Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 20th July 2022

(1 year, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I thank my old friend for everything he did to campaign on that issue for so long. I am glad that this Government were indeed able to fulfil their promise not just to veterans, but to their families as well. I renew my thanks to the security services, who do so much to keep us safe, and to all those who put on the Queen’s uniform.

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde) (SNP)
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Q12. Prime Minister, the OECD forecasts zero growth in GDP for the UK economy in 2023; that would be the worst performance in the G7. Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Sweden, Austria, Belgium and Finland are all wealthier than the UK. Why should Scotland not be afforded the same opportunity to seek prosperity through being a sovereign independent nation, standing as an equal among other equal nations?

Sue Gray Report

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 25th May 2022

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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What I can tell the hon. Gentleman is that, to the best of my knowledge, all the evidence has been seen by Sue Gray and by the Metropolitan police. There may be issues about what else can be released more generally, but I believe that the hon. Gentleman and the public have a representative sample of the images.

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde) (SNP)
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In a five-page statement, the Prime Minister indicated five times that he takes responsibility, but in fact he has not done so once. During the pandemic, all MPs asked our constituents to adhere to the guidelines to protect themselves, their families, their friends, their colleagues and the wider community. With the benefit of hindsight, does the Prime Minister believe he set a good example that he can look back on with pride?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Where I fell short and where we fell short, I apologise. I thank all colleagues who asked their constituents to follow the guidelines. Yes, the Government can be very proud of a lot of what we delivered during covid.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 9th March 2022

(1 year, 12 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Long ago, when I was a reporter, Tipton was on my beat—many years ago—and wild horses could not keep me away from Tipton. I’ll be back.

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde) (SNP)
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I have a constituent whose elderly parents are seeking refuge in the United Kingdom from Ukraine. Her parents are both in their 80s. They have made it to Hungary. They went to the visa application centre, as instructed by the Home Office hotline, and they were told, “Come back on 22 March.” Then, and only then, will their biometrics be processed. That is the harsh reality—no spin, no subterfuge. Prime Minister, when will refugees from Ukraine be welcomed into the United Kingdom?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I thank the hon. Gentleman. If he would be kind enough, I would be grateful if he passed me the details of the case that he mentioned and I would be happy to give it to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. We are moving heaven and earth, because we understand the value to this country of refugees. We also understand the imperative of helping people fleeing a war zone in terror. That is why the people of this country want to open their arms, and we are going to help them to do it with a new humanitarian route, in addition to the family reunion route that we have already set out. That family reunion route alone could bring hundreds of thousands of people here. I think the whole House understands that; we will do even more through the new humanitarian route.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 19th January 2022

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde) (SNP)
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When the Prime Minister read out the line, “The Government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks,” a number of his Back Benchers took off their masks and waved them around their heads. Will he acknowledge, without a hint of irony, that we have a deadly virus still at work in our communities, and that it falls upon us all to behave in a manner that encourages people to act responsibly within their own communities?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I thank the hon. Gentleman very much and direct him to exactly what I said earlier, which I am sure he listened to.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 21st April 2021

(2 years, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)
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I know that the whole House will want to join me in sending our very best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen on her 95th birthday.

Last night’s verdict in Minneapolis delivered justice for the family and friends of George Floyd, and I know that the thoughts of the whole House remain with them.

I welcome the decision taken by the six English football teams not to join the European super league. The announcement was the right result for football fans, for clubs and for communities across the country.

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.

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan [V]
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May I extend my good wishes to the Queen today in what must be a difficult time? I hope that she finds herself surrounded by friends and family and that she can find it within herself to take some time to celebrate her 95th birthday.

I know that the Prime Minister is not a supporter of basic income, but given that Hull, Belfast, Norwich, Leeds, Lambeth, Guildford, Swansea, Glasgow and 24 other councils around the United Kingdom have expressed a desire to run pilot schemes that would enhance our knowledge of all the pros and cons, would he consider facilitating any pilot projects in the United Kingdom? Have the UK Government considered any research into basic income, and if so, what?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I am grateful to the hon. Member for his support for a UK-wide proposal. I trust that he understands the irony of that, when we consider that his party is, as I understand it, still hellbent on calling an irresponsible referendum on breaking up the United Kingdom.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 24th March 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I hope very much that the Football Association will have listened carefully to what my hon. Friend has said and that they will do what they can. I look forward to 17 May, when spectators, according to the road map, may return.

