John Baron: If there is no deal—most of us in this place want a good trade deal—there would be tens of billions of pounds to help those sectors of the economy and industry to readjust, as we have seen in previous economic cycles. It is a fact of life. Too many people, not just in this place but outside, ignore the fact that investment and jobs are about comparative advantage. It is about how...
John Baron: My right hon. Friend will be aware that the majority of Members—colleagues—who will vote against the Government tonight voted to trigger article 50, which said that we would leave the EU with or without a deal. It was very simple and very clear. Which bit does he think they now do not understand?
John Baron: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for giving way, but may I suggest that he should be careful with his selection of evidence? The Treasury, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of England all made predictions of doom and gloom if we voted to leave in 2016. They said there would be economic disaster by Christmas 2016, and they were all wrong. Since then there has been record low...
John Baron: I thank my right hon. Friend for giving way. Most of us in this place would prefer a good trade deal to no deal, but does he not understand that, in any negotiation, the chances of a bad deal materially increase if one signals to the other side that one is not prepared to walk away? Does he not see that?
John Baron: Most of us in this place would prefer a good trade deal to no deal at all, but will the Prime Minister reflect on the fact that of the top 10 of the EU’s trading partners, half trade on WTO no-deal terms? Will he therefore continue to put to the sword this ludicrous suggestion that Britain would be incapable of trading on such terms? We would prosper.
John Baron: I very much congratulate my right hon. Friend on assuming his role and on his cracking policies and appointments so far. Actions speak louder than words, and it says a great deal when the four great posts of state are held by descendants of immigrants, and we should take great pride in that. May I turn the Prime Minister’s attention very briefly to something that affects millions of people...
John Baron: Given that the risk of seizure was foreseen and that 95% of goods entering the UK do so by sea, does the Foreign Secretary agree that a Royal Navy of fewer than 20 ships is not up to the task and that we need to spend more on our defence, because no matter how capable a ship, it cannot be in more than one place at a time?
John Baron: Will the Minister give way?
John Baron: May I just remind the Minister that this amendment has been tabled by those who voted to remain? Speaking as someone who voted to leave and is in a minority in this place, I can assure the Minister that we on our side of the referendum debate would in no way countenance a Prorogation of Parliament, so in many respects these people are tilting at windmills.
John Baron: If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.
John Baron: The all-party parliamentary group on the British Council, which I chair, has been overseeing an inquiry into aspects of the UK’s soft power capabilities. How does defence diplomacy fit into the Government’s overall soft power strategy?
John Baron: What steps his Department is taking to tackle stakeholders’ concerns on the roll-out of the off-payroll working rules to the private sector.
John Baron: Nevertheless, there are concerns within the private sector about the forthcoming adoption of IR35. What lessons are there from its application to the public sector?
John Baron: I very much welcome the Secretary of State’s announcement on putting the one-year cancer metric at the very heart of cancer services as a means of encouraging earlier diagnosis. You will be well aware, Mr Speaker, that the all-party parliamentary group on cancer has long championed the need to put this metric at the very heart of our services in order to encourage earlier diagnosis. The...
John Baron: In support of my right hon. Friend’s case, may I return him to the question I posed to the shadow spokesman, to which we did not get an answer? Indeed, the only answer was that if the Government cannot control their business, they should step down. I ask one or two of our Conservative colleagues who are thinking of supporting the motion to reflect on that answer. I will try to get out of my...
John Baron: To return to the substance of the debate, does the right hon. and learned Gentleman accept that if Government cannot control the business in this place, we risk ignoring the wishes of the electorate when it comes to elections, and election manifesto promises will turn to dust if this sort of thing is allowed to continue?
John Baron: I recognise that cancer survival rates are at their highest in this country, but it remains an inconvenient truth that we are failing to close the gap with international averages. The last Government estimate suggested that 10,000 lives are being needlessly lost because we are failing to close that gap. I know that my right hon. Friend recognises the importance of early diagnosis but, when...
John Baron: What steps his Department is taking to promote and enhance UK soft power overseas.
John Baron: The British Council all-party group, which I chair, is conducting a wide-ranging inquiry into our future soft power relationship with our European partners. Does the Minister agree with our early finding that we could better co-ordinate our efforts, and will he meet the all-party group as part of our inquiry?
John Baron: Will the Foreign Secretary update the House on what the Foreign Office is doing to help the British Council employee who was recently sentenced in Iran?