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Results 1–20 of 3055 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Stephen Hammond

Increasing Choice for Rail Passengers (11 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: Although I agree with my hon. Friend that franchising has severe problems and has run its course, does he agree that one of the central problems is Network Rail and its inability efficiently to allocate track access, and the money it gets for investment and upgrading, to the franchises, as it would do if there was more open access on the system?

Backbench Business: Open Access Rail Services — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: Will my hon. Friend give way?

Backbench Business: Open Access Rail Services — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: Does my hon. Friend agree that the concept of open access could drive efficiency back into the railway system, where it is needed? He mentioned the failure of the franchising system. Network Rail’s inability to link to the requirements of the operator is one fundamental problem with the rail system. A slot auction system for access could give Network Rail an incentive to align itself...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: Mr Streeter, you will be pleased to hear that my final words will not be as long as my starting words. Thank you for being in the Chair this afternoon. I think you will agree that, although we did not have as many contributions as we sometimes have in such debates, they were of exceptionally good quality. I thank all hon. Members for contributing. The Minister said at the beginning that he...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: The Minister is obviously right in what he has just said about tariffs. Does he also accept that the rulebook and some of the standards in it are likely to restrict our ability to have free trade with certain countries if they do not meet those standards?

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: I beg to move, That this House has considered customs arrangements after the UK leaves the EU. It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair this afternoon, Mr Streeter. I am particularly grateful to have been selected to lead this debate. I led a debate on the European Free Trade Association and the European economic area in February, which I believe has brought that argument and some of the...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: The hon. Gentleman is completely right and he guesses my next point. I was about to say that rules of origin should not be underestimated or lightly dismissed with the usual line that these issues were not a problem before we joined the EU, or by the extraordinary assertion—heard last week—that manufacturers would somehow be able to get cheaper components from somewhere else in...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: My hon. Friend is absolutely right about the example that she gives—the car industry. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has given us clear evidence on this, as well, in terms of the extra bureaucracy. It estimates that 180,000 exporters will now need to make a customs declaration for the first time, having not needed to do so previously. That is in addition to the 141,000...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: Again the hon. Gentleman guesses what I was about to say next. I was using the ports of Dover and Calais as examples of ports across the United Kingdom. Of course, it would also require restrictions and a border infrastructure to be in place between the two ports he mentions. Over the last few years, some people have called that project fear, but the reality is that we are facing risks to our...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: My hon. Friend is right. The supply chain provides jobs in all sorts of areas across the country. It is not just the big employers, but the thousands of people who are employed in their supply chain. For a small firm, the bureaucracy of restrictions such as rules of origin requirements and certificates, will be so extreme that some of them are likely to go out of business. We need to realise...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: The hon. Gentleman may well be right. We cannot know what will happen. We can see tensions already and they may result in different outcomes. We have some certainty about various procedures with those nations because they are members of the EU, but we cannot have the same certainty with other countries that present that fated opportunity. Whether we like it or not, our economy is...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: A panoply of choice! I will give way to the hon. Lady and then the hon. Gentleman.

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: As I have said several times, we do not know the detail, but we should welcome three things: first, that there is a plan, because we are a long way into the process; secondly, that it attempts to put in place a UK-EU free trade area; and thirdly, that there is a common rulebook. As I explained earlier, we cannot just solve the customs part; we need to solve the standards issue as well,...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: The hon. Gentleman is right, but I say to him, and I am sure that he will accept it, that until we actually put a proposition down to negotiate with, there was nothing to negotiate with. Until the Chequers proposal, it might well have been said by a number of our soon-to-be former EU partners that there actually was not a deal to negotiate on. There were the Prime Minister’s principles:...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: My right hon. and learned Friend is correct. I think that he has made the point several times in this place and in others that there has been a misunderstanding and a failure to comprehend exactly what the EU Commission is. It is a legal body that takes its instructions from others, and therefore its ability to deviate too much in those negotiations until its instructions are changed means...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: I will deal with my fellow south Londoner’s latter point first. I agree with him on technology. There needs to be a system in place. We may move to a technological solution, but, as I said a few moments ago, it is clearly not there at the moment, or it has not been tested on this sort of scale yet. Secondly, I do not know of any such example, and that will obviously be challenging to...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: I look forward to the hon. Gentleman’s expert intervention.

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: Were that so, I would sit down now, but there is no indication from any of the negotiators to whom I have spoken that that is the case. I will not go into the lurid details of how exactly they have described the prospective arrangement, because this debate has far too genteel an audience. However, I say to the hon. Gentleman that there will clearly be areas of mutual advantage, but it is very...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: In one moment. I just want to make this point, because it is pertinent to what the hon. Member for East Londonderry (Mr Campbell) was saying. Free trade with the Commonwealth is a goal—an announced goal—for a number of the Brexiteers, but the key question again is this: on what terms will those deals be done? The economic modelling done for the Whitehall papers shows that a free...

Backbench Business: Leaving the EU: Customs Arrangements — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair] (10 Jul 2018)

Stephen Hammond: The hon. Gentleman is clearly a learned man and I take his view that the great Shakespearean themes are perception and reality, and reality becomes perception and the other way round. But that is not true of course, and it is for those of us who are in this place to stand up and base our decisions on evidence, and to speak the truth. So it is absolutely clear to me that, as we need to protect...


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