Philippa Whitford: The fishing industry in my area, the south-west of Scotland, is very much lobster and langoustine-based. Eighty-six per cent. of that goes to Europe, so my industry would be decimated if we had barriers.
Philippa Whitford: As many people know, I spent almost a year and a half as a volunteer in Gaza in 1991 and 1992, and I declare an interest in that I was back there last Easter, and indeed in September, operating as a breast surgeon, teaching, and running clinics. I can therefore vouch that conditions in Gaza are absolutely appalling. The first thing that hits someone when they get through Erez is the stench of...
Philippa Whitford: On that point, it has to be recognised that the people of Israel would gain from a solution and peace and from not having to expend so much energy, and the energy of their young people, on security. They need to be able to move forward. This is not only about a solution for the people of Palestine; it is also about a solution for the people of Israel.
Philippa Whitford: Is the issue not partly the fact that we hear Members talking about meeting DWP staff, but they then say that they do not have the full roll-out. They should come back to talk in the Chamber when they do.
Philippa Whitford: On Monday last week, I spoke in the Chamber to propose a ten-minute rule Bill to try to tackle some of the organisational and administrative issues that have made universal credit worse. The most important thing that has been discussed in all these universal credit debates is obviously the waiting time and, like others, I welcome the Chancellor’s reducing it to five weeks. However,...
Philippa Whitford: Why will having a Brexit date give certainty and clarity, yet having a date on which the powers would move to the devolved Governments is considered unacceptable?
Philippa Whitford: That is the problem. There is no timescale. This place is snarled up in dealing with Brexit work, and that pressure will be even greater after Brexit. Those of us from the devolved countries feel that the needs of our farmers and fishermen will be way down the agenda for the devolution work being done here.
Philippa Whitford: On the question of where power actually lies, we know that many farmers voted leave, yet I know, having attended a National Farmers Union meeting on Friday, that the idea of farming and hill farming in Scotland being controlled from here is something they consider anathema. Given the failure to pass on the convergence uplift in 2013-14, they are frightened about farming powers being here.
Philippa Whitford: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Philippa Whitford: Does the hon. Gentleman not accept that the principle of the Scotland Act 1998 was that what was not reserved was devolved? These powers could easily go to the devolved nations, which could then sit around the table. Their voices would then be heard properly in any national framework, and they would not simply be told what it would be.
Philippa Whitford: Obviously, this is a UK-wide issue, not one that applies only to women in Scotland. The women I have spoken to are not looking for the kind of crisis grants that the Scottish Government can deliver. They do not want to go begging. They actually want what they are due.
Philippa Whitford: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Philippa Whitford: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Philippa Whitford: Last month’s debate on baby loss has been mentioned, and I too took part in it, although I have thankfully been spared the pain suffered by some Members of the House. Such a debate really helps to bring out for everyone on both sides of the House how important this issue is, and I do not think there will be anyone who does not welcome this statement and the ambition it shows. In...
Philippa Whitford: I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to reform the Universal Credit application process; to make provision about advice and assistance for claimants, and arrangements for payments; and for connected purposes. I welcome the Chancellor’s removal of the arbitrary seven waiting days, which reduces the waiting time to five weeks, but the Department for Work and...
Philippa Whitford: The veterinary medicines division is part of the EMA, so it comes under that—I am not sure whether that is what the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Helen Goodman) was asking.
Philippa Whitford: Is the Minister aware of whether an impact assessment is being done with regard to health, not as part of the economy but as a benefit to people in the UK?
Philippa Whitford: Does the Minister recognise the data protection issue? Some people have suggested that the UK will be in a position to follow its own line on utilising data. Ending up on the outside as an untrusted country—or as an untrusted set of countries within the UK—would obviously kill our ability to take part in clinical trials and research.
Philippa Whitford: I too congratulate the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Helen Goodman) on securing such an important debate. Unfortunately, it is competing with the main arena, so this Chamber is not full. I do not think that people yet recognise what the impact of Brexit on medicines regulation will be. The EMA represents all the countries within the European economic area, their drug-licensing bodies...
Philippa Whitford: Is part of the problem not that there appears not to have been a specific assessment of all the health-related impacts of leaving the EU?