Joy Morrissey debates involving the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy during the 2019 Parliament

Gas Prices and Energy Suppliers

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Thursday 23rd September 2021

(3 weeks, 3 days ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Kwasi Kwarteng Portrait Kwasi Kwarteng
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Clearly there was a lot in that question and statement. I will deal with a couple of issues, if I may.

With respect to universal credit and wider budgetary considerations, I have repeatedly said that they are matters for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor. We will have ample opportunity to discuss these things in the House. With respect to the move away from fossil fuels, the hon. Gentleman and I are in agreement: I think that we need a diverse supply of decarbonised sources of energy.

Finally, I dispute the idea that we are ill-prepared. We have the SOLR and SAR processes in place and we stress-tested them throughout the whole covid period, when I was in constant contact with the industry. I feel that so far we have managed to accommodate such supplier failure as we have seen with existing structures.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the cold weather payment scheme will remain in place?

Kwasi Kwarteng Portrait Kwasi Kwarteng
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Again, there are further budgetary issues, but I have always said that we are absolutely focused on customers, particularly the most vulnerable customers. The warm home discount is staying and we are looking to protect the most vulnerable customers, particularly prepaid customers, from the worst effects of the energy price spike.

Covid Vaccine Passports

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Wednesday 8th September 2021

(1 month, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Nadhim Zahawi Portrait Nadhim Zahawi
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I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s championing of the vaccination programme. He raises an important point. One of the issues around lateral flow tests is the risk of people fraudulently inputting their test result, but also those are for a single excursion whereas being double-vaccinated means that people can go and enjoy nightclubs as many times as they like.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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May I, on bended knee, implore my hon. Friend to summon all his courage and say no to vaccine passports to protect our civil liberties? He has been so courageous in the vaccine roll-out, so will he please protect our civil liberties and say no to vaccine passports?

Nadhim Zahawi Portrait Nadhim Zahawi
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I hope that when my hon. Friend pauses and reflects on what we will be bringing forward, she will see that it is that it is much better for the nightclub industry to be able to open sustainably while we get through the next few months. The winter months are going to be tough and challenging not just for covid but also for flu. It is a far better option to listen to the clinical advice of the CMOs and implement something that is difficult for me to do, and goes against everything I believe in, but nevertheless is the right thing to do.

Post Office Court of Appeal Judgment

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Tuesday 27th April 2021

(5 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Paul Scully Portrait Paul Scully
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No, indeed. We want to make sure that we can get these answers quickly for sub-postmasters who have already waited up to 20 years for a sense of justice. As I have said, statutory inquiries can take more than three years to get these answers. I want a report on my desk this summer to report back to postmasters, and Sir Wyn is getting the co-operation that he needs to get answers.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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Does my hon. Friend agree that postmasters provide the backbone of the Post Office and will he join me in thanking Jay Patel, the Patel family and Jaspal Singh who provide vital services to communities across Beaconsfield, Hedgerley and Burnham? Will he continue to fight for justice and compensation for those who have been exonerated and take on board the excellent suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Laura Farris) of looking at how we prevent these type of scandals from happening in the future?

Paul Scully Portrait Paul Scully
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I thank my hon. Friend for her question. I know that she is a champion for community services in her area. That is what the Post Office does—not only is it a business, but it adds social value, as Jay Patel and his family continue to do. That is why we need to get answers. That is why we need to get justice. It is to give existing and future postmasters the confidence that they can work in a great organisation that is offering that social value and supporting their communities.

Coronavirus: Supporting Businesses and Individuals

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Tuesday 23rd February 2021

(7 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Rebecca Long Bailey Portrait Rebecca Long Bailey (Salford and Eccles) (Lab) [V]
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At least 3 million people have been excluded from covid support schemes. One constituent of mine ran a tourism business from home. She has no rateable business premises to qualify for grant funding, she cannot afford to repay business support loans, and the minimal furlough she receives does not even cover her rent. Her situation is desperate. Another constituent works as a freelance interior designer for the hospitality sector. He has received only 20% of his usual monthly income, and he says:

“I honestly don’t know how I can carry on for much longer”.

A personal trainer saving to set up her own studio found that she was ineligible for support schemes and, because of her savings, also ineligible for universal credit.

There are hundreds of stories like these in Salford. Many people may now lose their homes, and the impact on their mental health and that of their families is profound. Indeed, recently the mental health spokesperson for ExcludedUK said that the group has had 13 suicides to date and noted widespread mental anguish. Of one case, the spokesperson said:

“I had one woman who posted on our Facebook group asking for someone to come and collect her dogs because she couldn’t afford to feed them anymore. She herself had been eating dog food because that was the only thing she had left in her house”.

