us into a completely new direction.

The entire House almost led to its

4:20:194:20:24

feet in animation as we started to

talk about golf and tourism and the

4:20:244:20:28

Northwest 300. I think we could have

actually carried on for another

4:20:284:20:33

couple of hours like this. Yes...

When you are talking about, when the

4:20:334:20:43

honourable gentleman is talking

about the Northwest 300, Portrush,

4:20:434:20:49

Port Stewart, that triangle, is it a

sheer coincidence, I ask my friend,

4:20:494:20:54

that right in the middle of that

triangle is the Bushmills

4:20:544:20:58

distillery? LAUGHTER

I'm more familiar with Bob Stewart

4:20:584:21:06

than Paul Stewart but there may be a

distillery along that route. I also

4:21:064:21:10

remember there is demountable

traffic signs and street furniture

4:21:104:21:14

which can be moved to the side,

thanks to Joey Dunlop's

4:21:144:21:19

inspirational leadership. Mr Deputy

Speaker, although I have referred to

4:21:194:21:23

your legendary generosity of spirit,

I think even you might be tempted to

4:21:234:21:27

rise and for me to have to use it

were we to go into more discussions.

4:21:274:21:32

Mr Deputy Speaker, can I just say,

ultimately we are talking about a

4:21:324:21:37

subject that none of us really want

to be addressing here in this

4:21:374:21:42

chamber. Last Thursday I attended

the excellent housing conference

4:21:424:21:49

organised and run on the Titanic

centre. To hear people talking about

4:21:494:21:52

housing issues in Northern Ireland,

the problems of substandard housing,

4:21:524:21:56

the problems of needing to adapt

properties for people with special

4:21:564:21:58

needs, those are the issues we

should be talking about. This

4:21:584:22:02

afternoon we talked about the York

Street instant change. It is that

4:22:024:22:06

that should be discussed in

Stormont, not in Westminster. It is

4:22:064:22:10

important and it matters to the

people of Northern Ireland. We

4:22:104:22:14

shouldn't be having to even mention

that here and now. The honourable

4:22:144:22:18

gentleman for North West

Cambridgeshire was referred to

4:22:184:22:21

earlier run by the honourable member

for North Antrim when it was

4:22:214:22:24

remarked upon that the honourable

gentleman was going around

4:22:244:22:26

travelling in the highways and

byways of Northern Ireland stirring

4:22:264:22:31

up expectations and actually giving

people the anticipation of delivery.

4:22:314:22:36

I have every confidence and faith in

the honourable gentleman for North

4:22:364:22:41

West Cambridge. I consider him a

friend, I appreciate that might

4:22:414:22:45

breach Parliamentary protocol and it

has broadly doomed his career as

4:22:454:22:47

well, but I consider him a friend.

Adding we have a duty to be

4:22:474:22:52

evangelical and optimistic. I think

the people of Northern Ireland, the

4:22:524:22:55

great people of Northern Ireland,

some of the greatest people I have

4:22:554:22:58

ever had the privilege of meeting,

deserve better. They deserve more

4:22:584:23:01

than better, they deserve the best.

They deserve the best from their

4:23:014:23:06

elected representatives in their own

part of the world. What we have done

4:23:064:23:11

today has been technical, it has

been necessary but I wish we hadn't

4:23:114:23:14

had to do it. Thank you.

4:23:144:23:16

Thank you very much Mr Deputy

Speaker, it is a pleasure to be at

4:23:214:23:25

this debate this afternoon. Matt

first of all start by thinking, the

4:23:254:23:35

right honourable members across the

house for the contributions to

4:23:354:23:38

today's debate. In particular I

would like to thank the opposition

4:23:384:23:42

front bench for the support for

these necessary steps to safeguard

4:23:424:23:46

public finances, public services, of

our government. In bringing for this

4:23:464:23:56

bill, we take a crucially important

step for the previous year. Given

4:23:564:24:01

the large the technical measure of

what is proposed, I intend to be

4:24:014:24:08

brief, while responding to the

detailed points raised. The

4:24:084:24:14

honourable member when he made his

opening remarks made reference to

4:24:144:24:23

several points, Secretary of State,

indeed responded to many of them but

4:24:234:24:26

I hope he is comforted and that

there has been some confusion, and

4:24:264:24:35

appreciate that the issue of victims

pensions Earth, devolved to the his

4:24:354:24:42

assembly.

4:24:424:24:42

Dissolve the assembly. My rightful

friend, replied that the detail in

4:24:464:24:52

regards to the specific questions,

can I do say that as far as

4:24:524:24:55

scheduled three is concerned, this

is cash to be drawn down from the

4:24:554:25:01

consolidated fund to pay from... And

use of resources only, but it does

4:25:014:25:11

include non-cash items, such as

depreciation costs. And on a house

4:25:114:25:17

inquiry, we cover that quite

extensively, he would appreciate

4:25:174:25:23

that no recommendations were made by

the assembly before collapse, and

4:25:234:25:28

that is something that my right

honourable friend, was able to

4:25:284:25:34

confirm. My honourable friend, also

spoke of the costs of poor

4:25:344:25:44

-- border. This budget deal deals

with the 2070 2018 budget, the

4:25:494:25:57

spending decisions include any

allocations required for Brexit

4:25:574:25:59

costs remains for demonstration to

take. The

4:25:594:26:06

for the 18 2019 years as well. For

the Northern Ireland, can I clarify

4:26:094:26:23

one particular point, and that is,

can I clarify one particular point,

4:26:234:26:28

when the Secretary of State spoke in

response to a question during the

4:26:284:26:35

statement she gave last week, she

spoke of writing to the head of the

4:26:354:26:40

civil service. She spoke of writing

to him, rode to the permanent

4:26:404:26:46

secretary, and did

4:26:464:26:48

-- clarify that particular issue.

