B1 Intermediate UK 401 Folder Collection
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>> David Duguid (Banff and Buchan) (Con): If she will list her official engagements
for Wednesday 12 September.
>> The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May): I am sure that Members across the House will
wish to join me in congratulating Alastair Cook on his fantastic service to English cricket.
As England's highest-ever-scoring batsman, his incredible career had many highlights,
including the magnificent 147 in his last innings, against India. We wish him the very
best for his future.
This morning, I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties
in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today.
>> David Duguid: I know that the Prime Minister appreciates
the significance of fishing communities around the UK, not least my own constituency of Banff
and Buchan. What steps will my right hon. Friend take to support our fishing communities
during the implementation period? Will she look into ways to support the expansion of
the catching fleet, infrastructure, processing capacity and other businesses that are reliant
on the sector?
>> The Prime Minister: I fully recognise the importance of the fishing
industry to my hon. Friend's constituency and to other constituencies represented in
this House. I reassure him that we want to secure a sustainable and profitable fishing
industry that will regenerate coastal communities and support future generations of UK fishermen.
Leaving the EU means taking back control of our waters, setting our own fisheries rules
and exclusively determining who fishes what in our seas. It is a priority of the Government
to make sure that we have an innovative, productive and competitive food supply chain. Work is
under way to consider the long-term future of all funding programmes that are currently
managed by the EU.
>> Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) (Lab): I, too, join the Prime Minister in congratulating
Alastair Cook on a fantastic achievement and both teams on what has been an absolutely
brilliant series, which I really enjoyed.
The National Farmers Union, the Federation of Small Businesses, the National Audit Office,
the National Housing Federation, Gingerbread and the Royal Society of Arts—does the Prime
Minister know what these organisations have in common?
>> The Prime Minister: Yes, I can tell the right hon. Gentleman that
what those organisations all have in common is that, across a variety of areas of activity,
they give excellent service, they promote the interests of those whom they represent
and they are bodies with which this Government interact and to which this Government listen.
>> Jeremy Corbyn: I am truly grateful to the Prime Minister
for that answer, the first part of which I wholly agree with. What they also have—
It's all right. What they also have in common is that they are telling this Government that
their flagship benefits policy, universal credit, is flawed and failing hundreds of
thousands of people both in work and out of work. In 2010, the Government declared that
universal credit would lift 350,000 children out of poverty. Does the Prime Minister stand
by that figure?
>> The Prime Minister: We introduced universal credit because we
needed a system of welfare in this country that encouraged rather than discouraged people
into work, that made sure that work always pays and that was a simpler system than the
legacy system that we were left by the Labour party—remember the legacy system of the
Labour party. It meant that we had individuals being paid £100,000 a year on benefits—all
paid for by hard-working taxpayers earning a fraction of that sum.
>> Jeremy Corbyn: The Child Poverty Action Group says that,
far from taking children out of poverty, universal credit will now increase the number of children
in poverty. Since 2010, half a million more children have gone into poverty relative to
that time. The Government know that this policy is flawed and failing. Their own survey on
universal credit found that many were in debt, a third were in arrears with their rent and
half had fallen behind with their bills. Does the Prime Minister dispute her own Government's
survey, or dispute the experience of the claimants?
>> The Prime Minister: Let us look at the experience of some of the
claimants. Roberta said, “My work coach helped turn my life around. He tailored his
support to my situation and thanks to him I have found my dream job.” Ryan said, “I
am happy with the new universal credit. My work coach has been great—I didn't expect
to have a job so soon.” Nayim said, “Universal credit gave me the flexibility to take on
additional hours without the stress of thinking that this might stop my benefits straight
away.” We have gone from a situation under the Labour party where 1.4 million people
spent most of a decade trapped on benefits. We are helping get people into work, which
is why, earlier this week, we saw unemployment yet again at a record low.
>> Jeremy Corbyn: We are all constituency MPs, and I think that
most of us are well aware of the pain that universal credit is causing when people come
into our advice bureaux. Some 60% of families facing cuts owing to the two-child policy
are in work. Universal credit is not making work pay; it is taking money away from families
and putting more children into poverty. The National Audit Office report found that universal
credit is creating hardship, forcing people to use food banks and could end up costing
the system even more. Does the Prime Minister dispute the National Audit Office findings?
