There have been 3 exchanges between Mr Gavin Shuker and Cabinet Office
|Thu 25th July 2019||Priorities for Government||3 interactions (65 words)|
|Wed 3rd July 2019||Oral Answers to Questions||5 interactions (82 words)|
|Wed 21st November 2018||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (83 words)|
We will of course make sure that the £20 billion extra that we have committed to the NHS goes to the frontline and to all hospitals in this country.
I absolutely agree with the hon. Lady. We should all reflect on the words that she quoted. She will be pleased to know that, at the last meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office raised exactly those points with his Irish counterpart. It is important that we do mark this in a spirit of reconciliation, mutual understanding and looking to the future.
There has been significant engagement over the past nine weeks with the political parties in Northern Ireland, considering a range of important and difficult issues. Progress has been made, but there are a number of areas of disagreement between the political parties.
My focus is on getting the devolved Administration back together and getting all the institutions that were agreed in the Belfast/Good Friday agreement working—in particular, the north-south institutions, which are incredibly important. Having those, and also having representation of the Northern Ireland Executive on the Joint Ministerial Committee, are both very important points in making sure that Northern Ireland’s voice is heard in the Brexit debate.
I say to my right hon. Friend that I am happy to give that commitment. I think it is important for us to recognise that although we are leaving the European Union, we are not leaving Europe; we do want to continue to have not just a good trading relationship and close trading partnership with the EU, but that close security and defence partnership that we have had with the European Union and other countries across Europe as well. As he says, this is what makes sense, not just for the UK, but for all those European Union member states as well.
The hon. Gentleman raises what is obviously an important issue. Having introduced the Modern Slavery Act, I am pleased to say that between 2015 and 2017 we saw a 52% increase in the number of modern slavery offences prosecuted. There is more for us to do, but we should welcome the change that has already taken place.
The hon. Gentleman asked specifically about a sex-buyer law. Separate to the review of the Modern Slavery Act, the Home Office has provided funds for research into the nature and prevalence of sex work in England and Wales, and that follows a Home Affairs Committee report on prostitution. As I am sure the hon. Gentleman will appreciate, we believe it is vital to have an evidence base before we consider any changes in this policy area. The research that is taking place will be completed next spring.