The minister is aware that last

4:26:554:27:06

week, the head of the civil service,

gave evidence under oath to be RHI

4:27:064:27:14

inquiry, he did explain that

ministers in the past, not all of

4:27:144:27:24

them, some ministers had given

instruction to officials, to civil

4:27:244:27:28

servants that decisions about

expenditure in order to avoid

4:27:284:27:36

leaking information, sinks they are

going to begin budgets, and make

4:27:364:27:42

decisions about the expenditure, but

the minister confirmed for the

4:27:424:27:47

benefit of all of us, and indeed the

people of Northern Ireland that that

4:27:474:27:51

policy is no longer in place and

that they are indeed keeping records

4:27:514:27:56

of those they meet at all meetings

that they have in relation to this

4:27:564:28:00

budget.

I am grateful to the lady,

the right honourable Lady, it would

4:28:004:28:10

not be appropriate for me to comment

on it as such.

For home I have high

4:28:104:28:21

regard, this is nothing to do with

RHI inquiry, I am not asking about

4:28:214:28:26

the RHI, I'm inquiring because it is

ongoing, this is a separate issue.

4:28:264:28:34

In evidence to the inquiry, the head

of the civil service, confirmed that

4:28:344:28:40

ministers, and they understood that

they had given them instructions to

4:28:404:28:45

civil servants that they would not

be capped off meetings in order to

4:28:454:28:51

avoid... I'm pleased to say that

there is some headshaking here, can

4:28:514:28:58

I just have the minister confirmed

that all permanent secretaries who

4:28:584:29:01

are now running have given

instructions to civil servants that

4:29:014:29:07

minutes will be kept of all meetings

and decisions recorded at those

4:29:074:29:09

meetings.

I hope she will appreciate

that there are no ministers and the

4:29:094:29:19

Northern Ireland assembly is and is

for them to give instructions to

4:29:194:29:21

permanent secretaries, I cannot give

her the assurance that she seeks

4:29:214:29:27

because...

4:29:274:29:29

Moving on, the honourable member, I

am grateful for her support, she

4:29:334:29:38

spoke of the delay in this bill

coming forward, but I hope she will

4:29:384:29:44

appreciate that we have been very

keen on trying to get the assembly

4:29:444:29:50

up and running again. And only

recently, through intensive talks,

4:29:504:29:55

to try and progress matters. So we

have kept this for the last minute,

4:29:554:30:00

because we were hoping that we would

not have to take the decisions that

4:30:004:30:03

we are taking today. Mr Deputy

Speaker, my honourable friend raised

4:30:034:30:10

a number of issues and I... Gives

financial clarity to Northern

4:30:104:30:19

Ireland departments. It reflects the

feedback of the Northern Ireland

4:30:194:30:27

civil service budget consultation

and advice from the Northern Ireland

4:30:274:30:31

civil service on board key pressures

like, such as health and education,

4:30:314:30:35

it is a balanced budget providing

secure basis for protecting and

4:30:354:30:40

preserving public services. The, she

also spoke of the city deals and of

4:30:404:30:47

course she is aware that work is

ongoing, on these deals. Councils,

4:30:474:30:55

civil service, magistrate are all

involved, and charging the way for.

4:30:554:31:00

But she had a house will appreciate

that we do need the assembly,

4:31:004:31:04

because they have a huge

contribution to make in terms of

4:31:044:31:07

progressing those dissolved

assemblies. She also made reference

4:31:074:31:14

to the apprenticeship levy, to

clarify it has been allocated and

4:31:144:31:23

share of the apprenticeship levy and

it is available to the North Island

4:31:234:31:26

civil service for allocating.

However, in line with the

4:31:264:31:29

settlement, it is not for the UK

Government to dictate how Northern

4:31:294:31:36

Ireland's share is actually spent.

And again, this issue highlights the

4:31:364:31:43

need for having that assembly up and

running. Mr Deputy Speaker, the

4:31:434:31:51

honourable member, spoke with his

customary manner and passion and it

4:31:514:31:58

was good to hear that he upped

clarify the purpose of this bill

4:31:584:32:00

board has been some misunderstanding

amongst members of the house. The

4:32:004:32:05

honourable member for Belfast North

again, passionate speech where she

4:32:054:32:11

normally delivers, -- he normally

delivers. From this perspective, the

4:32:114:32:20

crucial decisions to be taken as we

do here today. The honourable member

4:32:204:32:27

spoke of a person with periods and

it was certainly beneficial to the

4:32:274:32:34

house to hear that. And she also

spoke of the need to get decisions

4:32:344:32:39

made and where the example she gave,

the special-needs sector and

4:32:394:32:43

education. Which is one of the

examples. The honourable member

4:32:434:32:48

again, he spoke of the lack of

decisions with examples being given

4:32:484:32:52

an education and health, but he also

highlighted the additional funds for

4:32:524:32:56

the supply agreement which, it is

important to remember benefit all

4:32:564:33:02

the people of Northern Ireland. The

honourable member again, for the

4:33:024:33:15

need to reinforce the need for

decisions to be taken and we had two

4:33:154:33:22

Pacific pin specific

4:33:224:33:22

specific questions, I appreciate

very much and the House does as well

4:33:274:33:30

the importance to the economy, the

answer that he does not want that as

4:33:304:33:42

a matter that involves this simply

for the youth Commonwealth Games.

4:33:424:33:48

And at what so important to try to

try to get that assembly up and

4:33:484:33:51

running.

I wholeheartedly agree that

the best case in the world, it is a

4:33:514:33:59

matter for the Northern Ireland

assembly, but reality check, the

4:33:594:34:03

assembly is gone. It is gone for

now. We would love to have it back,

4:34:034:34:07

but we have to start planning and

put in place an emergency plan

4:34:074:34:11

delicate certainty for funding of

events going forward. And that does

4:34:114:34:14

not take away from the assembly

restored as soon as possible. I just

4:34:144:34:19

hope that it would take that away,

please give certainty to these

4:34:194:34:25

organisations in terms of sport, and

in terms of our games.