>> The Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman talked about constituency
cases. I remember—
>> Mr Speaker: Order. We are at a very early stage of the
proceedings. We have got a long way to go, but questions must be heard and the answers
must be heard, and as usual I want to get through the Order Paper.
>> The Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman started his question
by talking about constituency cases. I remember the single mother who came to see me as her
Member of Parliament when Labour was in government who told me that she wanted to get into the
workplace and provide a good example to her child, but the jobcentre had told her that
she would be better off on benefits. That is the legacy of the Labour party.
>> Jeremy Corbyn: My question was about the National Audit Office.
The Trussell Trust backs the NAO. It says that food bank usage in areas where universal
credit has been rolled out is four times higher than in areas where it has not been introduced.
But, without resolving any of those failings in the next year, the Government propose to
inflict this on another 2 million people. As part of that transfer, hundreds of thousands
of people with disabilities and on employment and support allowance, jobseeker's allowance
and tax credits will receive a letter telling them that their support will be stopped. They
will have to make an application for universal credit. Does the Prime Minister think it is
the responsibility of the Government who are changing the system to ensure that people
retain the support that they need, or is it down to the individual, many of whom are very
vulnerable people who need help and support?
>> The Prime Minister: What the Government are doing is delivering
a system that does give support to vulnerable people, but encourages people to get into
the workplace, because we know that work is the best route out of poverty. However, if
the right hon. Gentleman believes that universal credit needed some change, why, when we made
changes such as reducing the waiting days for payment and bringing in a housing benefit
overlap to help people, did Labour vote against those changes?
>> Jeremy Corbyn: It is Labour that has been speaking up for
the poorest in this country. It is Labour that has been challenging this Government.
It is Labour that wants a decency within our society that this Government are incapable
of delivering.
>> Mr Speaker: Order. Mr Spencer, I always thought you were
a good natured, laid-back farmer. You seem to be a very over-excitable denizen of the
House today. Calm yourself, man.
>> Jeremy Corbyn: The mental health charity Mind says that there
is a real possibility
“that many people with mental health problems could see their benefits stopped entirely”.
It is outrageous that vulnerable people risk losing out because of these botched changes.
The Government's Brexit negotiations are an abject failure. I can see that by the sullen
faces behind the Prime Minister—and that is not just the European Research Group; it
is the whole lot of them. But everywhere you look, Mr Speaker, this Government are failing—1
million families using food banks; 1 million workers on zero-hours contracts; 4 million
children in poverty; wages lower today than 10 years ago; and on top of that there is
the flawed and failing universal credit. Disabled people at risk of losing their homes and vital
support; children forced to use food banks—and the Prime Minister wants to put 2 million
more people on to this. The Prime Minister is not challenging the burning injustices
in our society. She is pouring petrol on the crisis. When will she stop inflicting misery
on the people of this country?
>> The Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman talks about challenging
the burning injustices. That is about setting up the race disparity audit, which says what
public services do and how people from different communities in our country are treated by
them.
It means saying that nobody in this country should be stopped and searched on our streets
because of the colour of their skin—that was me as Home Secretary, never the Labour
party. We are seeing 3.3 million more people in jobs as a result of our balanced approach
to the economy.
And what have we seen from Labour over the past few days? Iranian state TV broadcasting
no-confidence votes against Labour Members of Parliament; police investigating anonymous
and threatening letters about the deselection of Labour MPs sent to Labour offices; and,
most shamefully of all, the hon. Member for Streatham (Chuka Umunna) saying that the Labour
party is now an institutionally racist party. That is what the Leader of the Opposition
has done to Labour—just think what he would do to this country.
>> Hon. Members: More!
>> Mr Speaker: Order.
>> Mr Speaker: Order. No gesticulation is required, Mr Brake—calm
yourself. You are a former Deputy Leader of the House—behave in a statesmanlike manner.
Order. Let us hear the questions and the answers.
