Police Powers to Suspend Driving Licences

Christina Rees Excerpts
Monday 10th January 2022

(7 months, 1 week ago)

Westminster Hall
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Stewart Hosie Portrait Stewart Hosie (in the Chair)
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Before we begin, I remind Members that they are expected to wear face coverings when they are not speaking in the debate. This is in line with current Government guidance and that of the House of Commons Commission. I remind Members that they are advised by the House to have a covid lateral flow test before coming on to the estate. Could Members please give each other and staff space when seated and when entering and leaving the room?

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (Neath) (Lab/Co-op)
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I beg to move,

That this House has considered e-petition 548682, relating to police powers to suspend driving licences.

It is, as always, a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship Mr Hosie. As a member of the Petitions Committee, it is an honour to open the debate. The e-petition is about Tom’s law and was created by Christina Worsfold, Tom McConnachie’s partner. The petition closed on 25 March 2021 with 104,868 signatures. It states:

“We want police officers to be able to provide a suspension notice from the moment an offender is caught drink, drug or dangerous driving until they appear in court. It would then be for the Judge to decide whether a ban continues or they are able to continue to drive again… With Tom's Law we want police officers to be able to issue a suspension notice to an offender when arrested at the Road side to stop them from driving until they attend court to protect other road users.”

I met Christina and Charlotte McConnachie, Tom’s mother, who told me of the absolutely tragic circumstances of Tom’s death., Charlotte, Christina and Christina’s mother, Sandra, are in the Public Gallery this evening. Christina and Charlotte told me that at 3 am on 24 February 2019, Tom, aged 34, was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Budshead Road in Plymouth, Devon, by a drink driver who left Tom fatally injured in the road. The driver continued his journey to Okehampton, approximately 53 miles away, where he set fire to the vehicle to destroy the evidence.

Tom was returning from a night out with friends to celebrate the forthcoming wedding in August 2019 of one of the friends, at which Tom was to be a groomsman. Tom had taken a taxi home in the early hours of the morning and was hit by Lewis Seamen, who was driving a black Kia Rio car, which he had borrowed from a friend in order to pick up this friend’s partner. The taxi driver said that he helped Tom—who he described as “happy drunk”—out of his taxi and shook hands with him. When he got back in his car, he saw Tom walking along the nearby pavement. He then saw Tom standing in the middle of the road with his arms raised high. That is when he saw a black car hit Tom. The taxi driver got out of his car to help Tom and called 999.

A witness who was out running along Budshead Road said that he saw a man talking to a taxi driver before the taxi started to pull away. Then, a car travelling at around 30 mph with high revs came from behind the runner and hit the man, who was knocked 10 or 12 feet down the road. The runner stopped to help the injured man. The police officer who gave evidence at the inquest into Tom’s death, which was held on 11 February 2021, said that the police reconstruction of the fatal collision showed that the car that hit Tom was travelling at at least 29 mph and that the driver, Mr Seaman, may have been using a mobile phone, although the police officer could not confirm or validate this.

Tom was taken to Derriford Hospital, where tragically he died from serious head injuries shortly after being admitted. Tom was much loved in his community. He was an accomplished footballer and a Liverpool football club supporter. Everyone who had the privilege to meet Tom soon became friends with him.

On 6 January 2020, Mr Seaman pleaded guilty to drink-driving, failing to stop, driving without insurance and perverting the course of justice after a collision, but not guilty to failing to report, because he attended a police station at about 11 am on 24 February 2019, approximately seven hours after Tom had been hit. Mr Seaman was not charged with causing death by dangerous driving or careless driving. In his defence, Mr Seaman said that he had drunk three cans of lager and two single whiskies at about 9 pm on 23 February. He thought he was fit to drive in the early hours of 24 February. Mr Seaman claimed that his view of the road was hampered by fog, but other witnesses at the scene who provided statements that were read out at Tom’s inquest said that the view was clear.