I take on

4:34:254:34:30

board with the honourable Joan and

says that he will appreciate that

4:34:304:34:33

the bill before us is of a technical

nature as I said in my opening

4:34:334:34:37

comments. It is technical, it is

specific, if you'll forgive me but I

4:34:374:34:42

will stick to the terms of the

building -- bill that is right

4:34:424:34:48

before us. This constituency, I hope

he will be pleased to know that last

4:34:484:34:56

Thursday, I was at the market in

London supporting some 14 Northern

4:34:564:35:01

Ireland businesses, dealing with

food and drink. But I have to say

4:35:014:35:07

that they all seem to be doing very

well in terms of business and seem

4:35:074:35:11

to have picked up contacts here in

terms of traders here, we will take

4:35:114:35:18

gets

4:35:184:35:20

goods from them in the future. He

asked a specific question in terms

4:35:254:35:33

of the Northern Ireland border in

1999. What I will say is that the

4:35:334:35:37

Department of Northern Ireland 1999

in article four, paragraph three,

4:35:374:35:42

the decisions made by senior

officials permanent secretaries

4:35:424:35:47

consider legal authorities, every

day in line with legislation. But it

4:35:474:35:51

is a technical issue and I hope that

that gives you some comfort.

For

4:35:514:35:57

that and his right to paragraph

three rather than for, as I

4:35:574:36:03

misdirected him earlier. But Mr,

does he not believe that just having

4:36:034:36:09

reflected upon the provisions, and

of course it opinion may be sought.

4:36:094:36:15

But that piece of legislation

fundamentally underlines this

4:36:154:36:19

blanket stance that no decisions can

be taken until ministers are

4:36:194:36:25

appointed there. Is their

flexibility and a legislation that

4:36:254:36:29

is suggested in the political

atmosphere and the discussions that

4:36:294:36:34

we have currently, given that it's

there that we should use them.

The

4:36:344:36:41

honourable gentleman is a very

distinguished lawyer and he would

4:36:414:36:43

therefore appreciate given the

context in which I'm speaking, I

4:36:434:36:50

would prefer and I speak as one

lawyer to another, to read that

4:36:504:36:54

particular clause in a wider context

before I make any more commitments

4:36:544:36:59

to it. And he will appreciate that I

am not in a position to make that

4:36:594:37:03

comment right now. And so hopefully

he will be content with that. I

4:37:034:37:07

think the smile on his face says

that, yes, he

4:37:074:37:17

Mr Deputy Speaker, with the view...

The trying his luck in pushing me

4:37:174:37:24

further than at the dock Mr Deputy

Speaker, I would like to retrieve

4:37:244:37:27

the point made me by my right

honourable friend the Secretary of

4:37:274:37:31

State that the Bill before us does

not set out... That will be done in

4:37:314:37:37

the summer through a budget bill, I

hope by restoring executive

4:37:374:37:42

following on the Government

estimates process. The Bill before

4:37:424:37:48

us concerns departmental allocations

for 2017 and 2010, reflecting final

4:37:484:37:52

spending totals and revised

allocations. It also -- 2018. To be

4:37:524:38:04

clear, Mr Speaker, this is all money

that is either locally raised or

4:38:044:38:07

which has been previously subject to

a vote in Parliament. This is simply

4:38:074:38:13

about formalizing the allocations of

funding during the year in Northern

4:38:134:38:19

Ireland departments. Pastor

providing authorisation -- as for

4:38:194:38:26

providing authorisation, I can

assure that this is in line with

4:38:264:38:31

usual processes. Laster, Northern

Ireland permanent secretaries are

4:38:314:38:34

forced to rely on emergency powers

-- last year. I hope collies will

4:38:344:38:44

agree that it would not be

acceptable to invite the same

4:38:444:38:47

uncertainty again. The issue of

scrutiny and accountability was

4:38:474:38:54

raised and that is important to

appreciate that is there. As as been

4:38:544:39:00

set, measures before us relate to

the formalizing of allocations with

4:39:004:39:05

the previous financial year. As the

Secretary of State said, -- as the

4:39:054:39:15

former Secretary of State said,

there are records in place to report

4:39:154:39:21

the... Last week, my right

honourable friend the Secretary of

4:39:214:39:30

State placed the first two

departmental responses to Northern

4:39:304:39:34

Ireland audit departments www. We

stand ready to continue that

4:39:344:39:44

process... Mr Speaker, I wish to

emphasise we would be to the De

4:39:444:40:01

Greef rated as low as possible for

that to happen. But in the absence

4:40:014:40:04

of an executive, as they sit there

public services. This is why it is

4:40:044:40:16

so important that the Bill's second

reading his pass today. I beg of

4:40:164:40:21

this bill be read a second time.

The

question is that the Bill be read a

4:40:214:40:27

second time. The ayes have it, the

ayes have it. Under the order of the

4:40:274:40:36

House today, which now moved to the

committee of the that order.

4:40:364:40:41

We begin with clause one. The

question is a close one... -- clause

4:41:014:41:11

one. The ayes have it, the ayes have

it. With leave of the committee come

4:41:114:41:15

I will put as one question the

clauses 2-9... The ayes have it, the

4:41:154:41:30

ayes have it. Order.

4:41:304:41:37

I begged her for the victim and his

counter the Bill directly to report

4:41:574:42:01

the same without amendment.

