Northern Ireland Protocol Bill

Peter Bone Excerpts
Tuesday 19th July 2022

(1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Peter Kyle Portrait Peter Kyle
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The Minister has clarified that the Government would not act on a whim. However, she did so by saying, in essence, that they would not act on a whim, but they had the power to do so. That is the worry that we have before us. None the less, I will withdraw our amendment, because I hope that the other place will have more time to ventilate these arguments, go into them in more detail and return with some more credible amendments for us to consider in this place. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 12 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 17 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Resolved,

To report progress and ask leave to sit again.—(Julie Marson.)

The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again tomorrow.

Peter Bone Portrait The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons (Mr Peter Bone)
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On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I thought it might be appropriate to draw the House’s attention to a small adjustment to the business tomorrow. Given the progress of the Committee of the whole House, we will now take Third Reading of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill tomorrow. A supplementary programme motion will be tabled tonight to provide an extra hour of debate tomorrow.

Eleanor Laing Portrait Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Eleanor Laing)
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I will take any points of order further to that point of order. I see that there are none. I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. It is very useful for the House to know of the change that will be made to tomorrow’s Order Paper.

Standards in Public Life

Peter Bone Excerpts
Tuesday 5th July 2022

(1 month, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Urgent Questions are proposed each morning by backbench MPs, and up to two may be selected each day by the Speaker. Chosen Urgent Questions are announced 30 minutes before Parliament sits each day.

Each Urgent Question requires a Government Minister to give a response on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Michael Ellis Portrait Michael Ellis
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No. As I have articulated, there was an exercise in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the matter, which I believe went on for several weeks. I need to confirm the details, because I had insufficient time to do so this morning, but as I say, there was an exercise, and it concluded to the satisfaction of all involved. That was within the Department and, it appears to me, before the Prime Minister was made aware.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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Recently, at a Brexit opportunities debate here, there were no Liberal Democrats and virtually no Labour Members. The only time they turn up here is to bash Boris. Does my right hon. and learned Friend think that our constituents in Northamptonshire, which we both represent, are more concerned about an MP they have never heard about, or the biggest tax reduction in decades, which will happen tomorrow?

Michael Ellis Portrait Michael Ellis
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My hon. Friend hits the nail on the head, as usual. As he points out, Labour Members have made frequent requests for business in this House to be about not what our constituents primarily care about, but personalities. They do not raise the issue of policies, because when they do, they lose. Instead, they focus on personalities, and that has been the drive of the past six months.

Bill of Rights

Peter Bone Excerpts
Wednesday 22nd June 2022

(1 month, 4 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Dominic Raab Portrait The Deputy Prime Minister
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I join the hon. Lady in what she said about the hon. Member for Croydon North (Steve Reed). I extend my sympathy and my condolences to him.

I listened very carefully to what the shadow Justice Minister said. I think I disagreed with everything she said, but then again, she said very little about our Bill of Rights. When she gets a chance to read it, I look forward to debating it with her further. May I just correct a couple of the obviously flawed things she said? She talked about whether or not we will leave the European convention on human rights. When she gets a chance to read the Bill of Rights, she will see that not only are we staying a part of the ECHR, but that it is incorporated in the Bill of Rights. I have to say that the comparison with what Russia or Putin does shows, I am afraid, a lack of a moral compass on the Labour Benches, not the Conservative Benches.

The hon. Lady then diverted into a monologue on a very serious subject in relation to rape. Let us be absolutely crystal clear: there is absolutely nothing in the Bill of Rights that will do anything to weaken the protections of victims; far from it in relation to the deportation of foreign national criminals, the release of dangerous rapists, and what we do inside our prisons. It will strengthen our protection of victims and public protection. Again, for the record, on such a serious issue—I agree with the hon. Lady on its importance—she might get her facts straight. The volume of rape convictions has increased by two thirds in the last year alone. I am working very closely with the Home Secretary, the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions, and we are absolutely determined and restless to go even further and faster.

I suspect, however, that that was really a distraction from the fundamental issue, which is the Bill of Rights and human rights reform to get the right balance. The hon. Lady and the Labour party are blind to the flaws in the Human Rights Act in the way that its architects are not. Jack Straw said back in 2007 that he wanted to rebalance the rights set out in the Act, adding explicitly that responsibilities should play a role. They are all in here in our Bill of Rights. He went on to say, in an interview in December 2008, that

“There is a sense that it’s a villains’ charter”.

Mr Speaker, I have not used that language, but I will just say how far the sense of critical self-evaluation on the Labour Benches has gone when the hon. Lady cannot talk about anything that could possibly be reformed.

The model we have taken is based on a textbook that I read back in 1999, written by a very learned authority. He said, on the relationship between the UK and Strasbourg—the hon. Lady mentioned that, not with any specific points—that the role of the Strasbourg Court is

“primarily concerned with supervision and its role is therefore subsidiary to that of domestic authorities”.

