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Results 1–20 of 5938 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Mark Harper

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Road Investment Strategy (5 Jul 2018)

Mark Harper: I listened very carefully to what the Minister said in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for The Cotswolds (Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown). The A417 missing link road scheme is important to all Members of Parliament for, and the county of, Gloucestershire, so I welcome what the Minister said and urge him to follow through on his commitments to my hon. Friend, and remind him that we will all be...

UK-Israel Trade — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair] (3 Jul 2018)

Mark Harper: First of all, it is a great pleasure to see the Minister in his place and, frankly, I congratulate him on taking an intervention and on giving us a lesson in how debate is conducted, unlike the hon. Member for Sefton Central (Bill Esterson), who speaks for the Opposition. As we think about our relationships with Israel, may I just ask the Minister to ensure that we look for opportunities,...

UK-Israel Trade — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair] (3 Jul 2018)

Mark Harper: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

UK-Israel Trade — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair] (3 Jul 2018)

Mark Harper: But the hon. Gentleman said he was interested in parliamentary scrutiny.

UK-Israel Trade — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair] (3 Jul 2018)

Mark Harper: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

UK-Israel Trade — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair] (3 Jul 2018)

Mark Harper: On that specific point, the hon. Gentleman seems to be mushing two things together. The hon. Member for Hammersmith (Andy Slaughter) was talking about settlements, which is one issue, but the hon. Gentleman seems to be saying that we should not trade with any businesses based anywhere in the occupied territories. That sounds like a recipe for putting out of business every Palestinian-owned...

UK-Israel Trade — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair] (3 Jul 2018)

Mark Harper: It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Evans. I should first refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, which I will spell out a little more fully in the debate. I was recently on a trip to Israel with a number of Conservative colleagues, and it was specifically focused on trade and investment. I particularly wanted the trip to be focused on...

UK-Israel Trade — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair] (3 Jul 2018)

Mark Harper: We have to recognise that strengthening businesses, businesspeople and the economies on both sides—in Israel and the occupied territories—is how we will achieve a viable two-state solution. Doing as the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement wants, which is to discriminate against businesses in Israel without distinguishing where they are, will damage the economy and the...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: The hon. Gentleman makes a very sensible point about the geographical size of constituencies. That was indeed considered when we looked at the rules that the Boundary Commissions were set. I accept that he may not feel that there was sufficient flexibility, but there are rules that govern the maximum geographical size of constituencies, thus giving the Boundary Commissions some scope to...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: It is absolutely right that a significant number of entries were removed from the register, but the point was that many of them were not legitimate. Individual electoral registration was introduced to deal with accuracy and completeness. Having lots of people on the register who do not really exist is not a good thing—it is a bad thing—and it is good that we fixed it.

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: The hon. Gentleman and I enjoy our sparring on Wednesday mornings, and I look forward to doing so again tomorrow. I have just a couple of points to make. First, the Democratic Unionist party has not been given a single penny. That money is for the people of Northern Ireland, and it is important to make that point. Secondly, the House decided the composition of Public Bill Committees, not the...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: My hon. Friend’s point about objections relates to my point about the proper consideration of the Bill. One reason why we should not accept the motion is because this is a constitutional matter. If we were to proceed with the Bill’s Committee stage, that should be done not upstairs, where only a relatively small number of Members are able to participate, but on the Floor of the...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: I wish to make a public service announcement, Madam Deputy Speaker. In case other hon. Members wish to make interventions referring to me, I wish to let them know that my constituency is the Forest of Dean, not West Gloucestershire. It could possibly become West Gloucestershire if the current Boundary Commission proposals are voted in, but at the moment it is the Forest of Dean, and very...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: I am grateful, Madam Deputy Speaker. I will be mindful of your injunction and try hard to stick to it. I am going to do something radical—I will try to stick to the motion—but first, since this is a debate, I want to deal with a number of points that Members have made. I should declare my interest as a member of the Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Public Bill Committee....

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: The hon. Gentleman makes a good point, but the point about the Boundary Commission review is that there has been clear public consultation, with 35,000 responses from participants, meaning that this was a democratic process. The Boundary Commission has undertaken a clear process in coming to its conclusions. People outside the House may think that September is a long way away, but it is only...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: I listened carefully to the hon. Gentleman, but he is not right. The previous Parliament passed an Act that remains the law until another piece of legislation changes it. That has not happened. A motion in the House has not in itself changed the law. I shall come on to the point about process.

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: If my right hon. Friend will forgive me, I will make a little process because I am mindful of Madam Deputy Speaker’s injunction about trying to keep our remarks to nine minutes. I want to gambol through some of the points made by the shadow Leader of the House, including what she said about numbers. As the Minister who introduced the original legislation, may I say that there is nothing...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: I took a lengthy intervention from the hon. Gentleman, so I will make a little progress. The issue of the so-called missing voters was raised by the hon. Member for Walsall South and in a couple of interventions, including from the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Nick Smith). Matt Singh from Number Cruncher Politics has done a significant piece of work on this, which was also validated by the...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: I do not agree with that at all. I would argue that the individual electoral registration system that we introduced, which addressed the accuracy and completeness of the register, as well as the fact that we enabled online registration made it much easier for people to register to vote. The vast majority of people who register now do so online, using a very straightforward piece of software...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill: Committee Stage (19 Jun 2018)

Mark Harper: I think I can help the hon. Gentleman a little by explaining why there have been several such examples. It is because private Members’ Bills have started to be used inappropriately by people trying to deliver significant constitutional change, which should properly be done in detail on the Floor of the House. Perhaps that is why the Government have reflected carefully on whether they...


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