Results 1–20 of 1807 for speaker:Julian Smith

Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill (22 Jun 2021)

Julian Smith: I rise to support the Bill, and I would like to pay tribute to the MLAs and to the Northern Ireland Executive for the role that they have played during the coronavirus crisis. There were lots of reasons why I was delighted that the Executive and the Assembly got up and running last January, but that was before we knew about covid. To have had no Government during this period does not bear...

Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill (22 Jun 2021)

Julian Smith: Well, I confirm that it is not there.

Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill (22 Jun 2021)

Julian Smith: I would argue that all parties got a lot, and all parties negotiated hard, including the hon. Member’s own, and of course the DUP. The second item that is not part of this Bill is the Northern Ireland protocol. I note that the Government have now asked for an extension of the grace period, and I am pleased to see that the EU response looks positive. I called last year for the Government to...

Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill (22 Jun 2021)

Julian Smith: I strongly believe that the protocol can be light touch, but it does require significant amounts of practical working behind the scenes and not politicising every particular issue. I strongly believe that can happen, and I believe it will happen. I would urge both the EU and the UK Government to continue a positive, practical dialogue through the Joint Committee. The Bill provides for a...

Prime Minister: Engagements (16 Jun 2021)

Julian Smith: I support the Prime Minister’s comments on Jo Cox and, as a former Chief Whip, his comment on Sir Roy Stone. Sir Roy gave amazing service to me when I was Chief Whip during the worst of the Brexit years in dealing with a hung Parliament and with the occasional disruptive Back Bencher. Northern Ireland faces some challenges over the coming weeks in terms of nominating a First Minister and a...

Ballymurphy Inquest Findings (13 May 2021)

Julian Smith: I welcome the Government’s apology today. This tragic case lays bare again the horrors of the troubles for victims and families from all parts of Northern Ireland. I am concerned that when I and the Government signed the New Decade, New Approach agreement over a year ago we committed to intensive discussions with victims’ groups, but for a variety of reasons that has not happened. Will...

Prime Minister: Engagements (10 Feb 2021)

Julian Smith: I thank the Prime Minister for the decisions he took last year that have meant that the vaccine programme is in such a good position this week. Despite that success, it is vital that the programme keeps pace with the changing variants. Will he update the House on where the UK stands on ensuring that the UK supply chain is in place and that we do not get behind as the virus mutates?

Northern Ireland Protocol: Implementation (2 Feb 2021)

Julian Smith: The action taken last week follows the EU’s track record of a lack of understanding of the sensitivities in Northern Ireland. We saw it during the Brexit process, with the EU’s intransigence about not providing the then Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), with an exit mechanism to the backstop, and we saw it again in the run-up to the protocol, with...

Northern Ireland Protocol: Disruption to Trade (13 Jan 2021)

Julian Smith: I welcome my right hon. Friend’s remarks. I particularly welcome the confidence that he is planning to give to UK businesses to continue to trade in Northern Ireland—a fantastic base for their products and services. Will he confirm that the protocol is a joint UK-EU responsibility and, in that light, will he look at setting up immediately the joint working group, beneath the Joint...

EU Withdrawal Agreement (9 Dec 2020)

Julian Smith: I welcome the agreement and thank my right hon. Friend and his civil service team for getting us to this stage, but may I urge him to spend some time with the Protestant Unionist loyalist community, who have retained concerns about the detail? I suggest that Mikala’s Kitchen on the Shankill Road is the best place for that engagement. Could he also now spend some time with the nationalist...

Covid-19 Update (2 Nov 2020)

Julian Smith: I support the Prime Minister on the difficult balance and the difficult decision that he had to make this weekend, but I urge him, before he signs off on the guidance for care homes, to do everything possible to help families who visit loved ones in care homes and to look into things like the idea of a designated family member who would be tested regularly and able to visit.

Covid-19 Update (12 Oct 2020)

Julian Smith: There has been really positive engagement between No. 10, the Government and local authorities in the north of England over this weekend. I support calls for local authorities to do more on track and trace and on the issue of care home visitor access. Will the Prime Minister keep encouraging his teams to look at creative solutions between local authorities and Government, and how we allow...

Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill (5 Oct 2020)

Julian Smith: I support the Bill, and I congratulate the Security Minister on bringing his practical knowledge from many years to guiding the Bill through the House. I want to make four brief points on the security services. This Bill makes the ongoing function explicitly clear in law, but it is really important that we fully understand that there are already very clear processes in place regarding agent...

Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill (5 Oct 2020)

Julian Smith: In its legal adjudication on the third direction earlier this year, a majority on the Investigatory Powers Tribunal—the special tribunal overseeing the intelligence services—found that the oversight powers currently given to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner provided “adequate safeguards against the risk of abuse of discretionary power”. It is important in our debate on the Bill...

Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill (5 Oct 2020)

Julian Smith: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the independent commissioner, established under the 2016 Act by this House, has, in the 2018 report of the analysis on MI5 and other agencies, written very positively about the processes, the applications for CHIS and the rigour that these organisations go through? It is important that the House realises that these processes are rigorous, detailed and...

Northern Ireland: Payments for Victims of the Troubles (2 Sep 2020)

Julian Smith: What assessment he has made of the timescale for the implementation of the pension scheme payments for victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland: Payments for Victims of the Troubles (2 Sep 2020)

Julian Smith: Paddy Cassidy and Raymond Trimble have died since the pension and payment scheme became law, and many other victims are extremely ill. I urge my right hon. Friend to do whatever he can to provide the Executive with confidence that money will be forthcoming in the usual way through the block grant. Will he also do everything possible to dispel the horrendous myths that have been peddled about...

Cabinet Office: Northern Ireland Protocol (16 Jul 2020)

Julian Smith: What recent representations he has received from businesses on the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol.

Cabinet Office: Northern Ireland Protocol (16 Jul 2020)

Julian Smith: I thank the Minister for that answer. Many business sectors across Northern Ireland are extremely concerned about the challenges for their individual areas. May I urge the team over the summer to work as hard as possible to ensure sector-specific approaches to implementation so that we do not just go for a one-size-fits-all policy?

EU Exit: End of Transition Period (13 Jul 2020)

Julian Smith: With so many of our small and UK-wide businesses struggling to survive following the covid crisis, the idea of adding additional friction and cost to the trading relationship with their biggest market is deeply problematic and worrying. My right hon. Friend has worked extremely hard for the country over the past few months, but I urge him to do everything he can to ensure that the UK gets a...

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