Subsidiary, not superior. It has no role unless the domestic system for protecting human rights breaks down altogether. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Angus Brendan MacNeil) asks from a sedentary position who the author is. It was the leader of the Labour party, the right hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Keir Starmer), in his seminal textbook on the subject. All I would gently say is that I think he made a more convincing lawyer than he does a politician.

This week we have seen Labour shadow Ministers line up with picketers against the public. Today, the shadow Justice Minister has confirmed that the Labour party will stand in the way of our common-sense reforms that will ensure a better balance of human rights, so that we can stand up for victims—it is always against that when it comes to sentencing or extra police recruitment—deport more foreign national offenders and safely incarcerate the most dangerous people in our prisons. Whenever Labour Members are asked the big questions, they duck. Yet again, the Labour party is showing it is simply not fit to govern.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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Thank you for your statement earlier, Mr Speaker. I think the vast majority of Members of this House agree entirely.

I congratulate the Secretary of State on his statement. The issue is really very simple: this sovereign Parliament makes laws and our courts interpret them. We should not have the judicial creep of a European Court not interpreting laws, but making new laws. I am willing to support the Bill, but if in practice it fails, will the Secretary of State be willing to support my private Member’s Bill, the British Bill of Rights and Withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights Bill?

Dominic Raab Portrait The Deputy Prime Minister
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I thank my hon. Friend for his tenacity in all these matters. I always listen to him, and I will study his private Member’s Bill. He makes two points. First, there is really no point in having a Supreme Court if it is subordinate to Strasbourg in the interpretation of law. He must be right about that, and our Bill of Rights will expressly address it.

My hon. Friend’s other point is more subtle, but very powerful. I remember our jointly participating in many debates on prisoners’ voting rights, a very clear example of the goalposts shifting. When it comes to legislative functions, it ought to be a point of common agreement across the parties that those matters must be for hon. Members, who are accountable to our constituents, to decide in this House.

Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests Resignation

Peter Bone Excerpts
Thursday 16th June 2022

(2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Michael Ellis Portrait Michael Ellis
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I respectfully disagree with the hon. Lady.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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I congratulate the hon. Member for Putney (Fleur Anderson) on securing this urgent question, but it is a bit of a shame that it is not on something our constituents care about. I do not know who Lord Geidt is—I bet half of the Opposition do not know who Lord Geidt is. If you want to get rid of the Prime Minister, you lot sitting there, move—[Interruption.] Not you, Mr Speaker; I know you do not want to get rid of the Prime Minister. I would never suggest that.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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You are not drawing me into the political mix as supporting yes or no.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Bone
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Sorry, Mr Speaker. I got carried away. Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition know that if things are as bad as they say they are, the way to get rid of the Prime Minister and this Government is to have a vote of no confidence in the Government. The loyal Opposition have not been willing to do that. I think my constituents will draw their own conclusions about that.

Michael Ellis Portrait Michael Ellis
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May I gently say to the Opposition parties that if they wish for a change of Prime Minister, they should do something different from attacking personalities? They should attack policies, but of course if they were to attack policies, they would find that they would lose.

Oral Answers to Questions

Peter Bone Excerpts
Thursday 9th June 2022

(2 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call Peter Bone, who is no yoke.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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12. What progress his Department has made on identifying potential economic opportunities arising from the UK having left the EU.

Jacob Rees-Mogg Portrait The Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency (Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg)
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The Government and I are very committed to ensuring we maximise the opportunities of leaving the EU to support economic growth. My hon. Friend, with his invariable parliamentary perspicacity, follows from one question to another seamlessly, because what we need is the removal of overburdensome and bureaucratic regulation such as solvency II and the clinical trials directive to create new pro-growth regulatory frameworks in data and AI. Her Majesty’s Government are already delivering an ambitious programme of work to unleash innovation, propel start-up growth across all sectors of the economy and help to level up parts of the United Kingdom. The Procurement Bill alone will cut 350 separate pieces of EU law to one UK law. I have also been receiving excellent ideas from readers of The Sun and the Sunday Express.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Bone
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I apologise to the House, Mr Speaker: perhaps I should not have asked that question as it obviously required the giving of a long list of benefits.

In my constituency, Weatherbys, the global administrator for horse racing, has developed an e-passport to ease movements of thoroughbreds around the world and provide essential welfare data. If the Government were to link that e-passport to the Government system, that would be a massive Brexit dividend. May I ask the excellent Minister for administrative affairs whether he would put a rocket under the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, make it be courageous and cut the red tape, cut the delay and get this done?

Jacob Rees-Mogg Portrait Mr Rees-Mogg
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I have good news for my hon. Friend: DEFRA’s equine identification team has been in contact with Weatherbys during the development and launch of its e-passport, and the merits of its e-passport will be considered along with responses from a recent consultation, which closes on 28 June. So it is a case of, my hon. Friend asks and it shall be given. Seek and he shall find.