Under

the order of the House, we moved

4:42:014:42:07

directly to third reading. To move

third reading... Formally. The

4:42:074:42:16

question is that the Bill be read a

third time, as many of that opinion

4:42:164:42:20

said I... The ayes have it, the ayes

have it. We move on... We've got, my

4:42:204:42:35

work, the numbers have changed,

4-9... The ayes have it, the ayes

4:42:354:42:46

have it. We now come to motion

number 9. What's wrong with this

4:42:464:42:55

thing? It does save 9 here. Now come

to motion number ten. The ayes have

4:42:554:43:09

it, the ayes have it. This time it's

done correctly, where Albright!

4:43:094:43:18

Thank you, Philippa. The less we are

all right. -- we are all right. She

4:43:184:43:30

wants to take number nine

separately. We've already done

4:43:304:43:45

number nine, were onto 11-21. As

many of that opinion CI, the

4:43:454:43:54

contrary know. The ayes have it. A

neck of the presentation to put the

4:43:544:44:03

petitions.

I'm glad that we got

here. It takes a lot to excite the

4:44:034:44:08

good people of Albert Ketelbey and

Todd Lockley -- the good people...

4:44:084:44:17

The petition reads, the proposed

closure of the average family --

4:44:194:44:32

Aberfeldy. We ask that the

Department for Business, industrial

4:44:324:44:39

and judge and the rollback is common

to reconsider the community harming

4:44:394:44:43

and flawed argument about bad bank

voters. Further notes that the Royal

4:44:434:44:49

Vegas context into account the

concerns of petitioners and take

4:44:494:44:52

whatever steps they can to have the

planned closure of the branches

4:44:524:44:56

halted and the petitioners remain

etc.

4:44:564:45:02

Thank you. Point of order.

Thank you

Mr Deputy Speaker. A number of

4:45:124:45:22

member subsequent visits of the

Wells constituency in recent months,

4:45:224:45:25

where the Leader of the

Opposition... This was the case last

4:45:254:45:30

Friday, with the visit of the

honourable member for Stroud, who

4:45:304:45:34

chaired a public meeting. Numbers

ups and have not always found the

4:45:344:45:38

time to give advance notice. Within

the stores, the Dutch with English

4:45:384:45:43

chores make upon us, -- English

tourism week.

Atticus was to remind

4:45:434:46:00

all members of the cells, whichever

party they are, Curtis is our dish

4:46:004:46:03

and let the member know if you're

going on political business. If it's

4:46:034:46:08

on the record, I'm sure that

everybody will note it. Thank you.

I

4:46:084:46:13

beg to move that this House do now

adjourn.

Hold onto your seat. While

4:46:134:46:25

I take you to the history of greater

Manchester's transit network. This

4:46:254:46:30

is... Well, we could have two hours

on this. But if it's any help, I

4:46:304:46:35

promise not to take us anywhere near

that.

Unless there's trouble on the

4:46:354:46:39

line number get delayed.

I'm

grateful if my friend is going to

4:46:394:46:45

give us a history of Manchester's

travel number, which I look forward

4:46:454:46:49

to, Willie also join me in paying

tribute to the man described as Mr

4:46:494:46:55

MetroLink, counsellor Andrew Fender,

with -- without whom we might not

4:46:554:47:04

have a transit...

Counsellor Fender,

for many people in Manchester, has

4:47:044:47:14

been an inspiration. He is quiet and

reserved as a character. He's not

4:47:144:47:19

somebody who grandstands, who seeks

attention. The work requires a lot

4:47:194:47:30

of time and dedication, and I have

absolutely no doubt that without the

4:47:304:47:33

time that he put in, the transport

and greater Manchester, and a

4:47:334:47:39

transit system in terms of the bus

network and cycling routes in

4:47:394:47:43

particular, then greater Manchester

would not be as against today as it

4:47:434:47:46

is. I think that is a fitting

tribute and thank you for that

4:47:464:47:49

intervention. Greater Manchester's

tram network opened in 1992, and

4:47:494:47:56

it's not the UK's biggest light rail

network. It's essential to greater

4:47:564:48:02

Manchester's economy, we know how

important it is. Getting people from

4:48:024:48:07

H a B is important -- from A to B.

-- A to B. It covers 60 miles over

4:48:074:48:30

93 stops, but as always and greater

Manchester, we are not content to

4:48:304:48:36

stand still. We want to go even

further still. At the moment, new

4:48:364:48:42

line is being built and it will

provide connectivity in one of

4:48:424:48:48

your's largest employment size. It

will mean people across greater

4:48:484:48:51

Manchester will be able to travel

across through the city centre onto

4:48:514:48:55

traffic park and capitalising on the

jobs that are being created there.

4:48:554:48:59

This builds on the success of the

airport my double take people to

4:48:594:49:02

Manchester Airport, which one of our

father that it's essential -- it's

4:49:024:49:11

essential for...

Just on that

subject, ever mindful that the

4:49:114:49:18

Government has committed to reducing

pollution levels, dismembered and

4:49:184:49:24

agree that a working modern

technology friendly public transport

4:49:244:49:30

system is essential for a city like

Manchester and expansion of services

4:49:304:49:34

to attract more people to use the

service, making it more effective

4:49:344:49:38

and therefore cost effective and be

of benefit to the environment?

4:49:384:49:45

That's a very important point around

how important it is for the

4:49:454:49:48

environment and economy. But I

might...

To the honourable

4:49:484:50:06

gentleman, and Estes in the mode

four providing extensions, the end

4:50:064:50:13

of the line comes out to my

constituency, and we'd love to see

4:50:134:50:22

that the dots we get true

connectivity around the southern

4:50:224:50:24

area.

I think that's a very

important point. I think there's a

4:50:244:50:28

case to be made, I will come onto

some potential routes in the future.

