Debates between Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and John Bercow

There have been 6 exchanges between Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and John Bercow

1 Tue 8th October 2019 Preparations for Leaving the EU
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (86 words)
2 Thu 26th September 2019 Hong Kong
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
2 interactions (93 words)
3 Thu 18th July 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Department for Transport
4 interactions (122 words)
4 Thu 11th July 2019 Leasehold Reform
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
2 interactions (789 words)
5 Mon 11th March 2019 Exiting the European Union 2 interactions (106 words)
6 Mon 25th June 2018 National Policy Statement: Airports
Department for Transport
2 interactions (382 words)

Preparations for Leaving the EU

Debate between Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and John Bercow
Tuesday 8th October 2019

(10 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Cabinet Office
Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
8 Oct 2019, 2:51 p.m.

In order to accommodate as many right hon. and hon. Members as possible, I am now looking for short questions without preamble and comparably pithy replies.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Portrait Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con) - Hansard
8 Oct 2019, 2:51 p.m.

We have been extremely generous to 3 million EU citizens residing in this country at the point of no deal. Surely our EU partners could be equally generous in providing assurances for 1 million-odd of our citizens living in Europe. They have been threatened with having to reapply for residence next year, and they do not know where they stand.

Hong Kong

Debate between Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and John Bercow
Thursday 26th September 2019

(10 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

Such illustrious colleagues! It is very hard to choose—wow. Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Portrait Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Sep 2019, 11:04 a.m.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Might my right hon. Friend consider raising with Carrie Lam, when he next has a conversation with her, an issue that has been raised with me by a number of young people, including the demonstrators—the social mobility in Hong Kong? For the ordinary person, even if they have actually got a good degree, it is very difficult to get a job that is well enough paid to better their standard of living from that of their parents.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and John Bercow
Thursday 18th July 2019

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Transport
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Portrait Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown - Parliament Live - Hansard
18 Jul 2019, 9:34 a.m.

Sadly, there have been 10 fatalities and 123 casualties on that road in the last four years for which figures are available, so the improvement is desperately needed. Has my right hon. Friend had the chance to evaluate the Labour party’s proposals to scrap the roads programme, which would mean hundreds of road schemes such as this never being built and motorists being hugely inconvenienced?

Mr Speaker Hansard
18 Jul 2019, 9:34 a.m.

But that is not a matter for the Secretary of State—

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Portrait Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown - Hansard

rose—

Mr Speaker Hansard

No, no—[Interruption.] Order. Resume your seat. We are talking about Government policy. If the Secretary of State wants to say something about Government policy, he can, but he cannot ruminate or pontificate on Opposition policy. That is not a matter for the Secretary of State.

Leasehold Reform

Debate between Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and John Bercow
Thursday 11th July 2019

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

Order. A five-minute limit on Back-Bench speeches will need to apply with immediate effect.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Portrait Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
11 Jul 2019, 3:11 p.m.

Thank you for allowing me to catch your eye, Mr Speaker. I am really pleased to follow the hon. Member for Sheffield South East (Mr Betts). As Chairman of the Select Committee, he is one of the most knowledgeable people in this House, and I pay tribute to him for the excellent work that his Committee has done in this field. I am one of the few chartered surveyors in the House, and I draw hon. Members’ attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I have managed properties of all sorts for more than 40 years and I therefore have a degree of knowledge in this area.

The basic property law in this country dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, and in particular to 1086, when the Domesday property book listed every property in England. The law has progressed since then. In particular, the law on leasehold arose because landowners wanted to come to an agreement with one or more persons to occupy their land for a variety of functions. Sometimes it was to farm it, sometimes it was to build buildings and sometimes it was to run a business, and the leasehold law arose. It has been amended many times since then, as the hon. Gentleman has said.

In recent years, there have been a number of scams in my constituency relating to the leasehold law and, in particular, to the freehold law, and I want to go into one or two of those. As the hon. Gentleman said, the two areas in which these leasehold scams arise are ground rents and service charges. The ground rents in older leases tended to be a fairly small proportion of the total cost, but in recent years modern developers have hiked the ground rents, often doubling them every 10 years. The so-called proposals to modify this with reference to the retail prices index could lead to an even greater scam, because if inflation started to rise, ground rents could double not every 10 years but every five years. We need to look very carefully at that proposal. There are other proposals to make ground rents more moderate.

