Andrew Bridgen: Despite assurances from the Prime Minister that the backstop would be temporary, I remain very concerned that if this House approves the deeply flawed withdrawal agreement, we risk being trapped in the backstop indefinitely. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that income tax was introduced in 1799 as a temporary measure to pay for the Napoleonic wars?
Andrew Bridgen: What steps his Department is taking to raise standards in secondary schools.
Andrew Bridgen: Unlike the vast majority of senior schools, most of my constituency still operates a middle and upper school system. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the all-through education model is better for raising standards and preferable to pupils having to move school only five terms before they take their GCSE exams? Will he do everything in his power to assist schools in North West...
Andrew Bridgen: Successful renegotiations require trust and credibility. Given the Prime Minister’s breathtaking U-turn today, I put it to her that she has lost the trust and credibility of the House, lost the trust and credibility of the country and, most importantly, lost the trust and credibility of the European Union.
Andrew Bridgen: Does the Attorney General agree with Dr Carl Baudenbacher, the recently retired president of the EFTA court, who said, “This is not a real arbitration tribunal—behind it the ECJ decides everything. This is taken from the Ukraine agreement. It is absolutely unbelievable that a country like the UK, which was the first country to accept independent courts, would subject itself to this”?
Andrew Bridgen: What representations were made to the Russians during their illegal construction of the Kerch bridge, the completion of which has allowed President Putin to tighten his grip on the whole region and precipitated this latest illegal act?
Andrew Bridgen: Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Oakthorpe Primary School in my constituency to celebrate its gold award for mental health and wellbeing from Leeds Beckett University. Will the Minister outline to the House what further support the Government are offering schools to help them deal with children’s mental health issues?
Andrew Bridgen: Will my right hon. Friend confirm that, although the withdrawal agreement was voted on by the European Union under qualified majority rules, if it is passed by our Parliament, any future relationship and release from the backstop will be subject to 27 individual EU vetoes? That means France will demand our fish, Spain will demand Gibraltar and the Republic of Ireland may even demand Northern...
Andrew Bridgen: The Prime Minister is well known for her dancing; sadly, having seen the withdrawal agreement, it is now clear whose tune she has been dancing to. My right hon. Friend campaigned for remain and she voted for remain. Surely it is now in the national interest for her to leave, perhaps following a short transition period.
Andrew Bridgen: I have considerable sympathy for the Secretary of State’s position in this matter. Does he agree that Toshiba’s much-publicised problems in this area are not of his making and that had Toshiba been willing to keep open its troubled subsidiary on the basis of this one contract, he could have been accused of getting poor value for money for the taxpayer?
Andrew Bridgen: Will my right hon. Friend remind the House as to which community’s members are predominantly the victims of the violent crime that these measures are designed to address?
Andrew Bridgen: The latest report by the Education Committee suggests that some students are not getting value for money from their university courses. Does the Minister agree that only degrees that enhance employability and earning potential by more than the cost of the course can possibly improve social mobility, and what more can the Government do to make sure that young people make the right decisions...
Andrew Bridgen: Given his argument, does my hon. Friend believe that the culture in this place can change if the current Speaker remains in position?
Andrew Bridgen: Is this place not part of the problem? Members of staff have complained to me about the behaviour of other Members. I say, “Make a formal complaint,” and they say, “But I’ll lose my job.” We have to remember that if someone is employed by the House of Commons or the Palace of Westminster and loses their job, it will go on their CV and affect their future employment prospects, and...
Andrew Bridgen: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the only way to give confidence to future complainants is to ensure now that historical complaints are dealt with effectively and efficiently?
Andrew Bridgen: Does the shadow Leader of the House agree that the crux of the problem is that, until we have a culture in this place whereby a member of staff who makes a complaint about a senior manager or a Member is confident that they are not ending their career, nothing will happen?
Andrew Bridgen: I bring the House’s attention to paragraph 418 of Dame Laura’s report, which says: “In relation to allegations made against Members of Parliament, it is readily acknowledged and should be emphasised that the overwhelming majority of Members behave entirely appropriately and courteously towards members of House staff. However, their collective reputation is being damaged by the...
Andrew Bridgen: What steps is the Minister taking to ensure that local authorities in rural areas can deliver public services effectively?
Andrew Bridgen: Will my right hon. and learned Friend tell the House what support and guidance are available to sports venue operators who are seeking to bid to host these prestigious events?
Andrew Bridgen: What update can my right hon. Friend offer the House on the resettlement of the White Helmets in the UK following the joint operation to rescue them in the summer?