Debates between Lord Craig of Radley and Baroness Vere of Norbiton during the 2019-2024 Parliament

Tue 20th Apr 2021
Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill [HL]
Lords Chamber

Consideration of Commons amendments & Consideration of Commons amendments & Lords Hansard
Tue 28th Jul 2020
Wed 12th Feb 2020
Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill [HL]
Lords Chamber

Committee stage:Committee: 2nd sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 2nd sitting (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee: 2nd sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 2nd sitting (Hansard): House of Lords
Mon 10th Feb 2020
Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill [HL]
Lords Chamber

Committee stage:Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee stage

Britain’s Railways

Debate between Lord Craig of Radley and Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Monday 24th May 2021

(3 years, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My noble friend raises an important point and highlights why Great British Railways is so desperately needed, in that we have so many different operators and indeed types of train services—be they passenger or freight—trying to access limited track in certain areas. It is the case that we will continue to invest tens of billions of pounds into the railways on new lines, trains, services and electrification; we want to provide the stable foundation for innovation and future investment. My noble friend mentioned the Beeching closures. The £500 million Restoring Your Railway Fund remains open, and any ideas should be forwarded to that fund.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley (CB) [V]
- Hansard - -

[Inaudible]—the experience, particularly of Southern, has been blighted from time to time by industrial disputes. What involvement have the rail unions had in helping to formulate these new plans? Post Covid, many people may continue to work part-time from home, reducing passenger numbers below the 2019 figure of 1.8 billion per year. What assessment have the Government made of this likely reduction?

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

On the first issue raised by the noble and gallant Lord, Keith Williams met with the general-secretaries on a number of occasions while he was carrying out this review. As I previously mentioned, we need to create an efficient and sustainable railway; that is in the interests of passengers, taxpayers and the workforce as a whole, so we will of course continue to work with the unions to achieve that as we take these reforms forward. On future demand, we are confident that people will return to the railways, and in line with the road map we will continue to work closely with the sector on measures to enable people to come back again, and to come back quickly. This includes the introduction of a flexible season ticket, which will be introduced across the network and which will make it easier for those people who commute, say, two or three days a week. It will make that more cost effective for them, and that will be introduced to coincide with the final step of the Government’s road map out of lockdown.

Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill [HL]

Debate between Lord Craig of Radley and Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley (CB)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, I too support these amendments. Finally, this Bill, which started its passage through Parliament in January 2020 is to reach the statute book. I am sure that, with a justified sense of pride and relief, the Minister and all those in her Bill team, who worked so hard to achieve this outcome, deserve the commendation received from all sides of the House.

It is a piece of legislation that will not stand still. The announcement that the CAA has approved trials of beyond-visual-sight operation of drones will need to be reflected in the instructions for policing unmanned aircraft presently set out in this legislation. That process will continue, I hope smoothly, as technology and experience help to chart the way ahead. Meanwhile, I join in commending the efforts made to enact this important business, for air traffic management in particular.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank all noble Lords for their constructive engagement on these amendments, and for their comments and short contributions today.

Covid-19: Transport for London

Debate between Lord Craig of Radley and Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Thursday 29th October 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The health of our key workers and transport workers is at the forefront of everything we are doing at the moment, which is why the Government support running full services across public transport to enable social distancing. Automation, for example contactless payment, is one of the things that can reduce the spread of the virus. Automation of driverless trains, for example, would again be a matter for the mayor but we would support looking into it.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley (CB) [V]
- Hansard - -

My Lords, before Covid struck, Crossrail’s full operation had been delayed by four years until 2022 and estimated costs increased by almost a third from the 2009 figure. What further delay and cost increases, due to Covid working restrictions, have been calculated and reported so far? Will all these additional costs have to be financed by TfL and the London authority?

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble and gallant Lord will be pleased to hear that there was an update from Crossrail recently about the schedule and total costs. The project is now completely under the control of TfL. It is its responsibility to finish it. We are in discussions with TfL about further financial support for Crossrail, but we are very clear that Londoners must also foot the bill.

Spain: Travel

Debate between Lord Craig of Radley and Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Tuesday 28th July 2020

(3 years, 12 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton [V]
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My noble friend is absolutely right: travelling nowadays is not the same as it was before. I implore all people looking to go abroad to check their travel insurance. Many travel operators are now offering flexible packages, including packages that can be cancelled with a refund if they need to be. I encourage people to look around the market. The travel industry is responding and, although travel is not the same, it should be possible for at least some people to get away this summer.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley (CB) [V]
- Hansard - -

My Lords, other European nations with large tourism in Spain did not adopt this Government’s abruptly introduced self-isolation rule. How many, if any, have done so since the weekend? What differing scientific, economic or other factors have the Government identified which led to this major difference of judgment and action and which those who might lose pay or even their job through self-isolation can explain to their employer?

