Roger Gale: I thank my right hon. Friend for her reaffirmation that British citizens resident throughout the EU will continue to receive uprated pensions and, as I now understand it, healthcare and health-related exportable benefits. May I ask her to indicate whether those will continue into the foreseeable future?
Roger Gale: Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Lady. I understand that many Members present come from a different discipline. The Scottish Parliament exercises different rules from those of the Westminster Parliament, but in this Parliament we do not refer to hon. or right hon. Members by their names; we refer to them by their constituency or their title, and we address the Chair. When a Member says...
Roger Gale: The hon. Gentleman is extremely perceptive: it is not a point of order.
Roger Gale: Due to the self-denying ordinance of all hon. Members, all those who indicated that they wished to speak, on both sides of the House, have been called.
Roger Gale: Order.
Roger Gale: That is a point of order for the Chair. My understanding from my predecessor in the Chair is that that was indicative and informative, but the hon. Gentleman is quite right that this five-minute speech has so far lasted for 13 minutes. I am sure that the hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun is drawing his remarks to a conclusion.
Roger Gale: Order. The hon. Lady courteously gave way, so the hon. Gentleman has the right to the floor, but I make the point from the Chair that it is customary for Members to come and listen to the debate before intervening.
Roger Gale: Thank you for your courtesy and your restraint. We have accommodated all the Back Benchers who wished to speak. Well done.
Roger Gale: My miserable maths suggest that, if a self-denying ordinance is imposed and Members confine themselves to five minutes’ speaking each, most if not all Members will get in. If Members are greedy, not everybody will get in.
Roger Gale: In welcoming my hon. Friend’s assurance that the future of our amphibious capability is under active and positive consideration, may I say, as one who has been privileged to spend a little bit of time on HMS Bulwark, that she is a magnificent fighting ship? She punches well above her weight. She has served this nation very well, and to remove her from service would be an absolute tragedy.
Roger Gale: Mr Howell has indicated to me very courteously that as one of Her Majesty’s trade ambassadors he has an unavoidable commitment. I know that the Opposition and Government Front Benchers will understand that he will therefore not be able to be present for their winding-up speeches, but he has undertaken to read them in Hansard.
Roger Gale: Actually, Members who give way get injury time. I am afraid that the next speech must be the final one from the Back Benches. If anyone has not got in, they should take note that they can intervene.
Roger Gale: Order. I hate doing this, but I am afraid three minutes means three minutes.
Roger Gale: Order. I gently suggest that interventions should be interventions, not speeches.
Roger Gale: Order. Seven Members have written in asking to speak and some others are standing who have not, but if you do the maths it does not work. I will set a time limit on speeches of three minutes, but I request a self-denying ordinance—even at three minutes, not everyone will get in. I apologise for that, but that is the way it is.
Roger Gale: I apologise, Mr Streeter. I mean no discourtesy to the hon. Member for Cambridge (Daniel Zeichner), the Opposition spokesman, my hon. Friend the Minister or you, but the curse of conflicting appointments has landed on me, and I must be elsewhere at 3.30. I will stay and hear as much as I can of the debate in the meantime. I am acutely aware of the importance of the EU citizens employed in my...
Roger Gale: I think I am right that the hon. Member for Ealing Central and Acton (Dr Huq) referred to the House of Commons Library, which provided those statistics, but my evidence is from my own eyes—
Roger Gale: I think we can accept—well, maybe we cannot, but I accept from personal knowledge—that most Brits who live in France outside Paris and in Spain outside Madrid, as the majority do, are not necessarily over retirement age but are retired or semi-retired. Some are working online. There is a significant number of them, and they are frightened people. I have become involved because...
Roger Gale: I entirely support the Government’s line in respect of the need for a reciprocal deal.
Roger Gale: Not just no—it happens to be the case that many people who live in mainland Europe could not, for example, secure private healthcare insurance at their age, in any meaningful sense. That may not be the case for the 3 million people from the rest of the European Union living in the United Kingdom, many of whom are working. There is a disparity between the two causes. I chair the...