--- Later in debate ---
Steve Barclay Portrait Steve Barclay
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That is a very straightforward question to answer. It is the freedoms that we have from our exit from the European Union, on things like the £300 billion of procurement that we have just heard about, that allow us to put clauses in our legislation about social value, targeting procurement to better benefit small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly where that reduces food miles or allows social value around disability employment, an issue that was raised earlier. Those are the social value provisions in the procurement legislation that we are able to have as a consequence of our exit from the EU.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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Will the Brexit Minister tell us which Departments are co-operating with him wholeheartedly and which are dragging their feet? Does he plan to report, perhaps quarterly, on the progress that each Department has made?

Jacob Rees-Mogg Portrait The Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency (Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg)
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My hon. Friend tempts me, but I remind him that the Government speak with one voice. What I will say is that yesterday there was a meeting between Ministers and the Secretary of State for Transport. His Department has, I think, 375 bits of retained EU law, and he is tackling those with great enthusiasm. We need to ensure that people know what the rules are, so that they can point to one and ask, “Is this really necessary?” and I am working with all Departments to do that.

Sue Gray Report

Peter Bone Excerpts
Wednesday 25th May 2022

(2 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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Since my election to the House, I have been running a campaign called “Listening to Wellingborough and Rushden”. Members may recall that on one occasion members of that group asked me to present a letter at Prime Minister’s Question Time calling for a previous Prime Minister to resign. What they are telling me today is that their concerns are the terrible war in Ukraine, illegal immigrants crossing the channel, and the economy, and their message to the Prime Minister is, “Get on with the job”. Does the Prime Minister agree with the “Listening to Wellingborough and Rushden” campaign?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I agree with them profoundly and passionately, and that is exactly what I am going to do.

Oral Answers to Questions

Peter Bone Excerpts
Tuesday 24th May 2022

(2 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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It will help even more when you open the Chorley court again.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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The victims of modern-day slavery experience the worst of violence and sexual assault. One of the ways in which we can keep them engaged with the justice system is for there to be victim navigators, which the Government are piloting. If that approach could be spread further, more people would be kept in the court system and more of these evil gangs would be taken off our streets.

James Cartlidge Portrait James Cartlidge
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My hon. Friend makes a very good point. As he will know, this is primarily a matter for the Home Office, but the roll-out of section 28 will support those cases. As we have mentioned several times today, there is a significant increase in funding for ISVAs, who provide significant support for dealing with precisely such issues as attrition and for ensuring that victims are supported throughout the process.

Easter Recess: Government Update

Peter Bone Excerpts
Tuesday 19th April 2022

(4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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I thank the Prime Minister for coming to the House at the earliest opportunity to update us on the situation. Following your announcement, Mr Speaker, this House will have to decide on Thursday whether to refer the Prime Minister to the Privileges Committee. There is only one issue—whether the Prime Minister deliberately misled the House—so I ask him: did you deliberately mislead the House at the Dispatch Box?

Oral Answers to Questions

Peter Bone Excerpts
Wednesday 2nd March 2022

(5 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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The President of COP26 was asked—
Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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1. What his timeframe is for the succession of the UK presidency following the COP26 conference.

Alok Sharma Portrait The COP26 President (Alok Sharma)
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The UK took on the COP26 presidency on 31 October last year at the start of the COP26 conference in Glasgow. We hold the presidency throughout this year until the start of COP27 in November, when we pass the presidency baton to Egypt. We are already working closely with Egypt and other partners to ensure that countries deliver on the commitments they made at COP26.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Bone
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Will the Minister use his remaining time as President to pivot the conference away from making climate change the No. 1 goal to making energy security the No. 1 goal?

Alok Sharma Portrait Alok Sharma
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My hon. Friend raises an important point. One of the reasons the UK has reduced its dependency on gas is precisely that we pushed out in terms of renewables. We have the second-biggest offshore wind sector in the world and we want to quadruple it. What I want, as part of the solution to tackling climate change, is a clean energy transition across the world.

Ukraine

Peter Bone Excerpts
Thursday 24th February 2022

(5 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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The hon. Gentleman makes a series of extremely important observations. Yes, it is vital that we get the message across to the whole of Russia about what is really going on. They are being lied to day after day, and his point about supporting troops who need temporary exile, as it were, is a good one.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
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I thank the Prime Minister for yet again coming to the House to keep us informed and for his leadership in this crisis. He was right to provide military aid to Ukraine. The Ukrainian ambassador asked for our support on a no-fly zone today. In his answer earlier, I think the Prime Minister was keeping that option open—is that correct?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I think it is pretty clear to the House that we are trying to keep all our options open on this front. Some of them, frankly, may be more practicable that others. We must also have a dose of realism about what we can do on the military front, but we will keep all things under review.