Bob Stewart: I do not know the full detail of that, so I will not comment on the hon. Lady’s point. The UK’s inspectorate of prisons is helping, working with the judiciary. Since 2011, the International Committee of the Red Cross has had access to the country’s prisons, which is very important. Video and audio recordings now routinely occur when prisoners are interviewed. Inspections of prison...
Bob Stewart: For two years I operated a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. I see no reason whatsoever why technology cannot make it very soft—indeed, invisible. Does the Secretary of State agree?
Bob Stewart: So who do people who have a complaint about the way that the management is functioning—leaseholders, in particular—go to if the manager is not answerable to them? Do they have to go to the tribunal again, or what?
Bob Stewart: I was under the impression that first-tier tribunals were meant to be informal. We do not really want lawyers there; we want tribunals to look at the case and to give a decent, sensible, honest judgment.
Bob Stewart: The hon. Gentleman has just ruined it for me. I was really looking forward to the end of the series, but now I know the endgame—absolutely ruined!
Bob Stewart: I would like to raise the issue of Gibraltar. I declare a personal interest. I speak as secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on Gibraltar, and also for the chairman of the group, my hon. Friend the Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill), who would be here today but is preparing for his wedding on Friday. Personally, I am interested because I have been going to Gibraltar...
Bob Stewart: Like me, does my hon. Friend feel very strongly that the Government still have a duty to Equitable Life policyholders, and that they should pay what they owe?
Bob Stewart: It is about the morale of people who work for companies such as RBS. How could all those decent people, who are working really hard, want to be associated with these bloody criminals? They do not! It is really bad for their morale.
Bob Stewart: We are talking of trust. We are talking of despair—utter despair—in people. The despair with the banking sector is so great that that despair will be translated towards politicians unless we sort this out and help entrepreneurs. They have a right to expect us, as politicians, to sort this. Where else can they go but to us?
Bob Stewart: This is the third or fourth debate in which I have spoken in support of people running SMEs who have been utterly shafted—that is not too strong a word—by some banks. It is clear that quite a few SMEs are being denied justice in their many financial services disputes. I am amazed that that has not been fixed by now. I have spoken up for my constituent Dean D’Eye and his family and...
Bob Stewart: How long would it take to sort out 30,000 SMEs? We are all clear about the importance of a thriving SME sector, run by entrepreneurs with leadership, drive and determination. Almost everyone who has spoken has mentioned it, and we all agree. It is up to us, as legislators, to ensure that such people—the lifeblood of the prosperity of our nation—are fully supported by a banking...
Bob Stewart: It is really upsetting to think that companies such as GRG have these robbers—they are people who are set up to try to find something that they can use to screw their customers out of their life’s work. It is so appalling I cannot believe it can happen, but it seems to happen all the time.
Bob Stewart: What really upsets me is that the people who lead those banks seem to have no honour, no decency. Where is the banking code? Where is the way in which bankers should look after their customers? It does not seem to be present at all. That is heartbreaking.
Bob Stewart: Does that mean that people who come from outside the EEA do not get paid until they are outside the 12-mile limit? What happens when they get on board?
Bob Stewart: I thank the right hon. Gentleman, who is my friend, for giving way. Will he say quickly why we should not also support things such as Thales UK, Boeing UK and Leonardo in the UK? This is a way of doing it.
Bob Stewart: It would be extremely nice to have a constructive approach to the negotiations from the European Union. We keep talking about the deal that we are trying to put together, but I would really like to hear what the European Union’s suggestions are, because I have heard nothing on that.
Bob Stewart: I respectfully point out to the hon. Lady that the Conservatives got 43% of the vote at the last general election. That is a huge number—a very large percentage of the people, and larger than normal. The Conservative party got endorsement from the people beyond the referendum for its mandate to carry out Brexit.
Bob Stewart: I recall vividly that, when we were debating the referendum in my constituency and looking at documents produced by the Government, it was made absolutely clear that, if we voted to leave the European Union, that implied explicitly that we would be out of the single market and the customs union. It was plainly put down.
Bob Stewart: Will the Minister give way?
Bob Stewart: As someone who commanded a checkpoint on the Northern Ireland border for two years during the hard border times, I point out that it is perfectly easy to have a border that does not require checkpoints. The Swiss border operates using pre-registration and technology, when one goes into Germany or France. Having done it, I can tell the House that that is perfectly possible using today’s...