Debates between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May

There have been 109 exchanges between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May

1 Mon 21st October 2019 European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and Extension Letter
Department for Exiting the European Union
2 interactions (46 words)
2 Sat 19th October 2019 European Union (Withdrawal) Acts
Department for Exiting the European Union
2 interactions (132 words)
3 Wed 24th July 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
12 interactions (670 words)
4 Wed 17th July 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
5 interactions (259 words)
5 Wed 10th July 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (144 words)
6 Wed 3rd July 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (437 words)
7 Wed 26th June 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (403 words)
8 Wed 19th June 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
6 interactions (322 words)
9 Wed 12th June 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
5 interactions (323 words)
10 Wed 22nd May 2019 Leaving the European Union
Cabinet Office
16 interactions (2,671 words)
11 Wed 22nd May 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
5 interactions (279 words)
12 Wed 1st May 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Department for International Development
6 interactions (389 words)
13 Thu 11th April 2019 European Council
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (373 words)
14 Wed 10th April 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
5 interactions (234 words)
15 Wed 3rd April 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
14 interactions (583 words)
16 Fri 29th March 2019 United Kingdom’s Withdrawal from the European Union
Attorney General
7 interactions (1,015 words)
17 Wed 27th March 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (119 words)
18 Mon 25th March 2019 European Council
Cabinet Office
16 interactions (2,013 words)
19 Wed 20th March 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
12 interactions (657 words)
20 Wed 13th March 2019 UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
6 interactions (518 words)
21 Wed 13th March 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
13 interactions (454 words)
22 Tue 12th March 2019 European Union (Withdrawal) Act
Cabinet Office
9 interactions (1,165 words)
23 Wed 6th March 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Northern Ireland Office
12 interactions (508 words)
24 Wed 27th February 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Wales Office
7 interactions (353 words)
25 Tue 26th February 2019 Leaving the European Union
Cabinet Office
16 interactions (2,687 words)
26 Wed 20th February 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (207 words)
27 Wed 13th February 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (489 words)
28 Tue 12th February 2019 Leaving the EU
Cabinet Office
26 interactions (3,205 words)
29 Wed 30th January 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (276 words)
30 Tue 29th January 2019 European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018
Cabinet Office
6 interactions (834 words)
31 Wed 23rd January 2019 Oral Answers to Questions
Wales Office
2 interactions (100 words)
32 Mon 21st January 2019 Leaving the EU
Cabinet Office
15 interactions (2,772 words)
33 Wed 16th January 2019 No Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (254 words)
34 Tue 15th January 2019 European Union (Withdrawal) Act
Attorney General
12 interactions (2,293 words)
35 Mon 14th January 2019 Leaving the EU
Cabinet Office
5 interactions (165 words)
36 Wed 19th December 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
10 interactions (399 words)
37 Mon 17th December 2018 European Council
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (1,747 words)
38 Wed 12th December 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
7 interactions (308 words)
39 Mon 10th December 2018 Exiting the European Union
Cabinet Office
16 interactions (2,557 words)
40 Wed 5th December 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
7 interactions (317 words)
41 Tue 4th December 2018 European Union (Withdrawal) Act
Cabinet Office
7 interactions (894 words)
42 Mon 3rd December 2018 G20 Summit
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (175 words)
43 Wed 28th November 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (199 words)
44 Mon 26th November 2018 Leaving the EU
Cabinet Office
6 interactions (1,883 words)
45 Thu 22nd November 2018 Progress on EU Negotiations
Cabinet Office
14 interactions (642 words)
46 Wed 21st November 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (137 words)
47 Thu 15th November 2018 EU Exit Negotiations
Cabinet Office
13 interactions (709 words)
48 Wed 14th November 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
10 interactions (474 words)
49 Wed 31st October 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
6 interactions (367 words)
50 Wed 24th October 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Wales Office
8 interactions (352 words)
51 Mon 22nd October 2018 October EU Council
Cabinet Office
15 interactions (2,437 words)
52 Wed 17th October 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (127 words)
53 Mon 15th October 2018 EU Exit Negotiations
Cabinet Office
6 interactions (488 words)
54 Wed 10th October 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (450 words)
55 Wed 12th September 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (124 words)
56 Wed 5th September 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
4 interactions (228 words)
57 Wed 18th July 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Wales Office
17 interactions (897 words)
58 Mon 16th July 2018 NATO Summit
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (530 words)
59 Mon 9th July 2018 Leaving the EU
Cabinet Office
19 interactions (2,920 words)
60 Wed 4th July 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
5 interactions (208 words)
61 Mon 2nd July 2018 June European Council
Cabinet Office
5 interactions (892 words)
62 Wed 27th June 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
6 interactions (246 words)
63 Wed 20th June 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Northern Ireland Office
3 interactions (179 words)
64 Wed 13th June 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Wales Office
33 interactions (1,571 words)
65 Mon 11th June 2018 G7
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (40 words)
66 Wed 6th June 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
9 interactions (426 words)
67 Wed 16th May 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (320 words)
68 Mon 14th May 2018 Tributes: Baroness Jowell
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (925 words)
69 Wed 2nd May 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Wales Office
3 interactions (49 words)
70 Wed 25th April 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
11 interactions (713 words)
71 Wed 18th April 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
3 interactions (318 words)
72 Tue 17th April 2018 Military Action Overseas: Parliamentary Approval
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (295 words)
73 Mon 16th April 2018 Syria
Cabinet Office
23 interactions (875 words)
74 Wed 28th March 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
15 interactions (588 words)
75 Mon 26th March 2018 European Council
Cabinet Office
10 interactions (2,025 words)
76 Wed 21st March 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Northern Ireland Office
5 interactions (397 words)
77 Wed 14th March 2018 Salisbury Incident
Cabinet Office
16 interactions (2,019 words)
78 Wed 14th March 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Wales Office
2 interactions (119 words)
79 Mon 12th March 2018 Salisbury Incident
Cabinet Office
5 interactions (234 words)
80 Wed 7th March 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
19 interactions (883 words)
81 Mon 5th March 2018 UK/EU Future Economic Partnership
Cabinet Office
18 interactions (2,393 words)
82 Wed 28th February 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (365 words)
83 Wed 21st February 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
10 interactions (505 words)
84 Wed 7th February 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
8 interactions (266 words)
85 Wed 24th January 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Scotland Office
8 interactions (360 words)
86 Wed 17th January 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (148 words)
87 Wed 10th January 2018 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
16 interactions (643 words)
88 Wed 20th December 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
20 interactions (825 words)
89 Mon 18th December 2017 European Council
Cabinet Office
11 interactions (242 words)
90 Wed 13th December 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (236 words)
91 Mon 11th December 2017 Brexit Negotiations
Cabinet Office
18 interactions (702 words)
92 Wed 6th December 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
7 interactions (327 words)
93 Wed 22nd November 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
2 interactions (145 words)
94 Wed 15th November 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Northern Ireland Office
6 interactions (157 words)
95 Wed 1st November 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
6 interactions (427 words)
96 Wed 25th October 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
14 interactions (544 words)
97 Mon 23rd October 2017 European Council
Cabinet Office
32 interactions (2,453 words)
98 Wed 18th October 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
26 interactions (1,182 words)
99 Wed 11th October 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
10 interactions (520 words)
100 Mon 9th October 2017 UK Plans for Leaving the EU
Cabinet Office
15 interactions (2,452 words)
101 Wed 13th September 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Northern Ireland Office
10 interactions (393 words)
102 Wed 19th July 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
6 interactions (300 words)
103 Mon 10th July 2017 G20
Cabinet Office
16 interactions (1,324 words)
104 Wed 5th July 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Cabinet Office
10 interactions (549 words)
105 Wed 28th June 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Northern Ireland Office
7 interactions (334 words)
106 Mon 26th June 2017 European Council
Cabinet Office
19 interactions (2,455 words)
107 Thu 22nd June 2017 Grenfell Tower
Cabinet Office
36 interactions (1,679 words)
108 Wed 21st June 2017 Debate on the Address
Cabinet Office
10 interactions (443 words)
109 Tue 13th June 2017 Election of Speaker
Cabinet Office
4 interactions (1,200 words)

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and Extension Letter

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Monday 21st October 2019

(9 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Department for Exiting the European Union
Mr Speaker Hansard
21 Oct 2019, 4:51 p.m.

I am not quite sure from her expression whether the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) is welcoming the belated support of the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone) or regretting the fact that it was not on offer at a rather earlier stage.

Mrs Theresa May (Maidenhead) (Con) - Hansard
21 Oct 2019, 4:51 p.m.

Both.

European Union (Withdrawal) Acts

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Saturday 19th October 2019

(9 months, 4 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Department for Exiting the European Union
Mr Speaker Hansard

Order. A five-minute limit on Back-Bench speeches will have to apply with immediate effect, although I do not anticipate that that limit will last very long.

Mrs Theresa May (Maidenhead) (Con) - Hansard
19 Oct 2019, 1:19 p.m.

When I arrived at the House of Commons this morning, I saw the message, “Good day for May”. I thought that perhaps consensus had come across the whole House and that it had already been decided that this deal would be supported by the House tonight. Unfortunately, my view on that was premature—although I think only premature—because, happily for England, it was a reference to Jonny May having scored the first two tries in our victory against Australia.

I hope the whole House will forgive me if I say that, standing here, I have a distinct sense of déjà vu. But today’s vote is an important one—

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 24th July 2019

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
24 Jul 2019, 12:14 p.m.

My first answer to the right hon. Gentleman is no. If he wants to talk about people ducking manifesto commitments and commitments made during general election campaigns, might I remind him that the Labour party and he said that they would abolish student debt? After the election, he rowed back on that promise. What else did he say during the general election campaign? He said he was committed to Trident. What did he say afterwards? He said, no, he was not committed to Trident at all. He has broken promise after promise to the people of this country.