On 31 January 2020, in Plymouth Crown court, Mr Seaman was sentenced by Judge Paul Darlow to 10 months’ imprisonment and a driving ban of three years and five months, with an extended retest condition. The court heard that a doctor had concluded that the level of alcohol in Seaman’s system

“would have been such that it would have impaired his ability to safely drive”,

but added:

“It cannot be said that it (the level of alcohol) contributed to Mr McConnachie’s death.”

Judge Darlow said:

“I can tell you straight off that if there was a suggestion on any sensible and fair basis upon which it could be said the amount of alcohol had contributed in any way, the outcome would have been entirely different.”

He said to Mr Seaman:

“The surest thing about this case is that you will have to live with the consequences of your actions and that is something that will not go away when you have served your prison sentence.”

Mr Seaman should have served half the sentence. In fact, however, he only served three months and three weeks. Tom’s family believe that Tom’s life was worth so much more than 10 months, so much more than five months. and so much more than three months and three weeks. Tom’s family appealed against the 10-month sentence under the Government’s unduly lenient sentence scheme, but a single judge sitting in chambers decided that there were no new grounds to put the case forward to the Court of Appeal to reconsider the sentence.

Tom’s family found it extremely distressing and concerning that the offender was allowed to continue to drive from 24 February 2019 until he was eventually banned by a judge at the Crown court hearing 11 months later. They are asking for police to be given powers to suspend a driver’s licence when the suspect provides a positive drink or drugs test over the legal limit until that suspect attends court, when the judge can decide whether the driving ban will continue.

Tom’s family told me that it was disclosed at the Crown court hearing that Mr Seaman had previous drink-driving offences. He had been banned for 18 months, which was subsequently reduced to 10 months after he completed a driver awareness course. Tom’s family believe that Mr Seaman had not learned from his previous driving ban and that being able to drive is not a human right, but a privilege. If someone abuses that privilege, it should be taken away from day one.

Tom’s family told me that many families in the same situation, where an offender has been allowed to drive while an investigation is ongoing, have pledged their support. They have also been contacted by police officers from across the UK who support Tom’s law because of the need to protect the public and save lives. Tom’s family want laws regarding driving offences to be toughened, and they want zero tolerance. They have worked closely with the Saltern family, who are campaigning for Ryan’s law. I had the privilege to open the debate on Ryan’s law, on behalf of the Petitions Committee, in this Chamber on 15 November 2021.

Tom’s family want to thank all the people who tried to help Tom: the taxi driver, the runner who gave Tom CPR at the scene, the police, the paramedics, and the staff at Derriford Hospital. They extend their sincere gratitude to SCARD, the Support and Care After Road Death and Injury charity.

The Department for Transport produced a UK Government response to the petition on 11 February 2021. It stated that,

“Turning to the suggestion that in certain circumstances a driving ban should be imposed pending investigation and trial, under the Bail Act 1976, the police can impose bail conditions for particular purposes, one of which is to ensure there is no further offence committed while on bail. A driving ban as a condition of police bail may be appropriate for some cases. Decisions on when to use these powers are operational matters for the police, and the rights of a defendant, not yet convicted, and the potential benefits to public safety from reducing the risk of further offences have to be balanced.”

I will be grateful if the Minister answers some questions about the current law, and about statistics concerning pre-charge bail and released under investigation—known as RUI. How many alleged suspects have been released on pre-charge bail from all police forces since 2017 for the following periods: up to 28 days; 29 days to three months; three months to six months; six months to 12 months; and over 12 months? How many alleged suspects, released on pre-charge bail for the periods I referred to, have had a driving ban imposed as a condition of that bail? How many alleged suspects have been released on RUI for the periods I referred to? Has RUI been successful in its aim of reducing the number of alleged suspects being released repeatedly on bail? Has RUI been overused by overstretched police forces so that complex cases are shelved because simpler cases have a better prospect of conviction, with the unintended consequence that alleged victims and suspects do not receive regular case updates, and so are left in limbo for months or years?

I hope the Minister has listened this evening to the requests of the petitioner. Will she consider introducing the power for police to immediately suspend a suspect’s driving licence in the circumstances set out in Tom’s law? Finally, will she meet Christina and Tom’s family to discuss the matter further? Tom’s family are still seeking justice.

