There have been 11 exchanges between Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and Mrs Theresa May
|1||Thu 11th April 2019||
|3 interactions (289 words)|
|2||Wed 30th January 2019||
Oral Answers to Questions
|3 interactions (364 words)|
|3||Tue 4th December 2018||
European Union (Withdrawal) Act
|3 interactions (157 words)|
|4||Thu 15th November 2018||
EU Exit Negotiations
|3 interactions (330 words)|
|5||Mon 9th July 2018||
Leaving the EU
|3 interactions (202 words)|
|6||Wed 25th April 2018||
Oral Answers to Questions
|3 interactions (250 words)|
|7||Mon 16th April 2018||
|3 interactions (182 words)|
|8||Wed 14th March 2018||
|3 interactions (164 words)|
|9||Wed 20th December 2017||
Oral Answers to Questions
|3 interactions (211 words)|
|10||Mon 18th December 2017||
|3 interactions (210 words)|
|11||Thu 22nd June 2017||
|3 interactions (420 words)|
We have already indicated our intention to ensure that Parliament has a greater role in relation to the future relationship by accepting, as we said on 29 March, the amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Gareth Snell). Elements of this are about the political declaration, but there are also elements that are about what we do here in this House in UK legislation to ensure that we are entrenching objectives for that future relationship. Of course, the negotiation still has to take place with the EU on that future relationship, but there are many steps that we can take here in the United Kingdom to give confidence to Members of this House.
The position on the withdrawal agreement has been reiterated by the European Council, but of course the point of the Brady amendment was that alternative arrangements should be in place that could replace the backstop. One of the things that we have agreed with the European Union is a timetable for work on those alternative arrangements. As I indicated earlier, the Government have committed funding for the work that is necessary to ensure that we will be in a position such that, at the end of December 2020, the backstop would not need to be used and that, if interim arrangements were necessary, those alternative arrangements would be available.
Scotland is part of the United Kingdom and voted in 2014 to stay part of the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union. If the right hon. Gentleman wants to talk about the impact on Scotland in the future, perhaps he should look at the figures for exports that came out just this morning. Over 60% of Scotland’s exports go to the rest of the UK. That is more than Scotland’s trade with the rest of the world and over three times more than with the rest of the European Union. However, he represents a party that wants to erect a border between Scotland and England. The biggest threat to the future of Scotland is sitting on the SNP Benches.
My hon. Friend is absolutely right about what we are aiming to ensure that we get from leaving the EU, which is the ability to have that independent trade policy. That is so important for us as we leave the EU. Yes, I want to have a good trade relationship with the EU, but I also want to ensure that we are able to have an independent trade policy and have trade deals around the world. This country should be a champion for free trade around the world. That is the way not only to enhance our economy and prosperity and to bring jobs to this country, but to benefit countries around the world, including some of the countries whose economies need to be helped and improved. Some of the poorest people in the world would be helped by those trade arrangements. That is what we are going to deliver and that is our commitment to the British people and, as my hon. Friend says, it delivers on the result of the referendum.
That is absolutely what underpinned the proposal that we put forward in the summer, and it is what underpins the ambitious trade relationship identified in the political declaration, ensuring that people can invest in this country with confidence. Reference was made earlier to people voting for a brighter future for this country. We can deliver that brighter future for this country with a deal that delivers a good relationship with Europe but also enables us to have those other trade deals around the rest of the world.
First, absolute poverty is in fact at a low, and we have seen in the figures that came out earlier this week that real wages have been growing faster recently than at any time in the past decade, so the hon. Lady’s portrayal of this country is not fair. She asks what will ensure and improve the future of the British people; well, first of all, getting a good trade deal with the European Union is important, and that is what we are working towards—that is what the outline political declaration sets out—and we are also ensuring that we can have good trade deals around the rest of the world. I have to point out to the hon. Lady, given the Benches on which she sits, that what is necessary for all that is the good economic management that the Conservative Government have produced.
It is important that there is some further negotiation to fill out the details of the future relationship, and as my hon. Friend says, it will be important for Members of this House, when they have the meaningful vote, to consider those documents, alongside the analysis that the Government will provide, so that they have the full information to be able to take that vote and, as he says, in doing so recall the duty that I believe we have to deliver on the referendum vote.
