Alex Chalk: Does my hon. Friend agree that what frustrates people across the country, and certainly in Cheltenham, is that contractors are often getting away with poor quality repairs? If they just did the job properly in the first place, the repair would have a chance of holding and would not leak at the first sign of frost.
Alex Chalk: Does my hon. Friend agree that what is so infuriating for residents is seeing one defect repaired but surrounding defects left or areas that we all know are going to crumble in the next frost left unattended? Do we not have to find a more efficient way of fixing holes and the defects around them?
Alex Chalk: My right hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Does he agree with the maxim of the former President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, that the first rule of politics is that its practitioners must be able to count? That is so important when we come to consider our debates over the coming weeks.
Alex Chalk: The right hon. and learned Gentleman is giving, as one would expect, a forensic and detailed scrutiny of these proposals, but the end point of his argument must be that there should be a customs union. I understand the point, but has he made any assessment of the extent to which, in the country, there would be a sense of betrayal, which would place the disquiet that has taken place in this...
Alex Chalk: It’s quite unsettling.
Alex Chalk: I warmly welcome my right hon. Friend’s commitment to Britain’s future air defence, but will he say a little about affordability? It is important that we have cutting-edge units, but it is equally important that we have sufficient room in the budget to buy enough of them.
Alex Chalk: When individual cases go wrong, of course they should be fixed. At a time of record low unemployment this country spends some £90 billion a year on working-age benefits—as it should—but to put that in context, that is more than double what we spend on schools. In those circumstances, does my hon. Friend agree that the suggestion that somehow resources are not being applied is...
Alex Chalk: What steps the Government is taking to improve offenders’ access to education and employment.
Alex Chalk: I warmly welcome attempts to improve the employability of those in custody, but that will work only if the training relates to jobs that individuals want and for which there is a need in society. What steps are being taken to ensure that the resources are properly targeted at what will work best?
Alex Chalk: It is easy to talk about Brexit, but the Prime Minister has to deliver it. Does she agree that the Chequers proposals balance securing jobs in vital sectors, such as Gloucestershire’s aviation supply chain, with delivering on the promise of an enterprising and independent trade policy?
Alex Chalk: We can tell!
Alex Chalk: Daesh is a dangerous ideology in cyber-space as much as it is a physical threat on the battlefield. Will my right hon. Friend join me in acknowledging the work of the intelligence agencies, including GCHQ in my constituency, in dismantling that power base online, and will he update the House as to what steps are being taken to expunge what remains?
Alex Chalk: I am sure that we are all enjoying the debate, but must the hon. Gentleman not accept that in 2010 his party’s Government left the country with a deficit of £150 billion—which, by the way, is about 20 times the entire Ministry of Justice budget? Does he not want to take some responsibility for that?
Alex Chalk: Is the hon. and learned Lady’s experience from Scotland that broadening access to early advice and assistance can help litigants to understand the strengths and weaknesses of potential litigation and perhaps even to decide not to pursue it?
Alex Chalk: It is a pleasure to follow the right hon. Member for Delyn (David Hanson). Justice could not be more important and it is fundamental to what it means to be British. Why do I say that? One only has to look at Department for Education guidance on the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect of and tolerance for those with different faiths...
Alex Chalk: The point is that it has significance when it goes wrong. People will assume that our justice system and our prisons are working absolutely fine, but if there are occasions when that is shown to be wrong, people have a sense of utter outrage. I do not think it is too grandiose to say that we have an instinctive respect for justice in this country. It is considered to be a British value, and...
Alex Chalk: Of course that is absolutely right. People who serve on a jury want to be satisfied that there is proper equality of arms. Again, that is not a high-falutin’ principle. They want to ensure that there is a proper prosecutor and proper defence counsel, because juries have an excellent way of providing justice if they think that others will not. What do I mean by that? Anecdotally,...
Alex Chalk: I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman has, like me, received representations from legitimate sportspeople saying that they would be open to considering further proposals such as additional storage security measures to allay any lingering concerns that may remain.
Alex Chalk: As my hon. Friend rightly notes, resourcing is an issue, but it is equally important to ensure that we get enough bang for our buck. In that context, does she agree that putting more police officers on bikes, which enables them to be visible but also to cover a great deal of ground—particularly in a constituency that is flat, such as Cheltenham—is basically a good idea?
Alex Chalk: When it comes to fixing our prisons, what matters is what works. Does my hon. Friend agree that HMP Altcourse is an example of a private sector prison doing a good job? As we embrace the future, the approach should be about pragmatism, not dogmatism.