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Code rights in respect of land connected to leased premises

Part of Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:15 pm on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of Liam Fox Liam Fox Conservative, North Somerset 2:15 pm, 10th March 2020

I entirely agree with my right hon. and learned Friend, and I am grateful to him for raising that point. When I was practising medicine—or, as my wife would say, “When you had a proper job”—I was never inclined to do the cheapest or the fastest treatment. It was always the best treatment and that is what we have to apply here. This is a much more important issue. If we have to wait a little longer and pay a little more for the security of this country, then we should do just that.

We have a choice in politics and it is fairly binary: at whatever level and on whatever issue, we either choose to shape the world around us or we will be shaped by the world around us. I believe that the values we have in this House—certainly, the values we have as a party—and the conventions and traditions of this country are not something gathering dust on a shelf. They are a route map to the future. We have to believe in those values and be willing to defend them.

I hope the Secretary of State can give us enough concessions today to allow him to go away and think again about these issues. If he does not, I am afraid the Government will face an embarrassing vote today. As someone who is a former Secretary of State for Defence who sat on the National Security Council, it would give me no pleasure to vote against a Conservative Government because I believed they were undermining our national security. I urge the Secretary of State to go away and think about these issues, and bring them back in a way that provides satisfaction that our national security will not be sold for any reason whatever.