As this is the last time that the right hon. Gentleman and I will have this exchange across these Dispatch Boxes—[Hon. Member: “Are you going to answer the question?”] I was going to say that it is a strength of our British democracy that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have these exchanges across the Dispatch Boxes every week, two swords’ lengths apart, and that no quarter is sought and none is given. That is as it should be in our adversarial parliamentary democracy. But he and I are very different people and very different politicians and we approach the issues the country faces in different ways. I have spent all but one of my years in the House on the Front Bench trying to implement the policies I believe in, while he has spent most of his time on the Back Benches campaigning for what he believes in, often against his own party, but what we have in common is a commitment to our constituencies. I saw that after the terrorist attack in Finsbury Park mosque in his constituency. Perhaps then I could finish by saying this: as a party leader who has accepted when her time is up, might I suggest that perhaps the time is now for him to do the same? [Hon. Members: “More!”]

Mr Speaker Hansard
24 Jul 2019, 12:19 p.m.

I call Glyn Davies.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I commend the individual to whom the hon. Gentleman referred for the work that he has been doing. I am not aware of the organisation that the hon. Gentleman referred to, of which the consultant that he mentioned is a member, but I do want a relationship between the United Kingdom and European Union in the future that enables our scientists and academics to continue to work with those in the EU, and around the rest of the world, to do the pioneering work that—as the hon. Gentleman said, speaking from his own experience—is changing people’s lives for the better.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

Ah yes, a singular denizen of the House: Sir John Hayes.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

Can I say—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
24 Jul 2019, 12:52 p.m.

Order. Fortunately, because the hon. Gentleman’s voice carries, I was able to hear his question, but I am at least as interested to hear the answer

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I thank my hon. Friend for his remarks. This place is about debate, argument and discussion about the issues that we all believe in so passionately and that matter to us all. Those debates and discussions are best held when they are held with respect and courtesy. I thank my hon. Friend for the courtesy that he has shown to me in our discussions together. I look forward to probably continuing some of those discussions when I join him on the Back Benches.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I thank my right hon. Friend for her question and for the groundbreaking work she did on the Autism Act 2009. That legislation helped to raise people’s awareness of the issues experienced by those on the autistic spectrum and greatly increased our understanding of what we need to do to enable people with autism to lead fulfilling lives. There are many issues in which I want to take an interest when I am on the Back Benches and this, along with mental health more widely, is something that I will want to continue to look at. I have committed to taking the autism training that the all-party group has made available for Members of Parliament.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
24 Jul 2019, 1 p.m.

Finally, I call the Mother of the House, Harriet Harman.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 17th July 2019

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
17 Jul 2019, 12:26 p.m.

I am sure the Prime Minister is just beyond excited.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I was going to say, Mr Speaker, such temptation has been dangled before me, and I thank my right hon. Friend for it.

First, we are very pleased with the cluster in my right hon. Friend’s constituency and the important role that that plays in our economy, in our research and our science development. The Business Secretary is in the Chamber and has heard the points my right hon. Friend has made about accelerating this process, and I am sure that the Business Department will look carefully at his request.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
17 Jul 2019, 12:35 p.m.

I am very happy to congratulate my hon. Friend on all the work that he has done for his constituency and more widely. He is absolutely right: UK Export Finance is an essential part of the Government support that can be provided to exporters. I am very pleased that the Department for International Trade has changed the rules to enable UK Export Finance to provide support for some smaller exporters, which has encouraged them. UKEF provides a vital role in our economy and our exporting around the world, and I am happy to congratulate it on the work that it does.

Mr Speaker Hansard
17 Jul 2019, 12:36 p.m.

I am always happy to congratulate the hon. Member for Stafford (Jeremy Lefroy), as others will, for one very good reason that the public should know: he invariably plays the ball rather than the man or the woman. He sticks to the arguments, and that is why he is respected not only by his constituents, but across the House.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 10th July 2019

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

First of all, I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend that such initiatives at a local level are an important part of the wider work we are doing on climate change and on making sure we leave the environment in a better state for the next generation.

I thank my hon. Friend for his invitation, and I will look to see how busy my diary is in the autumn. [Interruption.] Well, you never know. I may have a bit more free time in the autumn. This is an important issue, and I commend him for taking this initiative at a local level, because raising awareness of climate change at a local level is important for all of us.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
10 Jul 2019, 12:46 p.m.

It is certainly an innovative approach to the issue of invitations, upon which the hon. Member for Hitchin and Harpenden (Bim Afolami) is doubtless to be complimented.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 3rd July 2019

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

The right hon. Gentleman asks what I would say to workers at Ellesmere Port. I would tell them that I and the vast majority of Conservative Members in this House voted to protect their jobs. The Labour party whipped three times against a deal. The Labour party whipped three times for no deal. The threat to those Ellesmere Port jobs is from the Labour party. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
3 Jul 2019, 12:09 p.m.

Order. Ms Onn, you are very over-excitable. Calm yourself.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I am sure that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has heard the particular case that the hon. Lady has raised in this House. We do want to ensure—we are working, and my right hon. Friend the Minister for Women and Equalities is working, on ensuring this—that women are able to take their place in the workforce. We do see women in the workforce at record levels. We want to ensure, and we are working on providing, greater economic empowerment for women so that they can take their place. I am sure that the Secretary of State or the relevant Minister will respond on the specific case.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

Order.

Break in Debate

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
3 Jul 2019, 12:51 p.m.

I think it only right that if the Prime Minister wants to respond in a moment, she must certainly should do so. Let me just say to the hon. Member for Swansea East that the sheer passion, sincerity and integrity with which she has spoken and conducted herself are an example to us all, and that the determination that she has shown is an enormous credit to her. Her constituency, her party, the House, and people across politics and beyond are inspired by the way in which she has behaved, and we are unstinting in our admiration for her. Before the statement, let us hear from the Prime Minister on this subject because she has brought matters to fruition.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

May I also commend the hon. Lady for the work that she has done? This was born out of personal sadness, but many families will benefit from the passion, commitment and determination that she has shown in championing this issue. She said that she has sometimes been impatient. Sometimes you have to be impatient, because it is that impatience that spurs others on. I am pleased that we have been able to introduce the fund, and I echo Mr Speaker’s comments in commending the hon. Lady for the way in which he has championed this cause. As I say, we share and are concerned about the personal sadness that she went through, but she has taken that and put it to good use for the benefit of families up and down the country.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 26th June 2019

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

First, as I have made clear, we are seeking permission to appeal the recent judgment. The judgment is not about whether the Government made the right or wrong decisions, but about the decision-making process and whether it was rational. We are considering the implications of the judgment, alongside seeking permission to appeal, and while we do that, we will not grant any new licences for exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners that might be used in the conflict in Yemen. The right hon. Gentleman talks about the conflict in Yemen. As I have just said, let us remember what happened and why we are seeing this conflict in Yemen: it was the overthrow of the internationally recognised Government by rebel insurgents. We are all concerned about the humanitarian situation in Yemen. [Interruption.] The shadow Foreign Secretary might like, as this is an area of concern to her remit, to actually listen to what the Government are doing. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Jun 2019, 12:12 p.m.

Order. The questions must be heard and the answers must be heard.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Jun 2019, 12:13 p.m.

We are all concerned about the humanitarian situation in Yemen. That is why, since the start of the conflict in 2015, our total commitment to Yemen now stands at £770 million. We are one of the major contributors to support for the humanitarian effort. Ultimately, the only way to resolve this issue is through a political settlement. That is why we are supporting the efforts of the UN special envoy, Martin Griffiths.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Jun 2019, 12:43 p.m.

I am very concerned to hear the case that my hon. Friend has brought before the House of his constituent and Spinraza. I will ensure that it is looked into. If NICE says that Spinraza is available, then obviously it should stand by its word.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Jun 2019, 12:43 p.m.

If the hon. Gentleman does not get a result, and he wants it to be debated again before the summer recess, let me tell him: it will be debated. He can be quite certain of that.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Jun 2019, 12:49 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman is right to raise the issue of the justice that those victims deserve. I have raised the issue myself with the Libyan Government in the past, and I will certainly ensure that the special representative is able to make every effort to ensure that the victims get that to which they are entitled and that he works with them in doing that: it is important that their voices are a crucial part of that.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 19th June 2019

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to reference the fact that we need those skills for our economy and our society in the future. I am very happy to congratulate Lewis on being the UK representative for bricklaying in the WorldSkills competition in Russia. I wish him all the very best and I am sure the whole House will wish him all the very best as he carries the UK standard with him.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

It is always said that Winston Churchill was a 60-bricks-an-hour man—a very good bricklayer himself, I must advise the House.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
19 Jun 2019, 12:34 p.m.

First, we mark Windrush Day on 22 June; that day has been set up to recognise the contribution that the Windrush generation made to our life, our society and our economy here in the UK. What lay behind the issue in relation to the problems that some members of the Windrush generation have faced was the fact that when they came into the UK, they were not given documentary evidence of their immigration status, and, as their countries gained independence, they were not given that documentary evidence of their status—[Interruption.] It is no good shouting “Rubbish”. That is what lay behind it, and there were cases of people in the Windrush generation—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

Order. This is very unseemly behaviour. Members are entitled to ask orderly questions, but having asked the questions, they should then have the courtesy to listen to the Prime Minister’s answer.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
19 Jun 2019, 12:34 p.m.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

That is what lay at the heart of the issue in relation to the Windrush generation. It is the case that people in the Windrush generation faced these difficulties as a result of not having that documentary evidence both under Labour Governments in the past and, more recently, under this Government. The Home Office is working to put that right. People who are concerned about this should contact the Home Office taskforce and they will get the help and support that they need.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 12th June 2019

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Jun 2019, 12:53 p.m.

Ten leadership elections and never a candidate! My hon. Friend has missed his opportunity again. I am sure that all the candidates have heard the point that he made.

I have not had a chance to look at the ombudsman’s report. I am concerned—we have seen over the years a number of parts of the NHS where the mental health services have not been delivering what they should be delivering for individuals. It is important, as we have put mental health as a central part of what we want to see developing and improving in the health service, that we look at not only the money that is being put in, but how, at local level, trusts are operating and delivering services.

Mr Speaker Hansard

The hon. Gentleman might not have been a candidate so far, but he is scarcely at the midpoint of his parliamentary career, and we know not what awaits us, or him, in the future.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I said a few weeks ago that I hoped the day would come when the hon. Lady would welcome action that the Government were taking on climate change and I thank her for her comments on what we have announced today. This decision was taken across Government and it is supported across Government. It is an important decision for the future. She says we need action, not just words. She will have noticed that we have not just said that we are going to have this net zero target—we are actually introducing legislation to put that in place. That is action, not just words.

