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Results 61–80 of 823 for speaker:Robert Walter

Business, Innovation and Skills: Eurozone Crisis (27 Oct 2011)

Robert Walter: The 50% haircut has been described as a charge on the banks, but Greek sovereign debt is actually held by insurance companies, pension funds and hundreds of thousands of individual savers. Can my right hon. Friend tell us what is in the package—or what measures he thinks need to be taken—to restore confidence in the existing sovereign debt of the peripheral eurozone countries?

Backbench Business — [34th Allotted Day]: National Referendum on the European Union (24 Oct 2011)

Robert Walter: May I reassure hon. Members on both sides of the House that I shall be voting tonight not in response to a three-line Whip but in what I believe is the national interest? I am saddened by some of the comments I have heard in the Chamber today. Since 1960, the Conservative party and Conservative Governments, whether it was Harold Macmillan, Alexander Douglas-Home, Ted Heath, Margaret Thatcher...

Backbench Business — [34th Allotted Day]: National Referendum on the European Union (24 Oct 2011)

Robert Walter: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right—it was a political argument. What I am sad about is that there are those who want to destroy that legacy and the legacy of those who fought and voted for that lasting peace—a Europe in harmony, comfortable with itself and respecting differences of culture, language, history and nationality, but confident in its ability to work together.

Backbench Business — [34th Allotted Day]: National Referendum on the European Union (24 Oct 2011)

Robert Walter: I hope that that is not correct and I remind my hon. Friend that he and I first met when we were both on a committee of the European Movement, which, of course, had just campaigned for a yes vote in that very referendum.

Backbench Business — [34th Allotted Day]: National Referendum on the European Union (24 Oct 2011)

Robert Walter: I shall not give way any more. The world has shrunk. More than ever, we travel, we trade and we live in each other’s countries. In 1972, this House voted not only to be part of that common European future but to be an architect of its destiny as a full member of the European Community. The European Union is not a perfect form of government, but neither are the British Government, any...

Backbench Business — [34th Allotted Day]: National Referendum on the European Union (24 Oct 2011)

Robert Walter: I will not give way any more; I really need to get on. The European Commission and the European Parliament have ideas and aspirations that sit more than awkwardly with the concept that we all have of a sovereign state. There are those in Brussels who see national Governments and national Parliaments as a nuisance and who think that life would be much simpler if we decided everything at a...

Metropolitan Police Service (18 Jul 2011)

Robert Walter: The commissioner placed great emphasis on the word “integrity” in his resignation statement, and yet in the eyes of some of my constituents payments and hospitality to police officers are no different from the £12,000-worth of hospitality that Sir Paul received. Was the commissioner in breach of the Metropolitan police code of conduct, and if not, what steps can we take to restore the...

Nato: Armed Forces Covenant (16 May 2011)

Robert Walter: Many thousands of both serving and retired military personnel and their families in my constituency will welcome today’s statement. Among the several thousand service men and women serving at Blandford Camp are a number of soldiers from Commonwealth countries who have enlisted in the British Army. Can the Secretary of State confirm that the military covenant includes soldiers and their...

Bill Presented: North Africa and the Middle East (17 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: The Foreign Secretary will be aware that the European neighbourhood policy has spent several billion euros over the years on trying to evolve a policy on that region. At the same time, Turkey has been much more successful, in economic and political terms. Will he tell us whether Turkey will be included in this new initiative, rather than excluded, as it has been in the past?

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: May I start by thanking my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon South (Richard Ottaway) and the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs for the work that they have done on this subject? As hon. Members will gather in a moment, I do not entirely agree with their conclusions, which are very similar to the work of Lord Roper and his Select Committee on the European Union in the House of Lords. May I...

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: I can tell my hon. Friend that the entire global cost of the WEU organisation—the body located in Brussels as well as the Assembly in Paris—was considerably less than the figure he mentions for PR staff for the EEAS. In fact, the total bill to the United Kingdom Parliament for the Parliamentary Assembly was about €1 million.

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: Indeed. The WEU’s history goes back to 1948 and the Brussels treaty. The treaty was amended in 1954, which is when the Assembly came into effect. One very good thing about the treaty is its article 5—a common defence pact that, as it is not in any way replicated in the Lisbon treaty, we will lose as a result of the WEU and Brussels treaty ending in June. The Assembly, which was part of...

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: It is an absolute quote and I am not sure that I agree with it. Although it is factually correct, I am not sure that the WEU was no longer relevant to today’s European security architecture. We have just entered a number of agreements with France on defence, which are a form of what the Lisbon treaty calls “structured co-operation”. But that is another matter. The report notes that...

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: I am grateful to the Minister for making those points. My point was that the €2.3 million is the cost of the WEU organisation, not the cost of the Parliamentary Assembly of the WEU, which is half that. I am delighted by the Minister’s assumption that the United Kingdom will gain from the sale of the building in Paris, because there had been rumours that it was to be gifted to the French...

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her intervention, although I think it goes a little beyond the scope of the motion. However, we and the Assembly of which I have the honour to be president are dealing with what are almost entirely intergovernmental structures consisting of European Union member states and other states in Europe such as Turkey, which has been mentioned several times, Norway...

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I do not want to become too legalistic, but I will refer to a number of principles that I and colleagues have laid down that suggest we should have a much stronger inter-parliamentary standing conference. The principles on which we based that suggestion are all entirely consistent with the Lisbon treaty, which I know my hon. Friend and others were not...

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: My hon. Friend is absolutely right, because the alternative, which is before us today, is a body that would meet for one-and-a-half days every six months. The security and defence sub-committee of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee meets approximately every fortnight, and it has a large secretariat and research staff working for it. It will easily work its way in to provide...

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his kind words. This relates to the point about responding to a crisis such as the one in Libya. Let us suppose that we were to follow the Foreign Affairs Committee’s recommendation, to which I shall refer in a moment, if I catch your eye, Madam Deputy Speaker. If that Committee had met three weeks ago, it would be another six months before it could...

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for giving way; I might be able to help him. Early in 2009, the European Parliament passed a resolution, paragraph 74 of which “Recalls that the European Parliament is the only supranational institution with a legitimate claim to exercise democratic supervision over the EU’s security and defence policy”.

Business of the House: Inter-Parliamentary Scrutiny (EU Foreign, Defence and Security Policy) (10 Mar 2011)

Robert Walter: It was made in a motion to the European Parliament, which was then passed.


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