Results 1–20 of 3359 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Alan Duncan

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Cyprus (17 Oct 2017)

Alan Duncan: Following the collapse of the Cyprus talks at Crans-Montana in Switzerland in July, there has inevitably been a pause in any further negotiations. We are encouraging all parties to reflect on any steps that they might now take towards constructive future talks.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Cyprus (17 Oct 2017)

Alan Duncan: Like the hon. Gentleman, we all share the disappointment at the collapse of the talks. As he rightly says, they were as close as they have ever been, perhaps for decades, to reaching a settlement. Getting a unified Cyprus is the principal objective of the talks, in which human rights will of course play their proper part.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Cyprus (17 Oct 2017)

Alan Duncan: Along with the UN, we remain flexible as a facilitator to try to bring about a unified Cyprus. However, our sovereign base areas will, of course, remain. They are not subject to negotiation, except in terms of some territory that we might cede, if that were to help.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Catalonia (17 Oct 2017)

Alan Duncan: I discussed Catalonia with the Spanish ambassador to the UK on 11 October. Our embassy in Madrid regularly discusses the issue with the Spanish Government. We also routinely engage with the Catalan regional Government on matters that fall properly within their competence.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Catalonia (17 Oct 2017)

Alan Duncan: It is the rule of law that needs to govern the decision affecting the future of Catalonia. We fully defend the rule of law and actively assert that this can take place only within the proper workings of the Spanish constitution.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Topical Questions (17 Oct 2017)

Alan Duncan: I am very happy to update my hon. Friend in due course on the exact details of those two, but I think we can all bask in the reflected historic glory, as it were, of having pretty much the largest ocean protection area in the world, apart from the United States, which made ours one of the most effective voices at the oceans summit in Washington last year.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Topical Questions (17 Oct 2017)

Alan Duncan: I am very happy to meet the hon. Lady in the first instance to discuss this; we would like to extend all the consular assistance we possibly can to anyone in such circumstances.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Topical Questions (17 Oct 2017)

Alan Duncan: People understand that we do not wish to see scenes such as that, but it is the duty of everyone in this House personally to uphold the rule of law. I very much regret that Scottish National party Members considered it appropriate to call themselves “official” observers at what was an illegal referendum.

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: I thank the right hon. Lady for her comments. I am glad that, in her opening remarks, she recognised the magnitude of the hurricane—the largest natural disaster of this nature I think we have seen in any of our lifetimes. I am sorry, though, about the criticism she is levelling. Having seen this in the very centre and having watched it, and knowing, as a former DFID Minister, what is...

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: As a former Foreign Office Minister, I totally respect the thinking and comments of my hon. Friend. We do not directly govern the overseas territories; they govern themselves. It is perhaps questionable whether it is appropriate, looking at the geography, to have a permanent base at any of them. However, we do rotate our naval assets so as best to cover the danger of hurricanes and to be able...

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: Again, I am rather dismayed by the hon. Gentleman’s sweeping criticisms of the efforts that have been made, because they are unsupported by the facts. For instance, the French do not deploy in advance specifically for hurricanes; they have troops permanently based there because the nature of French overseas territories government is different from ours. Our overseas territories are...

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: I am very pleased to welcome praise from the new Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and delighted at this new experience for me as I stand here today. There are always lessons learned, and there are always exercises after an event like this to make sure that we do learn the lessons. The focus at the moment should not be on levelling criticism where it is not justified; it should...

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: I have taken a close interest in the calls to the centre, particularly from Members of Parliament. I saw the right hon. Gentleman’s name among those who had called a specific helpline and investigated the plight of his constituent and confirmed that he had come off the island. As I said earlier, we have about 70 British people on St Martin, but I would ask the House to understand that...

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: I have not done so personally, but I take note of the suggestion that someone should do so. The Commonwealth countries do not necessarily have massive financial resources of their own to spend, but any co-operation to try to work together to address the crisis can only be welcomed and I will make sure that that phone call is made.

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: The conditions when Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Mounts Bay arrived at Anguilla were still very severe, but what they did have was the helicopter so they were able not only to do an immediate assessment across Anguilla but to restore power to the hospital and get the airport going again. What they did was significant. In terms of landing on difficult windy sands, the vessel did not do so on...

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: There is a shipbuilding strategy for two new aircraft carriers, but obviously on the detail of our shipbuilding and fleet the answer should come from Ministers from the Ministry of Defence rather than me, but I reiterate that Mounts Bay did an incredible job, is perfectly well suited to the task and had been pre-positioned with appropriate supplies. That is the answer to the question asked...

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: Again, I have seen the hon. Gentleman’s name among those of many colleagues who have been in touch to represent their constituents’ needs. As I have said, there are 70 British on St Martins. It is not one of our overseas territories, but we are working with the French and the Dutch and we are confident that those in most need—and I hope more—can be assisted to depart...

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: Our focus at the moment is on helping those who require help and who are suffering from the devastating effects of the hurricane. I am sure that these policy issues will be addressed in due course. As my hon. Friend understands well, there are a number of overseas territories that receive assistance. Under the overseas development legislation, we are obliged to meet their reasonable needs....

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: I am very conscious that the island that has been most mentioned today in terms of the needs and plight of constituents is St Martin, which is, strictly speaking, not ours, although that does not mean that we do not want to extend as much help as we possibly can. All I would say to the hon. Lady is that if she still has constituents facing difficulties I would urge her to get in touch with me...

Hurricane Irma: Government Response (12 Sep 2017)

Alan Duncan: Intrinsic to my hon. Friend’s question was a reference to DFID, and I hope that he therefore will not mind if I steer him to DFID for a more comprehensive answer, but I am sure that in the light of this hurricane there will be a lot of policy issues that will have to be assessed and reassessed. I am sure that that is one of them.


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