Craig Whittaker: indicated assent. The House forthwith resolved itself into the Legislative Grand Committee (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) ( Standing Order No. 83M). [Dame Rosie Winterton in the Chair]
Craig Whittaker: Q I have two questions, if I may. First, I just want to ask David a question. You said earlier that it would be a disaster if the pharmaceutical industry did not operate under the same regulatory framework as Europe—that would be a disaster for pharmaceuticals in this country. Correct me if I heard wrongly. However, is it not true that no matter what country you want to deal with, as an...
Craig Whittaker: Q So there is absolutely no reason why you as an industry would not conform to that regulation anyway, and consequently this is not really a trade issue.
Craig Whittaker: Q Which is a different thing all together. Gordon, may I just ask you a question? I fully understand your nationalistic views on why we should or should not be in the EU; like everybody, we are all entitled to our view and of course voted whichever way we felt at the time. For the purposes of today, though, that is not what we are here to talk about; what we are here to talk about, of...
Craig Whittaker: Q Just for clarity, I do not understand what you mean by “free hand”. The Bills that we are talking about transferring over have already gone through all the European processes for identifying Bills. This is purely a Bill to enable the Government, when we leave the EU, to put into law what is already in law.
Craig Whittaker: Q If I may, Chair, I have one final question: do you understand how the statutory instrument process works?
Craig Whittaker: Q So let me ask the question again: do you understand what these so-called Henry VIII powers are and how they work?
Craig Whittaker: Q I understand that, but what I am trying to establish, Gordon, is this. You mentioned the Henry VIII powers—the SI process—and you are saying that it is not transparent enough. However, I am asking whether you understand that process so that you can make a judgment call about whether it is or is not transparent enough.
Craig Whittaker: I want to ask each of you whether you think that the Bill is sufficient to do what it needs to doQ , bearing in mind that it is not about future trade deals, but is about facilitating the carry-over of deals that are already in place?
Craig Whittaker: Q If I may, though, the question was about this particular Bill and whether you think it will facilitate carry-over of those trade agreements set out in it.
Craig Whittaker: Q Do you have a different view?
Craig Whittaker: I want to go back to the scrutiny of the Bill. My understanding of what some people call the Henry VIII powers, for an SI or a DL, is that there is provision in both of those processes, whether they are negative or affirmative, to raise an objection for debate on the Floor of the House of Commons. My question is where is that process flawedQ ?
Craig Whittaker: Q I want to come back on that. What you all say is that there are elements of truth in everything, but the reality is, yes, we have a huge amount to get through, and there is a place for the SI process to get some of these through quickly. My point to you is that, although there is a huge amount made of these so-called Henry VIII powers, this Parliament does actually have overall scrutiny...
Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the reported figures are on knife crime in each of the last five years in (a) Calderdale, (b) Kirklees, (c) Bradford, (d) Leeds and (e) Wakefield.
Craig Whittaker: I fully understand what the hon. Lady says, but we only have to look a few miles to the west of York, to my constituency of Calder Valley, to see what the Government have done. They have done a tremendous job in developing a full catchment plan that looks at how agencies work together, tree planting, leaky dams, grip blocking and the management of reservoirs. Does she not agree that the...
Craig Whittaker: I want to challenge the 40 cm figure. If my memory serves me correctly about the research that the hon. Lady quotes, there is a line that clearly says the flow is unimpeded. As we know, in the uplands we do not have unimpeded flow, so that is an incredibly worst-case scenario if we had flat moors and the flows came straight down the hill. The evidence quoted is not evidence because it uses...
Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to invest in new road infrastructure in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of shared services between local authorities and other parts of the public sector; and what guidance his Department gives to local authorities to encourage them to collaborate and share services with others wherever possible.
Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support investment in science research at universities within West Yorkshire.
Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka; and what progress the Sri Lankan Government has made in improving human rights in that country.