Virendra Sharma: We are aiming to finish by 3 pm. I am quite flexible, Maria, if you are a little flexible on your side as well.
Virendra Sharma: I am grateful for the opportunity to speak in this important debate, and congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff South and Penarth (Stephen Doughty) on securing it. Earlier this year, on 20 April, I led a debate in the Chamber on tackling infectious diseases. It was a wide-ranging and well-attended debate, with interest from across the House. A lot has happened since then,...
Virendra Sharma: I call Dr Drew.
Virendra Sharma: Order. Normal practice is that Members indicate that they wish to speak, which you did not do, Mr Grant, and that is why I called the Opposition spokesperson. However, there is time for you to make a brief contribution.
Virendra Sharma: Order. It may be best if the Minister puts the item away.
Virendra Sharma: Whether she plans to exclude international students from the Government's net migration target.
Virendra Sharma: We are now coming to the end of a very successful two-year pilot allowing Chinese nationals a two-year, multiple-entry visa for the price of a six-month single-entry visa. It looks as though that will be made permanent in the new year. Will the Secretary of State commit to introducing the same scheme for Indian nationals, our best allies in trade post-Brexit?
Virendra Sharma: What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on recent trends in the number of people given custodial sentences for non-payment of council tax.
Virendra Sharma: I thank the Minister for his reply. Is it not time that the non-payment of council tax ceased to be an offence punishable by time in jail? How can it be right that anyone should have to do time for falling into debt?
Virendra Sharma: What discussions she has had with the Home Secretary on the financial contribution of overseas students to English universities and the classification of such students in Government immigration statistics.
Virendra Sharma: In light of recent exit check data, which show that the number of students who have overstayed is very low, will the Government introduce measures to grow the number of international students coming to UK universities?
Virendra Sharma: What assessment he has made of the progress during negotiations on reaching agreement on the future status of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU27 after the UK has left the EU.
Virendra Sharma: Businesses across my constituency and throughout the country are worried, not just about retaining staff but about attracting the brightest and the best. Heathrow, which is just outside my constituency, employs thousands locally, and medical research firms contribute massively across the country. What can the Minister say to assure them that Brexit will not destroy their competitiveness?
Virendra Sharma: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to speak in this debate, and I congratulate you on being returned to your position. I thank the people of my constituency of Ealing, Southall for returning me to the House of Commons with an increased majority. It is a pleasure to follow so many illustrious Members. I have enjoyed listening to their speeches and contributions. I want to remind...
Virendra Sharma: First, I thank colleagues on both sides of the House for their contributions, not only this afternoon but to the International Development Committee and other platforms whenever we have touched on these issues, which affect a large number of disadvantaged groups in poverty. I also thank the Minister for his detailed response. I am sure that there is more to come—we have missed some...
Virendra Sharma: I beg to move, That this House has considered research and development on tackling infectious diseases. I am grateful for this comprehensive debate on an issue that is important for many people across the world. As the sponsor of the debate, I want to set out the issues that need to be raised, say a little about my area of greatest knowledge and allow as many Members as possible, on both...
Virendra Sharma: This is an opportunity for the Minister to say today that Britain is still a fair country, so that the people can get social justice in other countries.
Virendra Sharma: This topic is important to many people, and not only those living abroad who left the UK for very good reasons, including people who migrated here in the 1950s and have since gone back to live in India, Pakistan, Australia and other places. Those people have contributed to this country’s economic and social life. I congratulate the APPG and its chair on raising these issues and on...
Virendra Sharma: If he will support public registers of beneficial owners for all legal entities, including trusts, during negotiations on the EU anti-money laundering directive.
Virendra Sharma: We are now a year on from the anti-corruption summit. Will the UK now ensure that the overseas territories and Crown dependencies also have public registers of beneficial ownership?