David Crausby: We will start the debate, although it may well be interrupted very quickly by a Division.
David Crausby: Order. The Minister is not giving way.
David Crausby: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Government amendment 399. Amendment 349, in clause 14, page 10, line 46, l eave out “for a term of more than 2 years”. This amendment would prevent Ministers using delegated powers to create criminal offences which carry custodial sentences. Government amendment 400. Clause 14 stand part. That...
David Crausby: Order. I remind Members that if they keep their contributions short, more hon. Members will be called.
David Crausby: The hon. Gentleman should not have used the word “disingenuous”. I am sure that he will learn from it.
David Crausby: I will certainly pass on your remarks to Mr Speaker but, in the meantime, you have made your point to the House.
David Crausby: I remind hon. Members that the same rules apply in Westminster Hall as in the Chamber. If Back Benchers wish to speak, they will need to stand up to indicate that. As only Jim Fitzpatrick stood up, I will call him first.
David Crausby: Order. I call Wes Streeting.
David Crausby: I am going to move to the two Opposition Front-Bench spokespersons now, because we only have about 20 minutes left. I ask them both to keep their remarks to around five minutes each, because I think we all want to listen to the Minister and give Dr Offord a chance to sum up the debate.
David Crausby: Order. I remind hon. Members that if they speak for longer than three minutes, I will not be able to call all Members who wish to speak.
David Crausby: Thank you. I will call the three Front Benchers to speak at about 3.40 pm, which gives us about 40 minutes for Back Benchers. I will not impose a time limit, because I do not think that is practical, but I ask Members to keep their contributions to about two or three minutes. That will give everyone an opportunity to speak.
David Crausby: We are seeing the loss of skilled jobs at British Aerospace in Lancashire and more at Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port, as well as redundancies at Austin in Preston and Monarch in Manchester. What has happened to the northern powerhouse? Has its battery gone flat? If so, will the Prime Minister recharge it, as she rightly did in Northern Ireland?
David Crausby: When I was a young trade unionist, there was a feeling about that those people who were blacklisted or sacked on strike were generally revolutionaries and pretty bad people, in the main. I rather suspect that that view is still harboured in the dark corners of some people’s minds. Nearly 40 years ago, I was a works convenor in a medium-sized factory, and after a 19-week strike, the...
David Crausby: I call Diane Abbott. The Minister looks desperate to get his points in, so could you give him some time?
David Crausby: Can I have an even shorter contribution from Imran Hussain?
David Crausby: There is time for a very short speech by Keith Vaz.
David Crausby: Order. I will call the first of the three Front Benchers at 3.30 pm. Several Back Benchers want to speak, and there will be little enough time for them to do so, so I say to the Front Benchers: hold your horses until you get the opportunity to make a speech.
David Crausby: As I said, I will call the Front-Bench speakers in 35 minutes or so. Seven Members are standing, so if they keep their contributions short, everyone will get in.
David Crausby: Now that the United States of America has clearly become a less stable and reliable NATO partner, how pragmatic is the 2% spending target, and what consideration has the Secretary of State given to allocating more time for European defence, or is European defence simply not fashionable any more?
David Crausby: Order. I ask the Minister not to refer to the court case, as I indicated at the beginning.