The Chancellor must do the right thing. He must provide an immediate emergency grant for those affected. He must install new monthly arrangements while restrictions remain in place, in complete parity with the extension of the CJRS and SEISS schemes, and remove hard edges to eligibility criteria. Finally, he must backdate payments for a full and final settlement to deliver parity and fairness for those excluded from meaningful support. If the Chancellor refuses to heed these proposals today not only will his promise to leave no one behind be worthless, but he will be responsible for the most glaring and deliberate orchestration of social injustice we have seen during this pandemic.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con) [V]
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May I thank my right hon. Friend the Chancellor for the £280 billion package of financial support for businesses throughout the pandemic? I would like to offer my thanks on behalf of the 3,700 businesses in Beaconsfield that have benefited directly from Government loans throughout the pandemic. I also thank the Chancellor for protecting small businesses and hospitality. Small businesses have been the backbone of my constituency of Beaconsfield—we have more self-employed and entrepreneurs than anywhere in the country—and they want to get back to work and to be able to open up their businesses again. I believe, and may I suggest, that the best way to support our businesses post pandemic is with low taxation and a full lifting of restrictions so businesses, pubs and the local high street can get back to generating taxes and rebuilding our economy as quickly as we possibly can. May I also thank the Labour party for its support for such Conservative policies that even Thatcher would be proud of? Business rates relief and cutting VAT are wonderful Conservative policies, which I support so that we can give businesses a fighting chance to get back on their feet in the next year.

One of the most successful sorts of schemes that I would like to thank my right hon. Friend the Chancellor for are the grant schemes that councils have been administrating. Buckinghamshire Council has done an excellent job in getting this vital business support to our local businesses as quickly as possible; unlike some local authorities, it has given out all of its grant funding to small businesses. I ask Ministers for a commitment from the Government for further funding for councils such as Buckinghamshire Council to distribute to local businesses, which need that vital support in the coming months to make it to the end of lockdown. We just need a little bit more to get us over the line, to make sure that all of our businesses are able to open successfully and that we can see our economy restored.

Tonia Antoniazzi Portrait Tonia Antoniazzi (Gower) (Lab) [V]
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Having heard the Chief Secretary to the Treasury talk earlier today about the apparent “sunny uplands” we have here in the UK, I fear that he has not been living in the same world as the rest of us. The Conservative party has been in government for 11 years—let us let that sink in. The Conservatives have had 11 years to make the changes needed to rebalance our economy and make our society more equal, but they have not done so. They have made things worse for hard-working families, children, old people, single parents and people with disabilities, and for those who are unable to work and the homeless they have made it much, much worse. When my hon. Friend the Member for Houghton and Sunderland South (Bridget Phillipson) takes over as Chief Secretary from the right hon. Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Steve Barclay), the note he leaves for her will undoubtedly read, “We’re doomed.”

Next week’s Budget needs to put people at the heart of the recovery. Big businesses undoubtedly need support, but it is our small and medium-sized businesses—our independent shops and our fantastic producers—that will drive the build-back from this crisis. My beautiful constituency’s unparalleled tourism and hospitality sector was thriving before the pandemic, but it has been hard hit by the restrictions in place. The excellent Cakes & Ale in Mumbles, the picturesque King’s Head Inn in Llangennith and so many other businesses across my constituency—too many to mention—have been badly affected. Like so many hospitality businesses, they have been open for only 14 weeks in the past year. One way to help hospitality businesses to recover from this crisis is to keep the current reduced VAT rate, which is what they are all asking for. I know many local hospitality businesses in Gower are proud to be supplied by local producers. Our agriculture and fishery sectors are also missing out on supplying those restaurants, cafés and hotels, and boosting the hospitality sector will mean passing the benefits on to them.

It is also worth noting the challenge faced in the pandemic by breweries, especially my local Gower Brewery. They, too, are desperate for the pubs and hotels to be open, so I would be grateful if the Chancellor would look at proposals on duty on alcohol to aid their recovery. At the end of December 2020, 4,000 people in Gower were still on furlough. That is 4,000 people to whom the Chancellor has given no certainty or reassurance, and we need that scheme to continue after April. We need our recovery to be faster, and this Government need to learn from the Welsh Labour Government.

Oral Answers to Questions

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Tuesday 9th February 2021

(8 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Allan Dorans Portrait Allan Dorans (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock) (SNP)
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What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on increasing support to businesses affected by the covid-19 outbreak. (912062)

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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What steps his Department is taking to support businesses during the covid-19 outbreak. (912070)

Patrick Grady Portrait Patrick Grady (Glasgow North) (SNP)
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What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on increasing support to businesses affected by the covid-19 outbreak. (912076)

--- Later in debate ---
Kwasi Kwarteng Portrait Kwasi Kwarteng
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I am absolutely mindful of the immense pressures our businesses right across the UK are suffering under at the moment. I am in regular contact with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, who has acted in an unprecedented way; as I have said, he has put £280 billion into the economy to help our struggling businesses. But of course we are looking at the situation as it evolves, and we are very keen to help our economy through this.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey [V]
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May I congratulate my right hon. Friend again on his new position and on behalf of the 3,700 businesses across Beaconsfield that have benefited from the £200 million-worth of Government-backed loans since the start of the pandemic? Will he join me in paying tribute to Buckinghamshire Council for its excellent work in ensuring that businesses are supported during the pandemic, and confirm that he will continue to offer all the support he can to protect jobs and keep businesses afloat so that we can look to not only restart our economy but build back better from the pandemic?

