Ian Lucas: Sectors such as the automotive and aerospace sectors have succeeded in the UK because of the close regulatory alignment with our European partners. Is it the Secretary of State’s intention to seek as close alignment as possible in the future, or does he, like some Government Back Benchers, wish to break free from this regulatory regime?
Ian Lucas: Will the Minister meet the all-party group on Mersey-Dee-north Wales to discuss the detail of the growth deal, and will he please show me the colour of his money?
Ian Lucas: One of the strengths of Israel is the independence of its rule of law and the way in which the courts fearlessly impose decisions on occasions, but what is particularly tragic about the schools that are being threatened with demolition—I have seen them myself, as many other people have—is that they are in the shadow of illegal settlements. The contradiction and imbalance that...
Ian Lucas: I am puzzled. The Minister has made it clear that the Government’s intention is to maintain the current legislative situation, so far as the clause is concerned. Why then did he not seek agreement with the Welsh and Scottish Governments before he brought this legislation to the Chamber? Why did he not achieve a resolved position before coming to the Chamber with the Bill?
Ian Lucas: Will the Minister give way?
Ian Lucas: I am interested in the point the hon. Gentleman is making, but is it not the case that the UK Government consulted very little with Members of all parties across the House during the preparation of this Bill after the referendum? Does he agree that that was a massive mistake?
Ian Lucas: What is unusual about this Bill is that it followed a referendum that means we are going to leave the European Union, and there are splits in both the major parties on this issue. The right approach would have been for the Government to consult much more widely on how this legislation should be taken forward. The reason that it is in such a mess at the moment is that the Government are...
Ian Lucas: My hon. Friend is making a powerful case. The continuous process since 2010 is taking money out of local economies. All the salaries she is referring to are normally spent on our high streets and in our local businesses. They are being hit hard by the Government’s sustained deflationary approach.
Ian Lucas: One of the ways of improving express train services is to open up new routes. Does the Minister agree with me and his right hon. Friend the Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson) that the opening up of a route from Chester via Wrexham and Shrewsbury to London would ease pressures on the Chester-London service and be an excellent, novel way of addressing capacity difficulties on the line?
Ian Lucas: To pick up on the advice deserts point, during my 16-year parliamentary career, the Ministry of Justice and the local justice departments have very much moved away from their local communities and are now incredibly distant from the communities that they served. Does my hon. Friend agree that we need to localise provision in a much better and more responsive way?
Ian Lucas: I am most grateful to my hon. Friend, first for his securing the debate, and secondly for making such a passionate case. The reality is that professional, useful advice for vulnerable people is decreasing—not only through the diminishing of legal aid, but with citizens advice bureaux being threatened with closure, such as in my constituency. These people need help, and we have a...
Ian Lucas: I thank the Secretary of State for helping to secure extra money for north Wales in the Budget, but that was for the development of a business case for the Wrexham-Bidston line, which is merely a taster. Will he please help to deliver the main course of the north Wales growth deal, which will unlock growth in one of the most effective and forward-looking areas of the national economy?
Ian Lucas: I am afraid this is an irresistible opportunity to talk about the Government’s appalling proposal to shift HMRC from Wrexham in north Wales, my constituency, which has many rural areas, to Cardiff’s city centre. Is that not exactly the opposite of what we should be doing?
Ian Lucas: Does my hon. Friend agree that that worthwhile step would best be made in conjunction with the introduction of a half-hourly service between Chester and Shrewsbury, along one of the most beautiful railway lines in the United Kingdom, so that more people from the west midlands and the north-west of England, as well as from the rest of the country, could see just how good it is?
Ian Lucas: What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Ian Lucas: Exporting manufacturing businesses in north Wales such as Magellan Aerospace and Airbus are world-beating organisations, but they desperately need infrastructure, investment and support from the Government to face the challenges ahead. Why are this Government so reluctant to invest in and support north Wales?
Ian Lucas: I am grateful to the hon. Member for Horsham (Jeremy Quin) for his courtesy in allowing those of us who have been here since 11.30 to speak. I want to talk about regional policy. My speaking time is restricted, but I am glad that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury is here as I want to raise a particular issue to do with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in my constituency of Wrexham;...
Ian Lucas: A Conservative Member said earlier that we should learn lessons from how bad things were in the 1970s. I was brought up in a council house during the 1970s, and that gave me a tremendous base in my life. We should be proud of that. The Conservative party should learn a lesson from that and treat people with some respect.
Ian Lucas: In 2010, the Conservative Government said they would eliminate the deficit by 2015. They were aware of the deficit at that stage, so why did they fail?
Ian Lucas: Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the worst decisions of the Conservatives in the 1980s was destroying the great regional institutions that were building societies? Great organisations such as the Leeds Permanent and the Halifax building society, which created wealth and retained it in the regions, were destroyed.