>> Nigel Huddleston: We quite rightly spend quite a lot of time
in this place talking about crime, criminals and prisons, but perhaps we do not spend enough
time talking about the victims of crime. So I warmly welcome the Government's announcement
this week of a victims strategy. Can the Prime Minister assure me that this will not be some
kind of dry document but a genuine effort to boost support for the victims?
>> The Prime Minister: I can give my hon. Friend that assurance.
We know that nothing can take away the trauma and distress of being a victim of crime, but
we need to ensure that people get the support they need as they rebuild their lives. This
is absolutely vital. It is our duty to keep people safe but it is also our duty to ensure
that victims are properly protected and listened to. That is why we are taking steps to enshrine
their entitlements in law—to strengthen the victims code. This first ever cross-Government
victims strategy will ensure that victims of crime receive the care and support they
deserve at every stage of their interaction with the justice system. I commend my right
hon. Friend the Justice Secretary, and also the Under-Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member
for Charnwood (Edward Argar), for the work they have put into the victims strategy.
>> Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber) (SNP):
A decade on from the financial crisis, the poorest in our society are still paying a
price. The bankers were bailed out, but ordinary people paid the bill. Institute for Fiscal
Studies analysis shows that real wages are, on average, £800 lower. A decade on and people
are poorer: a damning indictment of the UK Government's leadership. Tell us, Prime
Minister: why have you abandoned millions of families—those just about managing?
>> The Prime Minister: What we have done is created an economic environment
where 3.3 million people are in work. We now see the number of children in workless households
at the lowest level ever. We now also see, through what we have done, an increase in
the national living wage. We have ensured that we have taken 4 million people out of
paying income tax altogether. Over 30 million people have received a tax cut. That is what
this Government have been able to do through a balanced approach to the economy, keeping
taxes low, putting money into public services, and reducing our debt.
>> Ian Blackford: That, I am afraid, simply ignores the reality
that people are poorer. It has been the worst decade for wage growth in over 200 years.
Households are struggling, and it is reported that a no deal Brexit will increase the annual
cost of living for low-income households by hundreds of pounds. Yet this Prime Minister
still wants to walk off the Brexit cliff edge. The Prime Minister is unfit to govern. She
is incapable of leadership. We know it, her Back Benchers know it, and the country knows
it. Ten years after the economic crash, the poorest are still bearing the brunt. It is
as simple as this: the Prime Minister should end her austerity programme or admit that
her party is unfit for government.
>> The Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman mentions Brexit.
Of course, we are working to get a good Brexit deal for the whole of the United Kingdom,
including Scotland. I suggest that he might listen to the views of the Scottish National
Farmers Union, which said this week that the plan the Government have put forward is
“certainly the agriculture and food and drinks sectors can work with”,
and that politicians from
“all sorts of parliaments and assemblies”
should get behind it.
>> Giles Watling (Clacton) (Con): My constituency is a mere 69 miles from London,
as I am sure my right hon. Friend remembers from her visit a few years ago. You are lucky
to cover that tiny journey in an hour and 40 minutes, and that is if you avoid the Network
Rail works. Our sunshine coast has a lot to offer economically, a lot of which remains
untapped. We could attract new homeowners, doctors and businesses to the area. Can my
right hon. Friend tell me what this Government are doing to improve our rail services and
speed up the journey to Clacton?
>> The Prime Minister: I do indeed remember the visit that I made
to Clacton in 2014, where I was very pleased to meet Caroline Shearer and hear about the
anti-knife crime work she had done and the charity she had set up in memory of her murdered
son, Jay Whiston.
On the issue of rail, Greater Anglia will indeed be introducing a whole new fleet of
trains, which will be delivered from the middle of next year. They will be state of the art,
with much improved acceleration, my hon. Friend will be pleased to hear. Greater Anglia needs
to work with Network Rail to ensure that it can deliver those improved journey times.
There are infrastructure constraints on the line, but we will engage with Network Rail
to understand what plans it has to renew the infrastructure, so that we can see the improvement
on the Clacton branch that my hon. Friend wants to see.
>> Melanie Onn (Great Grimsby) (Lab): The Prime Minister just said that work is
the best route out of poverty. Without repeating the response that she gave to the leader of
the SNP, can she explain why, after eight years of a Conservative Government, the Living
Wage Foundation reports that 40% of people in Grimsby do not earn enough to live on?