--- Later in debate ---
Trudy Harrison Portrait Trudy Harrison
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I thank hon. Gentleman for making those points. He will understand that I am not the roads Minister, and I am responding on the behalf of the roads Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton. Officials in the Department will be listening closely to what he says and will endeavour to take that into account. He is correct to mention a consultation; a call for evidence will be taken forward.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees
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I thank the Minister for her magnanimous delivery, which is very measured. However, I have trouble with three things. First, if someone is released under investigation is that under guidance rather than under statute? Secondly, she referred to the data for which I asked—is that because it is not collected nationally, or because separate police forces do not have the IT or the staff to do it? Thirdly, I have a problem with RUI as opposed to police bail. The Minister must be aware of the tragic case of Kay Richardson, who was murdered by her estranged husband after he was released under investigation. He had previous domestic abuse convictions, but bail conditions might have protected her.

Trudy Harrison Portrait Trudy Harrison
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I am afraid I cannot answer the wider questions on RUI. When I asked for the information, I was led to understand that it was not collected, which is why I am seeking further information through the courts system. We will get that information and I will endeavour to respond to the hon. Lady on those specific requests as soon as I can.

I thank hon. Members again for raising this important issue and for the campaign for Tom’s law.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees
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I thank Members for their contributions, and give special thanks to the two Plymouth MPs who represent Christina and Tom’s families and have served them well in this debate: my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport (Luke Pollard) and the hon. Member for Plymouth, Moor View (Johnny Mercer). Most of all, I thank Christina and Tom’s family for campaigning for Tom’s law, so that other families will not have to suffer the grief and injustice that they have gone through for nearly three years.

When I met Christina, Charlotte and Sandra this afternoon, Christina reminded me that on 24 February this year it will be the third anniversary of Tom’s tragic death. They are still suffering. On behalf of Christina, Charlotte and Sandra, I thank the Minister for confirming that Baroness Vere will meet with them. I look forward to receiving in writing the statistics that I asked for. Thank you.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House has considered e-petition 548682, relating to police powers to suspend driving licences.

Oral Answers to Questions

Christina Rees Excerpts
Wednesday 14th July 2021

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Anne-Marie Trevelyan Portrait The Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth (Anne-Marie Trevelyan)
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The UK is already leading the way on tackling air pollution. The Government are backing a £3.8 billion plan to clean up transport and tackle air pollution, investing in green transport and working with local authorities just like the City of Westminster. My hon. Friend will be keen to read the transport decarbonisation plan, which will be published later today and will set out the world’s first “greenprint” for decarbonised transport and clean air.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees  (Neath)  (Lab/Co-op)
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What proportion of the billions of pounds of private sector investment and how many of the 250,000 highly skilled green jobs contained in the Prime Minister’s 10-point green industrial revolution plan to level up across the UK will go to Wales?

Alok Sharma Portrait Alok Sharma
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We are supporting industrial clusters around the world, as the hon. Lady will know from the 10-point plan that the Prime Minister published at the end of last year, and we are seeing action across the country. She will know that the Government have recently funded some new offshore wind ports and we have seen the investment that is going into battery manufacturing for electric vehicles.

Covid-19: Road Map

Christina Rees Excerpts
Monday 22nd February 2021

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Yes indeed, my hon. Friend can examine all the data that we have published today. I have set out the criteria by which we will proceed, and I thank him for what he is doing to marshal people in the car parks.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (Neath) (Lab/Co-op) [V]
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On 18 February, the UK Government announced £18.5 million for four research projects to better understand the causes, symptoms and treatment of long covid. However, the linkage between sepsis and covid, and between long sepsis and long covid, as evidenced by the UK Sepsis Trust, was not mentioned. Will the Prime Minister please outline his plans to make sure that this very important linkage is included in those research projects?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Of course we will look at sepsis, which is a deeply distressing condition, and at whether it has any association with covid.

