Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:11 am on 26th January 2017.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:11 am, 26th January 2017

In reply to the hon. Gentleman’s questions, first, we hope to publish the White Paper as soon as possible.

On the very important question the hon. Gentleman asked about torture, the Prime Minister said very clearly yesterday that the United Kingdom remains resolutely opposed to torture on grounds of moral principle, on grounds of our participation in the UN convention against torture and other such international legal instruments, and on the grounds that it does not work because we cannot place much value on information or evidence extracted by means of torture. That continues to be, and will continue to be, the Government’s position.

On the hon. Gentleman’s question about the place of Scotland in the United Kingdom, it was the Scottish Government’s decision to go to the Supreme Court over the question of consultation with the devolved Administrations, but it has always been the case, and is set down in the three devolution Acts, that the United Kingdom’s participation in, and membership of, international organisations is a reserved matter under those devolution settlements.

On the hon. Gentleman’s other questions about Europe, this House voted overwhelmingly for the referendum Bill to give the decision to the people and voted overwhelmingly for the Prime Minister to trigger article 50 by the end of March, and that is what we are seeking to deliver.