Kwasi Kwarteng Portrait Kwasi Kwarteng
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Throughout this crisis, as I am sure my hon. Friend is aware, the Government have stood by businesses, as she mentioned, and worked tirelessly to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods across the entirety of our country. As we emerge from the pandemic, we will ensure that we seize the initiative, as she put it, to build back better, greener and faster from this pandemic.

Oral Answers to Questions

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Paul Holmes Portrait Paul Holmes (Eastleigh) (Con)
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What steps his Department is taking to support businesses during the covid-19 outbreak. (910315)

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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What steps his Department is taking to support businesses during the covid-19 outbreak. (910317)

Nadhim Zahawi Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Nadhim Zahawi)
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My Department continues to deliver a wide range of measures to support UK businesses. We have extended our loan schemes, which have already delivered more than £65 billion of finance, until the end of January.

--- Later in debate ---
Nadhim Zahawi Portrait Nadhim Zahawi
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I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend; now more than ever it is vital that we continue to help our local economy by supporting our town centres and high streets. That is why we have delivered one of the most generous comprehensive packages of support, with a total financial package of £200 billion.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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Does my hon. Friend agree on what a success the recent Small Business Saturday events were and on how important small businesses are to local communities across my constituency in Gerrards Cross, Beaconsfield and Marlow? Does he agree that we must continue to fight for small businesses during this pandemic, so that we do not risk undermining the economic foundation of our country?

Nadhim Zahawi Portrait Nadhim Zahawi
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The recent Small Business Saturday event meant that the spend from the Great British public rose to £1.1 billion this year, which is a 38% rise on last year. The Government will continue to champion small businesses, through our unprecedented support schemes, as they begin to recover from the impact of covid-19. As the Secretary of State has just reminded me, the spend is not £200 billion—it is £280 billion of support for small business.

Offshore Wind Transmission Connections

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Thursday 5th November 2020

(11 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Duncan Baker Portrait Duncan Baker
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Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker; it is a privilege that I have not done something wrong in the Chamber.

Since December 2019, I have had many meetings with my hon. Friend the Member for Broadland, and I commend him for the passion with which he has served and tried to help those communities that have seen potential road maps of cable corridors coming through their small villages. He has been a champion for trying to stop that in those communities. I used to live in one of those communities—Cawston—and I know how much he has done to help it. One of the problems is that the current regulations prohibit the sharing of infrastructure due to competition rules, so each individual company must construct separate cable corridors.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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I am not fortunate enough to have a beautiful coastline along my constituency, although Beaconsfield is beautiful indeed—the most beautiful, I would wager, but we can debate that later. Does my hon. Friend agree that those who are passionate about tackling the climate change emergency and are providing new and alternative forms of energy need infrastructure that can be shared with everyone, including small community energy suppliers, and that we need to look at how we can expand that infrastructure to not only wind farms but other alternative forms of energy?

Duncan Baker Portrait Duncan Baker
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My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I know that she has an equally beautiful constituency; perhaps we should do an exchange programme one day and view each other’s constituency. She makes an important point: wind energy is just one part of the jigsaw of how we decarbonise and create enough green energy. There will be other forms of energy that are part of the mixture that will help us to decarbonise by 2050. We are lucky in Norfolk and Suffolk to have an enormous amount of wind energy off our coast, but there are many areas around the country with leading initiatives that are helping in the fight to tackle climate change.

The point I want to highlight, and the reason why this debate is so important, is what these cable corridors are leading to. They are causing major environmental damage, as wildlife habitats and agricultural land are dug up multiple times. Nutrient-rich land is sometimes irreversibly damaged from the disturbance caused, and many farmers report poor crop growth along cable routes—much worse than before those cables were put into the ground—caused by the disturbance of the digging. Communities also suffer great socioeconomic damage from the disruption and upheaval caused. For businesses that are along cable routes, there is disturbance, including from heavy goods vehicles and traffic for many months—sometimes up to a year—while these trenches are being dug. It causes enormous problems for these small, often rural communities in my part of the world.

London’s Economic Recovery: Covid-19

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Friday 23rd October 2020

(11 months, 4 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Felicity Buchan Portrait Felicity Buchan (Kensington) (Con)
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Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for granting time for this Adjournment debate, and I thank colleagues who are in the Chamber; I am conscious that it is the Friday afternoon ahead of recess.

Reviving the London economy is critical, clearly for London but also for every single person in this country. London contributes a massive 25% of all tax to the Exchequer. Two small London boroughs—mine, Kensington and Chelsea, and neighbouring Westminster—contribute 10% of all business rates in the entire country, and London contributes £436.5 billion of gross value added. If we take the gross value added of Scotland and Wales and double it, then we get to London’s number. Ensuring that the London economy functions is important for people in Northern Ireland, the north-east of England, Scotland and Wales. It is critical.

