Shailesh Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the political situation in Kosovo.
Shailesh Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been spent in preparation for and on development of the Government's identity card scheme.
Shailesh Vara: May I say what a pleasure it is to take part in a debate with you in the Chair, Mr. Gale? May I also say what a pleasure and privilege it is to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Djanogly), who is my neighbour? I also thank the hon. Member for Cambridge (David Howarth) and my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson). I commend my hon. Friend the Member for...
Shailesh Vara: May I ask the Deputy Leader of the House for the forthcoming business?
Shailesh Vara: My thanks to the Deputy Leader of the House for that information. The Government promised that, in place of a referendum, we would have line-by-line scrutiny and 20 days of debate on the Lisbon treaty. But the House has been given only 14 days of debate, and last night a group of defence amendments was never even reached. Failing to debate such an important and weighty issue as the defence of...
Shailesh Vara: Following the question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Bone), will the Home Secretary be a bit more specific about whether in the past 10 years any other Member of Parliament has been bugged, either because they were the target of the bugging, or because someone else was the target, but they happened to be part of the conversation?
Shailesh Vara: The Secretary of State speaks of giving aid to less developed countries. Given that the European Union has not been able to sign off its accounts for many years, what confidence can the public have that the European Union can monitor the funds given to other countries to ensure that they go to the people who genuinely need them rather than into dictators' pockets?
Shailesh Vara: Does my hon. Friend agree that if there was conflict of interest over limited resources, in the absence of a specific champion for development funds, the Foreign Minister would be under enormous pressure from those competing interests, whereas a specific champion for development aid would have his own brief and would fight much harder?
Shailesh Vara: I support the amendments tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Rayleigh (Mr. Francois). I am particularly concerned about the prospect of the development budget being under the control of the European high commissioner, rather than under the control of a separate commissioner who deals with development. That proposal relegates the importance of development. Without a separate individual...
Shailesh Vara: I am grateful to my hon. Friend. Not only is there a danger that assistance and aid is delayed, but it could stop. When people rely on aid for their next meal, we run out of time for those lives.
Shailesh Vara: I am most grateful to my hon. Friend for making that powerful point, which endorses my point that it is vital to have a separate Commissioner.
Shailesh Vara: No, Sir Alan. I simply commented that I believed that my hon. Friend was making a valid point, which underlines that it is vital to have a separate spokesman for aid at the negotiating table, rather than someone who has to follow other trends—trade, which my hon. Friend mentioned, or foreign and security policy in the case of the high commissioner.
Shailesh Vara: I note the hon. Gentleman's point. On unanimity, I fully appreciate what is written in a treaty, but what happens on the ground is not reflected in the treaty. We have a so-called common foreign policy but there is nothing common in division, with 22 countries voting one way and five countries voting the other. On the hon. Gentleman's point about Britain's ability to give aid, we are not...
Shailesh Vara: I agree with my hon. Friend and I hope that the Minister took those points on board. Let me revert to the possibility that the European high commissioner would have charge of the aid budget. Several of my hon. Friends have mentioned the ever-increasing centralisation of decision making, with a few people at the top having ever-larger empires, for want of a better word, over which they would...
Shailesh Vara: North-West Cambridgeshire.
Shailesh Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of staff in each acute hospital trust is classified as non-medical.
Shailesh Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future number of attack submarines in the Royal Navy.
Shailesh Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) arrested and (b) convicted for human trafficking offences in (i) Cambridgeshire, (ii) Peterborough and (iii) the UK in each of the last five years.
Shailesh Vara: May I begin by thanking all the speakers across the political divide for their contributions to this debate? I must say, however, that it is regrettable that the Leader of the House gave such a partisan speech in a debate of this sort. She did neither herself nor her cause any good. It was particularly regrettable that, although every Member has the right not to accept interventions, the...
Shailesh Vara: There was one exception: the hon. Lady. It is, however, regrettable that no other Labour Members could bring themselves to pay tribute to a woman who fought through a male-dominated society to become not only leader of her party but Prime Minister.