Stephen Gethins: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his speech and for bringing up the issue of Russian incursions. As a Member of Parliament for Leuchars, I can say that that is something that has been of particular concern to a number of my constituents. I wish to pay due regard to everyone who works at Leuchars for the excellent work that they do, and I know that he and his hon. Friends will also reflect on...
Stephen Gethins: I thank the Minister for his speech, and I associate myself with the remarks made about our thoughts going to the families of all those affected by these events. In particular, it is valuable for us to remember the family and friends of Dawn Sturgess, who tragically lost her life. It is valuable for us to reflect on the fact that somebody has lost their life and been murdered. That is very...
Stephen Gethins: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments. Obviously, I agree with my leader about RT, and I have been very clear on that in the past. I would add that there are Members of this House—in the hon. Gentleman’s party, as well as in the Labour party—who have taken payment for appearing on RT, and I hope that he is vociferous in condemning those Members of his own party.
Stephen Gethins: I know that the hon. Gentleman does, and I respect that. I would also say that RT continues to be an Ofcom-regulated broadcaster, so it should be for people’s own judgment, rather than for me to tell them, whether or not they should appear on an Ofcom-regulated broadcaster, but I thank him for his intervention. This was a chemical weapons attack on UK citizens on UK soil, which we...
Stephen Gethins: I thank the Minister for his work on the issue. If I may gently say so, however, the one area on which I disagree with him—although I am sure that he actually agrees with me—is that I do not think it is particularly niche, given the volume of foreign transactions. I know that is not the point he was making, and I hope that he will take my comment in the spirit with which it was...
Stephen Gethins: Of course, I absolutely agree with the Minister in condemning that. The work the British Council has done has been outstanding. The bravery of its employees, both Russians and UK nationals, is something for which we owe them an enormous debt. I realise that this subject is very close to the heart of the hon. Member for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock) as well. To conclude, we stand with the UK...
Stephen Gethins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide financial support for research to small and medium-sized enterprises developing new tools for the (a) prevention, (b) diagnosis and (c) treatment of drug-resistant TB.
Stephen Gethins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many non-resident parents are in maintenance arrears through the Child Maintenance Service; and what amount of money is outstanding in such arrears in North East Fife constituency.
Stephen Gethins: I congratulate the Foreign Secretary, and welcome him to his post. I know that he will take the job seriously, and I know that, at the end of his time, he will have at least tried in everything that he does, but will he now tell me what impact a challenging, divisive and difficult Brexit will have on our relationship with our European partners?
Stephen Gethins: I think that we need to probe our relationship with our European partners as we go forward. The Foreign Secretary was right to point out—and I am glad he did—that countries in Europe need to stand together at this critical juncture, given the challenges in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere. What damage will a no-deal Brexit do to that relationship?
Stephen Gethins: I congratulate the Secretary of State on his elevation to Cabinet. A number of leavers suggest that the governing classes or the establishment are calling the shots on Brexit and that that is why it is such a mess. Farmers in my constituency want to know who is calling the shots—is it the Secretary of State?
Stephen Gethins: Like me, does my hon. Friend find it absolutely astonishing that those who have had a political lifetime to prepare for Brexit—two years in the most senior positions in Government—are trying to blame everybody else but themselves as the wheels come off the Brexit bus?
Stephen Gethins: Will the hon. Gentleman give way to me?
Stephen Gethins: I thank the hon. Gentleman for the speech he is delivering. I am glad that he is using statistics from the House of Commons Library that he clearly believes. As a former Minister, will he reflect on the statistics that the UK Government put together showing just how disastrous every form of Brexit would be?
Stephen Gethins: What recent assessment he has made of the effect on the Welsh economy of the UK leaving the EU.
Stephen Gethins: The Secretary of State’s answer directly contradicts the UK Government’s own analysis, which shows that Wales and every other part of the United Kingdom will be badly hit by their plans for Brexit. If the Government do have a plan for Brexit, we would love to hear it—and is there any economic analysis for it?
Stephen Gethins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, following the publication of the 2018 Aid Transparency Index, what steps his Department is taking to improve the transparency of the Official Development Assistance for which it is responsible.
Stephen Gethins: rose—
Stephen Gethins: The Minister talks about reaching out. Can he tell the House one area this Government have changed because of an intervention from the Opposition Benches or from a devolved Administration that the Conservatives would not have taken on board otherwise?
Stephen Gethins: I thank the Liberal Democrats for introducing this debate, which is exceptionally timeous, not least because the wheels have well and truly come off the Brexit bus. We have a Government who have fallen apart, the clock is ticking, and it is clear that, having triggered article 50 without having any clear plan, they have absolutely no idea what comes next. That should trouble us all. Whether...