Mr Speaker Hansard

Order. We come now to the statement from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Dr Greg Clark. If the right hon. Gentleman wishes to await a quieter and more appropriately respectful audience, I am happy to play ball with a little bit of judicious delay—[Interruption.] And filibustering, as the Chancellor observes, helpfully and I think good-naturedly from a sedentary position.

Leaving the European Union

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 22nd May 2019

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May) - Parliament Live - Hansard
22 May 2019, 12:57 p.m.

Before I make my statement, may I too recognise the work of Yvonne Marie Blenkinsop and others, and indeed all those who have campaigned over the years to ensure that those in the workplace can have the degree of safety and security that they need?

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on the Government’s work to deliver Brexit by putting forward a new deal that Members of this House can stand behind.

We need to see Brexit through, to honour the result of the referendum and to deliver the change the British people so clearly demanded. I sincerely believe that most Members of this House feel the same—that, for all our division and disagreement, we believe in democracy, and that we want to make good on the promise we made to the British people when we asked them to decide on the future of our EU membership. As to how we make that happen, recent votes have shown that there is no majority in this House for leaving with no deal, and this House has voted against revoking article 50. It is clear that the only way forward is leaving with a deal, but it is equally clear that this will not happen without compromise on all sides of the debate. That starts with the Government, which is why we have just held six weeks of detailed talks with the Opposition—talks that the Leader of the Opposition chose to end before a formal agreement was reached, but which none the less revealed areas of common ground.

Having listened to the Opposition, to other party leaders, to the devolved Administrations and to business leaders, trade unionists and others, we are now making a 10-point offer to Members across the House—10 changes that address the concerns raised by right hon. and hon. Members; 10 binding commitments that will be enshrined in legislation so they cannot simply be ignored; and 10 steps that will bring us closer to the bright future that awaits our country once we end the political impasse and get Brexit done.

First, we will protect British jobs by seeking as close to frictionless trade in goods with the EU as possible while outside the single market and ending free movement. The Government will be placed under a legal duty to negotiate our future relationship on this basis.

Secondly, we will provide much-needed certainty for our vital manufacturing and agricultural sectors by keeping up to date with EU rules for goods and agri-food products that are relevant to checks at the border. Such a commitment, which will also be enshrined in legislation, will help protect thousands of skilled jobs that depend on just-in-time supply chains.

Thirdly, we will empower Parliament to break the deadlock over future customs arrangements. Both the Government and the Opposition agree that we must have as close to frictionless trade at the UK-EU border as possible, protecting the jobs and livelihoods that are sustained by our existing trade with the EU, but while we agree on the ends, we disagree on the means. The Government have already put forward a proposal that delivers the benefits of a customs union but with the ability for the UK to determine its own trade and development policy. The Opposition are sceptical of our ability to negotiate that and do not believe that an independent trade policy is in the national interest. They would prefer a comprehensive customs union with a UK say in EU trade policy, but with the EU negotiating on our behalf.

As part of the cross-party discussions, the Government offered a compromise option of a temporary customs union on goods only, including a UK say in relevant EU trade policy, so that the next Government can decide their preferred direction. We were not able to reach agreement, so instead we will commit in law to let Parliament decide this issue and to reflect the outcome of this process in legislation.

Fourthly, to address concerns that a future Government could roll back hard-won protections for employees, we will publish a new workers’ rights Bill. As I have told the House many times, successive British Administrations of all colours have granted rights and protections to British workers well above the standards demanded by Brussels. I know that people want guarantees, and I am happy to provide them. If passed by Parliament, this Bill will guarantee that the rights enjoyed by British workers can be no less favourable than those of their counterparts in the EU—both now and in the future—and we will discuss further amendments with trade unions and business.

Fifthly, the new Brexit deal will also guarantee that there will be no change in the level of environmental protection when we leave the EU. We will establish a new and wholly independent office of environmental protection, able to uphold standards and enforce compliance.

Sixthly, the withdrawal agreement Bill will place a legal duty on Government to seek changes to the political declaration that will be needed to reflect this new deal, and I am confident that we will be successful in doing so.

Seventhly, the Government will include in the withdrawal agreement Bill at its introduction a requirement to vote on whether to hold a second referendum. I have made my own view clear on this many times—I am against a second referendum. We should be implementing the result of the first referendum, not asking the British people to vote in a second one. What would it say about our democracy if the biggest vote in our history were to be rerun because this House did not like the outcome? What would it do to that democracy and what forces would it unleash? However, I recognise the genuine and sincere strength of feeling across the House on this important issue. To those MPs who want a second referendum to confirm the deal, I say that you need a deal and therefore a withdrawal agreement Bill to make it happen. Let it have its Second Reading and then those MPs can make their case to Parliament. If this House votes for a referendum, it would require the Government to make provisions for such a referendum, including legislation if it wanted to ratify the withdrawal agreement.

Eighthly, Parliament will be guaranteed a much greater role in the second part of the Brexit process: the negotiations over our future relationship with the EU. In line with the proposal put forward by the hon. Members for Wigan (Lisa Nandy) and for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Gareth Snell), the new Brexit deal will set out in law that the House of Commons will approve the UK’s objectives for the negotiations. MPs will also be asked to approve the treaty governing that relationship before the Government sign it.

Ninthly, the new Brexit deal will legally oblige the Government to seek to conclude the alternative arrangements process by December 2020, avoiding any need for the Northern Ireland backstop coming into force. This commitment is made in the spirit of the amendment tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale West (Sir Graham Brady), passed by this House on 29 January. Although it is not possible to use alternative arrangements to replace the backstop in the withdrawal agreement, we will ensure that they are a viable alternative.

Finally, tenthly, we will ensure that, should the backstop come into force, Great Britain will stay aligned with Northern Ireland. We will prohibit the proposal that a future Government could split Northern Ireland off from the UK’s customs territory, and we will deliver on our commitments to Northern Ireland in the December 2017 joint report in full. We will implement paragraph 50 of the joint report in law. The Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive will have to give their consent on a cross-community basis for new regulations that are added to the backstop. We will work with our confidence and supply partners on how these commitments should be entrenched in law, so that Northern Ireland cannot be separated from the United Kingdom.

Following the end of EU election purdah, the withdrawal agreement Bill will be published on Friday so that the House has the maximum possible time to study its detail. If Parliament passes the Bill before the summer recess, the UK will leave the EU by the end of July. We will be out of the EU political structures and out of ever closer union. We will stop British laws being enforced by a European court. We will end free movement. We will stop making vast annual payments to the EU budget. By any definition, that alone is delivering Brexit. By leaving with a deal we can do so much more besides: we can protect jobs, guarantee workers’ rights, and maintain the close security partnerships that do so much to keep us all safe. We will ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and we can bring an end to the months—years—of increasingly bitter argument and division that have both polarised and paralysed our politics. We can move on, move forwards, and get on with the job that we were sent here to do and what we got into politics to do. That is what we can achieve if we support this new deal.

Reject the deal, and all we have before us is division and deadlock. We risk leaving with no deal, something that this House is clearly against. We risk stopping Brexit altogether, something that the British people would simply not tolerate. We risk creating further division at a time when we need to be acting together in the national interest. We also guarantee a future in which our politics becomes still more polarised and voters increasingly despair as they see us failing to do what they asked of us. None of us wants to see that happen. The opportunity of Brexit is too large and the consequences of failure too grave to risk further delay. In the weeks ahead, there will be opportunities for MPs from all parts of the House to have their say, to table amendments, and to shape the Brexit that they and their constituents want to see.

In time, another Prime Minister will be standing at this Dispatch Box, but while I am here, I have a duty to be clear with the House about the facts. If we are to deliver Brexit in this Parliament, we will have to pass a withdrawal agreement Bill. We will not do so without holding votes on the issues that have divided us the most. That includes votes on customs arrangements and on a second referendum. We can pretend otherwise and carry on arguing and getting nowhere, but in the end our job in this House is to take decisions, not to duck them. I will put those decisions to this House because that is my duty and because it is the only way that we can deliver Brexit. Let us demonstrate what this House can achieve. Let us come together, honour the referendum, deliver what we promised the British people, and build a successful future for our whole country. I commend this statement to the House.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

As in the normal progress of these things, whipping decisions will be taken when we see the proposals on the table. I reiterate the point I made in response to the right hon. Gentleman. The key issues raised around manufacturing industry are, yes, the benefits of a customs union—they are in the political declaration already—and ensuring we reduce friction for trade at the border. That is not just about customs, but the benefits of the customs union are in the political declaration already.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
22 May 2019, 1:50 p.m.

Ah yes, a Lincolnshire grandee: Sir Edward Leigh.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
22 May 2019, 2 p.m.

I have responded to similar points from the hon. Gentleman’s honourable and right honourable colleagues this afternoon. He wants to put a decision back to the people—we have to have a deal to do that, as I think he indicated at the end of his question—which means getting a withdrawal agreement Bill through, and it will be possible for the House to determine its position on this matter within that Bill. As he will know, the House has rejected a second referendum on a number of occasions, but at the point at which it takes that decision within the Bill it will be making that decision in a different environment. As I say, my position continues to be that we should deliver on the first referendum.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

A choice between such distinguished colleagues—I call Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
22 May 2019, 2 p.m.

I do not think I would have been standing here at the Dispatch Box and have been in receipt of some of the comments that I have been in receipt of, from colleagues on my side and across the House, if I did not believe in what I was doing. I am doing it because I genuinely believe that it is in the national interest for us to leave the European Union with a deal. The only way to get a deal through is to get a withdrawal agreement Bill through this House. There are issues that this House disagrees on. I believe that those issues should be put to the House and it will determine them. At that point, the House and all Members of it will have to come to some decisions.

At the moment, it has been possible through indicative votes to give indications, but they have not been decisions that will be put into legislation. When the time comes to look at this matter, these will be decisions about what should go ahead in the Government’s position and what should be in legislation. People will not be able to duck the issues. It will be necessary to come to an agreement. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
22 May 2019, 2:03 p.m.

The hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr Sheerman) does not need to chunter from a sedentary position. He is a very illustrious representative of Huddersfield, but the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg) has just used a noun that, I hazard a guess, has probably not been used on any other occasion in this Parliament, or if it has, only by the hon. Gentleman.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
22 May 2019, 2 p.m.

Obviously, I am happy to continue engaging across the House, as I have been, and I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments. I also suggest that, as his right hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint) said, it will be helpful to all Members of the House to wait and see, when the Bill is published, what its actual terms are. He is encouraging me to put a position on the face of the Bill with which I do not agree, but it is right that what we do in the Bill is enable this House to come to a decision.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

A Hampshire knight who represents a beautiful forest—I call Sir Desmond Swayne.

Break in Debate

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
22 May 2019, 2:06 p.m.

There are different definitions. A showy and useless item, allegedly, or an unnecessary or inconsequential fuss, or something—but that is only the view of the matter from the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg). I am not expressing any view on that matter; I was just intrigued by the endless lexicon of the hon. Gentleman.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
22 May 2019, 2 p.m.

I have to say, I think that when my hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg) used that word, he was not intending it to be complimentary about the package that the Government have brought forward. My right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest West (Sir Desmond Swayne) is absolutely right: for the Bill to get through, for the treaty to be ratified and for us to be able to leave at the end of July, it is about not only getting Second Reading through but ensuring that the Bill is confirmed on Third Reading. By getting through Second Reading, it is possible to have those debates during the progress of the Bill on the key issues that remain and on which there remains disagreement between Members of this House, such that it will be possible—I believe—to come to an agreement that can see us leave the European Union.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 22nd May 2019

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

There is only one party in Scotland guaranteeing no more referendums, and that is the Conservative party. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

Order. Colleagues, calm yourselves. Dignity. Restraint. Let us hear Mr Heappey.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

As I said earlier, I recognise that this is a worrying time for the hon. Gentleman’s constituents and others. The Government have been actively looking at what we can do. We have given support through the ETS agreement, but have not lawfully been able to give the further support that was requested. I will certainly meet the hon. Gentleman and a group of MPs to consider the issue. This is about one company, owned by Greybull Capital. However, we have taken steps in the past to ensure that the United Kingdom continues to have a steel industry, and we will want to look at the wider issue.

Mr Speaker Hansard
22 May 2019, 12:56 p.m.

Order. Just before we come to the Prime Minister’s statement, I think it is fitting for me to refer again to something that was mentioned at the start of questions to the Prime Minister by the Leader of the Opposition.

Three trawlers set out from Hull during January and February of 1968 and never returned, leading to the loss of 58 lives. Yvonne Marie Blenkinsop is the last surviving member of a group of women from Hull who became known, following that tragedy, as the headscarf revolutionaries. The women campaigned for better protection for their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. Through their actions, countless lives have been saved. I am reliably informed that Yvonne Marie Blenkinsop is with us today, observing our proceedings. We salute her and her fellow women, and we extend to her the warmest welcome to the House of Commons. [Applause.]

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 1st May 2019

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Department for International Development
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

The best route out of poverty for people—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
1 May 2019, 12:12 p.m.

Order. The House must calm itself. We are at an early stage. The question has been put, and the answer from the Prime Minister must be heard.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
1 May 2019, 12:13 p.m.

The best route out of poverty for people is to be in the workplace. We want to ensure that more, better-paid jobs are being created for people in this country, and that is what we are seeing under this Government. Record numbers of people are in employment, real wages are rising for the first time in a decade, and this Government are taking decisions that are helping people to keep more money in their pockets. Tax cuts for 32 million people, an increase in the national living wage, and a freeze in fuel duty have all been of major benefit to people, and what did the right hon. Gentleman do? He voted against fuel duty freezes and tax cuts over a dozen times.

Break in Debate

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

Order. I absolutely respect the sincerity and public-spiritedness of the hon. Gentleman, but in general terms it is not desirable to refer to sub judice cases, and therefore I know the Prime Minister will want to take into account that consideration in her response. But the hon. Gentleman has said what he has said and the Prime Minister will say what she wants to say.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
1 May 2019, 12:41 p.m.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

I say to my hon. Friend that we have been clear that the current system for dealing with the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past is not working well for anyone. As I have said before in this House, around 3,500 people were killed in the troubles. The vast majority were murdered by terrorists. Many of these cases require further investigation, including the deaths of hundreds of members of the security forces. The system to investigate the past does need to change to provide better outcomes for victims and survivors of the troubles, but also to ensure that our armed forces and police officers are not unfairly treated. That is why, across Government, we are continuing to work on proposals on how best to move forward, but the Ministry of Defence is also looking at the wider issue of what more can be done to ensure that service personnel are not unfairly pursued through the courts in relation to service overseas, including considering legislation.

European Council

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Thursday 11th April 2019

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

My hon. Friend has continued to champion the concept of leaving without a deal with the European Union. I believe that it is important for this country that we are able to leave in an orderly way. He references WTO terms. We trade with many countries across the world not on WTO terms but on the terms that are determined by the EU trade agreements with those countries.

However, leaving without a deal is not just about our trade arrangements. It is about other issues. It is about our security as a country as well. There are other matters that a deal will cover. I continue to believe that leaving with a deal in an orderly way is in the best interests of this country, and that is what I am pursuing.

Mr Speaker Hansard
11 Apr 2019, 2:12 p.m.

In the midst of these important and inevitably contentious exchanges, may I ask the House to join me in warmly welcoming in the Gallery today the former Speaker of the New Zealand Parliament David Carter, accompanied by Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, the honourable Anne Tolley MP. It is a great delight to welcome you both. You come from a country that we regard as a great friend, and David you have been a great friend to us and to me. Welcome.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
11 Apr 2019, 3:09 p.m.

I thank my hon. Friend and thank the commuters from Chislehurst for the comments that have been brought into the House. That is absolutely right. I think that people recognise the importance of compromise and recognise the importance of working this through, finding a solution, and getting it done.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
11 Apr 2019, 3:09 p.m.

I feel sure that the commuters of Chislehurst were greatly encouraged to be accompanied on their journey by the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill).

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

We are looking to ensure that we obtain the benefits of a customs union that have been identified in the political declaration, and we are continuing to move forward on that. On trade policy, we believe it is right to have a good trade agreement with the European Union for the future, but also to have good trade agreements with the rest of the world, and the ability to negotiate them.

Mr Speaker Hansard
11 Apr 2019, 3:29 p.m.

We conclude with a question from the distinguished Chair of the Procedure Committee.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 10th April 2019

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
10 Apr 2019, 12:19 p.m.

As I have said, I have made my position clear. I think it is a little difficult for many of us in the House to see the right hon. Gentleman, week after week, stand up and say that the UK should stay in the European Union, given that Scottish independence would have meant taking Scotland out of the European Union. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
10 Apr 2019, 12:20 p.m.

Order. There is a lot of noise. Let us hear the hon. Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison).

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I congratulate my hon. Friend on his successful campaign to get that access at Hillside station. We need to continue the programme of opening up routes for disabled people by ensuring they have access to stations. We are moving closer to a transport sector that is truly accessible. The changes that will take place at Hillside are an example of that. If the programme continues to be delivered successfully, the Department for Transport will make submissions for further funding in due course. It is absolutely clear that we are providing extra opportunities for disabled people. I am pleased to say that 900,000 more disabled people are now in the workplace. Access is important for them. The campaigns that my hon. Friend and other right hon. and hon. Friends have run to get access to their stations are an important part of that.

Mr Speaker Hansard

In wishing the hon. Gentleman a happy birthday, I call Luke Pollard.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 3rd April 2019

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Hansard

The right hon. Gentleman cited the last Labour Government—I did not realise that he was such a fan of the last Labour Government. He seemed to spend the entire time voting against them when he had a Labour Government.

Let us just talk about what is happening under this Government: a record rate of employment; wages growing at their fastest for a decade; debt falling; a long-term plan for the NHS, and the biggest cash boost in the NHS’s history; a skills-based immigration system; more money for police, local councils and schools; the biggest upgrade in workers’ rights for over 20 years; the freeing of councils to build more homes; world-class public services—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
3 Apr 2019, 12:13 p.m.

Order. Mr Russell-Moyle, you are behaving in a truly delinquent fashion. Calm yourself, young man. I had to have words with you yesterday. You are a bit over-eager. It is not the sort of thing that I would ever have done as a Back Bencher.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
3 Apr 2019, 12:14 p.m.

World-class public services; better jobs; more homes; and a stronger economy—Conservatives delivering on the things that matter.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I am meeting the First Minister of Scotland later today, and we will be talking to her about Scotland. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
3 Apr 2019, 12:17 p.m.

Order. The right hon. Gentleman asked a question, and the Prime Minister is answering it. Let us hear, fully and courteously, the answer.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
3 Apr 2019, 12:17 p.m.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I say, I am meeting the First Minister of Scotland, and the First Minister of Wales, later today. The right hon. Gentleman asks why I offered to meet the Leader of the Opposition. I am happy to meet Members from across the House to discuss the Brexit issue, but I think I am right in saying that the Leader of the Opposition and I both want to ensure that we leave the European Union with a deal, whereas of course the right hon. Gentleman, as he has just said, has a policy of revoking article 50. That means not leaving the European Union at all.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Hansard

First, I thank my hon. Friend for his service as a Government Minister since 2017. He has worked extremely hard, serving as both a Wales Office Minister and a Government Whip simultaneously, and I am sorry that he has resigned. I also thank him for raising the important issue of access to public transport, particularly access to stations for people with disabilities. He asked me to add my weight to the campaign, but I have to say that his considerable weight has been behind the campaign for a long time. [Laughter.] As a campaigner!

Mr Speaker Hansard
3 Apr 2019, 12:21 p.m.

Order. The Prime Minister was referring to the hon. Gentleman’s qualities as a campaigner. That is what she was saying. She was not looking at the hon. Gentleman when she made that remark; she was saying it on the basis of her knowledge of him.

