Laurence Robertson: I would like to leave one minute for the mover of the motion at the end.
Laurence Robertson: Order. After the next speaker we shall have to drop the time for Back-Bench speeches to three minutes.
Laurence Robertson: Before I call the mover of the motion, it might be helpful to hon. Members if I say that, given the level of interest in the debate, I will impose what looks like being a four-minute time limit on other Back-Bench speeches.
Laurence Robertson: Order. I am going to have to apply a four-minute limit to Back-Bench speeches. I call Paul Scully.
Laurence Robertson: Does the Prime Minister agree that one of the many benefits of leaving the EU customs union is that we will be able to forge our own trade deals with countries across the world—deals that the EU has failed so far to strike? Is it not the case that that would benefit the whole United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, which would actually lose out if it stayed in the customs union,...
Laurence Robertson: Order. It is my intention to call the Front-Bench spokespeople at 3.28 pm, which hopefully will allow two minutes for Mr Sweeney to respond. If hon. Members keep their speeches to five or six minutes, that will enable me to call everyone who attempts to catch my eye.
Laurence Robertson: Is it not the case that no one can decide what arrangements are needed on the Irish border—if, indeed, any will be needed—until such time as trade negotiations have been concluded, and is it not the case that the EU should get on with those negotiations now?
Laurence Robertson: rose—
Laurence Robertson: The Minister will know that motor neurone disease is a degenerative disease, so may I ask what plans the Government have to ensure that people who suffer from that terrible disease do not have to be re-assessed for personal independence payments?
Laurence Robertson: I am the other co-chair of the all-party group on racing and bloodstock industries. I also have the honour of representing the constituency that is home to Cheltenham racecourse, which I would say is the best racecourse in the world. I am a little bit concerned by the Minister’s suggestion that bookmakers might be able to transfer bets to racing from FOBTs. I do not think there is any...
Laurence Robertson: Do the Government plan to provide mid-life upgrades to the Typhoon and Chinook?
Laurence Robertson: The Minister will be aware that, on the east coast main line, the rail franchisee competes with open-access trains. As a result, it has the highest customer satisfaction rating in the country. Can we not extend that practice throughout the country, so that everybody can enjoy the full benefits of rail privatisation?
Laurence Robertson: I thank the Secretary of State for his statement and congratulate him on the work that he is carrying out in this matter. It is of course extremely important to Northern Ireland that we get this right and protect the jobs and the industry in the Province. May I also ask him if he will—I am sure that he will—seek to strike a balance here? Boeing is a very important customer to many...
Laurence Robertson: Will the Prime Minister confirm that no money will be paid for access to the single market, for two reasons? First, the EU sends a lot more goods and services to us than we send to it. Secondly, there are countries around the world that export to the EU single market without any problems at all.
Laurence Robertson: What recent assessment he has made of the UK’s manufacturing capacity.
Laurence Robertson: I thank the Minister for that very upbeat response. I, too, get frustrated when I hear people say that we do not make things in this country anymore. My constituency is living testimony to the fact that we do. We have world-leading, cutting-edge companies, particularly in the aerospace and defence industries, but also in other areas of engineering. Should we not paint a rosier picture, not...
Laurence Robertson: What recent discussions he has had with the Government of Brazil on a trade agreement with that country after the UK leaves the EU.
Laurence Robertson: I thank the Minister for his response and congratulate him on that work. I was in Brazil last November and have had many meetings with His Excellency the Brazilian ambassador to London, and while Brazil has not been able to achieve a trade deal with the European Union, it very much looks forward to one with the UK. So can the Minister expedite such arrangements as quickly as possible?
Laurence Robertson: Ex-Chair.