Covid-19: Airline Sector

Debate between Lord Craig of Radley and Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Monday 29th June 2020

(4 years ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton [V]
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My noble friend is absolutely right in that regional connectivity was, and remains, a priority for the Government. The restart, recovery and engagement unit within DfT is working with the aviation sector to look not only at international travel but at how we make sure our regions stay connected. I am sure that my noble friend is aware that we already have public service obligation routes between Londonderry and Dundee and London; previously, before the demise of Flybe, we had such a route from Newquay. We take regional air connectivity very seriously and will come forward with a review in due course.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley (CB) [V]
- Hansard - -

My Lords, the airlines’ hated 14-day quarantine, introduced by regional government regulations, is due to be eased. Should the airlines and countries concerned be confident that the Government and devolved Administrations will amend their regulations to remain in step on a national basis? If a so-called handbrake change were applied either by a foreign country or by the United Kingdom Government to reintroduce quarantine, would it affect the whole of the United Kingdom?

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton [V]
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the noble and gallant Lord for that question. The Government have worked, and continue to work, closely with the devolved Administrations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure as coherent an approach as possible across the four nations. We will announce further details on the regulations, including a full list of the countries and territories from which arriving passengers will be exempted from self-isolation requirements, later this week.

Covid-19: Aviation

Debate between Lord Craig of Radley and Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Thursday 4th June 2020

(4 years, 1 month ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

As the level of infection in the UK reduces below that of other countries, we need to minimise the risk of transmission that might be reintroduced from abroad. That is why the quarantine has been put in place. We accept that it is going to have a negative impact on the aviation industry and the tourism sector, and we are working closely with both sectors to make sure that they get through this crisis as best they can.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley (CB)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, will the 14-day isolation period after arrival at UK airfields include individuals who travel overseas on business from the UK and return later that day, or perhaps, say, after less than 48 hours at their destination? If so, will regulations state a maximum time allowed overseas for economic reasons to forgo the isolation period? Will the regulations apply to private charter passengers flying out from and back to small regional or private airfields, as well as those flying on commercial airlines?

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, the quarantine requirements apply to all individuals who are arriving in the UK, irrespective of the time that they have spent outside the UK. They are all required to self-isolate, except for a very small number of exemptions. This applies to all individuals, however they choose to leave the UK, whether that be on a charter aircraft or indeed using another form of travel—for example, a ferry or the Eurostar.

Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill [HL]

Debate between Lord Craig of Radley and Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Committee stage & Committee: 2nd sitting (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee: 2nd sitting (Hansard)
Wednesday 12th February 2020

(4 years, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 10-II Second marshalled list for Committee - (10 Feb 2020)
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I thank the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig of Radley, for introducing this small group of amendments and giving us the opportunity to probe this wording, because it is incredibly important that we understand that the wording is fit for purpose. While I understand the intention behind his amendments, after careful consideration the Government believe that the existing wording in paragraph 1 of Schedule 8 regarding a person or persons controlling an unmanned aircraft is fit for purpose in relation to both manual and pre-programmed operations.

On Amendment 24, regarding the power for a constable to require a person to ground a UA—unmanned aircraft—a constable could exercise this power in relation to a UA performing a manual or pre-programmed operation if they had reasonable grounds for believing a person or small group of persons to be controlling that aircraft. Where this reasonable belief exists, the constable could require a person to ground the UA regardless of whether it was pre-programmed or not— hence the existing wording is sufficient for the power to be effective in the circumstances envisaged by the noble and gallant Lord.

A similar issue arises in Amendment 26; again, “controlling” refers to the UA when it is being flown either manually or in a pre-programmed mode if it is capable of that. It is therefore our view that the distinction that the amendment seeks to make would have no discernible benefit, since the description implies a person controlling a UA in line with the existing wording in the Bill. However, the Government recognise that UA technology is constantly evolving, and we will continue to keep our policies under review to ensure that they remain fit for purpose.

On the point made by my noble friend Lord Glenarthur about helicopters and pipelines, he is quite right that unmanned aircraft will increasingly be used for tasks such as patrolling pipelines, railways and all sorts of other things. However, under the current regulations drones should not fly over 400 feet and must remain within line of sight—to go beyond line of sight is against the regulations. They must have permission to do either of those two things. To get that permission, one would assume that those operating the helicopter would be aware that there might be drones operating in that area.