The Prime Minister - Hansard

As I said, my hon. Friend has been campaigning hard on the issue for some time. I understand that the Department for Transport will announce tomorrow the stations that will benefit from funding for accessibility, if my hon. Friend can have just a little patience and wait for the announcement.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s indication that he remains a progressive Conservative in his thinking on various issues. I approach the discussions in a constructive spirit, because I want to find a resolution of this issue. I want to ensure that we can do what people told us we should do, which is to deliver Brexit in an orderly way that is good for this country.

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
3 Apr 2019, 12:49 p.m.

Order.

United Kingdom’s Withdrawal from the European Union

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Friday 29th March 2019

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Attorney General
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
29 Mar 2019, 2:14 p.m.

The deal that we have agreed and the arrangements and proposals that we have put forward absolutely apply to the 48% who voted remain, because they recognise the necessary balance between delivering on the result of the referendum and doing so in a way that protects jobs, livelihoods and people’s security.

Last week the EU Council agreed that article 50 could be extended to 22 May if the House approved the withdrawal agreement this week. That would give us enough time to take the withdrawal agreement Bill through Parliament, we would not have to hold European parliamentary elections, and we would leave the European Union. It also agreed, however, that if we did not approve the withdrawal agreement by tonight, the extension would only until 12 April, which is not long enough to ratify a deal. So anyone who wants to leave with a deal would have to support seeking a further extension. Any such extension would probably be a long one, and that would certainly mean holding European elections. So approving the withdrawal agreement today avoids a cliff edge in two weeks’ time; it avoids European elections; it avoids a long extension that would at least delay and could destroy Brexit.

To secure this extension and to give us a firm exit date, we do not need to agree the whole deal today—just the withdrawal agreement. I believe that there is an overwhelming majority in this House for the withdrawal agreement. Three quarters of Conservative MPs backed it in the last meaningful vote, and Opposition MPs I have spoken to tell me that their problem is not with the withdrawal agreement, but with the political declaration.

So I want to address the central argument put forward by the Leader of the Opposition again this afternoon: that voting for the motion will enable a blind Brexit. It will not, and for three reasons. First, if you want to leave with a deal, then, whatever future relationship you want, it needs to sit alongside this withdrawal agreement. The withdrawal agreement is fixed. It is part of any deal.

Second, agreeing this motion today is not ratifying the whole deal; that will only happen once the withdrawal agreement Bill has passed through all its stages, in this House and the other place, and has received Royal Assent. What this motion today does is give us the time we need to pass the necessary legislation and complete the current debate that the House is considering about our future relationship. The Government stand by the current political declaration, but we are not asking the House to approve it today. Nor does today’s vote pre-judge or pre-empt the outcome of the process run by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Sir Oliver Letwin). In fact, for those options being considered, approval of this withdrawal agreement is a prerequisite.

Third, in the next phase of negotiations, we have committed to give Parliament a significant and ongoing role in the process. Mr Speaker, if you had selected the amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Gareth Snell) and others, the Government would have accepted it. If this motion carries today, we will bring forward a withdrawal agreement Bill that will include commitments to implement that amendment and we will discuss the specific drafting of that with those who supported the amendment.

So by voting for this motion, Members are not closing any doors. They will still have the ability, through the withdrawal agreement Bill, to influence that future relationship. Today’s motion is not about a blind Brexit; it is about a guaranteed Brexit. Today we can give the public and businesses the certainty they need. Today we can show that we stand by our word. Today we can show that we can come together in the national interest. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

Order. There is far too much noise in the Chamber. The Prime Minister is addressing the House and must be heard.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

Today we can show that we can come together in the national interest. Today we can take a step forward together.

This is a difficult day for Members right across the House. I am asking Members to take a hard decision, and I know that.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

Can I say to the hon. Gentleman, as I have said to the House before, that if he looks at the economic analysis and the different types of Brexit that could take place, he will see that the deal that delivers on the result of the referendum and has the best economic outcome for this country is the deal that the Government have put forward?

As I said, I know that this is a difficult day for Members right across the House. I am asking them to make a hard decision, and I know that. I am asking some hon. Members to vote for a Brexit that is less than they hoped for, which is not easy. I am asking other hon. Members on the Opposition Benches to help me deliver on the instruction of the British people, and that is not easy either. There are good Labour Members who are as determined as I am to deliver the Brexit that their constituents voted for, and as willing as I am to make a compromise to move our country forward. At this historic moment for our country it is right to put aside self and party; it is right to accept the responsibility given to us by the British people, and that is what I have done. I have said that I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard

Order. Our proceedings are being widely watched. Please let us treat one another with respect. The Prime Minister is winding up the debate and must be heard. The Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I have said that I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended to secure the right outcome for our country. When the Division bell rings in a few moments’ time, every one of us will have to look into our hearts and decide what is best for our constituents and our country.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 27th March 2019

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
Mr Speaker Hansard

We hope the ambassador’s palate was satisfied. I dare say we will be hearing about it if it was not.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
27 Mar 2019, midnight

I assure my hon. Friend, having recently visited north-east Lincolnshire, that we all enjoy our visits there and seeing the many opportunities across the economy. He talked about seafood and fishing opportunities. He is absolutely right: ensuring that as we leave the European Union we have the ability to have our own independent trade policy means that we will be able to have free trade agreements around the world, including with the United States. As we have heard on many occasions, we are keen on both sides of the Atlantic to be able to pursue that free trade agreement.

European Council

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Monday 25th March 2019

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May) - Hansard
25 Mar 2019, 3:34 p.m.

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on last week’s European Council. Before the Council, I wrote to President Tusk to seek formal approval for the legally binding assurances on the Northern Ireland backstop and alternative arrangements agreed in Strasbourg on 11 March. I reported your statement, Mr Speaker, which made it clear that for a further meaningful vote to take place, the deal would have to be

“fundamentally different—not different in terms of wording, but different in terms of substance”.—[Official Report, 18 March 2019; Vol. 656, c. 782.]

I explained that, as a result, some right hon. and hon. Members were seeking further changes to the withdrawal agreement, and I requested a short extension to the article 50 process, to 30 June. I regret having to do so—I wanted to deliver Brexit on 29 March—but I am conscious of my duties as Prime Minister to all parts of our United Kingdom and of the damage to that Union that leaving without a deal could do when one part of it is without devolved government and unable, therefore, to prepare properly.

The Council formally endorsed the legal instrument relating to the withdrawal agreement and the joint statement supplementing the political declaration. This should increase the confidence of the House that the backstop is unlikely ever to be used, and would only be temporary if it is. But the Council also reiterated, once again, its long-standing position that there could be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement. So however the House decides to proceed this week, everyone should be absolutely clear that changing the withdrawal agreement is simply not an option.

Turning to extending article 50, this has always required the unanimous agreement of the other 27 member states. As I have made clear before, it was never guaranteed that the EU would agree to an extension—or the terms on which we requested it—and it did not. Instead, the Council agreed that if the House approves the withdrawal agreement this week, our departure will be extended to 11 pm on 22 May. This will allow time for Parliament to pass the withdrawal agreement Bill, which is legally necessary for the deal to be ratified. But if the House does not approve the withdrawal agreement this week, our departure will instead be extended only to 11 pm on 12 April. At this point, we would either leave with no deal, or we would

“indicate a way forward before this date for consideration by the European Council”.

If that involved a further extension, it would certainly mean participation in the European parliamentary elections.

The Council’s conclusions were subsequently turned into a legal decision, with which the UK agreed and which came into force last Friday. So although the Government have today laid a statutory instrument, which will be debated later this week, to reflect that decision in our own domestic legislation, the date for our departure from the EU has now changed in international law. Were the House not to pass the statutory instrument, it would cause legal confusion and damaging uncertainty, but it would not have any effect on the date of our exit.

I continue to believe that the right path forward is for the United Kingdom to leave the EU with a deal as soon as possible, which is now on 22 May, but it is with great regret that I have had to conclude that, as things stand, there is still not sufficient support in the House to bring back the deal for a third meaningful vote. I continue to have discussions with colleagues across the House to build support, so that we can bring the vote forward this week and guarantee Brexit. If we cannot, the Government have made a commitment that we would work across the House to find a majority on a way forward.

The amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Sir Oliver Letwin) seeks to provide for that process by taking control of the Order Paper. I continue to believe that doing so would set an unwelcome precedent, which would overturn the balance between our democratic institutions, so the Government will oppose the amendment this evening. But in order to fulfil our commitments to the House, we would seek to provide Government time in order for the process to proceed. It would be for the House to put forward options for consideration and to determine the procedure by which it wished to do so.

I must confess that I am sceptical about such a process of indicative votes. When we have tried this kind of thing in the past, it has produced contradictory outcomes or no outcome at all. There is a further risk when it comes to Brexit, as the UK is only one half of the equation and the votes could lead to an outcome that is unnegotiable with the EU. No Government could give a blank cheque to commit to an outcome without knowing what it is, so I cannot commit the Government to delivering the outcome of any votes held by the House, but I do commit to engaging constructively with the process.

There are many different views on the way forward, but I want to explain the options as I understand them. The default outcome continues to be to leave with no deal, but the House has previously expressed its opposition to that path, and may very well do so again this week. The alternative is to pursue a different form of Brexit or a second referendum, but the bottom line remains that if the House does not approve the withdrawal agreement this week and is not prepared to countenance leaving without a deal, we will have to seek a longer extension. This would entail the UK having to hold European elections, and it would mean that we will not have been able to guarantee Brexit. These are now choices that the House will have the opportunity to express its view on.

This is the first chance I have had to address the House since my remarks last Wednesday evening—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
25 Mar 2019, 3:38 p.m.

Order. The House must calm itself. The Prime Minister is addressing the House and must be heard. Colleagues know, from the record, that they will have a full opportunity to question the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
25 Mar 2019, 3:39 p.m.

I expressed my frustration with our collective failure to take a decision, but I know that many Members across the House are frustrated too, and we all have difficult jobs to do. People on all sides of the debate hold passionate views, and I respect those differences. I thank all those colleagues who have supported the deal so far, and those who have taken the time to meet with me to discuss their concerns.

