Henry Smith: According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, unemployment in Crawley has reduced by 59% since 2010. Can we have a debate early in the new year on continuing economic policies that increase employment and, therefore, revenue for our important public services?
Henry Smith: As we move on to the trade negotiations with the EU27, may I seek assurances that aviation will be one of the priority areas? It is important to many of my constituents—indeed, to the whole country as an island trading nation.
Henry Smith: What progress has been made on developing family hubs.
Henry Smith: Following the recent publication of “Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: a Green Paper”, may I urge my hon. Friend to encourage local authorities to provide better support for parents and carers in the area of mental health?
Henry Smith: My constituent recently received a demand for payment of £160 from parking contractors on behalf of his local Lidl supermarket while he shopped there for about 15 minutes. He wrote to the chief executive, who was distinctly uninterested in solving the case. May we have a debate on the abuse of parking charges by certain private companies?
Henry Smith: What plans he has to improve animal welfare standards after the UK leaves the EU.
Henry Smith: The Secretary of State has done more for animal welfare in recent months than was achieved in many years previously, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for that. Will he assure the House that as we will be leaving the EU, the customs union and the single market in 2019, we are making preparations now to ensure that, for example, the banning of live animal exports and the import of foie...
Henry Smith: I recently visited some schools in Africa where, in classrooms of more than 100 pupils, those with special educational needs, right at the back, had very little chance of accessing education. How will my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State—I congratulate her on her new position—prioritise disability support in education in developing countries?
Henry Smith: We have a lot to thank the Kurdish administration for, such as protecting minorities and its fight against Daesh in recent years. Will my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary speak to his counterparts in Baghdad to stop the intransigence of the federal Iraqi Government towards the aspirations of the Kurdish people for independence?
Henry Smith: My right hon. Friend is absolutely correct in saying that detention plays an important part in our immigration system, but, of course, while people are in detention, they should be free from abuse. There were some recent allegations of abuse at Brook House immigration detention centre in my constituency. What discussions has the Home Office had with the operator, G4S?
Henry Smith: My right hon. Friend rightly says that he is negotiating with pragmatism. Has he detected any growing pragmatism in the unelected EU Commission as it—hopefully—realises that the trade surplus that the EU27 have with us could be under threat?
Henry Smith: A constituent who recently contacted me is concerned about how long they are having to wait for a tribunal hearing. Will my right hon. Friend makes representations to the Ministry of Justice about the efficiency of Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service?
Henry Smith: Under the new national funding formula, west Sussex schools are set to have a funding increase of 10.7%. However, the county has been historically one of the lowest funded. Are there any other measures that can be brought forward to ensure that that historical underfunding is righted?
Henry Smith: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gray. I, too, thank my hon. Friend the Member for St Austell and Newquay (Steve Double) for opening this debate on behalf of the Petitions Committee. It is a great privilege to speak but I will be brief, because a large number of Members want to contribute, from a broad spectrum of political parties. It was my constituent Tim Ivorson who...
Henry Smith: We are here not as delegates but to exercise our judgment, and we are here only if our local electorate support us at election time. I have no illusions, because my constituent probably did not vote for me at the last election. Nevertheless, it is important that he brought forward this debate and that is why I am speaking. I am not necessarily against proportional representation in all forms....
Henry Smith: That model could be considered. We certainly have cronyism right now in our second Chamber, which is increasingly anathema in the 21st century. There are many models that one could look at when considering a proportional representation system for a second Chamber, and that is certainly one suggestion. I was about to mention the opportunities of Brexit. I will not go into the controversies of...
Henry Smith: That is precisely the point. The intransigence of the EU27’s negotiating position will ultimately be detrimental to their own economic interests. It is therefore absolutely right for us to prepare for no deal, because this country will thrive regardless.