4:50:284:50:33

Not only for the line to be extended

on through, but also for a

4:50:334:50:38

connection from Ashton through to

Stockport and threw to the airport

4:50:384:50:42

because as much as the connections

in outer Manchester city are

4:50:424:50:47

important, so are the orbital links

around the ... We ought to be

4:50:474:50:56

ambitious. But we need to do is

create a transport mission that will

4:50:564:51:00

take us over decades, and people who

laid the foundation for Manchester's

4:51:004:51:04

current MetroLink system came up

with that idea. That nugget of how

4:51:044:51:09

Manchester could be different. Many

many generations before, and I think

4:51:094:51:14

its apart now that we take on that

responsibility for the next

4:51:144:51:17

generation and that we planned that

far ahead, and I think that

4:51:174:51:21

Stockport ought to be deed the

missionary -- beat the

4:51:214:51:26

beneficiary...

4:51:264:51:36

in the year that began because a

leader. And so -- became the Council

4:51:404:51:48

leader. Decommissioned to be turned

into a light rail system. Now that

4:51:484:51:54

clearly had a lot of... And a

trampling through the town with all

4:51:544:52:02

the traffic chaos, that naturally

happens when you use that network,

4:52:024:52:07

not everyone was convinced it would

pay dividends. And to be a benefit

4:52:074:52:14

to the town. As he knelt, this

connectivity, of the greater

4:52:144:52:23

Manchester, and if it all sits in

isolation, it will capitalise on one

4:52:234:52:28

of the best cities in the world, and

will be missing out on a trek. Well

4:52:284:52:32

is important was, to have a vision

that it could be the best Alton they

4:52:324:52:42

could be -- that it could be. It was

significant that the phase three

4:52:424:52:52

lines on investment of £764 million,

a connectivity sites. -- it

4:52:524:53:02

connected many sides. It has a good

effect on the housing market where

4:53:024:53:12

it was placed. The Metrolink stops

is placed, it was a key site for

4:53:124:53:17

housing, and we know that is being

redeveloped, which would be the

4:53:174:53:27

subject of a future debate.

Demolished to make way for decent

4:53:274:53:30

secure accommodations for people to

live in. And to create a thriving

4:53:304:53:34

neighbourhood. It also connected the

community that saw a lot of

4:53:344:53:39

clearance, now really fantastic

places and houses for people to live

4:53:394:53:46

in, to do is walk to the station to

connect them to Rockdale and

4:53:464:53:50

Manchester and further into the

network. To connectivity for them is

4:53:504:53:55

vital. People vote with their feet,

and the old heavy rail systems, the

4:53:554:54:03

clunker carriages that were used to

have on the stations, it carried 1.1

4:54:034:54:08

million passengers a year, which was

impressive, but nowhere near as

4:54:084:54:14

impressive as the three points 6

million people who use the current

4:54:144:54:18

Metrolink system on the same line.

So we know it as a material effect

4:54:184:54:23

on increasing passenger numbers, and

of course the more people on the

4:54:234:54:27

tram, fewer people have to travel by

car because they have a genuine

4:54:274:54:31

alternative and environmentally

friendly way. If the government are

4:54:314:54:36

serious about this, it is critical

that we rebalance the UK economy,

4:54:364:54:43

but also need to understand that if

all we do is benefit Manchester in

4:54:434:54:48

the south of Manchester, which have

historically been the better

4:54:484:54:51

performing parts of Manchester, and

we don't concentrate on northern

4:54:514:54:56

Manchester which is underperformed

compared to south, and we miss an

4:54:564:55:00

opportunity to make sure that every

part of the Northern powerhouse can

4:55:004:55:03

benefit from future investment. And

just to give a sort of context, this

4:55:034:55:09

is not just a knotted Manchester,

they return from Manchester South,

4:55:094:55:22

34 point £1 billion a year. And that

accounts for 68% of the total GBA

4:55:224:55:29

for greater Manchester. Not saying

that South Manchester has an over

4:55:294:55:38

performance, but enough of

Manchester can do far better to

4:55:384:55:41

contribute to the

4:55:414:55:43

... On transport, housing, on

skills, and on investment. And this

4:55:464:55:56

debate, it's how we might achieve

that. And so, if you've ever done

4:55:564:56:02

the Manchester Metrolink track, and

you've been taken on a real journey,

4:56:024:56:06

Brad Jabir Mitzi while I take you on

a journey of the future, if the

4:56:064:56:12

greater Manchester and government

work together on this plan. Somebody

4:56:124:56:15

concentrate on the

4:56:154:56:21

as you are coming down the Metrolink

track, and you get to the station,

4:56:244:56:31

the track will turn to the left,

towards Manchester. But, in this new

4:56:314:56:36

journey, that we taking today, he

could continue straight down Milton

4:56:364:56:41

Road on sunny

4:56:414:56:42

towards middle state -- sunny climb

towards Middleton. And head towards

4:56:424:56:52

the park, enjoying with very line

that will connect you with greater

4:56:524:56:57

Manchester. You could coming back

where you are currently carried on

4:56:574:57:03

to Rockdale, no

4:57:034:57:04

there to ashen go on from there to

Ashton Road, onto, Ashton town

4:57:054:57:15

centre where currently the line

terminates, ill carry on shift

4:57:154:57:25

Ashton and go on to Ashton town

centre, and then the potential of

4:57:254:57:32

creating a loop onto Stockport and

onto Manchester Airport, suddenly,

4:57:324:57:37

you're beginning to create what's

been dubbed by the Manchester news

4:57:374:57:41

as the Circle line. A way to create

proper connectivity across greater

4:57:414:57:48

Manchester, in a way that the

motorway currently provides her car

4:57:484:57:52

users. And that would be for many

good jobs, far tourist industry, a

4:57:524:58:00

fantastic boost. It also mean it

would play a critical part of an

4:58:004:58:08

imported transport hub. It would

just be the place where people pass

4:58:084:58:12

through, it mean that all would be

absolutely critical as

4:58:124:58:20

interconnectivity between Berry,

Rockdale, Manchester and maybe

4:58:204:58:26

further on if we further extensions.

