Graham Stringer: By having not yet sat down to talk about trade, the European Commission has shown that its priorities are the integrationist European project and punishing this country for having the temerity to choose to govern ourselves. That does not bode well for any deal. Can the Prime Minister tell us what balance of resources is going into contingencies in the event of no deal compared with the amount...
Graham Stringer: I agree with the Secretary of State that in future situations like this one the Government should look for an orderly wind down, but is that not pie in the sky given the evidence of a conspiracy between Greybull and Boeing to protect their own capital interests against the pension rights of former employees and the people who bought tickets when it was already clear that the airline was bankrupt?
Graham Stringer: I will support the Bill on Second Reading for two reasons—one relatively small and personal, and the other to do with the general principles of democracy. The first is that, when I joined the Labour party as a very young man, my Labour MP, Paul Rose, who was the youngest Member of Parliament elected in the 1964 Parliament, was one of the 69 Labour rebels who voted with Ted Heath to...
Graham Stringer: Before I call the Minister, I point out that we are not pressed for time, even though the debate was well attended, and I ask him to leave two or three minutes at the end for the proposer of the motion to respond to the debate.
Graham Stringer: Order. As it is the first day back, may I just remind Members that interventions should be brief? A large number of people wish to speak in this debate and there is limited time, so I ask people to observe that rule.
Graham Stringer: There are four Members wishing to speak and I intend to call the Front-Bench spokespeople in 30 minutes, so the arithmetic is straightforward.
Graham Stringer: My hon. Friend is making a case for the updating and modernisation of the regulation and law applying to private hire and hackney carriages. He referred to the Law Commission report, which recommends a national system, and we have had reports from competition authorities that refer to deregulation. Does he agree that the licensing of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles should remain a...
Graham Stringer: Order. If hon. Members wish to remove their jackets, they have the Chair’s permission so to do.
Graham Stringer: Order. This is a relaxed debate—it is not over-subscribed—but can Members please keep interventions relatively short?
Graham Stringer: Before I call the Front-Bench spokespeople, I advise new hon. Members that, if any hon. Member wishes to speak, they need to stand. I have had no applications to speak; that is just advice.
Graham Stringer: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend, and I always listen carefully when he speaks about Yemen. He has been a powerful voice on this issue. Does he agree that if the Government are not persuaded by the serious humanitarian case we have heard today and Yemen becomes a failed state, that will have serious effects across the whole middle east and north Africa—we have serious material...
Graham Stringer: I think I have been following the hon. Gentleman’s speech carefully. Is he really saying that a vote for independence by the Kurds in Iraq would be welcomed in Ankara?
Graham Stringer: The Minister says that this is a mark of progress, but I cannot accept that. This sounds like motherhood-and-apple-pie Eurospeak. Exactly the same words were used during the accession of Croatia, but has Croatia handed over its war criminals and does it have the rule of law yet? Both were promised. It has one of the longest borders in the EU, which is used for sex trafficking and human...
Graham Stringer: Will the Secretary of State give way?
Graham Stringer: There has been much talk about transitional arrangements. Can the Secretary of State guarantee that if such arrangements are put in place there will be legally binding agreements on trade and customs arrangements, as well as the removal of those arrangements from the remit of the European Court of Justice?
Graham Stringer: The Minister mentioned audited reports. If I were a councillor anywhere in the country I would be sent to prison if I paid money to organisations with unaudited books. Why do we keep making contributions to the EU when it has not had audited books for 20 years?
Graham Stringer: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Graham Stringer: I am grateful. I assume that the figures the hon. Gentleman is giving are cash figures and are not updated to current value. Does he agree that, had that money been put in the country’s wallet, we would now have the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world?