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Results 21–40 of 823 for speaker:Robert Walter

European Union Documents: Syria (EU Restrictive Measures) (21 May 2013)

Robert Walter: I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. I want to make a point about the international community’s responsibility, and that includes the Gulf states. If the scale of the humanitarian needs continues to outstrip the support available, the risks will only soar. The pressure on Jordan’s already scarce water, energy and education resources is enormous. Approximately 40,000 Syrian students have...

European Union Documents: Syria (EU Restrictive Measures) (21 May 2013)

Robert Walter: I am very conscious of the time limit that you, Madam Deputy Speaker, have placed upon me and so will take no more interventions. There was a conference in January at which $1.5 billion was pledged. The Foreign Secretary reported yesterday that payments have now reached 71% of the amount pledged, but that is still nearly half a billion dollars short. I think that we can be proud of honouring...

Health and Social Care (13 May 2013)

Robert Walter: I would like to talk on two issues that, although not included in the Queen’s Speech, will come before the House in this Session, one of which needs to be addressed with some urgency. In 2005, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Britain’s automatic blanket ban on the right of prisoners to exercise their vote was incompatible with the convention on human rights, of which we are a...

Health and Social Care (13 May 2013)

Robert Walter: I do not see why European judges should be bossing us around either, but if we stick to the principle that we should do nothing that we did not already do when we signed the convention back in 1950, then we have a pragmatic way forward to deal with the problem. I said I wanted to deal with two issues. I want to say a few words to those of my colleagues who are often banging on about Europe....

Health and Social Care (13 May 2013)

Robert Walter: Does my right hon. Friend agree that if we were to vote to leave the European Union, we would no longer benefit from that free trade agreement?

European Union (Approvals) Bill: Clause 1 — Approval of certain decisions under Article 352 of TFEU (11 Feb 2013)

Robert Walter: The hon. Gentleman has cited examples of where the Fundamental Rights Agency is investigating areas into which the European Commissioner for Human Rights—a Council of Europe appointment—has not delved. Surely it would be more logical if we were to use those resources for the benefit of all 47 member states of the Council of Europe. It is in the 20 member states that are not members of the...

European Union (Approvals) Bill: Clause 1 — Approval of certain decisions under Article 352 of TFEU (11 Feb 2013)

Robert Walter: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. That is partly why we were one of the founder members of the Council of Europe and one of the original signatories to the European convention on human rights. Article 3 of the document gives one a little hope, because it talks about “Complementarity and cooperation with other bodies”, but one has to read all the way through it to find that it does not...

European Union (Approvals) Bill: Clause 1 — Approval of certain decisions under Article 352 of TFEU (11 Feb 2013)

Robert Walter: My hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr Chope) and I do not always agree on matters relating to the European Union, but we generally agree on matters relating to human rights. He does sterling service in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of the Europe as chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. Many of us agree, across the spectrum of views on the European...

CCTV: European Council (11 Feb 2013)

Robert Walter: A number of newspapers in this country have been “banging on” about Europe for many years and have often been cynical about our influence. Does the Prime Minister share my disappointment that on Saturday morning, a number of newspapers, including The Daily Telegraph, relegated his victory to a small article on page 8, while the Financial Times heralded it as a “significant victory”...

Housing Market Reform: Europe (30 Jan 2013)

Robert Walter: A number of Opposition Members have criticised the Prime Minister for announcing that he will campaign in the next general election to renegotiate, hold a referendum and, on the basis of that renegotiation, campaign for a yes vote. It is probably worth reminding them that it was a Labour leader and a Labour Prime Minister who did just that in the general election of 1974. Despite having a...

Housing Market Reform: Europe (30 Jan 2013)

Robert Walter: I thank the hon. Gentleman for that intervention, but I would remind him—I can remember it—that the economy was already in a difficult situation caused by the energy crisis. We had three-day weeks and other problems.

Housing Market Reform: Europe (30 Jan 2013)

Robert Walter: It is a warning from history, but if the hon. Gentleman listens to what else I have to say, I hope that he will accept that I will be campaigning to make sure that that does not happen. I had rather hoped that the question of Britain’s membership had been settled decisively back then—my view has not changed—but I believe that the prospect of a national vote would give our country an...

Housing Market Reform: Europe (30 Jan 2013)

Robert Walter: Sadly, I only have a couple of minutes left.

Housing Market Reform: Europe (30 Jan 2013)

Robert Walter: No, you cannot. Thanks to our positive engagement across a swathe of policy areas, from economic reform and deregulation to environment and trade, we have consistently set the agenda. In the debates ahead, we need to strip away the rhetoric and clarify what Europe represents. Europe is the solution, not the problem. Our history is in Europe, and I believe that our future is, too.

Housing Market Reform: Europe (30 Jan 2013)

Robert Walter: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Bill Presented — Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill: Community Hospitals (6 Sep 2012)

Robert Walter: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Totnes (Dr Wollaston) on securing this debate. I also congratulate the Minister on her appointment, and all of us who are committed to the future of community hospitals look forward to her comments in a few moments. This is not a party-political debate—I hope—but the complete absence of Labour Back Benchers probably explains the difficulties...

Local Services (Planning): House of Lords Reform Bill — [2nd Allocated Day] (10 Jul 2012)

Robert Walter: I support the coalition: I believe that it is the best way to deal with the financial crisis that we inherited from the previous Government. I want the Prime Minister to complete the job, and I want him to be re-elected in 2015, but this Bill is not necessary to deal with that financial challenge or with any of the problems that face our nation. I was elected to the House just over 15 years...

Local Services (Planning): House of Lords Reform Bill — [2nd Allocated Day] (10 Jul 2012)

Robert Walter: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I can envisage a situation in which a media campaign against something that we were doing in this Chamber could mobilise public opinion in favour of reforming the Parliament Acts. The present House of Lords needs reform, but on balance, it does a good job. It is a most effective revising Chamber. It provides detailed scrutiny of legislation, particularly...

Vote on Account 2012-13 — Home Office: Foreign and Commonwealth Office — UK-Turkey Relations (4 Jul 2012)

Robert Walter: I hear what my hon. Friend says. For many years, historians have tried to define genocide. He is trying to condemn the Government of the modern Turkish state post-1923 for a crime that was, or was not, committed by the Ottoman empire, of which both Armenia and the Turkic peoples were part.

Vote on Account 2012-13 — Home Office: Foreign and Commonwealth Office — UK-Turkey Relations (4 Jul 2012)

Robert Walter: I congratulate Ministers on the Treasury Bench on singling out the topic of UK-Turkey relations and Turkey’s foreign policy when considering the estimates for the Foreign Office. Turkey is a delightful country. I think you know that, Mr Deputy Speaker, as I think you have been there on a number of occasions. I was reminded of it only yesterday when I got into a taxi in Belfast with a number...


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