Oral Answers to Questions

Christina Rees Excerpts
Wednesday 15th January 2020

(2 years, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Simon Hart Portrait Simon Hart
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I am pleased to say that that process is already happening. I am sitting down not only with my ministerial colleagues but with the hon. Lady’s ministerial and parliamentary colleagues, as well as unions and management, all in the space of a few days. I am absolutely conscious of the huge impact, uncertainty and worry that the current circumstances are resulting in. I will say it again: it is our shared responsibility with the Welsh Government to steady the situation and rectify the position. There are a number of ways of doing that; energy prices is one, and business rates is another, which we will look at closely to see how we can help.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (Neath) (Lab/Co-op)
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This is my first appearance at the Dispatch Box in 2020, so may I wish all hon. and right hon. Members a happy new year? I welcome the new Secretary of State to his place, and I wish the Under-Secretary of State for Wales, the hon. Member for Monmouth (David T. C. Davies), well. Given the average length of tenure of previous Wales Office Ministers, his first achievement will be to last more than a few months. I understand that he is a junior Whip as well, which may be even more challenging.

The Liberty Steel announcement is yet another blow to the steel industry, following Tata Steel’s announcement about Orb. Our thoughts are with the steelworkers and their families at this very anxious time. I must commend my hon. Friends the Members for Newport East (Jessica Morden) and for Newport West (Ruth Jones) for all the work they have done on this. I am sure that the Secretary of State has heard Welsh Government Economy Minister Ken Skates ask the UK Government to intervene more directly to reduce energy prices. Will he use his voice in Cabinet to make that call?

Simon Hart Portrait Simon Hart
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I thank the hon. Lady. I am sure the whole House will want to extend its congratulations to her on becoming a grandmother this week. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] I hope she will not mind my mentioning that for the public record.

The answer to the hon. Lady’s question is, of course, that the UK Government made £53 million available in, I think, 2018, by way of compensation for energy prices. The conversation I want to have is also with her colleagues in Cardiff—perhaps she can lead this herself—about business rates, and where the Welsh Government can help the industry in that regard as well. However, the shared ambition to make sure that there is a future for steel in Wales is absolute, and the hon. Lady can rely on the fact that I and my Cabinet colleagues will work to ensure that.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees
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My question was about energy. In other countries, large companies pay far less for their energy. All that Welsh steelworkers need is a fair deal. Steel is a foundation industry, and this UK Government and this Secretary of State need to do far more. Will the Secretary of State act now, decisively—or will he be just a bystander in the decline of the vital steel industry in Wales?

Simon Hart Portrait Simon Hart
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The hon. Lady may have misheard me, but I have already commented on the £53 million being made available by way of compensation for energy prices, and I restate what I said just now: one way in which the Welsh Government could step in now, and help significantly with the certainty around steel, is by addressing the issue of business rates. It would be a powerful message if she and I, combined, could make that case to Welsh Government.

Oral Answers to Questions

Christina Rees Excerpts
Wednesday 4th September 2019

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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The right hon. Lady claims to be the leader in Westminster of the party of Wales, but she fails to remember and to act on the instruction that came from the people of Wales to leave the European Union. She is seeking to frustrate the process. She is causing uncertainty to the Welsh economy, which is undermining business confidence.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (Neath) (Lab/Co-op)
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I have listened intently to the Secretary of State’s answers, and I am struggling, because he appears to be totally out of touch with what is going on in this place and in Wales. Does he now believe that the backstop is anti-democratic and risks undermining the Good Friday agreement, as his current boss claims?

Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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The hon. Lady did not support the withdrawal agreement—she voted against it—which has contributed to the current circumstances. Does she genuinely recognise and want to act on the instruction that came from the Welsh people, which is to leave the European Union? We need to draw a line.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees
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That is another non-answer from the Secretary of State, among many. I thought the system here was that I ask the questions and he answers them, unless I have got it wrong or he wants to swap positions. I will ask him again: why did he vote for the backstop three times under his previous boss? Was that to curry favour and keep his job then, or is he trying to keep his job now, or both?

Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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I am seeking to act on the democratic will of the Welsh and British people, and I am also seeking to respond to the demands that have been made in Parliament. The withdrawal agreement has been killed three times. We are working energetically and enthusiastically with our European allies in order to come back to this House with a deal, so that we can move on and focus on growing the economy and delivering on public services.

