Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:08 am on 17th November 2016.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:08 am, 17th November 2016

My hon. Friend is right to say that there is active participation by a number of non-member states in the Galileo and various other EU programmes. That indicates that it is possible for a country outside the EU, but enjoying friendly relationships with it, to forge such a partnership. It is probably fair to say that the BBC got a lot of flak from both camps during the referendum campaign. The best position for Ministers to take is to respect the independence of the BBC. We should make complaints if we feel that the Government’s position is misrepresented in some way, but, in a free society, we ultimately have to respect the editorial judgment of the broadcasters and newspaper editors.