On the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, about identifying the person, the constable must have a reasonable suspicion that the person is controlling the unmanned aircraft. That is not infallible, but a reasonable suspicion is not certainty. Therefore, given that the drone must remain within line of sight, a person will probably be able to be seen.

I hope that, based on this explanation, the noble and gallant Lord will feel able to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley
- Hansard - -

I thank the Minister for her reply, which I shall obviously want to look at. I am still left very unclear about the depth of thought that has been given to this. She talks about situations where somebody is obeying the law and this does not matter, but I am concerned about the individual who is not obeying the law—who is flying above 500 feet and beyond sight of their drone. It seems to me that more is required than is presently available in the Bill—but at the moment I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

--- Later in debate ---
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

If the noble Lord will bear with me, that drone would probably be confiscated by a constable for a different reason.

In our opinion, the amendment on forfeiture would also provide a potentially disproportionate penalty for those who commit most likely very minor offences of failing to ground an unmanned aircraft when asked to do so by police, or failing to comply with a constable’s request to inspect that small unmanned aircraft. While we feel that it would be disproportionate to insert these powers of confiscation and forfeiture regarding these two offences, it should be noted that the police have powers of confiscation elsewhere in the Bill and already in law.

Under the Bill, the police will have the power to stop and search a person or vehicle where they have reasonable grounds to suspect they will find an unmanned aircraft that is or has been involved in the commission of one of the offences specified in paragraph 2 of Schedule 8. This is for more serious offences, such as interfering with aircraft. This stop and search power gives the police constable the power to seize anything they discover in the course of a search if they have reasonable grounds to believe it is evidence relating to one of those offences.

The summary of all the stop and search offences was given out at the all-Peers meeting and I am very happy to send round this ready reckoner, which shows which offences fall under stop and search if there is suspicion of them. They are, for example, flying above 400 feet or within an exclusion zone of an airport. If there was a stop and search in that case, that item could be seized as evidence. Similarly, when entering and searching a premises under warrant using the powers in the Bill, a constable might seize an unmanned aircraft or any article associated with it if they have reason to believe it has been involved in the commission of one of the offences set out in paragraph 7 of Schedule 8.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley
- Hansard - -

The noble Baroness said the constable has the power to seize, but has he powers to retain and make forfeit, or would it be just a temporary seizure until such time as the courts had dealt with the circumstances? The point of my amendment, and I believe that of the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, is that of a deterrent for illegal use. Seizure or forfeiture would be a very good deterrent. As we mentioned earlier, we are dealing not with people who are behaving and who we are trying to encourage to grow their legal use of drones, but with people who might be or are operating them illegally. Those are the people I want to deter.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble and gallant Lord makes a very interesting and valid point about deterrence, which is probably quite separate from the line I sought to convince him of. Noble Lords have mentioned that a very good drone might cost, say, £500, but the penalties we are talking about for some of the offences that could have been committed are fines up to a maximum of £2,500.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

If, indeed, they are paid, which I will come on to—perhaps in the letter—because there are some very significant deterrents. If we are after a deterrent, we have those deterrents. Do we feel it is proportionate for property to be forfeited for fairly minor contraventions? We do not.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley
- Hansard - -

I am sorry to interrupt again, but on a minor thing, as I said in my opening remarks a single misbehaviour under what would be a fixed penalty notice would not be a cause for forfeiture, but repeated misbehaviour that might individually be at the level of the fixed penalty notice should be taken into account. That is why I suggest that, under those circumstances, forfeiture, at least for a period if not completely, should be part of that penalty.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble Lord makes an interesting point. I suspect that in those circumstances, the person would just go out and buy another drone. We are between a rock and a hard place: drones are not so expensive that forfeiture is a huge issue, versus a fixed penalty notice, which may also be significant. We do not feel that forfeiture would make a significant difference to the deterrents. The penalties already in place are good ones. However, for the sake of completeness, I will mention that under current law, if a person has refused to ground their unmanned aircraft and has been arrested for an offence, the police officer has the power, under Section 32 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, to search the arrested person and to seize anything that is evidence.

--- Later in debate ---
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am aware that that is the noble Lord’s position, but I am not sure that evidence exists that if confiscation becomes part of the Bill, it automatically means that nothing bad will ever happen to drones—or that it will make any difference at all—given that the penalties are already far higher than the cost of a drone.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley
- Hansard - -

I come back to the point that the purpose is its deterrent value. It would also have a public relations value. Rather than telling the owner of a drone that he or she may not fly it in a particular way, confiscation would have a deterrent value. This would encourage good behaviour and be a public relations exercise to show that the Government are taking seriously the possibility of a catastrophic accident if a drone were to hit a civilian airliner.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I agree with the noble and gallant Lord. The Government obviously take seriously the potential of a catastrophic accident. For those kinds of offences, the deterrent is far greater than having one’s drone taken away: it is a lengthy prison sentence and an unlimited fine. I remain unconvinced at this time that the confiscation or forfeiture of a drone is an additional means of deterrent.