Oral Answers to Questions

Christina Rees Excerpts
Wednesday 26th June 2019

(3 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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I am grateful to my hon. Friend; with his local knowledge, having worked at the plant, he truly understands the value of the skills that the people there bring. Those skills are a real incentive to attract further investment. Along with the Welsh Government, we have set up a joint taskforce that will be led by Richard Parry-Jones, an industry expert who is best placed to make recommendations to the Government. We look forward to receiving that report shortly.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (Neath) (Lab/Co-op)
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Given the almost daily news of business closures in Wales as a result of Brexit uncertainty, and the real prospect of no deal, how can the Secretary of State justify his support for a candidate to be Prime Minister who is prepared to sacrifice thousands of manufacturing jobs in Wales to further his own personal ambition? Does the Secretary of State think it is a “do or die” Brexit?

Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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I am disappointed that the hon. Lady looks to undermine the Welsh economy. She needs to recognise that unemployment is at record low levels, economic activity is at record high levels, exports are growing and manufacturing is prospering. When it comes to Brexit, she also needs to recognise that when she voted against the deal on 29 March, she was the one who increased the prospect of no deal.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees
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The last thing I would do is undermine Wales. I am proud of my country and I am proud to have represented Wales many times. When you pull on that red jersey, Mr Speaker, there is nothing like it.

I will try again: given the Secretary of State’s apparent support for a no-deal Brexit as a price worth paying to keep his own job, what can he possibly say to people in Wales who stand to lose their manufacturing jobs as a result of his Government’s catastrophic mishandling of the Brexit negotiations?

Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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I highlight the fact that manufacturing is doing well in the Welsh economy, with 12,000 more manufacturing jobs in the economy now than there were in 2010. There are now 4,000 more manufacturing jobs in the Welsh economy than there were last year. Manufacturing employers would like to see a deal with the European Union; perhaps the hon. Lady should explain why she has voted against a deal with the European Union. Furthermore, she needs to explain why she is rejecting the will of the Welsh people, who voted in stronger numbers than the UK average to leave the European Union.

Oral Answers to Questions

Christina Rees Excerpts
Wednesday 15th May 2019

(3 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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John Bercow Portrait Mr Speaker
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Much to do and very little time in which to do it.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (Neath) (Lab/Co-op)
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May I welcome the new Minister, the hon. Member for Torbay (Kevin Foster), to his place and inquire whether he is on a temporary or permanent contract?

Our manifesto for the European elections states:

“Under Labour, no region or nation would lose out on funding, and power over decisions affecting investment will be taken in Scotland, Wales and in English regions.”

Will the Secretary of State tell us what his party’s European election manifesto says about EU funding in Wales post Brexit?

Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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I do not need to read any manifesto because I can repeat what I and the Chancellor have said previously. We have already committed to fund any project that has been agreed before our departure from the European Union, even when the funding date falls beyond that point.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees
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I am still not sure whether the Secretary of State has a manifesto. If he has one, it is incredibly well hidden. I could not find it. It is as well hidden as the UK shared prosperity consultation, which should have started before Christmas—where is it? Will he commit here and now to the principle of not a penny less, not a power lost for the people of Wales, and will he do his job for once and stand up for the people of Wales?

Oral Answers to Questions

Christina Rees Excerpts
Wednesday 3rd April 2019

(3 years, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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I do not think that a month passes without the right hon. Lady calling for me to take such action. However, it gives me an opportunity to thank my hon. Friend the Member for Selby and Ainsty (Nigel Adams) for his efforts, including his work on the north Wales growth deal, for which the right hon. Lady has shown appreciation in the past. I wish that she would not be so churlish now.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (Neath) (Lab/Co-op)
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As you know, Mr Speaker, the Newport West by-election will take place tomorrow, having been called after the sad passing of our wonderful colleague Paul Flynn. I wish Ruth Jones, our wonderful candidate, all the best for tomorrow. Let me also welcome the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the hon. Member for North Swindon (Justin Tomlinson), to his place. Is he staying long, or is he just passing through?