>> The Prime Minister: The figures show that the proportion of the
workforce on low pay is actually at its lowest level. That is as a result of the changes
we have made in relation to the economy and the balanced approach we have taken. If the
hon. Lady if worried about people living in Grimsby, the answer is not a Labour Government,
with £500 billion of extra borrowing, fewer jobs, higher taxes and people suffering the
cost.
>> John Lamont (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk) (Con):
Given what we know about the Russian state's involvement in the Salisbury poisoning, does
the Prime Minister think it appropriate when parliamentarians, both current and former,
appear on Russian state television?
>> The Prime Minister: I am sure we all have doubts about the objectivity
of the reporting on Russia Today, which remains a tool of propaganda for the Russian state.
Decisions about appearing on Russia Today are a matter of judgment for each individual,
but they should be clear that they risk being used as propaganda tools by the Russian state.
I know that that view is shared by other Members of this House, including the right hon. Member
for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Ian Blackford), who has made clear that he does not think
people should appear on that station. The same also applies to Press TV, which has had
its licence to broadcast revoked in the UK by Ofcom.
>> Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith) (SNP):
The Prime Minister refused to answer my written question about AggregateIQ visiting Downing
Street, so I will ask her here. Why did Jeff Silvester and Zack Massingham of AggregateIQ
visit No. 10 last autumn? Who did they meet? Who invited them? What was the purpose of
the meeting and, most importantly, why was the meeting not recorded in the transparency
data?
>> The Prime Minister: The hon. Lady's letter has not been drawn
to my attention. I do not have— Following her question, I will ensure that she receives
a reply in writing.
>> Chris Philp (Croydon South) (Con): When it comes to Brexit, the joint statement
of 8 December last year said that“nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.Does
the Prime Minister agree that this means that the payment of the £39 billion exit payment
and the Northern Irish backstop are dependent on agreeing satisfactory final-state trade
arrangements? Does she also agree that payment of that money should be locked into the legally
binding withdrawal agreement, which also requires those final-state trade agreements to be fully
agreed and implemented by 31 December 2020 in a form acceptable to this House?
>> The Prime Minister: We are very clear that we need to have a link
between the future relationship and the withdrawal agreement, but we are a country that honours
our obligations. We believe in the rule of law, and therefore we believe in abiding by
our legal obligations. However, my hon. Friend is right that the specific offer was made
in the spirit of our desire to reach a deal with the European Union and on the basis,
as the EU itself has said, that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Without
a deal, the position changes.
>> Paul Blomfield (Sheffield Central) (Lab): The Prime Minister was right yesterday to
be promoting electric vehicles, but she also needs to focus on electricity production.
Investment in renewable energy has halved as a result of the Government's policies.
Instead of encouraging carbon-emitting technologies such as fracking, which is deeply unpopular
in Sheffield and across the country, will she recognise that our future depends on serious
investment in wind, solar, tidal and other renewables?
>> The Prime Minister: I believe that in the provision of energy
across the United Kingdom we need to have a diverse range of supplies. That is why,
yes, we do, we have and we will continue to support renewable energy, but it is also why
we are ensuring, for example, that we have a supply of energy in the future from nuclear
and that we look across other forms of energy as well—for example, ensuring that we see
an increase in the number of interconnectors with Europe. A diverse supply is what we need
in our energy sector.
>> Alan Mak (Havant) (Con): Jean-Claude Juncker this morning accepted
that Britain will always be a close trade and security partner for the EU. Does my right
hon. Friend agree that this means that giving Britain a good deal is in the interests of
both sides?
>> The Prime Minister: I have always said to this House that I believe
a deal that is right for the UK will be a deal that is right for the European Union.
I note not only that President Juncker said what my hon. Friend has commented on, but
that he went on to say that
“after 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom will never be an ordinary third country for
us…I welcome Prime Minister May's proposal to develop an ambitious new partnership for
the future, after Brexit. We agree with the statement made in Chequers that the starting
point for such a partnership should be a free trade area between the United Kingdom and
the European Union.”
