Maggie Throup: As chair of the all-party group on the furniture industry, I welcome the publication of the Government’s export strategy and draw my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State’s attention to the Long Point exhibition that will take place in my constituency next week. The exhibition acts as the global shop front for quality upholstery manufacturing. Will the Minister outline what...
Maggie Throup: Students and teachers at Wilsthorpe Community School in Long Eaton have begun the new academic year in a new £16 million school building, funded by the Department. Does my right hon. Friend agree that that demonstrates the Government’s commitment to improving school facilities for all, and will he join me on a visit to the school in the near future?
Maggie Throup: Shockingly, only 17% of the tech workforce are women. I therefore welcome the recent announcement of a digital skills innovation fund of £1 million, which is there to help under-represented groups. Will the Minister outline what further measures are being taken to ensure that our digital economy is accessible and diverse?
Maggie Throup: Anti- semitism has no place in British public life. Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that she will always work to ensure that this remains the case?
Maggie Throup: What steps the Government are taking to strengthen diplomatic relations with Australia.
Maggie Throup: I welcome the fact that the first major summit attended by the Foreign Secretary on his appointment was his and the Defence Secretary’s meeting with their Australian counterparts. Will he update the House on the progress made in preparing a free trade deal between our two countries?
Maggie Throup: I welcome my right hon. Friend’s recent comments about the need for further sanctions on Russia following the Salisbury attacks. Will he update the House on the progress that has been made on taking the case to the EU and its members and, indeed, to other trading partners, such as our Commonwealth friends?
Maggie Throup: Does my right hon. Friend agree that we hold a unique position of privilege, that on matters of such importance as Brexit legislation our constituents therefore expect us to vote in person on their behalf whenever possible, and that just one high-profile error should not change the system we have in place?
Maggie Throup: Does my right hon. Friend agree that any trial under any circumstance should always be fair and transparent because the relatives and friends of the victims deserve the best?
Maggie Throup: Will my right hon. Friend update the House on what progress has been made to select sites for HS2 garden villages in the east midlands, especially around the Toton hub?
Maggie Throup: Official figures show that house building is booming in Erewash, with the number of completed homes up by 75% and the number of homes under construction up by 70% on the previous year. Does my right hon. Friend agree that this is a vindication of the Government’s housing policy and that it is good news not only for those in the construction industry in Erewash but for those who aspire...
Maggie Throup: May I wish my hon. Friend a very happy birthday? I commend her for finding this issue, moving it on, and getting a solution to it. Does she recognise the important role that so many employers are playing in signing up to the Disability Confident scheme and recognising that people with disabilities are an important part of our workforce for the future?
Maggie Throup: What progress he has made in negotiations on ensuring continued co-operation with the EU on the regulation of industrial chemicals after the UK leaves the EU.
Maggie Throup: I thank the Minister for that answer. Much of Britain’s manufacturing and engineering sector relies heavily on an uninterrupted supply of industrial chemicals, which are used on the production line to carry out processes such as non-destructive testing. Will my hon. Friend update the House on what progress has been made in negotiations with the EU on the REACH regulations? Will he...
Maggie Throup: The UK is acknowledged to be at the forefront of defence modernisation. Is my right hon. Friend confident that other NATO members are ready to modernise, too?
Maggie Throup: What steps the Government are taking to reform the youth justice system.
Maggie Throup: I also welcome my hon. Friend to his new role. Does he agree that, although these reforms are welcome, they form only part of the solution? Can he outline what work his Department is doing to support community-based projects, which can play a crucial part in preventing more young people from entering the youth justice system in the first place?
Maggie Throup: What steps he is taking to encourage defence exports by UK companies.
Maggie Throup: While we hear much about the physical exports manufactured by Chemring Defence in my constituency, among other companies, what more is being done to export British military skills and training, which are the envy of the world, so that we ensure that operational equipment that is exported from the UK is used in accordance with our specific aims?
Maggie Throup: It is a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Cheadle (Mary Robinson). I can add another 10 years to hers; I first owned a mobile phone 30 years ago. Whether it was 20 or 30 years ago, however, we must remember that they were just phones then. They were not devices with apps and various other things; technology has changed so much and we need to ensure the legislation keeps up...