Richard Drax: With a looming and large predicted overspend on our defence budget, can my right hon. Friend assure me, the House and the country that she will maintain the NATO 2%—ideally 2.5%—which, as I understand it, will pay for the ongoing programme as laid out?
Richard Drax: As my right hon. Friend knows full well, the Jurassic coast sits in my constituency. Along it, the fishing industry—fishing line and shell fishermen—are relied on very much by local business, as has been described. Three marine conservation zones could be placed along that stretch of coastline. While the fishermen agree to look after fish stocks, they are concerned that the...
Richard Drax: After a very good lunch with my right hon. Friend, I asked her whether leaving the EU meant leaving, no ifs, no buts; she gave me that assurance. Will she very kindly give some of my constituents who are concerned at the direction of travel the assurance that we are indeed going to leave the EU and not remain in any way a vassal state?
Richard Drax: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Before the Leader of the Opposition leaves the House, may I raise the point already raised by my hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg)? You, Mr Speaker, are very much against our using the word “lie” in the House, and I understand why, but what about “misleading”, because there is no doubt that the Leader of the...
Richard Drax: What reassurance can my hon. Friend give that Departments will work together to deliver our ambitious plans to create more jobs and prosperity in Weymouth and on the Isle of Portland in the years ahead?
Richard Drax: As a former journalist of many years standing, I feel a particular affinity for the hundreds of journalists who are jailed in Turkey and no doubt being brutally treated. Will the Government tell the House what they are doing to highlight the plight of those brave men and women?
Richard Drax: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Forgive me, but I have misled the House. In my speech I referred to the scene of a movie and I said it was “Darkest Hour.” That is not true; I was actually referring to “Dunkirk.”
Richard Drax: It is a pleasure to take part in the debate this afternoon. May I just clear up one point on my use of the word “flaw” at the start of the debate, which my great friend, my right hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Richard Benyon), picked me up on a moment ago? When I used the word in response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Defence, I meant that...
Richard Drax: Was my right hon. Friend talking about a flaw or a floor? [Laughter.]
Richard Drax: I absolutely understand the Government’s review of this policy, and I welcome it for those who suffer and need this drug to make them better, but may I just say that, from my own life experience, I am delighted that the Government are not going to decriminalise the use of drugs. All too often, people start on cannabis and end on something far worse, and I have personally seen the...
Richard Drax: I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement. Like all colleagues in the House, I am a great supporter of community hospitals. Under the latest Dorset clinical commissioning group review, Portland Community Hospital is to be replaced with a medical hub on the island. Will the extra money allow the CCG to review the review, and perhaps save hospitals such as Portland Community Hospital?
Richard Drax: Will my right hon. Friend join a growing number of her Ministers who are very supportive of our bid for a one-off grant of £18 million to repair Weymouth’s harbour walls and improve flood defences? This work—not my wall, Weymouth’s harbour wall. If only, Mr Speaker! This work is essential if planning permission is to be granted to redevelop an important retail and...
Richard Drax: I shall intervene once, as I know that many Members want to speak, but I need to speak up on behalf of a sergeant-major who served 22 years, including in Aden, Cyprus and Northern Ireland. He sent me an email today in which he said: “From my side of the fence, it is fair to say that ex-service personnel feel betrayed beyond belief by the fact that the Government has not only failed to...
Richard Drax: Just to follow up on the question about the Secretary of State being able to examine the paperwork of the press, what happens if the Secretary of State of whatever party is not happy with what he sees?
Richard Drax: Bearing in mind that the two-state solution is the only one on the table, who does my right hon. Friend reckon should be the honest broker to take this forward?
Richard Drax: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Richard Drax: Does my hon. Friend find it odd that the lesser-off papers, as I think he phrased it, get away with some things and the better-off papers do not? Is that not discriminatory and completely against British justice?
Richard Drax: My right hon. Friend is obviously much better briefed than I am but, as I understand it, Iran is not in compliance with all the letter of the agreement. Can he assure me that Israel, which the Iranians have sworn to wipe off the earth, will not now strike Iran in a counter-attack to prevent any further escalation in building nuclear missiles?
Richard Drax: May I commend my right hon. Friend for reaffirming the Government’s clear position that we will not be remaining in any form of a customs union? While we are on the EU, will she reassure fishermen in South Dorset and around the country, especially the under-10 metre fleet, that they will not be disadvantaged by any incoming EU policies during the implementation period?
Richard Drax: As a former soldier, may I paint a picture in which British hostages are taken and a rescue mission is needed? As I understand it from the Opposition, we would have to come to this place before such a mission was launched—or we might have to—if the law worked in that way, but the best time to rescue them would actually be when we in this place are talking.