Charlie Elphicke: May I welcome the Government’s decision to create a medical school at Canterbury in east Kent, which was fought for by all Kent’s MPs—particularly my hon. Friend the Member for Faversham and Mid Kent (Helen Whately), who has been indefatigable in that fight? Does this not underline the importance of training more doctors and nurses, to ensure that our health services in the...
Charlie Elphicke: I urge the Minister to reject the representations from the analogue Opposition parties, which seem to have a dystopian vision of analogue borders at which every single load is stopped. As the constituency representative for the port of Dover, I urge him to embrace digital borders, at which we have frictionless trade, risk-based stopping of trade and inspections where necessary, and the...
Charlie Elphicke: Does the Secretary of State recall that Wales as a principality and the United Kingdom as a nation voted to leave the European Union, and that rather than talking about EU continuity, we should therefore be focusing on how to strike the best deal for Britain on leaving the EU, particularly in order to be ready and prepared on day one at the Dover frontline?
Charlie Elphicke: Will the Chief Secretary to the Treasury join me in paying tribute to Kent County Council, which has managed to make substantial savings and efficiencies since 2010, while continuing to provide excellent services?
Charlie Elphicke: What preparations has the Treasury been making for leaving the European Union, and will the Treasury be ready on day one to ensure frictionless borders when we leave the European Union—deal or no deal?
Charlie Elphicke: What steps her Department has taken to prepare for the UK leaving the EU; and if she will make a statement.
Charlie Elphicke: Can my right hon. Friend tell the House how much has been invested in our borders since the referendum and how much is planned between now and Brexit day in March 2019? Will the Home Office be ready on day one, prepared for every single eventuality?
Charlie Elphicke: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK firms are prevented from avoiding tax by merging with dormant EEA companies during and after the the implementation phase of the UK leaving the EU.
Charlie Elphicke: It is great to have you in the Chair, once again, Mr Deputy Speaker. The contributions to this debate on both sides of the House have been interesting and wide-ranging. On one level there is the political aspect, and I challenged the hon. Member for Oldham West and Royton (Jim McMahon), the shadow Minister, to say whether there was any question to which his answer was not more money. I also...
Charlie Elphicke: My hon. Friend hits on a key concern that I have about the cabinet system in local government. When I was a councillor, we had committee chairs, and we had all parties round the table, having to justify what action they were going to take. There was immediate accountability. The cabinet system has taken that away too much.
Charlie Elphicke: I have listened carefully to what the hon. Gentleman has been saying, and it seems to me that his answer to every question is, “Send more money.” My question to him is: where is the money going to come from?
Charlie Elphicke: It is a pleasure to speak in this debate. It goes without saying that the work of the police in keeping us all safe and secure is so incredibly important. They deserve our thanks for all their work. One of the cornerstones of our way of life and our society is that our police forces are independent, professional and do their job in line with their duties. We should all be proud of what they...
Charlie Elphicke: I will finish in a moment, but I will first give way to the hon. Gentleman. I cannot resist giving way in order to listen to the points he makes.
Charlie Elphicke: I am, as ever, very tempted by the hon. Gentleman. I think that 10% is pretty much at the bottom of the table. [Hon. Members: “No, it’s not.”] It pretty much is. Places like Gwent, at about 42%, are very high up. Indeed, Durham is at 12%.
Charlie Elphicke: I will not take a further intervention, but I will say that Kent has been dealing with its reserves and is minded to continue to be very efficient in that way.
Charlie Elphicke: I will take an intervention from the hon. Gentleman.
Charlie Elphicke: I thank the hon. Gentleman for making that point. I gently point out to him that the average reserve level is 15% overall, so Kent is well below the average. The PCC is saying that he can continue to manage as things are for the next year, but that in due course this opportunity is going to be exhausted and there will need to be greater scope—and of course there will. That is important,...
Charlie Elphicke: I am listening carefully to my right hon. Friend. I agree completely that he was right to reject the representations from the Opposition that proposed cutting police funding by 10%. Will he tell the House something about the reserves held by forces, because a number of them seem quite substantial?
Charlie Elphicke: My right hon. Friend says that the right level for reserves is about 5% of revenue, but Gwent police’s figure is 42% and that for North Wales police is about 24%. Does he know any reason why the reserves of those police forces are quite so high?
Charlie Elphicke: What progress has been made on restoring devolved government in Northern Ireland.