Sadly, the London economy is suffering—in particular the central London economy. I think that there are two principal reasons for that. First, people are not commuting into work, and they are not coming in for cultural and social events at places such as theatres and restaurants. Secondly, there has been a massive decline in international visitors to our city. Let me take those in turn and look first at commuters.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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Many people commute from Beaconsfield into London, and although we are not part of London, we benefit tremendously from the London economy. I thank my hon. Friend for being such a champion of London and its economy, because consumers and commuters who travel into London benefit just as much as those in inner London. I thank her for securing this important debate.

Felicity Buchan Portrait Felicity Buchan
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23 Oct 2020, 12:02 a.m.

I thank my hon. Friend for her kind words, and she makes a very important point. This is in the interests not only of London but of those who commute into London.

Let us look at the numbers. Morgan Stanley commissioned a survey in September comparing going back to work in the UK versus in France. In September, 34% were back to work in the UK, whereas in France the number was 83%. I have looked at the latest Greater London Authority data specifically for London, and only 41% are back in work—less than half of the people.

A second issue is the perceived lack of confidence in public transport—a lack of confidence that is quite wrong, to my mind. I hear that a lot from my museums, for instance, where footfall is dramatically lower. They attribute it to a lack of confidence in public transport. We need to get that confidence back, and we need to encourage people to come into central London. That is why I opposed so strongly what the Mayor of London did in extending the congestion charge to seven days a week and increasing it to £15. On the subject of the Mayor of London, he consistently talks down our great city. His job should be to inspire confidence, not to breed fear and nervousness.

Let me move on to international visitors. VisitBritain believes that numbers are down 74% on last year, which is a hit of more than £20 billion to the London economy. Again, it is all about confidence. We need to get those visitors back.

Clearly, London is in tier 2 measures, and I want to say how much I welcome the announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday to give additional support to constituencies such as mine that are in tier 2. I would also like to thank the Chancellor for his enormous financial support package across the country, greater than £200 billion. At the very beginning of the crisis, in the Treasury Committee, I called for a big, bold and decisive package of support, and, goodness, we have delivered that.

On the margin, I would say that London has not benefited from the support package as much as some other areas for very technical reasons. Grants to the hospitality sector, for instance, were given on the basis of having a rateable value of less than £51,000. Commercial property prices in my constituency are three times the national average, so businesses in my constituency with comparable cash flows and size to those in the rest of the country were not getting the grants that people in other constituencies were benefiting from. There is a similar case with the holiday on stamp duty. Clearly, that has been terrific throughout the country in giving people a holiday on property prices of less than £500,000, but just because of an accident of geography the average house price in my constituency is £1.25 million. Even in my ward, with the cheapest housing prices, the average price is £510,000. Very, very few of my constituents have benefited from the stamp duty holiday.

I also want to put it on the record that I am very concerned about the Government’s announcement that they will abolish tax-free shopping come 1 January. This might seem like a very esoteric subject, but international visitors to central London are critical for our economy. They spend a huge amount of money not only in our shops but in our hotels and restaurants, and they are highly mobile. If we make it less attractive for them to come to London by effectively putting a 20% increase on the cost of their goods, they will simply go to Paris or Milan. Especially as we are leaving the EU, we need to project an image of global Britain and to be encouraging international visitors. For the sake of the London economy and our high streets, hotels and restaurants, we need these spenders back.

However, let me look forward in a constructive way, because it is very easy to talk about the problems. How do we get the London economy going again? If there is one word I keep coming back to it is “confidence”. We need the confidence of commuters and the confidence of international visitors. How do we get that confidence? First, we have to get the virus under control: we need to get our numbers below 100 and to get the R rate down. If we do that, London can go back into being a tier 1 region. I would urge the Government to make that review as soon as the health statistics allow. We need to get London into tier 1 because London is the engine of our entire country. I would also strongly recommend that the Government review the 10 pm rule, again as quickly as the health statistics allow, because we need to support our hospitality sector.

We all need to work together collectively to get that confidence back and to reclaim London’s position as the finest capital city and the most prosperous capital city in the world.

Paul Scully Portrait The Minister for London (Paul Scully)
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I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Kensington (Felicity Buchan) on securing this Adjournment debate and on raising some really pertinent issues about the economic recovery that we so desperately need for our great capital city.

We are both privileged to represent constituencies in the capital city. They are very different, and it is really important that we actually remember that London is not one homogeneous mass. Therefore, the economic recovery and the plan for it need to reflect that. There are 600-odd high streets around the suburbs of London. What we saw, as we gradually starting to open up, was people shopping locally, as they were working from home and in their neighbourhoods, and that worked out okay. In fact, footfall was still down, but spend per head was up as people had the confidence—my hon. Friend talked about confidence—to go out in their local area to spend and to buy something in particular, not to browse or to shop as they might have done some months ago.

