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Brian Binley: Is not the truth of the matter that High Speed 2 will release capacity on the west coast main line? Has the debate not recognised the importance of freight, which is growing at more than 10% per year on rail? Does that not come into the discussions we are having today?
Brian Binley: My grandmother taught me that there are only two things people can do when they are in serious financial difficulty: cut spending, and earn more. The Chancellor’s record on cutting spending has been commendable, but more needs to be done on earning more. What will he do to enhance productivity to help this country earn more?
Brian Binley: I am grateful for this chance to speak on Third Reading, and I will be brief. In bringing forward these measures, the Government have identified a genuine problem whose consequences could be severe—indeed, the lights could go out. Security of supply is imperilled through the decommissioning of resources. The shortage of available public funds requires that the private sector delivers, but...
Brian Binley: Was my hon. Friend also surprised at the lack of reference to the impact on business in this country over the next 20 years? The Chancellor wants growth, yet the Bill will impede the ability to get that growth. Will my hon. Friend say a word about that?
Brian Binley: The Opposition are trying to eradicate history before 2010. Will the Financial Secretary estimate what the level of their capital revenue spending would have been this year, on the basis of the mess they left us in?
Brian Binley: I thank the hon. Lady for giving way, and I wish her well with her impending delivery. What figure would she place on the capital expenditure budget for this year, if there were a Labour Government at this time?
Brian Binley: I welcome this debate, allowing us to reflect on the Prime Minister’s speech of last week. I also welcome not only what he said, but the considered and direct way in which he said it. He is to be congratulated on his straight and direct approach. Politicians must be clear; they are the architects of their own downfall when they are not. Whatever people’s view of the content of that...
Brian Binley: I would like to make a little progress, and then I will come back to the hon. Gentleman. No wonder the political classes are held in such low esteem, when politicians prevaricate and refuse to give straight answers in meaningful English.
Brian Binley: In keeping with a tradition first established by Labour—so we will not go too deeply into that question. I am delighted that the Prime Minister rejected the ploy of not straight-talking last week, and spoke directly to the British people in terms they could understand. He also dealt plainly with the “R” word, and he was right to do so.
Brian Binley: I am not sure whether the hon. Gentleman has ever been involved in business negotiations. Business people start by saying they will negotiate, then think about how they will negotiate, and then undertake those negotiations. That process is occurring at this very moment, I hope. I hope the hon. Gentleman is satisfied with my answer, and that I can make some progress. The starting point for...
Brian Binley: I am most grateful to my hon. Friend and, of course, he is absolutely right. One clearly does not enter into renegotiating a relationship without giving a bottom line. That seems to me to be eminently sensible. [Interruption.] I again point out to Opposition Members who know so little about business that it is a business practice. It is right to attempt to create a new settlement, and I share...
Brian Binley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost to the public purse has been of support (a) pledged and (b) paid for the European single currency to date; and if he will make a statement.
Brian Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress he has made on negotiations for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement.
Brian Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many legal proceedings against the Government brought under the Human Rights Act 1998 have been resolved on the basis of relative costs notwithstanding actual levels of culpability in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement; (2) what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of cases for compensation under human rights...
Brian Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many lawyers have been sanctioned for abuse of the legal aid system in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement.
Brian Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost has been of legal aid cases involving non-UK nationals taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement.
Brian Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost was of the 10 highest-costing cases of legal aid in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
Brian Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to the public purse has been of paying the ten highest recipients of payments for legal aid in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.
Brian Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will consider the introduction of cost limits to legal aid cases; and if he will make a statement.
Brian Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what analysis her Department has undertaken of illegal migration flows through Libya; what support it provides to assist Libya manage and halt illegal migration flows; and if she will make a statement.