Mike Gapes: My hon. Friend refers to Donald Dewar. The basis for the devolution process came about via referendums in Scotland, Wales and both parts of Ireland to agree the frameworks under which we now operate. Is it therefore not a contempt, an insult, to the people as a whole—not just this House—for the Government to undermine the Good Friday agreement and the devolution settlement, which was...
Mike Gapes: rose—
Mike Gapes: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The media are reporting that a Europe Minister is at this moment briefing Conservative MPs about what has been happening in Brussels. Do you have any indication whether Members of the other parties will be given a briefing or a statement by the Brexit Department about issues such as regulator divergence?
Mike Gapes: I am grateful to my friend, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, for giving way. He referred to the role Iran is playing in Yemen, but are not the Iranians also trying to influence and destabilise other countries on the Arabian peninsula and even trying to increase their influence in Oman?
Mike Gapes: rose—
Mike Gapes: Given that even the Foreign Secretary does not have the power to change geography, what is he going to do to relocate the United Kingdom from Europe—being linked to the European land mass—to south-east Asia or the middle of the Pacific?
Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many settlement applications were processed by Sheffield Visa Section between May and August 2016.
Mike Gapes: Order. Motion lapsed ( Standing Order No. 10(6)).
Mike Gapes: Order.
Mike Gapes: Order. The Front-Bench speakers have half an hour between them, and I would be grateful if they would allow the Minister at least 10 minutes in which to make his remarks.
Mike Gapes: Order. The hon. Lady is making an intervention, not a speech, and I should be grateful if the hon. Member for Inverclyde would respond to it briefly.
Mike Gapes: Order. Is the hon. Gentleman coming to the end of his remarks? Perhaps he can give his last sentence; otherwise the hon. Member for Henley (John Howell) will not be able to make a speech.
Mike Gapes: Two hon. Members have indicated a wish to speak and I should like both to get in, but if they are to do so each needs to speak for no more than four and a half minutes.
Mike Gapes: I am conscious that we do not have unlimited time, so I would be grateful if hon. Members kept their remarks brief, so that I can allow time at the end for the Minister and the Opposition Front Benchers to speak and, if possible, call everyone who wishes to speak.
Mike Gapes: The Minister talks about the decisions that the Government have already made. Before they decided to trigger article 50 and begin the process, did they give any consideration to the complications that would be caused in the relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which were explained to the Foreign Affairs Committee when we were in Dublin last week?
Mike Gapes: Before the Minister concludes, can he comment on my brief remarks about the London Borough of Redbridge?
Mike Gapes: I thank my constituency neighbour and right hon. Friend the Member for East Ham (Stephen Timms) and the Minister for allowing me to speak for two minutes. I went out at 7 am last Wednesday with the Newham team and I was really impressed by their work. I went because my borough, Redbridge, has the same problems as Newham and has great interest in the subject. Our council applied for a...
Mike Gapes: rose—
Mike Gapes: I suspect that the Minister has been taking lessons from the Foreign Secretary. He says that we should read Hansard, but perhaps we will find a giant lacuna there, and perhaps these issues will come back to haunt him.
Mike Gapes: My hon. Friend has mentioned the concern felt by businesses. That concern is widespread, ranging from the Confederation of British Industry to the Federation of Small Businesses. It is also felt by the workers and their representatives, including the TUC and many individual trade unions. Why on earth are the Government being so stubborn?