What clearly did not happen, however, was people returning to the central activity zones—the likes of Kensington, as well as the west end, Soho, the south bank, the City, Canary Wharf and all those areas. As my hon. Friend said, people did not feel the confidence to use public transport and return to their workplace, despite the enormous amount of work that Transport for London has done, and the investment put in and the work done by so many employers around the central London area in particular in making their workplaces covid-19 secure, as well as in making the pubs, restaurants and shops in all these areas secure.

It is so important that we remember what a massive contribution London makes to the UK economy. A fact that does not get outed enough is that the west end itself—all the culture, the restaurants, the hospitality, as well as the corporate business in that area—has 3% of the UK’s entire gross value added sitting within it. We must remember that when employers are saying they are not going to bring their employees back to their workplace any time soon—until maybe next year, the health figures notwithstanding—they should not expect that London will naturally be the same London they left. It does not have a God-given right to exist preserved in aspic, and it is incumbent on all of us to work together to make sure that we have a plan for recovery.

Such a plan works in three different ways—short term, medium term and long term. We must have a 90-day plan. As and when the health figures allow us to move back to tier 1, as my hon. Friend says, we need to be ready to go. We have already had one go, but it did not work as speedily as we would have liked. We need to be absolutely ready so that, when we get the incidence rate down across the boroughs, we can move to tier 1 and ensure that people have the confidence to travel and to return to their workplaces, albeit in a more flexible way than was previously the case. We are not trying to get back to how things were in January or February, because there is certainly a sense of permanent change, but we need to be able to shape that change.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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Does the Minister agree that we need a Mayor who cares about London’s economic recovery and actually fights for it, rather than putting in place measures that restrict not only economic growth but the number of people coming into the city, such as the London-wide congestion charge? We need a Conservative Mayor who can take a new economic approach that will revitalise London in the coming months and years.

Paul Scully Portrait Paul Scully
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

23 Oct 2020, 12:02 a.m.

Clearly, yes. I want Shaun Bailey to be in post after May to help shape the recovery. We have been working collegiately with the Mayor, the Greater London Authority and the boroughs, and indeed with colleagues in this place, in relation to the structures and work that we have put in place, but that kind of working also needs to be replicated in public. They cannot be sitting on a letter criticising the Government and pointing the finger elsewhere, as we have seen from the Mayor and other people. What they do in public and in private is so important, because what might seem to be a good short-term political campaign is terrible leadership for our capital city, which contributes so much to the rest of the country.

For the short-term recovery, it is so important that we show people what Transport for London has done, and what our retailers, publicans and restaurateurs have done, to make sure they will be safe. It is about confidence, but beyond that it is also about joy. What do I mean by that? I mean that when people go to a pub and find that getting a pint is too onerous, because of all the structures that have been put in place, they will go back home and have a bottle of wine and a ready meal, as so many did during lockdown. We need to get them back into central London not just one time; we have to make sure they want to come back time and again, to enjoy everything that London has to offer.

Clearly there is work to be done on the medium term. Businesses, particularly in retail and hospitality, are talking about business rates, as my hon. Friend the Member for Kensington explained so eloquently, and about tax-free shopping and the effect on international tourism. They are also talking about rents. There is a certain amount of business structure that needs to change. A number of landlords, in the suburbs as well as in central London, are sitting on empty properties with an artificially high market rent, purely to keep their shareholder valuation at a particular level, and that is not good for high streets. How can we work with landlords and tenants to find a better balance that works for our local areas so that we do not hollow them out?

My hon. Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Joy Morrissey) talked about the Mayor. I sometimes get the sense that he does not care whether he is the Mayor of London or the mayor of Gotham City; he just wants to be the Mayor. What do I mean about Gotham City? We run the risk of hollowing out the west end if we do not get the recovery right. If we have only the ultra-rich and the people on low incomes who service the city, but not the people in the middle who provide so much of the community and spend, London will not be the same as it was before.

There is so much that we are doing, such as the Chancellor’s winter support plan, to make sure that we preserve as many businesses and jobs as possible, while also moving to those long-term structures, whether a green recovery or the smarter use of digital in the centre of town, and building up the skills we need for the jobs that are yet to be created as we move towards a new economy. We have the new normal, with masks, one-way systems and hand sanitising—hands, face, space—but we are moving towards a new reality, with permanent behaviour change baked in. We need to recognise that and address it. It is about greater use of flexible working, recognising that people are not going to travel into London in the same way they did. It is about reduced use of cash, and different way of shopping. We need to be ahead of the game.

Conservative Members are always talking about levelling up the whole country, and that is so important. How does London play a role in that? Well, before lockdown I went to see the mixed-use regeneration at Battersea power station. The steels are made in Liverpool and are painted in the midlands, and the bricks are sourced from Gloucestershire. We are providing jobs all around the country for such projects, which also benefit London. The electric black cabs that go around town, which we need to return to the likes of Bishopsgate—some of the Streetspace initiatives are actually penalising not only black cab drivers, but disabled users of cabs as well—are made in Coventry. There are 2,000 people there making electric black cabs. There is also our culture sector in the centre of town. High House Production Park in Thurrock makes a lot of the production work for the Royal Opera House. The more that we can get that back, the more that we are creating and sustaining jobs around the country.

