Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: I know the Minister is running out of time, but may I caution him and anyone else about Swiss mediation, because we would not want them to mediate in the matter of Gibraltar?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: Nobody can condone any breaches of the rule of law, and we ask both sides to uphold it, but in this Parliament we must be very careful about taking sides. This is essentially a matter for the Spanish Government to resolve with the Catalans. It looks like there is a bit of good will on both sides, and we must urge them to come to a peaceful settlement.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: The hon. Gentleman talks about the charter of fundamental rights. What is wrong with our Supreme Court, which is one of the most respected judicial systems in the world, providing those very same rights?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: Have not further education budgets in Scotland been cut continually, which has led to a reduction of 152,000 young students in Scotland? Is it not high time to do what the Conservative party manifesto pledged to do, which is to reverse those cuts so that we give our young people a fair chance in life?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: Will the hon. Lady give way?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: Will the hon. Lady give way?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: The hon. Lady is generous in giving way. She has talked about the most vulnerable students in Scotland and about being able to work and learn. Can she explain why the Scottish Government receive the apprenticeship levy yet sponsor only a very modest 30,000 apprenticeships, compared with the 3 million awarded in the UK during the last Parliament?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: I am sure my hon. Friend is aware that our education exports last year exceeded those of our insurance industry, mainly fuelled by the excellence of our universities. If we do not fund them properly, we will not maintain world-class education at our universities.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: I warmly welcome today’s announcement from my right hon. Friend. This is a real moment of celebration for those of us who have been campaigning with the f40 Group for years for a proper fair funding formula. Will she confirm to my governors and headteachers in Gloucestershire that by 2020 all schools currently receiving £3,800 per pupil will be receiving £4,800?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: In view of the continuing concerns about human rights in Hong Kong, does my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary intend to make any further representations on the joint declaration?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: What steps he is taking to encourage businesses to take advantage of new opportunities for international trade.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: It is a great tribute to my hon. Friend’s Department that in the first year of its operation, the Office for National Statistics reports that exports went up by a huge 7% to £548 billion. Does he agree that with the increase in demand for British exports, UK Export Finance, with its widened role, has an important part to play?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: It must be wrong, historically, that children in Gloucestershire receive almost half what the highest-spending London authority receives. Will the Minister therefore tell us, so that I can reassure my local parents and governors, when we are likely to see the fair funding formula announced?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: I start by paying sincere tribute to the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Lesley Laird). I can see from her demeanour that she will sincerely and diligently represent her constituents. I also pay tribute to my new hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen South (Ross Thomson). It is great to have both Members in this House: it sends a clear message to the people of Scotland that a...
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: Will the Secretary of State give way? I have been very patient.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: I congratulate the Secretary of State on giving way to me. May I commend her on the increase in standards in education? To improve those standards still further—the current funding formula is unfair and depends on a lottery code—does she agree that every pupil and every school deserves fair minimum funding?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: My right hon. Friend might be interested to know that I spent about three hours on Monday quietly walking around the Grenfell Tower area talking to people. I met traumatised victims who did not want to go into the centres to get help, so clearly people need to go out to them. They were angry that there was no clear housing policy on when and where they were going to be rehoused. Above all, I...
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: What assessment has my hon. Friend made of the French Government’s warnings that the City should continue to be overseen by EU regulators?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: My right hon. Friend has confirmed that Parliament will be dissolved at midnight on 2 May. Will he please confirm on which date Parliament will be prorogued?
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: May I, too, on behalf of those on the Conservative Benches, pay tribute to my right hon. Friend for his actions last week? Has my right hon. Friend made any representations to Zimbabwe’s SADC neighbours—South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia—to try to put pressure on the Zimbabwean Government to ensure free and fair elections?