Bob Stewart: We buy equipment and weapons from the United States because they are better than the equipment and weapons we can produce here, and those of us here all want our armed forces to have the best. That is the reason we do it: we do not have a choice if we want to help our armed forces.
Bob Stewart: I was with my hon. Friend when he visited. I point out to the House that the Saudi pilots we spoke to would often abort their mission immediately if they felt there was any danger of so-called—I hate this phrase—collateral damage; in other words, civilians being killed. That was good to hear.
Bob Stewart: It is not just about the deployment of two brigade groups but about the follow-on forces: those that come six months later, and six months after that. We have to have sustainment. Sustainment is what guarantees us a decent result.
Bob Stewart: I have given evidence in such situations. Are these war crimes being put forward by the United Nations for prosecutions? Those should start right now.
Bob Stewart: I thank my hon. Friend—he is a very good friend—for giving way. I am listening to him with rapt attention, and I heard him say that the entirety of the Middle Level is below sea level. I do not know the area, so could he tell me if that means that the rivers cannot get out—does the stuff have to be pumped out?—and traffic on the waterways cannot get out of this sunken...
Bob Stewart: Will my right hon. Friend confirm to the House that robust due diligence is always carried out on foreign investment when it might afford other Governments control of systems that are closely linked to national security, such as the grid?
Bob Stewart: It seems to me that the Bill is not only a contingency plan but a crucial building block for our negotiation. Our negotiation requires legislation such as this Bill, so that we can get everything else sorted and get a decent agreement with Euratom.
Bob Stewart: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Bob Stewart: I actually lived in a Traveller community for a few days, and I must tell the House that one of the biggest problems is that people who act illegally are giving their children no chance in life because they cannot get an education. Most of the children under 17 in the encampment I was in, which was mixed, could not read. When I advocated their joining the Army, for example, they said,...
Bob Stewart: It gets worse than that—it goes to children. All my four children have been hassled by other kids in their local schools because of the job of their father. There is little that can be done about that, because they are children. My kids are robust enough to withstand it, but such behaviour is taken to a new level when, during the last general election, a teacher tells the class of my...
Bob Stewart: I really must protest, Minister, that in my constituency there is not one military unit, and I want that rectified. What is she going to do about it?
Bob Stewart: We all know that the first duty of Government is the defence of the state, which historically has meant defending it at any cost, but that may no longer be the case. Western public opinion is not prepared for ever increasing amounts of money to be spent on defence. The last really big conflict, the second world war, was the best part of a lifetime ago. Never in modern history has there been...
Bob Stewart: Nazanin is a British citizen and I understand that she also has Iranian citizenship. Obviously, the Iranians do not recognise her British citizenship. As far as they are concerned, she is Iranian, so we have a real problem in trying to influence the Iranian authorities. Have I got that wrong?
Bob Stewart: What assessment he has made of how to balance the needs of (a) business and (b) the Exchequer in setting the corporation tax rate.
Bob Stewart: Does the Minister agree that if we raise corporation tax, it is normally passed on by business to customers, and that if we lower it, we hope that prices will come down?
Bob Stewart: Several of my Beckenham constituents have suggested that the winter fuel allowance might be a taxable benefit. Is that being considered?
Bob Stewart: I thank my very good hon. Friend for giving way. May I just remind the House that a lot of Scottish soldiers in reinforcement units were diverted to English, Welsh and Irish regiments? It is therefore absolutely apposite that there is a Scottish memorial to all Scottish soldiers, whichever regiment they served in. After all, some of us go abroad and command English regiments.
Bob Stewart: I want to talk about the situation 100 years ago. At that time, one quarter of the vessels crossing the Atlantic were being sunk by U-boats coming from the Belgian coast. The Navy had warned the Government that unless something was done about it, we might collapse in 1918. The United States had entered the war on 6 April 1917, which was great from our point of view, but in May and June the...