I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision, and in doing so we must confront the reality of the hard choices before us: unless this House agrees to it, no deal will not happen; no Brexit must not happen; and a slow Brexit that extends article 50 beyond 22 May, forces the British people to take part in European elections, and gives up control of any of our borders, laws, money or trade is not a Brexit that will bring the British people together. I know that the deal I have put forward is a compromise—it seeks to deliver on the referendum and retain trust in our democracy, while also respecting the concerns of those who voted to remain—but if this House can back it, we could be out of the European Union in less than two months. There would no further extensions, no threat to Brexit and no risk of a no deal. That, I believe, is the way to deliver the Brexit that the British people voted for. I commend this statement to the House.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
25 Mar 2019, 3:49 p.m.

The shadow Foreign Secretary shouts, “That’s not good enough.” Let us just think about this for a moment. First, we do not know which options will be tabled. Secondly, we do not know which amendments will be selected. But there is another important point: no one would want to support an option that contradicted the manifesto on which they stood for election to this House. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will be opening the debate this afternoon, and will refer to the processes of the House that will be involved.

The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition said that it was important that MPs were elected here to take responsibility and make decisions. But the MPs elected to the House at this time have a duty to respect the result of the referendum that took place in 2016. Attempts to stop the result of that referendum being put in place or to change the result of that referendum are not respecting the voters and they are not respecting our democracy.

Finally, the right hon. Gentleman mentioned the fact that a number of people had marched on the question of a second referendum. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
25 Mar 2019, 3:49 p.m.

Order. The House is in a very agitated state, but we are at an early stage in the proceedings—calm.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

The right hon. Gentleman referred to the fact that a march for a second referendum took place. It is, in fact, the right hon. Gentleman’s policy, and I noticed that his deputy went on the march. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman normally jumped at any opportunity to go on a march, but he was not actually there on this occasion; I can only assume that he was involved but not present.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

Throughout the debates we have had, one of the concerns that many people across the House have raised relates to the political declaration and the fact that it was not legal text. They were concerned to, if you like, tie it down further, which is what we did in our discussion with the European Union. I am sure my right hon. Friend has also seen the terms of the Council conclusions, but we have always worked to ensure that the political declaration could be firmed up—if one likes to describe it as such—to give greater confidence in that sort of future relationship.

Mr Speaker Hansard
25 Mar 2019, 4:15 p.m.

It is very good indeed to see the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton South East (Mr McFadden) back in his place and manifestly in rude health.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

What I have genuinely been trying to achieve through everything that I have been doing is ensuring that we respect the wishes of the people of Northern Ireland, and that we respect Northern Ireland’s position within the United Kingdom. It is the case, as I have said, that the remarks about the border have been made—I think I am right in saying—by the Taoiseach and others previously, and have then been contradicted by the European Commission in terms of what might be necessary. I merely say that the situation in relation to the European Union’s proposal is that it has been very clear about EU laws and the necessity of those laws being applied.

Mr Speaker Hansard
25 Mar 2019, 4:31 p.m.

Order. I have no wish to distract Members from the importance of these matters, but there has been quite a lot of naughty behaviour this afternoon, including the behaviour of the right hon. Members for East Antrim (Sammy Wilson) and for Rayleigh and Wickford (Mr Francois) in repeatedly using the word “you”, which is unparliamentary. I am looking to a custodian of our fine traditions of parliamentary courtesy, and I need look no further than Victoria Prentis.

Break in Debate

Mr Speaker Hansard

In that case, the hon. Gentleman’s question is perfectly orderly.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
25 Mar 2019, 2:30 p.m.

My hon. Friend is right that the no-deal preparations have been, and are continuing to be, put in place. He expressed a wish for us to leave with a deal, and I want us to leave with a deal. The point that I made in my statement is that this House has already shown on a number of occasions that it wants to try to ensure that we do not leave without a deal. The best route is to leave with a deal, and I think my hon. Friend indicated that he agreed with that position.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 20th March 2019

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

Perhaps it would be helpful, in response to that question, if I update the House on the forthcoming European Council and the issue of article 50 extension. On Thursday, the House voted in favour of a short extension if the House had supported a meaningful vote before this week’s European Council. The motion also made it clear that a longer extension would oblige the United Kingdom to hold elections to the European Parliament. I do not believe that such elections would be in anyone’s interests. The idea that, three years after voting to leave the EU, the people of this country should be asked to elect a new set of MEPs is, I believe, unacceptable. It would be a failure to deliver on the referendum decision that this House said it would honour. I have—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
20 Mar 2019, 12:06 p.m.

Order. There is a long way to go and what the Prime Minister is saying must be heard.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I have therefore this morning written to President Tusk, the President of the European Council, informing him that the UK seeks an extension to the article 50 period until 30 June. Copies of the letter are being placed in the Library. The Government intend to bring forward proposals for a third meaningful vote. If that vote is passed, the extension will give the House time to consider the withdrawal agreement Bill. If not, the House will have to decide how to proceed. But as Prime Minister—[Interruption.] As Prime Minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than 30 June.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

The right hon. Gentleman talks about trying to achieve something sensible. It is he who abstained last week on a vote on a second referendum, despite the fact that it is Labour party policy, and then had the nerve to stand up in this House and say that he reiterated Labour’s support for a second referendum. He has no idea what he wants on the future of this issue.

The right hon. Gentleman asks about a long extension. I am opposed to a long extension. I do not want a long extension. Setting aside—[Interruption.] Setting aside the issue that it would mean that we would have to hold European parliamentary elections, which I do not think is in anybody’s interest, the outcome of a long extension would be endless hours and days of this House carrying on contemplating its navel on Europe and failing to address the issues that matter to our constituents, their schools—

Mr Speaker Hansard
20 Mar 2019, 11:30 a.m.

Order. The Prime Minister’s answer must be heard, and everybody else will be heard.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

The outcome of a long extension would be the House spending yet more endless hours contemplating its navel on Europe and failing to address the issues that matter to our constituents, such as schools, hospitals, security and jobs. The House has indulged itself on Europe for too long—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
20 Mar 2019, 12:15 p.m.

Order. There is a lot of very noisy barracking. [Interruption.] Order. [Interruption.] Order. The Prime Minister’s reply will be heard, and colleagues know that I am happy for the exchanges to take place for as long as is necessary to ensure that they are orderly.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
20 Mar 2019, 12:15 p.m.

It is time for the House to determine that it will deliver on Brexit for the British people. That is what the British people deserve. They deserve better than what the House has given them so far.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Hansard

The hon. Gentleman shouts “Correct!” At least that is a firm position, whereas the Leader of the Opposition has continually moved his position on this issue. I also believe that nearly three years on from the vote for us to deliver Brexit for the British people, it is time for the House to face that fact, face the consequences of its decisions, and deliver Brexit for the British people. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
20 Mar 2019, 12:22 p.m.

Order. We cannot have people shouting in the middle of the exchanges. [Interruption.] Order. I do not need any help from any Member in dealing with these matters, with which I am very well familiar.

UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 13th March 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May) - Parliament Live - Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 7:49 p.m.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The House has today provided a clear majority against leaving without a deal. However, I will repeat what I have said before. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 7:51 p.m.

Order. The House must calm itself. We have a long time to go—both today and on subsequent days. Keep calm.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 7:52 p.m.

This is about the choices that this House faces. The legal default in UK and EU law remains that the UK will leave the EU without a deal unless something else is agreed. The onus is now on every one of us in this House to find out what that is. The options before us are the same as they always have been: we could leave with the deal that this Government have negotiated over the past two years; we could leave with the deal that we have negotiated but subject to a second referendum, but that would risk no Brexit at all—[Interruption]—damaging the fragile trust between the British public and the Members of this House; we could seek to negotiate a different deal, but the EU has been clear that the deal on the table is indeed the only deal available. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 7:52 p.m.

Order. The great likelihood—I await further comment, but I think that I can say this without fear of contradiction—is that there will be further opportunities for these matters to be debated, but in the immediate term, please, let us have some courtesy. There will be further debate on these matters, of that I think we can be sure.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 7:53 p.m.

I confirmed last night that if the House declined to approve leaving without a deal on 29 March 2019, the Government would bring forward a motion on whether the House supports seeking to agree an extension to article 50 with the EU, which is the logical consequence of the votes over the past two days in this House. The Leader of the House will shortly make an emergency business statement confirming the change to tomorrow’s business. The motion we will table will set out the fundamental choice facing this House. If the House finds a way in the coming days to support a deal, it would allow the Government to seek a short, limited technical extension to article 50 to provide time to pass the necessary legislation and to ratify the agreement we have reached with the EU.

Let me be clear: such a short technical extension is likely to be on offer only if we have a deal in place. Therefore, the House must understand and accept that if it is not willing to support a deal in the coming days and as it is not willing to support leaving without a deal on 29 March, it is suggesting that there will need to be a much longer extension to article 50. Such an extension would undoubtedly require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019. I do not think that that would be the right outcome, but the House needs to face up to the consequences of the decisions that it has taken.

Mr Speaker Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 7:54 p.m.

I thank the Prime Minister for what she has said.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 13th March 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

The right hon. Gentleman talks about not wanting no deal yet repeatedly votes in a way that brings no deal closer. The deal that he is proposing has been rejected several times by this House. I may not have my own voice, but I do understand the voice of the country. They want—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard

Order. The House must calm itself. I want to hear what the Prime Minister has to say and what everybody has to say, and it should not be necessary for voices to be raised for a Member to be heard.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 12:10 p.m.

And that is that people want to leave the EU, they want to end free movement, they want us to have our own trade policy, and they want to ensure laws are made in this country and judged in our courts. That is what the deal delivers, and that is what I continue to work to deliver. The right hon. Gentleman used to believe that too. Why is he just trying to frustrate it?

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I will ensure that Ministers in the Department for Education have heard the hon. Lady’s request, but let me just remind her and Members of the House that the schools budget this year is £42 billion, which is the highest it has ever been—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 12:18 p.m.

Order. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Jess Phillips) usually advocates good and respectful behaviour, which she must now herself exemplify, notwithstanding her passion or insistence upon her point of view, in which she in not exceptional.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

The schools budget is the highest ever this year, and we have given every local authority more money for every pupil in every school this year.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Hansard

I set out last week steps the Government are taking to increase our work on knife crime. I understand that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary met the west midlands chief constable at the end of last week to discuss policing there. The hon. Lady refers to decisions taken by the Government in 2010. Yes, those were tough decisions in terms of public sector funding, but they were taken because of the appalling circumstances of the economy left by Labour.