We need to level up London, so that it is not just an economic recovery, but a social one too; they feed into each other. The obvious example is Canary Wharf; if I stood at the top of One Canada Square, I would be among some of the richest people in the country, looking down at Whitechapel, which is one of the poorest areas. My hon. Friend the Member for Kensington speaks for and campaigns in her constituency, which also has a diverse community, with Ladbroke Grove on one side—the birthplace of one Shaun Bailey, who we were speaking to earlier—and Kensington on the other. Some people outside London only think of the richer part of Kensington.

Oral Answers to Questions

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Kwasi Kwarteng Portrait Kwasi Kwarteng
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My hon. Friend is quite right. In addition to the proposed extension to the Rampion offshore wind farm off Brighton, I understand that there is significant market interest in the Crown Estate’s current seabed leasing round, and that, we expect, will include areas off the coast of the south-east of England, near my hon. Friend’s constituency.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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What steps his Department is taking to support an environmentally sustainable economic recovery in the automotive sector. [906770]

Karl McCartney Portrait Karl MᶜCartney (Lincoln) (Con)
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What steps his Department is taking to support an environmentally sustainable economic recovery in the automotive sector. [906789]

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Nadhim Zahawi Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Nadhim Zahawi)
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My hon. Friend will know that we continue to support the transformation of the sector towards zero-emission vehicles. Last autumn, we announced up to £1 billion of new funding for the next generation of innovative, low-carbon automotive technologies. A competition, as we speak, is under way.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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As we recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus, it is vital that we build back greener. Can my hon. Friend reassure me that he is backing the innovators who are working on decarbonising our automobile industry—companies such as Gridserve Sustainable Energy—and who can get their cutting edge ideas on to the market, supporting green jobs along the way?

Nadhim Zahawi Portrait Nadhim Zahawi
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Green recovery is an absolute priority for my Department. We have brought forward funding to restart innovation, support business and deliver our decarbonisation ambitions. This includes £10 million through the Advanced Propulsion Centre and £12 million from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

United Kingdom Internal Market Bill

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Tuesday 15th September 2020

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Neale Hanvey Portrait Neale Hanvey
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I thank my hon. Friend for those comments, because they illustrate very well the sophistry with which the whole charade has been presented. We are told that it is a power surge, and a power surge it is; but it is a power surge in the wrong direction—it is a power surge away from the devolved Government of Scotland. To judge by past behaviour, those powers will be used to interfere, undermine and diminish not just the elected Government of Scotland but the very voice of the Scottish people.

Yesterday, I heard Members claim in this Chamber that the Bill would strengthen the Union, and in their mind that may be true, but the Union is not being strengthened by a shared vision, mutual respect or other honourable means. It is the strength of bondage, of subjugation and of the pomposity that only Unionist voices matter. I’ve got news for you: it does not strengthen the bonds of the Union; it exposes the bondage of the devolved nations and illustrates why Scotland must choose an independent future. “Lead Not Leave”; “broad shoulders of the Union”; “Vote No to stay in the EU”; “We Love You Scotland”—well, nothing epitomises our Union of equals like the Prime Minister bestowing the effective status of viceroy of Scotland on the right hon. Member for Dumfries and Galloway (Mr Jack), his very own Union Jack.

Today, the international community knows something that the Scottish people have known since 2014: believe not a word, not a promise, not even a vow. To this Government, agreements are always optional. The Bill does not strengthen the Union; it strengthens the case for Scottish independence.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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I want to look at the clauses. On clause 28, it is proposed that “Scotland” be left out. On clause 29, amendment 29 would insert that following a legislative appeal from all the devolved powers, we would have a consultation before any changes. On clause 35, it is proposed that prior to publishing any information, the CMA must consult all Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Ministers and the devolved Administrations. All these amendments seem to have one thing in common: they are asking for all consultation on how we move our internal market forward to be done with the devolved powers in the United Kingdom. Many in the House have raised the issue of who will be holding the CMA to account. We here represent the entire United Kingdom. We are elected to represent all parts of the United Kingdom.

Alan Brown Portrait Alan Brown
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15 Sep 2020, midnight

Is the hon. Lady therefore confirming that Westminster should take sovereignty over the devolved Administrations and the will of the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments?

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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15 Sep 2020, 3:01 p.m.

Absolutely not—that is not what I am saying.

Alan Brown Portrait Alan Brown
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That is what I heard.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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Let me clarify for you. An internal market is something that is brought together historically. When we look at successful internal markets of the past, where have they been successful? We can look at the single market within the EU and at the 13 original colonies in the United States. They were 13 separate entities that had no regulatory system and were bound together by an internal market that allowed for free trade and the movement of goods and services. This Bill is not a political Bill—it is an economic Bill to enhance our competitiveness with the world. It is not to detract from the powers of Scotland—it is to make Scotland stronger through the power of free trade within the internal market.

