Results 1–20 of 1762 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Chloe Smith

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: I beg to move, That this House has considered strengthening the Union. The Prime Minister and the Government have said, time after time, that it is our responsibility and duty to govern for the whole of the United Kingdom. The UK Government are responsible for governing for the benefit of everyone in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but this reality is perhaps easy to forget....

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: The hon. Gentleman did the job himself in the final few words of his intervention. I will look forward to some better ones as we go on. Let me start with a few points on identity. The individual identities of each of the four nations remain strong. We could ask any of the millions of football fans who watched England’s endeavours in Russia about that. Each of us is proud of our distinct...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: The hon. Gentleman highlights an important point that we will have the opportunity to consider when we look at issues such as leaving the European Union and how we will address, for example, agriculture support across our nation. The point I was making is that we are a larger economy when we are together as a Union, and that means we can do things together in a more effective way for all our...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: I am sure that we will come on to all those points during the debate. However, the hon. Gentleman and the hon. Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Jonathan Edwards) were right to raise them, because it is in recognition of such issues that the Government plan to create a shared prosperity fund for the whole of the United Kingdom. We share those goals; we share those opportunities.

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: That is precisely my point. When we see what we can do as a larger economy—when we see how we can attract the finest and the best across the UK economy —we also see that we are in a position to put that back into public services, including the NHS and many other services that are admired around the world, and which work together to make everyone’s lives better. That is true...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: I must make a few more moments of progress. We have a full debate ahead of us on the strengths of the Union. Let me say something about the shared economy and the strong internal market which is one of our biggest strengths, and which is important for all our prosperity. The UK internal market is, of course, the vital first market of the UK. As one of the largest economies in the world, we...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: Yes, I will now.

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: I do not think the hon. Gentleman can have been listening when I included, for example, car production and food and drink in my list, but the point is that the Chequers agreement seeks to secure the best deal for the whole UK economy, together. That covers both goods and services in different ways—in ways that will complement our strengths—but it also returns us to the key point...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: Yes, that is exactly why the UK Government took those steps, and we are proud to have done so.

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: I confess that I am not in possession of that information, and I am not in a position to give the hon. Gentleman the answer to that question right now. I wonder whether the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend the Member for Pudsey (Stuart Andrew), might be able to assist with that a little later in the debate. I want to move on to the importance of devolution, which is a...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: Yes, I think that is right. The right hon. Gentleman also reminds us of the importance of the principle of consent that is there in the Belfast agreement—namely, that the UK Government govern for the benefit of all communities in Northern Ireland on the principle of consent.

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: I join the hon. Gentleman and everyone in the House in paying tribute to those who serve this country in uniform. We should never forget them. Let me return to my point about the Belfast agreement, which was reached 20 years ago and was a landmark moment in the history of our islands. The UK Government’s priority is to ensure that it remains as relevant today as it should be, and to...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: Mr Speaker—[Interruption.] I am sorry, Madam Deputy Speaker. I have clearly had yet more of that whisky—I keep referring to you as “Mr Speaker.” Madam Deputy Speaker, my hon. Friend makes two important points. First, he says that we need to be able to come together as a single United Kingdom to make sure that our UK internal market continues to function and continues...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: It is not my Union but the entire country’s Union. It is something we should be proud of; it is something we should cherish and protect; and it is something we should work together to protect. People in all our constituencies do best from the internal market of the United Kingdom, and it is that which we are seeking to protect and cherish as we leave the European Union and as we go out...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: I am not going to comment on individual documents here. The forum I chair, and the JMC structure more broadly, operate on a close working principle. We seek to improve it; we seek for it to be better in the future. We have held a number of very effective meetings in the last while—more than perhaps in the recent period just before that—because we recognise the challenge of these...

Electoral Commission Investigation: Vote Leave (17 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: I am proud to say—[Interruption.] Is there something happening as I begin my words, Mr Speaker?

Electoral Commission Investigation: Vote Leave (17 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: Let us take that and work with it. I am proud to say that the UK has a clear and robust electoral system, and we should all be proud of the democracy in which we live and work. I place on the record my thanks to all those involved in the electoral community, which works hard at every poll to deliver it within the law such that we can be proud of our democracy. The Electoral Commission is the...

Electoral Commission Investigation: Vote Leave (17 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: What this report demonstrates is that we have an electoral regulator that operates to rules that Parliament has set and that has found people in contravention of those rules. The hon. Gentleman asks a number of questions that go severely away from the report and, just to be clear, the report—I am reading from the report’s front page—is “of an investigation in respect...

Electoral Commission Investigation: Vote Leave (17 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: I understand the seriousness of that point and the points made earlier by the hon. Member for Streatham (Chuka Umunna), which were similar, but what I would just note is that the rules we are looking at in this report are rules that comprise our democracy. Our democracy comprises having such rules, among some other very important principles. In essence, our democracy is underpinned by the...

Electoral Commission Investigation: Vote Leave (17 Jul 2018)

Chloe Smith: Given that Labour Front Benchers are so committed to propriety, perhaps they should report themselves to the police for their national spending in the 2015 general election, for which the Labour party was fined by the Electoral Commission in October 2016. They are on thin ice if they think they are able to say that this cuts only one way. It does not. We have in front of us a report of an...


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