The right hon. Gentleman is right in that we are looking to maintain those agreements. Of course, once we are out of the European Union, it will then be possible for us to enhance and improve those agreements in negotiation with those countries. Discussions have been held with a number of countries, and also with the European Commission, which itself has indicated its recognition that this is the right way forward.
We have always been clear that we will keep Parliament informed. One of the things I said at Lancaster House was that we would provide information generally as and when it was possible to do so. My hon. Friend said, I think, “if” we leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. Let me just confirm that we will be leaving on 29 March 2019.
The hon. Lady knows full well that those who work in the UK Visas and Immigration section of the Home Office look at every case very carefully. She has made her point in this House, and I am sure that the Home Office will look again at that case.
That is an important issue and I referred to it in my Mansion House speech. I said that we wanted to ensure that financial services were a part of the deep and comprehensive partnership that we wished to build with the EU27. Our goal should be to establish access to each other’s markets. That should be based on maintaining the same regulatory outcomes over time, with a mechanism that determines proportionate consequences where they are not maintained. That is part of my ambition for an economic partnership with the European Union that goes way beyond any existing free trade agreement, covering more sectors and co-operating more fully. My hon. Friend is right that if firms and financial services are looking to go elsewhere, they are more likely to look to go elsewhere in the world, rather than elsewhere in Europe.
The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. Nobody should be in any doubt about the role that Russia has played. Russia could play a role to ensure we find a diplomatic and political solution to what is happening in Syria. It has been unwilling to do so and it has supported a regime that has illegally used chemical weapons to kill and injure its own civilians, including young children.
The fact is that without action the message would have been sent that it was okay for this regime, and any other regime that chose to do so, to use chemical weapons. It is very important that we re-establish the fact that chemical weapons use is illegal and that the international community will not stand by and see them used.
I spoke to President Trump yesterday and he has spoken out against this incident. We will be continuing to speak with the American Administration because they are among the allies we would encourage to work with us in a collective response to this issue.
My hon. Friend raises an important issue, and this question has been raised before. Of course the reinvestigation of any deaths is a matter for the police; it is for them to consider what action to take. At present, their focus is clearly on this investigation, but I am sure they will look at that matter in due course.
I wish the hon. Gentleman a merry Christmas too, and a happy new year. In fact, the introduction of the Government’s proposed arrangements for free school meals under universal credit will lead to more children having access to them.
We value the important role that the City of London plays, not just as a financial centre for Europe but as a financial centre for the world, and we want to retain and maintain that. Mr Barnier has made a number of comments recently about the opening negotiating position of the European Union. Both the Bank of England and the Treasury have today set out reassurance about ensuring that banks will be able to continue to operate and the City of London will continue to retain its global position. That will, however, be part of the negotiations on phase 2 of Brexit, and we are very clear about how important it is.
I have answered a question on that in previous statements that I have made in relation to the matter. We would expect, yes, that the European Court of Justice jurisdiction would start very similarly at the beginning of that implementation period, but as I said in response to one of my hon. Friends earlier, we are also clear that, if it is possible to negotiate, for example, the dispute resolution mechanism at an earlier stage and introduce it at an earlier stage, we would do precisely that.
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The area of migration is a good example of how we will be continuing to work with our friends and allies in the European Union, even after we have left. This issue affects us all. We can have a greater impact if we all work together and we will continue to do that.
The building regulations set out the materials that are compliant and those that are non-compliant. As we go through this process of looking at the materials that have been used in various blocks, the question of whether they comply with building regulations will need to be looked at. That issue will need to be looked at in relation to the public inquiry.
Work on the guidance for the building regulations is ongoing and, I would expect, imminent—it is not just a question of producing something; various organisations need to be consulted. We need to ensure that when the fire services and police have done their investigation, any action that is necessary immediately as a result of the identification of the cause of the fire and the reason it took such hold—the issue of particular concern—should be taken, and will be taken.
I thank my hon. Friend for the work he has done and the feedback he has provided to Ministers following his conversations with residents and victims on the ground. He is absolutely right: the point has been made to key workers that they need to go out to see people, to ensure that they know what is available to them, rather than just expecting them to come into the centre. I can assure him that we are looking actively at what further resilience we can put into the system by establishing the sort of taskforce that he and I have both spoken about. None of us wants to see a circumstance like this happen again, but we must ensure that there is full resilience, where disasters take place.