I have been listening very carefully to what hon. Members across the House have been saying and the points that you have been raising, and I am very sympathetic to your cries about a lack of democratic representation. That is why I voted to leave the EU: for the very reason of the lack of democratic representation by the European Commission, which oversees the single market.

Joanna Cherry Portrait Joanna Cherry
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15 Sep 2020, midnight

Is the hon. Lady aware of the Sewel convention? If so, what is her objection to amendment 29, in the names of my hon. Friends?

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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15 Sep 2020, midnight

Amendment 29 states:

“Following legislative approval from all devolved administrations”.

Are you asking for all the devolved Administrations to be represented at the federal level?

Joanna Cherry Portrait Joanna Cherry
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The Sewel convention, which was put on a statutory footing—before the hon. Lady was a Member of the House, but many of us who were at that time will remember it—states that this Parliament will not normally legislate in respect of devolved matters without the consent of the devolved Administrations. That convention exists. It is on a statutory footing, so what is her objection to amendment 29?

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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15 Sep 2020, midnight

I would argue that this is not an infringement of your rights or those devolved powers. This Bill is about enhancing all of our abilities to work in a single internal market to allow goods and services to flow freely. My hon. Friend the Member for Loughborough (Jane Hunt) mentioned glasses being made in one part of the Union and then being put together in another part. We have this so that we can frictionlessly move goods and services through the United Kingdom without tariffs and restrictions. There has to be a system through which that federal system is united, in terms of the economic objectives that we are setting, making ourselves globally competitive.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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15 Sep 2020, midnight

I will not give way—I will make some headway and then give way in a moment. When we talk about the internal market, we are talking not about a political objective, but about an economic objective—to remove regulatory obstacles from more goods and services in the UK so that we are able to trade freely among ourselves and make ourselves globally competitive. We are removing the technical, legal and bureaucratic barriers to allow its citizens to trade and do business freely, for its citizens to enjoy products from all over the UK.

When SNP Members raise concerns about state aid, I would imagine that they are referring to the EU structural funds or the EU development funds, the criteria for which have, in the past, benefited certain deprived areas in regions in Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom. I can understand how there would be concern, and perhaps something could be established to look at how that fund and the targets were set to help in disadvantaged and impoverished areas where the EU structural funds have helped to improve the livelihoods of people in the United Kingdom, and to look at how we move that forward. This is not a Bill to take any political power: it is to make us stronger economically. It is purely on the grounds of economics—

Gareth Johnson Portrait Gareth Johnson (Dartford) (Con)
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Is my hon. Friend aware of the decisions being made in Shetland that if the nationalists get their way and there is separation of the United Kingdom following a second referendum, Shetland will seek to go independent itself? Therefore, not only are the nationalists seeking to break up the United Kingdom, they are seeking to break up Scotland.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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My hon. Friend makes an excellent point.

Stephen Doughty Portrait Stephen Doughty
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I do not want to break up the United Kingdom. As I have said, I am a Unionist and I want to see a functioning UK internal market. Does the hon. Member think it is respectful for her Government to give details of the Bill only the night before it was published to Welsh Government Ministers, who also want to see a functioning internal market and want to make sure our country functions effectively and economically in the way she suggests?

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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I thank you for your point, but I wonder if you would find it respectful for the EU to threaten to put a tariff in the sea—[Interruption.] No, that is a completely valid point to raise. I find that to be disrespectful of our sovereignty and our ability to govern internally.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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I will carry on. On that point, the EU’s threat to disrupt our food exports from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland as negotiating leverage fundamentally undermined our credibility and our sovereignty within the United Kingdom itself. The Bill will strengthen our ability to create—

Kirsten Oswald Portrait Kirsten Oswald
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On the point about credibility, does the hon. Lady think it is just possible that the reason that credibility has been lost is because of her Prime Minister disagreeing with himself rather than for any other reason?

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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You say it was mentioned by the SNP earlier about wanting to throw off the bureaucratic chains and wanting to have democratic representation, but that is exactly why I voted to leave the European Union, and that is why I will fight to make sure that we have a regulatory system that has less red tape and that has representation. We talk about democratic representation, but we are representing the will of the people who voted for Brexit in one referendum and we are delivering the result. Scotland also—[Interruption.]

Graham Brady Portrait The Temporary Chair (Sir Graham Brady)
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Order. Can I just remind Members on both sides of the House that these are very specific amendments that are being debated. We cannot go back to a Second Reading debate.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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Thank you, Sir Graham.

I will conclude by saying—

Owen Thompson Portrait Owen Thompson (Midlothian) (SNP)
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Will the hon. Lady give way?

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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I probably should make headway. I am trying to understand and sympathise with the amendments that have been tabled, but I do not feel that they are in any way needed to enhance what is in the Bill. I urge hon. Members to vote to keep the Bill the way it is.