On several occasions the House has refused to back leaving without a deal. So have the Welsh Government and the Welsh Assembly. The Prime Minister does not want that either, and she has at last reached out to our party, seeking a cross-party approach to resolve the Brexit impasse. Does the Secretary of State agree with his Prime Minister, or with his former junior Minister, the hon. Member for Selby and Ainsty (Nigel Adams), who has just resigned?

Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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Let me first wish Matthew Evans well in the by-election to which the hon. Lady has referred.

As I said a moment ago, I do not want to leave the European Union without a deal. That is exactly why I voted for the Prime Minister’s deal. Perhaps the hon. Lady will explain to her constituents why she voted to block Brexit.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees
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I think it would be really helpful if the Secretary of State reiterated to the House today that he would rule out a no deal, which he knows would be disastrous for Wales. If he will not do so, he should follow his junior Minister and resign.

Oral Answers to Questions

Christina Rees Excerpts
Wednesday 5th December 2018

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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The hon. Gentleman points to a range of economic scenarios that have been painted, but they do not take into account any response that the Government will make. Of course, a responsible Government will respond to the economic situation as it emerges. I am excited about the prospect of striking free trade deals right around the world as an independent trading nation once again.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (Neath) (Lab/Co-op)
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I welcome the Minister to his place. On 2 May, the Secretary of State told the House that

“we are keen to negotiate to allow for the most frictionless trade possible with the European Union.”—[Official Report, 2 May 2018; Vol. 640, c. 300.]

Why does the term “frictionless trade” not appear in the political declaration?

Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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I kindly point the hon. Lady to the political declaration, which says “as frictionless as possible”. In my mind, that can include frictionless.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees
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That just is not good enough. The Secretary of State has given his backing to an agreement that does not even mention Wales, let alone protect workers’ rights, environmental standards, consumer protections or living standards. Is not the reality that this is a bad deal for Wales that fails to give Welsh people the certainty needed to safeguard jobs and livelihoods?

Alun Cairns Portrait Alun Cairns
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The deal that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has negotiated gives us the certainty of access to EU markets, but it also gives us new opportunities to strike trade deals around the world. I say to the hon. Lady that I am not sure what certainty a further referendum would bring, if that is her policy.

Oral Answers to Questions

Christina Rees Excerpts
Wednesday 24th October 2018

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank my hon. Friend for highlighting how important this sector is in her constituency. As an assiduous constituency Member, she raises the challenges ahead, but a good deal that works to support jobs in the supply chain is absolutely the primary focus of discussions, and a pragmatic, frictionless deal is what the Government are working for.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees (Neath) (Lab/Co-op)
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With your indulgence, Mr Speaker, may I congratulate Louise Magee, general secretary of Welsh Labour, and her partner Luke Holland, who have had a beautiful baby girl, Catherine Ivy, who is to be known as Kitty? Mother and baby are doing fine, and Luke is coping well, I understand.

I welcome the Minister to her place. The Welsh Government have pledged £3 million to support Airbus in preparing for Brexit. ADS, the national trade association that represents aerospace companies, has urged the Chancellor to ensure that there is enough financial liquidity for companies such as Airbus, which rely on just-in-time European supply chains. What are the Minister’s priorities for the Welsh aerospace sector?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank the hon. Lady for her question. As I have said in my previous answers, Wales has a deep-rooted, world-leading aerospace sector, and the Government understand that. There has been cross-Government engagement with all key stakeholders to support it. Frictionless trade and supporting the sector are absolutely vital, and we are ready to work and step up to that challenge.

Christina Rees Portrait Christina Rees
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That may well be, but the Government’s Brexit advice paper suggests that companies such as Airbus may move their headquarters to an EU member state in the event of no deal, which would be absolutely catastrophic for our Welsh economy. Does the Minister agree with her Prime Minister that no deal is better than a bad deal, as far as Wales is concerned?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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The UK Government in Wales are not complacent about the challenges of all scenarios. They are working extremely hard to make sure that all the opportunities are there in any deal, and are working to make sure that the sector thrives. That is vital to the Secretary of State, and to the UK Government. We will continue to stand by the Prime Minister in getting that frictionless deal.