Let me be very clear: when we leave the European Union, we will be an independent sovereign
state—we will have control of our money, our borders and our laws—but I want to say
to our closest allies in Europe, “You will also never be an ordinary third party for
us.”
>> Justin Madders (Ellesmere Port and Neston) (Lab):
There is huge concern over proposals to take decisions on fracking away from local councils.
This concern is seemingly shared by a prominent Conservative MP, who has a number of statements
on her website, including that“local planning decisions should be returned to locally elected
councillors”,and“local councils need the power to stop unsuitable developments”.The
Prime Minister will I hope recognise these comments. She made them. Does she still agree
with them?
>> The Prime Minister: It has always been the case, across the planning
structure that we have here in the United Kingdom, that there are decisions taken at
local level, but there are also decisions—sometimes those local decisions are referred—at a
national level.
>> Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): What recent assessment she has made of the
strength of the economy in the west midlands; and if she will make a statement.
>> The Prime Minister: I was indeed very pleased to be in the west
midlands yesterday at the world's first zero-emission vehicle summit, where I made
clear my determination to put our manufacturers in the west midlands and across the UK at
the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero-emission vehicles. The midlands has
a very strong automotive industry. The growth of high-tech manufacturing across the region
continues to drive investment: it is creating high-skilled jobs; it is boosting economic
growth. The latest employment statistics, released yesterday, show there are now over
320,000 more people in work in the west midlands than in 2010.
>> Michael Fabricant: I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer.
Also based in the west midlands is silicon canal. Silicon canal is like silicon valley,
but without the sunshine. It employs some 40,000 people working in computer science
and there are some 6,000 different companies—the second largest cluster of its kind in the
whole of Europe. With the announcement last week of 5G being based in the west midlands
as a test bed, what more will the Prime Minister do to promote high-tech in the west midlands?
>> The Prime Minister: I thank my hon. Friend for highlighting the
silicon canal. I am sure that, like me, he was delighted that the west midlands bid,
which was pulled together by the Conservative metro Mayor Andy Street, was chosen as the
winning location of the Urban Connected Communities project. As my hon. Friend mentioned, that
will see the development of a large-scale 5G pilot across the region.
DCMS is also working closely with the West Midlands combined authority to develop and
deliver a region-wide digital skills partnership, which will bring together key sectors in the
region, working on improving the digital skills of individuals, small businesses and charities.
Ensuring strong Government engagement and support for these sectors will be critical
to the success of the Government's industrial strategy.
>> Ben Lake (Ceredigion) (PC): The Secretary of State for Education announced
a pay award for teachers recently, which, as the Prime Minister will know, is not yet
a devolved responsibility. The Government have outlined how they will fund the award
for teachers in England, but as yet they have not done so for Wales. Will the Prime Minister
intervene to put right this oversight and ensure that Welsh teachers and Welsh pupils
are not the ones left to foot the bill?
>> The Prime Minister: To reassure the hon. Gentleman, I should say
that the Treasury will be setting that out shortly.
>> Sir Hugo Swire (East Devon) (Con): Back in July, in Prime Minister's questions,
I pressed the Prime Minister on the possible publication of Sir Alex Allan's report on
the Windrush affair and she confirmed that the Home Secretary of the time was considering
publication very carefully. Two months later, nothing has come from the Home Secretary or
the Home Office. Could she as Prime Minister, in the interests of transparency and accountability,
which I know she believes in, now personally authorise the publication of this long-awaited
report?
>> The Prime Minister: I reassure my right hon. Friend that the Home
Secretary has been looking at this issue, and the Cabinet Secretary is looking at this.
We are committed to publication, but the form of that is currently being considered.
>> Mr Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) (Lab):
Yesterday, Her Majesty's inspectorate of probation issued a devastating report on its
findings relating to the murder two years ago of my constituent Lisa Skidmore. The report
sets out catastrophic failures on the part of the probation service to act on warnings
about the behaviour of her killer, Leroy Campbell—a lifelong violent sex offender—and concludes
that Lisa's murder was entirely preventable. Lisa Skidmore was a young woman with her whole
life in front of her. Her family have been left completely heartbroken by her loss. She
was let down in the most appalling way by a service that is there to monitor offenders
and protect the public. In this case, it failed to do so, with the most devastating consequences.