Graham Brady Portrait The Temporary Chair (Sir Graham Brady)
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Before I call the next speaker, because a number of new Members are participating in Committee, I remind everybody that Members speak through the Chair, so saying “you” is a reference to me—and I might take that personally. I call Beth Winter.

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Alyn Smith Portrait Alyn Smith (Stirling) (SNP)
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Graham. This Bill is difficult for the Scottish National party. It is offensive to our values, it is not our world view, and it is being introduced in pursuit of a project that Scotland comprehensively rejected. We are engaging in good faith, but we do not consent to this project. Scotland does not consent to the way the Bill is drafted.

However, I was not sent by the people of Stirling to showboat and walk away, or to grandstand and not try to find solutions. As is typical of all our amendments, we have tabled amendments 28 and 29 in good faith, and to insert into this dreadful Bill the principle of consent from the Scottish Parliament and other devolved Administrations. If we cannot do that, we seek to exempt Scotland from this madness. We are engaging in this process in good faith. We are working within the constitutional reality of the United Kingdom, and by rejecting the amendments, this House will prove, in full view of the people of Scotland, that the constitutional reality of the United Kingdom does not work for us.

I was sent here to try to find solutions, and amendments 28 and 29 do that. We believe that decisions for Scotland should be made in Scotland. It is a fundamental principle of devolution that, unless reserved to this place, decisions should be made by the democratically elected Parliament of Scotland. That principle was endorsed by the people of Scotland with 74% of the vote in 1997, and those Government Members who are keen on referendums should be aware that they are up-ending a deeply held principle of the people of Scotland.

As I have said, this Bill is a poor piece of legislation, and it did not need to be this way—that is what I find so frustrating. It is offensive morally, politically, even intellectually, but it did not need to be that way. We are open to negotiation and to frameworks. We respect the fact that we have left the European Union—we regret it deeply, but it has happened. As a solicitor by trade, I accept that a domestic legal construct is needed to replace the single market legislation of the European Union, but it does not need to be this abomination. We could do this better. Our amendments seek to make this bad Bill better. We will still not be keen or in favour of it, but it does not need to be the naked power-grab that it is.

Part 4 of the Bill seeks to replace 60 years of juris- prudence from the European Court of Justice and the European Commission, democratically overseen by democratically elected Members of the European Parliament, and member state Governments who are themselves democratically elected—60 years of expertise on how the single market and internal competition works.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Alyn Smith Portrait Alyn Smith
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Oh please.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey
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I’m back. To clarify that point, it is actually the European Commission that oversees the single market, and it is that unelected body that oversees and creates the market framework—[Interruption.]

Alyn Smith Portrait Alyn Smith
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the hon. Lady for that point. In my 15 years at the European Parliament I was always struck by how many unelected bureaucrats had been democratically elected by the people they served. It is great to engage with something that does not quite exist, such as the European Commission that the hon. Lady wishes did exist.

For those who are against unelected bureaucrats, I suggest only that they consider the reality of the Bill. The Bill replaces 60 years of jurisprudence, overseen by experts in the European Commission and the Court of Justice—be they democratically elected MEPs or democratically elected member state Governments—with a group of people who will be unelected. They will be appointed, but they have not been appointed yet. We do not know who they are. They will be operating a competition policy that has not as yet been revealed by this Government, who are so desperately negotiating with themselves that they cannot tell our European partners what they are trying to do. Those people will be operating with a budget that has not yet been shown to us, and with jurisprudence that does not yet exist. It takes a heroically Panglossian approach to think that that can be created in a matter of months.

Horizon: Sub-Postmaster Convictions

Joy Morrissey Excerpts
Wednesday 10th June 2020

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Paul Scully Portrait Paul Scully
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The findings outlined during the Horizon case provided extensive insight into what went wrong with the Post Office—this includes the independent judicial review of the facts that all sides have been looking for. However, the serious impacts of this case mean more needs to be done. We want to be assured that the right lessons are learned, and that is the purpose of the independent review that we are in the process of setting up.

Joy Morrissey Portrait Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield) (Con)
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10 Jun 2020, 12:01 a.m.

Will the Minister join me in paying tribute to the postmasters in Beaconsfield and Bucks and across the country who have tirelessly carried on throughout covid-19? Will he also join me in paying tribute to Mr Patel, who passed away from covid-19 and served the people of Hedgerley loyally? He was lovingly known as CD to many of the customers. Will the Minister please not only demand an apology but demand justice for the countless men and women who served and have suffered at the hands of the Post Office, and who see no justice? I hope that he will have the courage to deliver that for them.

Paul Scully Portrait Paul Scully
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10 Jun 2020, 12:02 a.m.

Justice is exactly what I want and what I want to be seen to be done. I would go further to extend my sympathy to the family of Mr Patel as well, because we must not forget, in all of this, at this particular moment in time, postmasters up and down the country are doing an incredible job for the most vulnerable people in society.