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.
David Crausby: You are getting quite close. I want to help you.
David Crausby: It is very warm in here, so I am happy for Members to remove their jackets if they want to. I call Sir Roger Gale.
David Crausby: Before we begin, I should warn Members that the case mentioned in the petition is currently before the courts. The House of Commons has agreed in its resolution on matters sub judice that cases that are active before the courts should not be referred to in debate. This is to avoid any possibility of what we say prejudicing a fair trial or impeding a successful prosecution. I therefore ask all...
David Crausby: Let me just say that the hon. Gentleman does have the right to reply at the end of the debate, on condition that the Minister gives him time to reply. It has been my experience sometimes that that is not the case.
David Crausby: I thank hon. Members for their co-operation. They got the maths almost exactly right.
David Crausby: Order. Due to Divisions, this debate will end at 5.54 pm. I intend to give the two Front Benchers 10 minutes each, so I will call the first at 5.34 pm. Six Members have indicated that they wish to speak. Doing the maths, they have around three minutes each, including interventions.
David Crausby: Order. Motion lapsed ( Standing Order No. 10(6)).
David Crausby: Order. Mr Shannon, interventions should he short.
David Crausby: Order. I intend to call the three Front-Bench spokespersons at about 10.30 am. If Members can keep their contributions to around six or seven minutes, we should get everyone in.
David Crausby: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Amendment 8, in clause 7, page 4, line 13, at end insert “including agreed support measures for those who are evidently making the transition away from paramilitarism;” This amendment seeks to prevent a possible tension between two parts of the Pledge, which may be interpreted divergently....
David Crausby: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Amendment 7, page 1, line 10, leave out “First Minister and the deputy First Minister acting jointly have” and insert “The Justice Minister, after consultation with the First Ministers and subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, has”. This amendment provides for two members of the...