It becomes very much important for

4:58:264:58:35

investment, for a generation, and I

believe important catalyst for

4:58:354:58:38

rebalancing the economy across

greater Manchester. To achieve this,

4:58:384:58:44

we need to be honest, at the moment

the financial model is heavily

4:58:444:58:50

predicated, what does this mean for

GBA return? But return we get, pound

4:58:504:58:58

for pound on the local economy? This

so we assess capital in this

4:58:584:59:05

country, the needs of fundamental

rethink. There are to be some

4:59:054:59:10

measure, human capital. So what's a

starting point will want everybody

4:59:104:59:16

to have equal opportunity to access

decent, well-paid, secure, jobs. To

4:59:164:59:23

access decent sporting facilities?

To do that the starting point will

4:59:234:59:33

be a different point. And it would

need to be a rebalancing taking

4:59:334:59:37

place. And this is why it's

important. You can rebalance from

4:59:374:59:41

two ways, bring the highest

performance area down to lowest

4:59:414:59:45

performing area and make an equal.

In the economy will suffer as a

4:59:454:59:52

result. Or, we raise our currently

underperforming area with investment

4:59:524:59:59

so that everybody thrives across

greater Manchester. To do that, we

4:59:595:00:03

do need a different way of assessing

returns, because the truth is, on

5:00:035:00:07

any assessment today, building a

mile of Metrolink track in, it will

5:00:075:00:14

have a higher return than building a

mile of Metrolink track and older.

5:00:145:00:18

Because the starting point is very

different, and I do not believe that

5:00:185:00:22

as a way to generate investment

plans that rebounds as the economy

5:00:225:00:25

in the way that we need to see. And

this debate is about of course,

5:00:255:00:32

setting out a potential room, but

I'm not precious about exactly which

5:00:325:00:39

road and which route this ultimately

goes on, but I am passionate about

5:00:395:00:46

Alton really realising its

potential. I am passionate about

5:00:465:00:49

people in all been having access to

high paid jobs, and that their

5:00:495:01:01

horizon is not just at the end

industry. But it's much further --

5:01:015:01:08

and industry, but it is much

further.

5:01:085:01:10

I'd been helping my son navigate

very complex world, it seems of

5:01:145:01:19

apprenticeships and college courses.

And we're looking at some

5:01:195:01:24

apprenticeships in the park, which

is not far. You get there half an

5:01:245:01:28

hour. By car. This would get

engineering classes stop the problem

5:01:285:01:34

was, that our bus system does not

connect young people with the park

5:01:345:01:42

in a way that people can get to

those jobs to create shift work. If

5:01:425:01:47

you live in Roy ten, and your real

person and you want to get to the

5:01:475:01:56

park Fred NAM shift

5:01:565:01:58

8am shift start, the buses do not

start until later in the morning, so

5:02:005:02:08

if you're a young person that does

not have a licence and cannot make

5:02:085:02:11

it thereunder on transport, and

you're relying on public transport,

5:02:115:02:17

which would be the boss. Straight

you're excluded from jobs were to

5:02:175:02:21

get ships and one of the largest

engineering employment location in

5:02:215:02:26

Europe. It is cannot be right. There

is none of this debate that's about

5:02:265:02:33

saying, if all we do is build this

bit of Metrolink track over here

5:02:335:02:36

then it will all be fixed. My point

is more broader mean that we need to

5:02:365:02:42

get transport in greater Manchester

for people and we see a significant,

5:02:425:02:48

a significant effort on the part of

greater Manchester and its team on

5:02:485:02:55

the greater Manchester combined

5:02:555:02:58

greater Manchester and its team on

the greater Manchester combined, on

5:02:585:03:03

the very dedicated officers that

work transport for greater

5:03:035:03:06

Manchester. But the truth is, some

of this comes down to resources and

5:03:065:03:11

investment. In our experience and

greater Manchester unfortunately,

5:03:115:03:17

has been we have lost many bus

routes that would connect your

5:03:175:03:23

people with the job opportunities of

tomorrow and we need to see

5:03:235:03:27

investment in that. We also need to

see proper capsule investment that

5:03:275:03:32

at least brings greater Manchester

on par with London. Everyone greater

5:03:325:03:35

Manchester to be thriving, and an

active part of the northern

5:03:355:03:42

powerhouse, you can have a northern

powerhouse that it is done on the

5:03:425:03:44

cheek. It is to see investment bank

we see in this capital city -- that

5:03:445:03:52

we see in this capital city. And if

we see a fraction of it, I think

5:03:525:03:56

we'll see a different outcome for

young people in greater Manchester.

5:03:565:04:01

From government, is to get behind,

not necessarily the eighth is the

5:04:015:04:07

route that we are proposing, that

will come out of the feasibility

5:04:075:04:10

report and a technical assessment of

what's possible and of course,

5:04:105:04:15

patronage, and whatever physical

barriers may be in place. But the

5:04:155:04:18

barrier that should not be in place

is the desire to make greater

5:04:185:04:24

Manchester absolutely great. And I

can only happen if government comes

5:04:245:04:27

to the table offers real investment,

and works of greater Manchester to

5:04:275:04:32

make sure that transport in the

future is far better than is today.

5:04:325:04:41

Thank you very much indeed Madam

Deputy Speaker, I don't have an

5:04:415:04:45

enormous amount of time I think I

have 12 minutes of I understand this

5:04:455:04:48

correctly. So let me just respond to

this.

The Minister has until 730.