The other area, which is perhaps a bigger concern, is that of service charges. They can often be completely unknown, and they can include elements that are not immediately apparent to the person buying a leasehold. Those elements include administration fees, accountancy fees, commissions, insurance—the list goes on forever. The problem with all that is that a purchaser’s solicitors often assume that their client has a greater knowledge than they really have and are not explicit about what the obligations amount to.

I will move on quickly, because time is running out. I have constituents in the Gallery who have had equal and similar problems with scams relating to freeholds. Freeholders buy their properties with a covenant—many covenants in some cases—that contain unquantified and unspecified obligations relating particularly to the common parts of their estate. When pressed, the smart salespeople in the smart furnished flat or house on the estate often say, “Well, it’s only a small amount. It will amount to a few hundred pounds.” However, when the buyer gets their first bill, they suddenly realise what they are locked into. In some cases, the charges are so high, as they can be with leaseholds, that the properties are effectively made unsaleable.

We need to look carefully at the purchasing system in this country, and the Government need to work with the Law Society to ensure that all solicitors make it explicitly clear to their prospective purchasing clients what they are letting themselves in for. In my experience—I do not wish to knock either my own profession or the legal profession—they tend to be fairly blasé about inquiring into what the arrangements are for managing these common parts, which can be very expensive. The Government need to examine the arrangements to make it much easier for groups of people representing their estate to take over its management. What actually happens is that the management tends to be vested in a company that is owned by the estate’s original developer, and then people who cannot get out of dealing with that company are locked into whatever said company chooses to charge them.

I pay great tribute to Amanda Davies from Burton Chase and Mike South in Victory Fields for bringing some of these anomalies to me. Like the hon. Member for Sheffield South East, I have written to the Competition and Markets Authority with a draft of how my constituents think the current system is being mis-sold. I hope that the CMA will take close notice of that.

Exiting the European Union

Debate between Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and John Bercow
Monday 11th March 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
11 Mar 2019, 11:25 p.m.

Ah, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has come among our number. [Interruption.] Somebody sneezed. I think it is in excited anticipation of the hon. Gentleman’s contribution.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Portrait Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
11 Mar 2019, 11:25 p.m.

This is an exciting moment. My right hon. Friend gave an answer to the hon. Member for Bristol East (Kerry McCarthy) that if the deal is not voted through tomorrow, we will vote on no deal on Wednesday and an extension of article 50 on Thursday, in accordance with the Prime Minister’s statement last week. Will the converse apply? If we vote for the deal tomorrow, will there be sufficient time before 29 March to get the necessary legislation through the House?

National Policy Statement: Airports

Debate between Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and John Bercow
Monday 25th June 2018

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Transport
Mr Speaker Hansard

Order. A three-minute limit on Back-Bench speeches will now have to apply.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Portrait Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
25 Jun 2018, 9:01 p.m.

With no availability at its main hub airport, London is beginning to find that new routes to important long-haul destinations are set up elsewhere in Europe, rather than in the UK. Other UK airports are increasingly squeezed out by Heathrow, with passengers from the nations and regions obliged to transfer through other European airports. That is the hub—literally—of this debate.

Although I respect my hon. Friends who oppose the proposal for Heathrow airport for constituency reasons, I respectfully say that they are wrong. The future is of hub airports. We can look, for example, at Dubai, South Korea and Bangkok. All the airports where there is major expansion are hub airports. My hon. Friends suggest that we should spread the service across five London airports. All that will mean is spreading the misery across far more communities in London.

The right hon. Member for Warley (John Spellar) put his finger on it when he said that if we do not adapt to what the world is facing, we will simply outsource air travel and pollution to other countries in Europe, and that really would not be very sensible. Of course, my hon. Friends want the greatest protections they can possibly have against the environmental damage and noise aspects of the airport, and I support them wholly in that.

Let me make my final point in the very short time that I have available. In paragraph 2.32 of the Airports Commission report, it says:

“Another important trend is that of rising inbound travel into Europe from emerging market economies. IATA’s forecasts…predict that over the next two decades the growth of the origin and destination (OD) market in China alone is predicted to be greater than that in the US, UK and Germany combined”.

If this country wants to succeed in a competitive world, it has to expand its airport at Heathrow. I am chairman of the all-party trade and investment group. I can see only too clearly what will happen if we do not remain competitive. Hong Kong started its consultation on this matter in 2011. Within the next five years, it will have completed a hugely difficult airport policy into the sea around Hong Kong. We must remain competitive. The world is changing around us.