Andrew Murrison: The Government, Leo Varadkar, Michel Barnier and Angela Merkel have all said that there will be no hard border even in the event of no deal. So can we now put the idea of a Northern Ireland forever backstop out of its misery and work on mitigating an up-front customs union if a customs union is the price of Labour support for getting something approximating Brexit over the line?
Andrew Murrison: Does my right hon. Friend agree with the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy that cutting corporation tax to the level enjoyed by businesses in the Republic of Ireland would more than compensate for any loss of attractiveness of Northern Ireland to foreign direct investors and the associated job losses?
Andrew Murrison: Surplus waste incinerator capacity is taking pressure off efforts to reuse, recycle and reduce waste. Will the Government strengthen their bid to host the 2020 United Nations climate change conference by putting a moratorium on new incinerator, gasification and pyrolysis applications, including the one in Westbury, in my constituency?
Andrew Murrison: I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for allowing me to intervene in this brilliant debate. I agree with his propositions, particularly on the waste hierarchy and the likelihood that incinerators will reduce both the amount that we recycle and our attempts to reduce waste in the first place. Does he agree that there is a risk, through so-called gasification, that we may have incineration...
Andrew Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to facilitate the employment of non-EU nationals on inshore fishing vessels based in Northern Ireland.
Andrew Murrison: As Chair of a Select Committee, I am sure that my hon. Friend will have shared my experience that the difficulty in getting witnesses to appear is not necessarily around private citizens, who are usually very willing to appear before a Select Committee; it is around encouraging ministerial colleagues, on occasion, and public officials to come before Select Committees. That is where the...
Andrew Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will provide a costed list of central government grants made to the National Trust in each year since 2010.
Andrew Murrison: Will the right hon. Lady give way?
Andrew Murrison: I am grateful to the right hon. Lady. This country has had half a dozen or so referendums in recent years, and we have honoured the outcome of those referendums on each occasion. She is suggesting that we do not honour the outcome of the June 2016 referendum. If we do not honour the outcome of that referendum, are the public not entitled to ask why we should honour the outcome of the...
Andrew Murrison: My hon. Friend is making a compelling case, and I am almost convinced—almost, but not quite. Will he confirm that he would replace the Northern Ireland backstop, with its potential “forever” arrangements and handcuffs on the United Kingdom, with something that we could at least depart from upon having served sufficient notice?
Andrew Murrison: I particularly appreciate my hon. Friend’s remarks in respect of Northern Ireland, but the hon. Member for North Down (Lady Hermon) is precisely right. Will he reflect on the fact that bastions of Unionism such as the Federation of Small Businesses, the CBI, the Ulster Farmers’ Union and Ulster chambers of commerce are all in favour of the withdrawal agreement?
Andrew Murrison: I am enjoying the comments of the hon. Lady, my constituency neighbour, but for balance could she remind the House which country is top of the league table in the G20 for decarbonisation?
Andrew Murrison: Does my right hon. Friend recall that the last time we went through something remotely like this was in 2009 in relation to Jack Straw’s well-meaning but ultimately doomed attempt to get a sense of where we should be going with House of Lords reform? I fear that today’s proceedings will end up very much in the same place.
Andrew Murrison: I fully understand the need to table the written ministerial statement, but it states quite clearly that the proposed talks should be “short” and “focused”, and I assume that that is more than rhetorical. However, my experience of talks in Northern Ireland is that they are neither short nor particularly focused. Will the Secretary of State explain a little bit more about her thinking...
Andrew Murrison: I am not quite sure that I can follow that speech either in substance or in sentiment, but I shall do my best. On the face of it, this is a minor, unobjectionable, technical measure. However, I commend the European Statutory Instrument Committee for being canny enough to spot the fact that the words “flag” and “Northern Ireland” appearing in the same sentence probably mean that we...
Andrew Murrison: We have been treated to plenty of lurid stories over the past few months about a shortage of the radio isotopes on which a million people in our NHS depend every year. Will the Minister confirm that advanced plans are in place to ensure that in the event of our leaving the European Union with no deal, no one would be disadvantaged?
Andrew Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's press release of 11 March 2019, Thousands of places created in new special free schools, to which local authorities that £365 million funding has been allocated.
Andrew Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's press release of 11 March 2019, Thousands of places created in new special free schools, what criteria was used to determine those local authorities selected to receive new special free schools.
Andrew Murrison: o ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's press release of 11 March 2019, Thousands of places created in new special free schools, where in the South West he plans for those new special free schools providing 500 new places to be located.
Andrew Murrison: Given the centrality of Northern Ireland to the Brexit process, does the Minister agree that a solemn and binding change that involved Stormont in the future arrangements in the political declaration or the unilateral declaration would constitute a very significant change to any meaningful vote that was brought before this House?