Can I ask the Prime Minister what she and the Ministry of Justice can do in response
to this report, to prevent something like this from happening again?
>> The Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman has raised what was
an absolutely devastating case—it was a horrific crime, and devastating for Lisa's
family. I understand that my hon. Friend the Prisons Minister has met the family of Lisa
Skidmore and apologised for the failings in this case. But as the right hon. Gentleman
says, this should not have happened.
I understand that some action has already been taken and that two members of the probation
service have been suspended. While nothing can be done to bring back Lisa or minimise
the impact that this has had on her family, Dame Glenys Stacey has been asked to conduct
an independent review to look at what can be done to prevent such tragedies from happening
again—to do as the right hon. Gentleman has said: make sure that this never happens
to anybody else.
>> Trudy Harrison (Copeland) (Con): Cumbria and the Lake district are one of the
most beautiful parts of the UK, and our farmers play such a unique role in maintaining the
landscape. On Back British Farming Day, will my right hon. Friend ensure that our Cumbrian
farmers will be able to export their world-class meat after we leave the European Union?
>> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is absolutely right to recognise
the beauty of the area she represents, Cumbria and the Lake District, and the important role
farmers play in that part of the country, as indeed our farmers do elsewhere. When we
leave the European Union, we are looking to ensure we have trade deals that enable our
farmers to continue to be able to export their very important product, which is enjoyed by
people elsewhere. By leaving the European Union, we are able to do something else: come
out of the common agricultural policy and develop a policy for farming in this country
that is right for our farmers, not for others'.
>> Wayne David (Caerphilly) (Lab): Last year, 183 people were returned to this
country to face justice because of the European arrest warrant. If we leave the EU without
a deal, the European arrest warrant will not be available to us. Would the Prime Minister
be happy with that?
>> The Prime Minister: The hon. Gentleman will know full well that
as Home Secretary I stood at this Dispatch Box and led a debate in which we ensured that
when we exercised the powers available under protocol 36 we went back into the European
arrest warrant. The European arrest warrant is one of those instruments that we have identified
in our Chequers plan as one that we wish to discuss with the European Union, with a view
to being able to continue to use it.
>> Chris Green (Bolton West) (Con): Leah Aldridge was killed by her father in
2002. After the coroner and Greater Manchester police finished their investigation, the body
was returned to the family for the funeral. Last year, the police discovered that they
had retained some of Leah's body parts, and these were returned to the family for
a second funeral. Only a few weeks ago, yet more body parts were discovered by the police
and the family had to go through the ordeal of a third funeral. They have no confidence
in Greater Manchester police or the police and crime commissioner, the Mayor of Greater
Manchester, that they now have finally allowed the family to lay their daughter Leah to rest.
Will the Prime Minister hold an inquiry into this matter for the sake of Leah's family
and for other families across Greater Manchester?
>> The Prime Minister: This is an absolutely terrible case. I am
sure, as my hon. Friend will have felt from the reaction of Members across the House when
they heard him set out the details, that we all want to express our deepest sympathy to
Leah's family for the prolonged trauma they have had to endure as a result of the way
that this has been handled.
I understand that the deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester has been in touch with the Human
Tissue Authority about the case. The authority is advising on ensuring that the establishment
concerned does the necessary work to evaluate what went wrong in this case and put in place
measures to minimise the chance that this can ever happen again. Officials in the Home
Office will meet both the Greater Manchester police and the National Police Chiefs' Council
to further address the issue of historically held human tissue. I will ensure that the
relevant Home Office Minister updates my hon. Friend on the outcome of those meetings.
>> Carol Monaghan (Glasgow North West) (SNP): The Windrush scandal continues to affect my
constituent who, despite receiving his British passport, has been told he is ineligible for
employment and support allowance as he has not made enough national insurance contributions
over the past two years—an impossible task, since he has been prevented from working by
the Home Office. Will the Prime Minister take responsibility for ensuring that the Department
for Work and Pensions has special measures in place to deal with Windrush applicants,
and will she confirm that my constituent will now get the support he deserves?