Mr Speaker Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 12:26 p.m.

Order. I understand that the hon. Member for Bexhill and Battle (Huw Merriman) is about to namecheck his mother, an admirable woman—a former teacher and, in my view very importantly, my constituent.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 12:32 p.m.

The hon. Gentleman heard my response earlier. We are putting more money into our schools and ensuring that overall per-pupil funding is protected. Yes, we have asked schools to do more, and I recognise the pressures on them, but the Government have responded with more funding.

Mr Speaker Hansard
13 Mar 2019, 12:32 p.m.

I call Mr David Duguid. No? He previously signalled an interest, and I was trying to accommodate him, but never mind.

European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Tuesday 12th March 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
Mr Speaker Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 12:09 p.m.

I can inform the House that I have not selected any of the amendments.

The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May) - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 12:09 p.m.

I beg to—[Interruption.] You may say that, but you should hear Jean-Claude Juncker’s voice as a result of our conversation. I beg to move,

That this House approves for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 the following documents laid before the House on Monday 11 March 2019:

(1) the negotiated withdrawal agreement titled ‘Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community’;

(2) the framework for the future relationship titled ‘Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom’;

(3) the legally binding joint instrument titled ‘Instrument relating to the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community’, which reduces the risk the UK could be deliberately held in the Northern Ireland backstop indefinitely and commits the UK and the EU to work to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by December 2020;

(4) the unilateral declaration by the UK titled ‘Declaration by Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the Northern Ireland Protocol’, setting out the sovereign action the UK would take to provide assurance that the backstop would only be applied temporarily; and

(5) the supplement to the framework for the future relationship titled ‘Joint Statement supplementing the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’, setting out commitments by the UK and the EU to expedite the negotiation and bringing into force of their future relationship.

It has been eight weeks since this House held the meaningful vote on the Brexit deal. On that day, Parliament sent a message: the deal needed to change. In response, the Government have worked hard to secure an improved deal that responds to the concerns of this House. I took the concerns of this House about the backstop to the EU and sat down with President Juncker and President Tusk. I spoke to every single EU leader, some on multiple occasions, to make clear to them what needed to change. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union worked tirelessly with his opposite number, Michel Barnier. My right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General engaged in detailed legal discussion with his counterparts in the European Commission. The result of this work is the improved Brexit deal that is before the House today. I will go on to explain in detail what has improved about the deal since January and why I believe it deserves the support of every Member this evening.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

No, I have said—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard

Order. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Alan Brown) is a cheeky chappie, chortling and chuckling away from a sedentary position, but it has been made perfectly clear that the Prime Minister is not giving way.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

Thank you, Mr Speaker, but I will take the hon. Gentleman’s intervention.

Break in Debate

Mr Speaker Hansard

I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the Lobby.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 7:24 p.m.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I profoundly regret the decision that this House has taken tonight. I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in an orderly fashion with a deal, and that the deal we have negotiated is the best, and indeed the only, deal available, but I would like to set out briefly how the Government mean to proceed.

Two weeks ago I made a series of commitments from this Dispatch Box regarding the steps we would take in the event that this House rejected the deal on offer. I stand by those commitments in full. Therefore tonight we will table a motion for debate tomorrow to test whether the House supports leaving the European Union without a deal on 29 March. The Leader of the House will shortly make an emergency business statement confirming the change to tomorrow’s business.

This is an issue of grave importance for the future of our country. Just like in the referendum, there are strongly held and equally legitimate views on both sides. For that reason I can confirm that this will be a free vote on this side of the House.

I have personally struggled with this choice, as I am sure many other hon. Members will. I am passionate about delivering the result of the referendum, but I equally passionately believe that the best way to do that is to leave in an orderly way with a deal, and I still believe that there is a majority in the House for that course of action.

I am conscious also of my duties as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of the potential damage to the Union that leaving without a deal could do when one part of our country is without devolved governance. I can therefore confirm that the motion will read:

“That this House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework on the Future Relationship on 29 March 2019; and notes that leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law unless this House and the EU ratify an agreement.”

I will return to the House to open the debate tomorrow and to take interventions from hon. Members. To ensure that the House is fully informed in making this historic decision, the Government will tomorrow publish information on essential policies that would need to be put in place if we were to leave without a deal. These will cover our approach to tariffs and the Northern Ireland border, among other matters.

If the House votes to leave without a deal on 29 March, it will be the policy of the Government to implement that decision. If the House declines to approve leaving without a deal on 29 March, the Government will, following that vote, bring forward a motion on Thursday on whether Parliament wants to seek an extension to article 50. If the House votes for an extension, the Government will seek to agree that extension with the EU and bring forward the necessary legislation to change the exit date, commensurate with that extension.

But let me be clear: voting against leaving without a deal and for an extension does not solve the problems that we face. The EU will want to know what use we mean to make of such an extension, and this House will have to answer that question. Does it wish to revoke article 50? Does it want to hold a second referendum? Or does it want to leave with a deal, but not this deal? These are unenviable choices, but thanks to the decision that the House has made this evening, they are choices that must now be faced.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 6th March 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Northern Ireland Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

We put more money into our local authorities; the right hon. Gentleman voted against it. We put more money into our police—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
6 Mar 2019, 12:20 p.m.

Order. There is a very discordant noise from Opposition Back Benchers. The question has been asked—and, broadly speaking, heard—and the answer will be heard.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
6 Mar 2019, 12:14 p.m.

We have put more money into our schools—£2.6 billion over these two years. We are putting more money into our local authorities—£1.3 billion next year, voted against by the right hon. Gentleman and the Labour party—and more money into our police: nearly £1 billion extra available to them next year, voted against by the right hon. Gentleman and the Labour party.

The right hon. Gentleman stands up here and talks about austerity. If he is that concerned about austerity, you would think that he would want to make sure that it could never, ever happen again. Let us remember why we had to take those measures—because of the state of the economy left by the Labour party. But what would his policies mean? Higher borrowing, higher taxes, crashing our economy, less money for our public services—he would take us right back to austerity, square one.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

We entered the European Union as the United Kingdom; we will leave the European Union as the United Kingdom. I also say to the hon. Lady that the SNP has no mandate from the Scottish people to continue to pursue independence. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
6 Mar 2019, 12:36 p.m.

Order. Calm! [Interruption.] Difference of opinion is the essence of politics. There is an elaborate combination of finger wagging and head shaking going on, which may be personally therapeutic but is institutionally disadvantageous. In any case, we owe the hon. Member for Taunton Deane (Rebecca Pow) a decent hearing. I call Rebecca Pow.

Break in Debate

Mr Speaker Hansard
6 Mar 2019, 12:38 p.m.

I think that by now the wash would have been completed. [Laughter.]

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
6 Mar 2019, 12:38 p.m.

Despite the laughter, my hon. Friend has raised a very important issue. May I thank her for continuing to be a champion of our environment? She did an enormous amount of work that led to the Government ban on microbeads, and she is now raising the issue of microfibres. She mentions that Members across this House are seeking to reduce their use of plastic during Lent. I think that it is incumbent on all of us to seek to reduce our use of plastic, not just during Lent but for the time to come.

Break in Debate

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard

May I gently say to colleagues that I am trying to accommodate as many Back-Bench Members as possible? This applies to both sides of the House: some extremely serious public purpose-focused questions are being put, but they are too long.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
6 Mar 2019, 12:49 p.m.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

On the ESA underpayments, obviously mistakes should not have happened and we need to clear this up as quickly as possible. The DWP is taking the issue very seriously. It has about 1,200 people working on sorting it out. We have already paid out almost £330 million. The Department expects to finish correcting the majority of the original cases by April and it aims to process additional cases by the end of the year.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Wednesday 27th February 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Wales Office
The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

The right hon. Gentleman talks about an extension to article 50 or a second referendum, but that does not solve the problem—it does not deal with the issue. The issue is very simple: do we want to leave with a deal or without a deal? That is the question that SNP MPs and every other MP will face when the time comes. He then talks about betraying voters in Scotland. I will tell him what has betrayed voters in Scotland: an SNP Scottish Government who have raised income tax so that people in Scotland are paying more in income tax than people anywhere else in the UK; an SNP Scottish Government who have broken their manifesto promise and raised the cap on annual council tax increases for homeowners; and an SNP Scottish Government under whom people are facing the prospect of an extra tax for parking their car at their workplace. And all of that—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
27 Feb 2019, 12:21 p.m.

Order. There is a fest of undignified arm-waving, and bellowing, Mr Kerr, from a sedentary position. Calm yourself, man. Take some sort of soothing medicament that you will find beneficial.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
27 Feb 2019, 12:21 p.m.

And all of that in a year in which the Scottish Government’s block grant from Westminster went up. The people betraying the people of Scotland are the SNP Scottish Government.

Break in Debate

Mr Speaker Hansard
27 Feb 2019, midnight

I want to hear the Prime Minister’s answer. This is a very important question.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

Mr Speaker, when you did a thumbs-up after that question, I was not sure whether that indicated that you had a view on the televising of Cabinet meetings. My hon. Friend has tried to approach that issue in various ways. I seem to remember that last time he asked me about this, it was not about televising Cabinet but sending his CV in to be a Cabinet Minister. Perhaps these are linked—perhaps he wants to sit round the Cabinet table and be on television all the time.

Mr Speaker Hansard
27 Feb 2019, midnight

Well, we never knew that the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone) had such ambitions, but maybe it lurks within him—who knows? For my own part, I was merely acknowledging welcome and friendly visitors to the House.

Leaving the European Union

Debate between John Bercow and Mrs Theresa May
Tuesday 26th February 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate
Cabinet Office
The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May) - Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Feb 2019, 12:36 p.m.

With permission, Mr Speaker, I will make a statement on the Government’s work to secure a withdrawal agreement that can command the support of this House.

A fortnight ago, I committed to come back before the House today if the Government had not by now secured a majority for a withdrawal agreement and a political declaration. In the two weeks since, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, the Attorney General and I have been engaging in focused discussions with the EU to find a way forward that will work for both sides. We are making good progress in that work. I had a constructive meeting with President Juncker in Brussels last week to take stock of the work done by our respective teams. We discussed the legal changes that are required to guarantee that the Northern Ireland backstop cannot endure indefinitely.

