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Queen’s Speech - Debate (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:58 pm on 16th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union) 6:58 pm, 16th October 2019

I know that my noble friend Lord Ahmad has taken close note of that. I am sure that he will ensure that the matter is addressed and that an appropriate reply is received.

The noble Lords, Lord Hylton, Lord Hannay and Lord Alton, spoke of the need for a peaceful solution to the current situation in northern Syria. Along with the US and others, we have made clear our opposition to the unilateral Turkish military incursion in north-east Syria. The offensive has seriously undermined the stability and security of the region.

A number of noble Lords, including the noble Lords, Lord Collins, Lord Taverne and Lord Kerr, the noble Baroness, Lady Sheehan, and my noble friend Lord Randall mentioned climate change. We are proud of the world-leading action that the UK is taking as the first major economy to legislate to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050. We as a nation should be proud of that major contribution, which will be taken forward under cross-party initiatives.

Yesterday, the noble Lord, Lord Loomba, mentioned the global girls’ education campaign, Leave No Girl Behind, which promotes 12 years of quality education for all girls. The campaign aims to lead by example to get girls learning, build international political commitment and boost global investment in girls’ education. At this year’s United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister announced a further £515 million to get help to more than 12 million children, over half of them girls, and get them into school, where they belong.

The noble Lord, Lord Hussain, raised the issue of Kashmir. We have expressed our concern over the current situation in Indian-administered Kashmir and the importance of lifting the restrictions currently being imposed. Our view remains that all matters should be addressed bilaterally between India and Pakistan, as per the Simla Agreement.

On the subject of Indian students, raised by the noble Earl, Lord Sandwich, 2019 saw a significant rise in the number of Indian students studying in the UK. I am pleased to tell him that, according to ONS figures, the number increased by 40% from 2018 to 2019. The number of students studying in the UK has doubled over three years.

We continue to support India’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council