I am trying to think of an example of an item being forfeited purely to provide that kind of deterrent effect. I will ask my officials to look at the issue and perhaps that will produce more convincing evidence.

--- Later in debate ---
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

What I said about Gatwick is that there is no silver bullet; there was not one piece of legislation that would have stopped Gatwick.

Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley
- Hansard - -

As a result of what happened at Gatwick, steps have been taken. So, it is not a case of just legislation stopping or not stopping it. Additional measures have been taken which make it less likely that the problems at Gatwick will arise again. At least, I hope that is the intention of the steps that have been taken.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble and gallant Lord is right; a number of steps have been taken. On the legislative side, we have looked carefully at what we can include. One of the steps taken as a result of Gatwick is that we asked CPNI to step up its work on counter-UAV technology and it has been carrying out tests. It did a call-out to industry; industry sent it whatever it had in detect, track and identify technology; and CPNI has been methodically working its way through it to see whether the technology works. Some of it does not.

We are looking carefully at providing a catalogue for airports to say to them, “This is the technology that works. We at CPNI, since Gatwick, have checked this technology and it works.” Those are the kinds of things we have been doing.

Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill [HL]

Debate between Lord Craig of Radley and Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Committee stage & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard): House of Lords & Committee: 1st sitting (Hansard)
Monday 10th February 2020

(4 years, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 10-II Second marshalled list for Committee - (10 Feb 2020)
Lord Craig of Radley Portrait Lord Craig of Radley (CB)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, I first pick up the question that the noble Lord, Lord Tunnicliffe, started with, which is whether we shall end at the target of Amendment 23. My understanding is that we shall, because that has been agreed through the usual channels. Amendment 24 is in my name, so it is important that I can be confident that we will stop, if we get that far, at Amendment 23. I take the nodding to mean that that is the case and I appreciate it.

While I am on my feet, may I ask a more general question about all these amendments? There has been a great deal of talk about the interests of the civilian side of the aviation industry and how it interacts with the Department for Transport and the CAA, but I am not clear how the Ministry of Defence’s position will be properly safeguarded. The CAA has RAF representation, but I do not feel that that is at a high enough level and I would like to be reassured that the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Defence are in continuous contact, at the right level, on these points. The Ministry of Defence, and the Royal Air Force in particular, needs aviation space not only for getting in and out of airfields; they also have training needs and other areas that have to be safeguarded if the Royal Air Force is to continue to be effective in its training.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, for introducing this group. I also thank my noble friend Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate. I note that he strayed into the area of costs, which is the subject of a later group, but I look forward to his later contribution. As many noble Lords have pointed out, it is important that the Secretary of State is given the powers required to deliver airspace modernisation, but also that these powers are proportionate and do not go further than needed.

Clauses 2 and 3 of Part 1 give the Secretary of State the power to direct a person involved in airspace change to progress an airspace change proposal as required, or direct a person to co-operate with somebody else who is progressing an airspace change proposal. This means that airspace change will not be held up. I think that is an established fact and all noble Lords can agree with it. Additionally, it ensures the delivery of the full range of airspace modernisation outcomes. Again, I have already mentioned that there are many important initiatives within airspace modernisation. These may be related to safety, capacity, noise, air quality, fuel efficiency, improving access to airspace for all users, military access or the introduction of new technology.

On improving access to airspace for all users, the issue of uncontrolled and controlled airspace has been rumbling along for a little while. It dates back to 2018, so airports have been aware that there was going to be a further look at airspace classification for quite some time. Initiative 10 of the airspace modernisation strategy was set out by the then Secretary of State and enhanced in October 2019, when the air navigation directives directed the CAA to progress the identification of airspace volumes. This is all about the balance between commercial aviation and general aviation. I do not believe that a single Member of your Lordships’ House believes that one necessarily has to have priority over the other. It is a question of proportionality and balance.

I want to mention military airspace at this point. We speak to the military all the time. When I was Aviation Minister, I used to chair the Airspace Strategy Board, the highest level of ministerial oversight over airspace modernisation, and somebody from the MoD was on the board. I forget what rank he was, but he made me feel quite small so he was quite senior, and he would contribute to our discussions. In my time on this Bill and in my previous life as Aviation Minister, I was not aware that people from the military had concerns about this process or the processes we oversee. We work well with them, ensuring that they have the access they need and know the processes for RAF Northolt to have the right routes to upper airspace, for example.