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde) (SNP)
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Seventeen months ago, Prime Minister, on 23 October 2019, I stood in this place and asked you what you were going to do to get medical cannabis to children suffering from rare forms of epilepsy. You said to me that you recognised their “desperate difficulties”, and that you would take up the matter “personally” with me. Their difficulties are still desperate and you have not taken this up personally with me. In the interim we have developed new medicines, distributed them around the country and given them to people who need them, free of charge. Why are we discriminating against these children? What are they—are they worth less than the general public? Will the Prime Minister move to make medical cannabis available to children with epilepsy? If you could please, Prime Minister, take this opportunity personally, five minutes of your time today could go a long, long way.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I am very happy to do whatever we can to meet the hon. Gentleman and take the matter forward, but the Dutch Government, I am told, have confirmed they will allow the continued supply of Bedrocan oil against UK prescriptions until at least the summer—

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan
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Until July.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Until July, as the hon. Gentleman says. My right hon. Friend the Health Secretary is working to find a permanent solution and I have no doubt that he will be very happy to meet the hon. Gentleman.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 16th December 2020

(3 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Yes, indeed. I know that Buckinghamshire Council is working closely with my hon. Friend and partners across the voluntary sector. We have been in initial discussions with Buckinghamshire about its proposals and are happy to taken them forward.

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde) (SNP) [V]
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Prime Minister, were you as dismayed as I was by the number of drug-related deaths reported in Scotland yesterday? If you were, then you can do something about it. Not just in Scotland, but across the United Kingdom, obstacles exist to the creation of drug consumption rooms, and those obstacles can be removed—

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan
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My apologies, Mr Speaker. I am obviously addressing my question to the Prime Minister. There are obstacles that exist across the United Kingdom to the creation of drug consumption rooms, and those obstacles can be removed at Westminster. Previously the UK Government have held an ideological view that drug consumption rooms encourage drug taking. Will the Prime Minister engage with me and allow me the opportunity to help him do a good thing?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I listened very carefully to the hon. Gentleman. I must say that we do not want to do anything that would encourage the consumption of more drugs, nor do we want to decriminalise the possession of drugs, because I believe that they ruin lives and drive criminality across the whole United Kingdom. I am more than happy to look at the proposals made by the hon. Gentleman one more time, and to pursue the agenda of tackling drugs, but the vast panoply of powers that are needed to tackle drugs and drugs crime are already vested with the devolved Administration in Scotland, and I am afraid that the failures that he talks about are very largely down to them.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 23rd September 2020

(3 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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That is a very important point. Obviously the job retention scheme has been very effective in keeping people in work, but there are of course people who do not have employment of that kind. That is why we have given £1.57 billion to support the creative, culture and media sectors, including the theatres. We will do whatever we can to support the freelancers who my hon. Friend describes, because they are the backbone of our theatrical world, which, as he knows, is the jewel in the crown of the London cultural economy.

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan  (Inverclyde)  (SNP) [V]
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The word is that Downing Street is taking control of the upcoming review of gambling legislation. Is this true, and if so, will No. 10 consider all the recommendations made by all-party parliamentary group on gambling related harm in our report published in June?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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What I can certainly tell the hon. Gentleman is that I am not an enthusiast for encouraging the spread of gambling in this country.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Tuesday 23rd June 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Yes. I do encourage people to take advantage of the freedoms that they are rightly reacquiring, but I must stress that people should act in a responsible way. I know that that is where the public are and that that is what people want to see. They want to see this reopening happening gradually. They want to see the frost leaving the tundra slowly. They understand the risks that we still face. So yes, I want to see people out in the shops—it is a fantastic thing to see. Yes, I want to see people taking advantage of hospitality again—a wonderful thing. Yes, I want to see people enjoying friends and family again, but they have to do it in a responsible way and observe social distancing.

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde) (SNP) [V]
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As we attempt to move people back into the workplace, the job retention scheme is being abused by some companies to make employees redundant before August, when employers would have to pay a percentage of their salary. Moreover, others, like British Airways, are threatening to fire tens of thousands of loyal workers and rehire them, some on slashed pay and poorer conditions. The Prime Minister said that he was looking at what we can do, so will he back my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Gavin Newlands), whose Employment (Dismissal and Re-employment) Bill addresses this iniquity?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I will of course study the Bill to which the hon. Gentleman alludes. [Interruption.] I will cause it to be studied. He knows very well that this country has given unprecedented and unequalled support to workers and to businesses. I think that 1 million companies have taken advantage of the job retention scheme, and 2.6 million self-employed people. There is nothing like it around the world. We should be very proud of what the UK has done, and we will continue to ensure that no one is penalised for doing the right thing to beat this virus.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Ronnie Cowan and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 29th January 2020

(4 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I thank my hon. Friend for raising that issue, and I can tell him that we are indeed getting on with that job. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health says that he will personally intervene to ensure that that is done.

Ronnie Cowan Portrait Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde) (SNP)
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Q9. While the MAC report proposes a reduction in salary thresholds from £30,000 to £25,600, it does not go far enough, given that around half of Scottish employees earn less than the proposed threshold, and that rises to almost 90% in the vital care sector. Does the Prime Minister agree that protecting Scotland’s care sector with a tailored migration system is more important than his ideological obsession of cutting immigration?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I think the House should be clear that we do not wish in any way to deprive any part of the UK of the labour that it needs, and we have special provisions to ensure that Scotland is properly catered for. As I say, we have doubled the seasonal agricultural workers scheme. But we will respond in due course to the stipulations of the Migration Advisory Committee.