My hon. Friend puts it absolutely correctly. We should always think about what people can do. We should always be positive as a society. I am so glad to hear about the work of the Papworth Trust. Organisations like that are a lifeline of support for some of the most vulnerable in our communities, and everything that can be done to support them should be done.
If this is a specific case, I think an Adjournment debate is the most suitable approach. The Government are strongly supportive of ensuring that everyone in the country, especially the vulnerable, has access to essential services via the post office within their local community. As 99% of the population are within three miles of their nearest post office and 90% are within one mile, I do understand that if one is shut for a temporary period, that can be difficult for some local residents.
The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. The right hon. Denis Howell did indeed become Minister for Drought, and the drought ended. Whether this was because of the power of the Government or the power of a higher authority is not, I think, a particular matter for debate, as it happens.
We are having Backbench Business debates later today, and we continue with a regular programme of Backbench Business debates. I reassure the hon. Gentleman that we try very seriously to ensure that the days’ debates are provided in accordance with the Standing Orders.
I am sure that the elves are busily doing their magic work to ensure that Christmas stockings will be filled for children across the world. I think they count as key workers because they need to go into work to do their jobs. Whether they have to wear masks or not, I am not entirely sure; I have not yet found out. We should no doubt have an Adjournment debate on this important subject. We can be pleased that Christmas is coming, presents will be delivered and we will be able to see members of our families over Christmas. That is reassuring for one and all.
There is an incongruity in the hon. Gentleman’s comments. He says, quite rightly, that Scotland is a forward-looking, fine, upstanding nation, but then he wants to kow-tow to the European Union, and take Scotland’s fish and give them all away to the fisherfolk of the European Union. He cannot have it both ways. Either he maintains his pride in Scotland, shared with the United Kingdom, or else he wants to go and be a vassal of the European Union.
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We really need to discourage councils from their war against the motorist. We should be backing the motorist. Driving is a great sign of one’s independence, liberty and exercise of historic freedoms. But local authorities are, quite rightly, independent, so the answer is to campaign to get in a Conservative council.
The Government have done an enormous amount to support the overall economy, as I have already pointed out, by providing £35 billion for the furlough scheme, £8.5 billion for the self-employed and £15 billion for coronavirus business interruption loans for our small and medium-sized enterprises and large businesses. So a huge amount has been done to help businesses across the country. The price of oil fell into negative territory during the peak of this crisis and has recovered from that quite significantly. Volatility in the oil price is something everybody in the oil industry is well aware of.
The wisdom of the British people knows no bounds and therefore we should always welcome ideas from our constituents. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Rhondda is sniffy about his own constituents. I think the wisdom of the people of the United Kingdom knows no bounds. That is why we have achieved so much over the history of this nation. We have been innovative. We have been a nation that has led the world. We really are—
I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for reminding us of the anniversary of Tiananmen Square, though I must confess that I had not personally forgotten it. It is a reminder of what communist totalitarian regimes are capable of. The Prime Minister has made it clear that we will stand by our duty to the British nationals overseas—the holders of BNO passports and those who are eligible for them. They will be entitled to come here for a longer period and there will be a pathway to citizenship for them. The behaviour of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation is of course a matter for that corporation, but it may be that it is more closely allied to the Chinese Government than to Her Majesty’s Government.
As I said, during virtual proceedings we were not able to have any Public Bill Committees or secondary legislation Committees. That has meant that there is a blockage in our legislative agenda and we were running at about one third of the time available for our Bills to go through the necessary procedures. Those Bills are important—they affect people’s lives: the Domestic Abuse Bill, the Northern Ireland legacies Bill, the Fire Safety Bill, the Trade Bill. A whole number of Bills deliver on the promises we gave to the British people and that is why we have to be back here to ensure that we as politicians do what we said we would do.
I assure the hon. Lady that the Government and others will consider how Parliament can work differently, if we need to in April, and work out how that can be done. Whether the Chamber can be run on a digital basis is something that I would question, though with regard to her second point, she is absolutely right: there will be pressure on people who are supplying goods and services now suffering from excess demand. That is in the nature of what is currently happening, and there will be pressure on those businesses.