5:04:485:05:02

Than I can extend myself, very glad

to hear that. When I heard the name,

5:05:025:05:09

since I can mention it, I cannot

refer to the gentleman, it had to be

5:05:095:05:14

referring to one of my great heroes,

the former quarterback for the

5:05:145:05:19

Chicago Bears. And the Green Bay

Packers. And my sense of excitement

5:05:195:05:22

to being able to respond to him,

taking interest in our issues. It is

5:05:225:05:31

no less great having the opportunity

to respond to the honourable

5:05:315:05:37

gentleman opposite, who was himself

an award-winning leader of counsel

5:05:375:05:42

when he was there. And he is a

little confused why we say so but

5:05:425:05:47

some of the responsibilities

involved, is responsibly for buses

5:05:475:05:51

and indeed enhanced powers under the

new legislation. But his subject

5:05:515:05:57

today and rightfully so is the

Metrolink system. And I think

5:05:575:06:04

everyone in this house, and

certainly everyone who's travelled

5:06:045:06:07

around it, will agree that it has

been a colossal success for the

5:06:075:06:13

economy, and I agree with them and

contribute to a government

5:06:135:06:18

standpoint, to the work is done over

the past 41 years. Opinion is

5:06:185:06:22

divided as to whether or not he

should be regarded as Mr Metrolink

5:06:225:06:27

or Mr transport? We congratulate him

and it is very well made point.

5:06:275:06:36

Transport is of an anonymous

important to this government and

5:06:365:06:40

absolutely response to his question,

and the Northwest, strategic

5:06:405:06:47

development as the North as a whole.

We very much agree with local

5:06:475:06:53

partners that is essential for

growth and that is why the

5:06:535:06:58

government is investing

significantly in local, transport

5:06:585:07:02

infrastructure. Including £15

billion on a network and £6 billion

5:07:025:07:08

on the local fund. This investment

is designed specifically to drive

5:07:085:07:12

economic growth that we wish to see,

but also, to allow those other

5:07:125:07:18

opportunities for transport, for the

social and family benefits that come

5:07:185:07:21

from that, and also to relieve the

economy of these temporarily

5:07:215:07:25

reopened the effects of congestion.

We are creating a northern

5:07:255:07:30

powerhouse to rebalance the economy,

and that is an aim that we commonly

5:07:305:07:33

share. And the reason for creating

transport for the North, as in the

5:07:335:07:38

sea, is to provide a local voice

that could convene and gather those

5:07:385:07:45

different projects, those different

schemes, that total regional

5:07:455:07:48

ambition if you'd like, and one

place that would support economic

5:07:485:07:51

growth in the north. And I think the

house should know that we will

5:07:515:07:57

invest £13 billion in this

Parliament to connect the regions

5:07:575:08:00

better so the cities across that

region can pool their strengths and

5:08:005:08:05

create not just a series of city

economies or a series of regional

5:08:055:08:11

economies set by geography, but a

single powerhouse. A single economy

5:08:115:08:16

as a whole. And greater Manchester

is at the heart of that. Of course I

5:08:165:08:19

would be glad to.

5:08:195:08:25

Everything on that point is

accepted, and that event we attend

5:08:255:08:28

to Manchester with the Northern

Powerhouse Minister was very much in

5:08:285:08:31

the spirit of working together

across party political lines for the

5:08:315:08:35

greatest outcome for greater

Manchester. It was a point made by

5:08:355:08:39

me at that meeting that went a just

two is in place, -- HS2...

Every

5:08:395:08:54

journey begins with the local

journey. Unless you happen to live

5:08:545:09:00

in a terminus or so. It's also true

that as with the MetroLink, the

5:09:005:09:05

secretive HS2 is a capacity story.

As much as it is a speed story. The

5:09:055:09:12

capacity has greatly increased over

the last few years. This, as I think

5:09:125:09:20

he knows and as the House will know,

greater Manchester has seen a

5:09:205:09:24

revolution in this public transport

over the past two years. Through the

5:09:245:09:29

innovative greater Manchester

transport fund, which combines local

5:09:295:09:31

funding with local funds from... We

have seen the introduction of a bus

5:09:315:09:38

corridor, including the death of --

including the... I'd like to pay

5:09:385:09:53

particular tribute to the mayor of

greater Manchester further work that

5:09:535:09:56

he's done with Chris Borden in

reimagining the possibilities of

5:09:565:10:02

what the... that a further 20 £2

million is being provided to the

5:10:025:10:17

Metro Mayor of their Manchester to

support public transport, in --

5:10:175:10:23

improve sustainable travel and... On

the rails, this is my specific

5:10:235:10:36

breed, it's worth saying that the

great North rail project has allowed

5:10:365:10:38

us to upgrade the adjuster Victoria

and connect Manchester's Main to

5:10:385:10:45

railway stations for the first time

through... They will provide direct

5:10:455:10:51

links to Manchester Airport from the

dot we've also delivered upgrades

5:10:515:10:57

and electrification Liverpool and

Manchester and cut the passes

5:10:575:11:02

journey time by 15 minutes since

2015. We have upgraded the route

5:11:025:11:05

between Manchester and Wigan... But

of course, at the centre of this

5:11:055:11:17

development has been the success of

the MetroLink system. As he rightly

5:11:175:11:25

indulges. This started in 1992 and

has continued through to the current

5:11:255:11:31

construction of the traffic park

extinction. The first extension to

5:11:315:11:39

though that in 2008, MetroLink

embarked on a £1.9 billion

5:11:395:11:43

investment programme that

transformed the network and service.

5:11:435:11:46

A tripled in size, providing

improved connectivity to jobs,

5:11:465:11:49

retail and leisure opportunities.

