Patrick Grady: I join others in congratulating the hon. Member for Norwich South (Clive Lewis) on securing this debate and in thanking the Backbench Business Committee for granting time for it, especially after a debate on the subject was cancelled before Christmas. It is clear from the contributions today that we could easily have filled a whole six hours, there is so much going on. I think it started for...
Patrick Grady: May we have a debate on the capacity of UK border and immigration MP hotlines? My office needs to urgently raise the case of Gospel Ocholi, a talented young footballer and refugee who wants to take part in a Partick Thistle training academy in Portugal. Can a Minister come to this House and explain how MPs are supposed to raise these cases if we cannot get through to the hotlines?
Patrick Grady: What recent discussions he has had with representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority on health requirements for UK-based pilots.
Patrick Grady: The Secretary of State will be aware of the case of my constituent who has been denied his commercial pilot’s licence on the ground that he is HIV-positive. I am not entirely sure what the Minister’s answer means, but I hope it means that he will meet the CAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency very soon to stop them passing the buck, and let this pilot fly.
Patrick Grady: What are the UK Government doing to address the civil rights situation in Honduras, where Jesuit priests and others are being intimidated for questioning the validity of recent elections? If DFID cannot intervene in this, will the Secretary of State raise it with the Foreign Secretary?
Patrick Grady: Will the Minister give way?
Patrick Grady: Is it not the case that the sergeant my hon. Friend mentions who will be paying a little more tax will be getting free prescriptions, while their children will go to university for free and their grandparents will get free social care, because that is the social contract that the Scottish Government have with the people of Scotland?
Patrick Grady: Maryhill jobcentre in my constituency will close tomorrow, in the face of massive public opposition. When will the new Minister for Employment, the hon. Member for Reading West (Alok Sharma), come to the House and reassure us that no further jobcentres in Glasgow are under threat?
Patrick Grady: My hon. Friend is making a serious point that is in stark contrast to what the Government were originally coming out with, which was that Brexit would somehow lead to empire 2.0 and that the floodgates would open in terms of opportunities for the United Kingdom. In fact, the floodgates are opening in the opposite direction and people are fleeing the UK at the prospect of what is happening...
Patrick Grady: Among the important issues of human rights, jobs, climate change, poverty, equality, security and so on that the summit will discuss, how much time does the Foreign Secretary expect the Commonwealth countries to devote to the colour of their passports?
Patrick Grady: As my hon. Friend says, the jobcentre closures are affecting the whole city of Glasgow. Is he particularly concerned, as I am, that Ministers have not been very reassuring on whether this will be the last round of closures, and that there is a real risk that, further down the road, the city could lose even more of its jobcentre provision?
Patrick Grady: I believe the other customary greeting at this time of year is “May the force be with you”. May we have a debate on the recruitment policy of the Civil Aviation Authority? A constituent of mine approached me to say he was prohibited from obtaining a medical certificate for a commercial pilot’s licence simply on the grounds that he was HIV-positive. Does the Leader of the...
Patrick Grady: I had a similar experience to my hon. Friend. I delved into these documents with great excitement only to find it was clear from them all—I do not think we are allowed to quote directly, lest we be struck down by lightning—that they do not contain anything that is either commercially sensitive or sensitive to the negotiations, so why do not the Government just put them all in the...
Patrick Grady: We have already got one.
Patrick Grady: I had the underwhelming experience this morning of visiting the Brexit Reading Room. For each of the 39 documents, I was left with the very clear impression that they do not contain any commercially sensitive or negotiation-sensitive information, so why not share that experience with the country and put them in the public domain?
Patrick Grady: Two constituents came to my surgery on Friday, concerned that the switch of support for mortgage interest payments will force them into the private rented sector and on to housing benefit, and will therefore cost the taxpayer more money. Will the Government review that policy? Is it not more evidence of Tory austerity hitting the poorest the hardest?
Patrick Grady: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gapes. I welcome the work of the Committee and its report, and I commend the Chair, the hon. Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison), for a very powerful contribution setting out the Committee’s findings, as well as its response to the Government’s response. I note the cross-party and consensual basis on which the...
Patrick Grady: How will the implementation period affect the devolved institutions, and will the powers bonanza promised by the Secretary of State for Scotland be devolved before, during or after an implementation period?
Patrick Grady: The Secretary of State for Scotland said that the Government will bring forward amendments to clause 11 of the EUW Bill on Report. Will those amendments be published and shared with the Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly before they are tabled?
Patrick Grady: One key thing that future students will read about and find incredibly difficult to understand is how the same people who for 40 years argued that the EU had taken sovereignty away from this Chamber were prepared to give that sovereignty so quickly to the United Kingdom Government Executive. That is what all these clauses, including clause 8, will end up doing.