Peter Bone: I came to the Chamber today thinking that we were going to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 and that the whole House agreed. We now know from the Leader of the Opposition that Labour wants to stay in indefinitely. Will the Prime Minister confirm that we will come out in 473 days’ time and that that date will be put in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill?
Peter Bone: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, relating to that very issue. As you rightly say, Sir, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union appeared before the Select Committee this morning, and it has considered the matter, but we have not yet finished our deliberations. I did not want the impression to be given that we had already done that.
Peter Bone: When the British people voted to leave the European super-state, they voted to end the free movement of people, to stop sending billions and billions of pounds to the EU each and every year, and to make our laws in our own country, judged by our own judges. Are we still on course to deliver that? If we have a problem, would it help if I came over to Brussels with the Prime Minister to sort it out?
Peter Bone: Did you notice, Mr Speaker, that the shadow Minister, just at the end of his question, committed the Labour party to dropping 29 March 2019 as the date on which we come out of the European Union? Will the Secretary of State confirm that it is the Government’s policy that we are definitely coming out by 29 March 2019?
Peter Bone: I am grateful to all the Members who have come along to listen to the petition, particularly my hon. Friend the Member for Corby (Tom Pursglove), whose constituency is also affected by this dreadful proposal for a factory-style American chicken farm in Higham and Rushden. As a result of this outrageous proposal, 540,000 chickens will be slaughtered every 39 days. The lead petitioners are...
Peter Bone: In the light of the county council’s financial situation, would the Minister be keen to look at emerging proposals from across Northamptonshire about how local government might be better restructured?
Peter Bone: A very important day, Sir: your birthday next year.
Peter Bone: My hon. Friend, as usual, is introducing a very important Bill. In Northamptonshire, everyone seems to agree that there should be reorganisation, but the individual councils cannot agree what form that should take. How would the Bill help in that regard?
Peter Bone: I do not know whether the Leader of the House has seen the migration figures today, but net migration is a third lower in the past year than it was before the EU referendum. Can we have a debate in Government time on immigration, so that we can talk about the Government’s progress towards the target of tens of thousands, and the fact that we will be able to reach it when we come out of...
Peter Bone: I think that the whole House will agree with the Prime Minister’s words. One of the advantages of having such a special relationship with the United States is that when a friend tells us we have done something dreadfully wrong, we tend to listen. Would not the world be a better place if the Prime Minister could persuade the President of the United States to delete his Twitter account?
Peter Bone: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Given that sensible explanation from the Leader of the House, will that now be known as the “Leadsom principle”?
Peter Bone: For the first time in my parliamentary career, I agree with the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr Skinner). He is absolutely right. The 60%-odd of people in Wellingborough who voted to leave would want to know what we were doing with £60 billion. They would want it to be spent on the NHS, social care and defence. They would not want it to be given to the European Union. Does the Chief...
Peter Bone: On a point of order on a slightly separate issue, Mr Speaker. Some Government Members, and perhaps some Opposition Members, have asked the Government to come forward with a new motion to try to clarify the distinction between the two differing motions that have come before the House. Is there any technical reason why that motion could not be produced, our having just debated the Humble Address?
Peter Bone: I find that I agree with the comments of the Father of the House and the Chairman of the Select Committee, but I do understand that there is a dilemma for the Government. One recent motion clearly says that all documents should be delivered. A previous motion in this House says that the Government should not produce anything that damages our negotiations. Those motions are not clear, so would...
Peter Bone: Hooray!
Peter Bone: The Sun newspaper today published pictures of BBC workers asleep at their desk at the BBC News channel, although I cannot find any report about that on the BBC. Will the Leader of the House arrange for a statement or a debate on this next week?
Peter Bone: Does the Secretary of State agree that coming out of the European Union opens up great opportunities for the creative industries?
Peter Bone: If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.