On the political declaration, we discussed what additions or changes can be made to increase confidence in the focus and ambition of both sides in delivering the future partnership we envisage as soon as possible, and the Secretary of State is following this up with Michel Barnier.

I also had a number of positive meetings at the EU-Arab League summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, including with President Donald Tusk. I have now spoken to the leaders of every single EU member state to explain the UK’s position. And the UK and EU teams are continuing their work, and we agreed to review progress again in the coming days.

As part of these discussions, the UK and EU have agreed to consider a joint workstream to develop alternative arrangements to ensure the absence of a hard border in Northern Ireland. This work will be done in parallel with the future relationship negotiations and is without prejudice to them. Our aim is to ensure that, even if the full future relationship is not in place by the end of the implementation period, the backstop is not needed because we have a set of alternative arrangements ready to go. I thank my hon. and right hon. Friends for their contribution to this work and reaffirm that we are seized of the need to progress that work as quickly as possible.

President Juncker has already agreed that the EU will give priority to this work, and the Government expect that this will be an important strand of the next phase. The Secretary of State for Exiting the EU will be having further discussions with Michel Barnier and we will announce details ahead of the meaningful vote. We will also be setting up domestic structures to support this work, including ensuring that we can take advice from external experts involved in customs processes around the world from businesses that trade with the EU and beyond—and, of course, from colleagues across the House. This will all be supported by civil service resource as well as funding for the Government to help develop, test and pilot proposals that can form part of these alternative arrangements.

I know what this House needs in order to support a withdrawal agreement. The EU knows what is needed, and I am working hard to deliver it. As well as changes to the backstop, we are also working across a number of other areas to build support for the withdrawal agreement and to give the House confidence in the future relationship that the UK and EU will go on to negotiate. This includes ensuring that leaving the EU will not lead to any lowering of standards in relation to workers’ rights, environmental protections or health and safety. Taking back control cannot mean giving up our control of these standards, especially when UK Governments of all parties have proudly pursued policies that exceed the minimums set by the EU, from Labour giving British workers more annual leave to the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats giving all employees the right to request flexible working. Not only would giving up control go against the spirit of the referendum result—it would also mean accepting new EU laws automatically, even if they were to reduce workers’ rights or change them in a way that was not right for us.

Instead, and in the interests of building support across the House, we are prepared to commit to giving Parliament a vote on whether it wishes to follow suit whenever the EU standards in areas such as workers’ rights and health and safety are judged to have been strengthened. The Government will consult with businesses and trade unions as it looks at new EU legislation and decides how the UK should respond. We will legislate to give our commitments on both non-regression and future developments force in UK law. And following further cross-party talks, we will shortly be bringing forward detailed proposals to ensure that, as we leave the EU, we not only protect workers’ rights but continue to enhance them.

As the Government committed to the House last week, we are today publishing the paper assessing our readiness for no deal. I believe that if we have to, we will ultimately make a success of a no deal. But this paper provides an honest assessment of the very serious challenges it would bring in the short term and further reinforces why the best way for this House to honour the referendum result is to leave with a deal.

As I committed to the House, the Government will today table an amendable motion for debate tomorrow. But I know Members across the House are genuinely worried that time is running out—that if the Government do not come back with a further meaningful vote, or they lose that vote, Parliament will not have time to make its voice heard on the next steps. I know too that Members across the House are deeply concerned by the effect of the current uncertainty on businesses. So today I want to reassure the House by making three further commitments. First, we will hold a second meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March at the latest. Secondly, if the Government have not won a meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March, then they will, in addition to their obligations to table a neutral, amendable motion under section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, table a motion to be voted on by Wednesday 13 March, at the latest, asking this House if it supports leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement and a framework for a future relationship on 29 March. So the United Kingdom will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consent in this House for that outcome.

Thirdly, if the House, having rejected leaving with the deal negotiated with the EU, then rejects leaving on 29 March without a withdrawal agreement and future framework, the Government will, on 14 March, bring forward a motion on whether Parliament wants to seek a short, limited extension to article 50, and, if the House votes for an extension, seek to agree that extension approved by the House with the EU and bring forward the necessary legislation to change the exit date commensurate with that extension. These commitments all fit the timescale set out in the private Member’s Bill in the name of the right hon. Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper). They are commitments I am making as Prime Minister, and I will stick by them, as I have previous commitments to make statements and table amendable motions by specific dates.

But let me be clear—I do not want to see article 50 extended. Our absolute focus should be on working to get a deal and leaving on 29 March. An extension beyond the end of June would mean the UK taking part in the European Parliament elections. What kind of message would that send to the more than 17 million people who voted to leave the EU nearly three years ago now? And the House should be clear that a short extension—not beyond the end of June—would almost certainly have to be a one-off. If we had not taken part in the European Parliament elections, it would be extremely difficult to extend again, so it would create a much sharper cliff edge in a few months’ time. An extension cannot take no deal off the table. The only way to do that is to revoke article 50, which I shall not do, or to agree a deal. I have been clear throughout the process that my aim is to bring the country back together. This House—[Interruption.] This House can only do that by implementing the decision of the British people, and the Government are determined to do so in a way that commands the support of this House.

But just as Government require the support of this House in delivering the vote of the British people, so the House should respect the proper functions of the Government. Tying the Government’s hands by seeking to commandeer the Order Paper would have—[Interruption.]

Mr Speaker Hansard
26 Feb 2019, 12:45 p.m.

Order. This is rather discourteous. The Prime Minister is delivering a statement, and it should be heard. I understand the strong feelings, but colleagues know from the record that everybody will get the chance to question the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s statement must be heard.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Feb 2019, 12:49 p.m.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Tying the Government’s hands by seeking to commandeer the Order Paper would have far-reaching implications for the way in which the United Kingdom is governed and the balance of powers and responsibilities in our democratic institutions, and it would offer no solution to the challenge of finding a deal that this House can support. Neither would seeking an extension to article 50 now make getting a deal any easier. Ultimately the choices we face would remain unchanged: leave with a deal, leave with no deal, or have no Brexit. When it comes to the motion tomorrow, the House needs to come together, as we did on 29 January, and send a clear message that there is a stable majority in favour of leaving the EU with a deal.

A number of hon. and right hon. Members have understandably raised the rights of EU citizens living in the UK. As I set out last September, following the Salzburg summit, even in the event of no deal, the rights of the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK will be protected. That is our guarantee to them. They are our friends, our neighbours and our colleagues. We want them to stay. But a separate agreement for citizens’ rights is something the EU has been clear it does not have the legal authority for. If it is not done in a withdrawal agreement, these issues become a matter for member states, unless the EU was to agree a new mandate to take that forward.

At the very start of this process, the UK sought to separate out that issue, but the EU has been consistent on it. However, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has written to all his counterparts, and we are holding further urgent discussions with member states to seek assurances on the rights of UK citizens. I urge all EU countries to make this guarantee and end the uncertainty for these citizens. I hope that the Government’s efforts can give the House and EU citizens here in the UK the reassurances they need and deserve.

For some hon. and right hon. Members, taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union is the culmination of a long and sincerely fought campaign. For others, leaving the EU goes against much that they have stood for and fought for with equal sincerity for just as long. But Parliament gave the choice to the people. In doing so, we told them that we would honour their decision. That remains the resolve of this side of the House, but last night we learned that it is no longer the commitment of the Leader of the Opposition. He has gone back on his promise to respect the referendum result and now wants to hold a divisive second referendum that would take our country right back to square one. Anybody who voted Labour at the last election because they thought he would deliver Brexit will rightly be appalled.

This House voted to trigger article 50, and this House has a responsibility to deliver on the result. The very credibility of our democracy is at stake. By leaving the EU with a deal, we can move our country forward. Even with the uncertainty we face today, we have more people in work than ever before, wages growing at their fastest rate for a decade and debt falling as a share of the economy. If we can leave with a deal, end the uncertainty and move on beyond Brexit, we can do so much more to deliver real economic progress to every part of country.

I hope tomorrow this House can show that, with legally binding changes on the backstop, commitments to protect workers’ rights and the environment, an enhanced role for Parliament in the next phase of negotiations and a determination to address the wider concerns of those who voted to leave, we will have a deal that this House can support. In doing so, we can send a clear message that this House is resolved to honour the result of the referendum and leave the European Union with a deal. I commend this statement to the House.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

What we have seen, of course, is that, yes, the House voted in the way the hon. Gentleman indicated, but we are now working with the European Union. We will bring changes agreed with the European Union back to this House for a further meaningful vote. Members of this House will then have the opportunity to determine whether they want to leave the European Union with a deal or not. Should they reject no deal, the further votes that I have given a commitment to will take place.

Mr Speaker Hansard

Mr Blunt, having heard you—it was rather unwelcome—from your seat, perhaps we can now hear you on your feet.

Break in Debate

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard

I say to the hon. Lady that we now have the opportunity, as a result of leaving the European Union, to put a new immigration system into place—yes, to bring an end to free movement once and for all; that was an important element of the referendum debate and the reason why, I think, quite a number of people voted to leave the European Union. We can now put in place an immigration system based not on where somebody comes from, but on the skills they have and the contribution they will make to this country.

Mr Speaker Hansard

The right hon. Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) has perambulated from one part of the Chamber to another, but fortunately I can still see him. He is now next to the Father of the House—a very important position.

Break in Debate

Mr Speaker Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Feb 2019, 2:23 p.m.

Order. Resume your seat, Mr Fysh. [Interruption.] Order. I indulged the hon. Gentleman, whose sincerity I greatly admire, but may I very politely suggest that he needs to develop some feel, some antennae, for the House? The House’s fascination with his points is not as great as his own.

The Prime Minister - Parliament Live - Hansard
26 Feb 2019, 2:23 p.m.

First, the issues to which my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr Fysh) refers—the measures indicated by the European Union—would only be there for a temporary and limited period. Secondly, he gives a long list of various issues in relation to the alternative arrangements at the border, some of which are precisely the issues that the European Union has raised a question over in relation to the derogations from EU law that would be required.

Mr Speaker