New facilities made the network even

5:11:495:11:56

more accessible and that's helped to

reduce traffic congestion across the

5:11:565:12:00

region, while customer facilities

have been upgraded and a brand-new

5:12:005:12:04

fleet of trams... I congratulate him

on his timing in arriving in the

5:12:045:12:18

Council to take credit of the... One

the civil engineering achievement

5:12:185:12:32

award. Other improvements have

included the short extension to

5:12:325:12:35

media village and the second city

crossing. That letter project is a

5:12:355:12:40

short but important route designed

to alleviate congestion by providing

5:12:405:12:45

a second rep to the city centre. It

is helping to improve the

5:12:455:12:49

reliability and resilience of the

network and allowing it to operate

5:12:495:12:52

to its full extent. The most recent

development is the construction of

5:12:525:12:57

the traffic park extension, which is

currently under way. This has been

5:12:575:13:02

funded in part as part of the

devolution deal with the greater

5:13:025:13:06

Manchester combined authority which

gives the city the greater certainty

5:13:065:13:08

and needs to invest in this and

other important local schemes. This

5:13:085:13:14

will link some of greater

Manchester's biggest visitor

5:13:145:13:18

destinations as well as running

through traffic park. It will be

5:13:185:13:23

owned by the -- service are expected

to start in 2020. The result of the

5:13:235:13:33

investment and this exciting

development is that MetroLink is now

5:13:335:13:35

the largest lead rail network in the

UK with 93 stops across 57 miles of

5:13:355:13:41

track. It is a model for what can be

done with steady and sustained

5:13:415:13:45

investment. It is a public transport

network that passengers are using in

5:13:455:13:50

large numbers. A massive success

overall and a reason why investment

5:13:505:13:59

continues both from the Government's

site and from the side of the

5:13:595:14:01

combined authorities. I am aware and

the honourable member has been

5:14:015:14:08

making clear today his continued

support for further extensions to

5:14:085:14:14

the Manchester Metrolink system.

Such is the Ashton Loop line from

5:14:145:14:16

Ashton town centre, and a spur to

Middleton. A Circle line, as he has

5:14:165:14:30

described at these in potentia. Now,

the future of the network... I

5:14:305:14:44

understand the combined authority

have a number of ideas about future

5:14:445:14:47

expansion including possible links,

as well as a possible third bag

5:14:475:14:58

across the city centre. I

congratulate my honourable friend

5:14:585:15:01

for putting this issue squarely into

the public agenda once again. As

5:15:015:15:09

much basic local constituency

interests and authorities as much is

5:15:095:15:14

facing central government.

5:15:145:15:24

We will announce a decision... I

also understand that TF GM are

5:15:245:15:32

looking for said using tram train

technology. The current project to

5:15:325:15:36

provide this between Sheffield and

rubber should provide real lessons

5:15:365:15:40

-- Rotherham. The governor will

continue to work with a combined

5:15:405:15:47

authorities as it develops its

strategies and we will continue to

5:15:475:15:50

consider future bids for funding.

Greater Manchester has shown that

5:15:505:15:53

it's able to make use of its own

resources without the that that

5:15:535:15:59

there is merit in continuing

cooperation and wrinkles and the

5:15:595:16:04

superstructure projects. The system

is only one of the light rail

5:16:045:16:07

systems in this country and our view

on this is a development and

5:16:075:16:11

transport is very simple. We support

it and we think it has massive

5:16:115:16:16

benefits. We've already seen the

impact for both passengers and the

5:16:165:16:20

local economy in cities such as

Nottingham, Birmingham, and

5:16:205:16:23

Manchester. All three, the system is

become integral part of the

5:16:235:16:30

transport network. We supported it

because we know that it is part of a

5:16:305:16:36

strong and resilient local economy.

The recent announcement by the

5:16:365:16:40

Chancellor of the new £1.7 billion

transforming cities fund will

5:16:405:16:44

provide funding for more light rail

schemes which will help drive our

5:16:445:16:47

activity and growth in cities where

it's most needed. Connecting

5:16:475:16:50

computer these -- communities. The

joy of a light rail system is that

5:16:505:17:03

it helps support not merely an

integrated transport network, which

5:17:035:17:08

reduces congestion, but one that

also is a very good -- is very good

5:17:085:17:13

for our quality and very

environmentally from it. It's a

5:17:135:17:15

green form of transport which makes

locations better places to live, not

5:17:155:17:19

just better places to get to. We

have seen evidence that implementing

5:17:195:17:23

a systems -- if a light rail

system... It can bring in tourism

5:17:235:17:32

and give a sense of place and

distinction to a place even as

5:17:325:17:36

already distinguished as old. Few

other companies these days do not

5:17:365:17:47

think in terms of trends produces

when they are to locate. Whether Bay

5:17:475:17:51

offices are going to be or where

satellite offices are going to be.

5:17:515:17:54

They note that high rail is popular

with their users is reflected in her

5:17:545:17:59

statistics. They show record numbers

of passengers using light rail.

5:17:595:18:05

Passenger numbers continue to rise

in England and so far, to a record

5:18:055:18:12

267 million since records began in

the 1983 -- since 1983. However, we

5:18:125:18:23

also have to be realistic and clear

and to say that we acknowledge that

5:18:235:18:28

light rail is not necessarily

suitable for every place. There are

5:18:285:18:32

places that are different and have

their own set of demands and

5:18:325:18:36

interests. We do feel that there

is... The Government will need to

5:18:365:18:55

continue with let me say that

Manchester Metrolink has been a

5:18:555:19:02

great success, it has been the -- a

success because it has provided the

5:19:025:19:11

that it has been made possible by

the combined commitment of

5:19:115:19:15

significant local transfer

investment by central government and

5:19:155:19:18

also investment made through the

combined authority. We are confident

5:19:185:19:25

that the Petro accessible continued

to play a key role in the future

5:19:255:19:27

success of greater Manchester and --

Metrolink.

The question is that this

5:19:275:19:42

has to adjourn. The ayes have it.

Order, order.

5:19:425:19:53

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