>> The Prime Minister: The Home Office, of course, set up a special
taskforce to deal with the Windrush cases to provide help and support to the individuals—
Yes, I know the shadow Foreign Secretary is mentioning the DWP. I am coming on to the
DWP. What is important for the individuals concerned is that they are able to interact
with one Government body that is then able to give them support and take on the issues
for them. I believe that the individual concerned should get in touch with the taskforce, and
the Home Secretary will make sure that the necessary inquiries are made.
>> Jack Lopresti (Filton and Bradley Stoke) (Con):
Will the Prime Minister visit my constituency to open Airbus's new wing integration centre
in Filton, which is a £40 million investment that will secure hundreds of jobs and good
quality apprenticeships for the future? Will she join me in thanking and paying tribute
to Airbus for its strong and enduring commitment to the UK?
>> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend has issued a very interesting
invitation. I cannot give him an instant response from the Dispatch Box, because I will need
to look at diary commitments. It is absolutely right that we thank and congratulate Airbus
on the commitment it has made to the United Kingdom and the high-quality jobs it provides
here. When I went to the Farnborough airshow, I was very pleased to meet Airbus executives
to look at and talk about some their latest products.
>> Liz Saville Roberts (Dwyfor Meirionnydd) (PC):
In a meeting on Monday, the aluminium and steel industry told leaders of Opposition
parties—with the exception of the leader of the Labour party, who refused to attend—that
thousands of jobs are to be put at risk by the British Government's Brexit policies
and threadbare industrial strategy. Is it not the case that the Prime Minister is prepared
to dole out P45s to manufacturing workers simply in order to appease the Brexit extremists
in her own party?
>> The Prime Minister: The hon. Lady's portrayal of the situation
could not be further from the case. What we have put forward in the Chequers plan is a
plan that delivers on the result of the referendum and ensures that we take control of our money,
borders and laws, but that does so in a way that protects jobs and livelihoods across
the United Kingdom. The Government have given support to the steel industry in a number
of ways, and the industrial strategy is about ensuring that we have a healthy manufacturing
industry in this country, but also a manufacturing industry for the future, providing the high-skilled
jobs and skills for people for the future.
>> Johnny Mercer (Plymouth, Moor View) (Con): The Prime Minister will be aware of not only
my feelings but those of pretty much everyone in this House and the vast majority of this
country when it comes to seeing our veterans dragged through the courts in Northern Ireland
to appease political differences. What is she as Prime Minister personally doing—how
is she personally investing of herself in this process—to bring to an end something
that the vast majority of her country find completely abhorrent?
>> The Prime Minister: I am well aware of the degree of concern about
this issue, which is why I have held a number of discussions about it with the Secretary
of State for Northern Ireland. We owe a vast debt of gratitude to the heroism and bravery
of the soldiers and police officers who upheld the rule of law and were themselves accountable
to it. That is something that has always set them apart from the terrorists, who during
the troubles were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of members of the security forces.
But as I have made clear, the current system in Northern Ireland is flawed. It is not working;
it is not working for soldiers, for police officers or for victims—a group, in fact,
that includes many soldiers and police officers as well. Although a number of terrorist murders
from the troubles are actively under investigation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland
and other police forces, under the current mechanism for investigating the past there
is a disproportionate focus on former members of the armed forces and the police. We want
to ensure that all outstanding deaths in Northern Ireland are investigated in ways that are
fair, balanced and proportionate.
>> Mary Glindon (North Tyneside) (Lab): Since the life-changing spinal muscular atrophy
treatment Spinraza was rejected by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in
its first guidance last month, families affected, including that of young Sam Mckie in North
Tyneside, have been left heartbroken. Will the Prime Minister meet me and Muscular Dystrophy
UK to discuss the urgent need to make progress on the managed access agreement so that patients
can access Spinraza as soon as possible?
>> The Prime Minister: I am very happy to look at the specific issue
in relation to the decision taken by NICE, and I will ensure that Health Ministers look
into it and have a meeting with the hon. Lady to discuss the details.
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Prime Minister's Questions: 12 September 2018

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frank published on October 24, 2018
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