Peter Grant: Like my hon. Friend, I have been puzzling over why the Government are so determined to die in a ditch over this 2023 date. Does he think it is because instead of admitting to the public that they made promises in 2019 they could not possibly keep— having realised that the promise in 2019 to get Brexit done was completely unrealistic—they are prepared to crash the economy in order to go...
Peter Grant: It is exactly four months ago today that the Government published their response to the consultation on reform of the law on strategic lawsuits against public participation. Recently, the Joint Committee on Human Rights heard that a journalist who wants to defend themselves against one of those malicious attacks might need backing of £1 million before they can do so in court. How much longer...
Peter Grant: Will the Minister give way?
Peter Grant: As I think everyone on these Benches will agree, the Budget we have just had presented to us means that the Union is anything but great. Will the Minister tell my constituents one thing from Brexit that is a definite benefit even to 20% of people in my constituency—something about which they will notice a difference?
Peter Grant: The Office for Budget Responsibility and the document that accompanies the Budget tell us that it was asked to prepare forecasts six times in six weeks for a succession of Chancellors. Most of the time, it did not even have time to do a proper assessment before it had to go back and change all the numbers because of yet another screeching handbrake turn by the Government. Perhaps if the...
Peter Grant: The job conditionality that the Minister has just referred to has been welcomed in certain sections of the right-wing press, whose agenda says that the only reason somebody is not working full time is that they are too lazy and would rather be on benefits. For the record, can he state categorically that that is not the way His Majesty’s Government regards people on benefits?
Peter Grant: Far the best way to take people out of poverty is to pay them a decent wage so that they never get into poverty. I see that the Chancellor is nodding. Why has the nodding Chancellor announced today that the minimum wage will fall behind the cost of living? The Tories’ pretendy-kiddy-on living wage is even more pretendy-kiddy-on than it was before—a real-terms pay cut for the 2 million...
Peter Grant: rose—
Peter Grant: I do not often start my speeches by directly addressing the constituents of another hon. Member, but may I say something to the constituents of the hon. Member for Peterborough (Paul Bristow), who is no longer in his place? If his constituents who have travelled to Peterborough from outside the United Kingdom are as appalled as I am that they have been denounced as cheap foreign labour by...
Peter Grant: Oh, come on!
Peter Grant: Will the Minister give way?
Peter Grant: Governments do not create wealth, says the Chancellor. Well, this Government certainly do not, nor did any of their predecessors. Can the Chancellor tell us at what point in his predecessor’s so-called plan for growth did he realise that it was a recipe for economic disaster? If, like everyone on the Opposition Benches, he realised that before his predecessor had sat down, why did it take...
Peter Grant: Good afternoon, Angus. To be clear, the Scottish Government have a fundamental objection in principle to the fact that this Bill, as past Acts of Parliament have, creates the possibility of a UK Government Minister ruling in devolved areas. That is your objection, yesQ ?
Peter Grant: Q Is that concern shared by the Welsh Government?
Peter Grant: Q If, as the Minister appeared to suggest a few minutes ago, nobody in the UK Government has any intention of ever acting in the way you fear, would it be reasonable to expect them to support an amendment that explicitly prevented UK ministerial interference in devolved matters?
Peter Grant: Q We have heard from a number of witnesses today concerns about the capacity of the UK Parliament and the UK civil service to properly scrutinise all this legislation, potentially before the end of 2023. Have the Scottish Government been able to put any kind of figure on how many hours or days it would take?
Peter Grant: Q Good morning. In your submission from the Bar Council, Mr Fenhalls, you suggested that the Bill should be withdrawn. You have also accepted that we need to do something about the huge volume of retained EU law that we still have. What would be a better way to deal with all that law, rather than the way it is being dealt with in the Bill?
Peter Grant: For the record, there are two lawyers sitting behind you who quite clearly do not share the view that you just expressed about the various lawyers you have spoken to. Some of us think that lawyers argue with lawyers all of the time; that is what they are there for.
Peter Grant: Q This question is for all three witnesses. Would the Bill be less of a concern if there was not a sunset clause, or if the sunset clause was later than the end of 2023? Are your concerns partly about how little time there is for the process to be completed?
Peter Grant: Q Mr Peretz, do you want to comment on my previous question? How much of the concern about the Bill is simply down to the very short time provided by the sunset clause? If we moved that clause further back, would it ease your concerns?