Huw Merriman: What steps his Department is taking to support the broadcasting of sport on terrestrial television channels.
Huw Merriman: This week it was an absolute privilege to host in Parliament Dame Katherine Grainger, our most decorated female Olympian and now head of UK Sport. She came with the BBC Sport team as we all launched its new platform that will allow more sports to feature on the BBC website, acting as that platform. Does the Minister agree that this is a way to inspire more people to take up more sport and...
Huw Merriman: Efficiency and productivity deserve to be rewarded, and, given the 16% increase in emergency admissions, NHS professionals have certainly earned that. In the light of this new working relationship, does the Secretary of State envisage staff and the Government working in partnership to challenge patients to be more respectful to those who work in the health service?
Huw Merriman: What progress his Department is making on reforming the provision of social care.
Huw Merriman: Given that the arithmetic of this place is so tight, it is clear that there will need to be some form of cross-party consensus for any meaningful reform. Given that the Opposition appear to favour a wealth tax and our party has mooted the idea of individuals paying more for their own care, surely cross-party consensus is within reach; what is the Secretary of State’s view on that?
Huw Merriman: Pay rises for teachers in schools in my constituency would be most welcome, but there is a concern that those rises will have to be met from the increase in funding that was delivered to schools in the summer. Are there plans, like there are with the NHS, to find a budget outside the existing school funding formula for those pay rises?
Huw Merriman: I thank the right hon. Lady for outlining the case against the pull factor. I did not want to be shouted at; I wanted to hear arguments. When I was in Zaatari, there were about 100,000 people in that camp; 56% of the camp population is under 18, and there are about 79 births each week. My concern is that, while the figure may be 1,000 at the moment, as soon as we change our laws and that...
Huw Merriman: The right hon. Lady is kind to give way again. At the moment, families can come through. My concern is that if we change the law, a brave under-18 will say, “I will take that step, and this law will allow me to bring you with.” That is my concern, with such a large population. Perhaps that clarifies where I was coming from.
Huw Merriman: I, too, went to Zaatari, and what my right hon. Friend says about the concern that people will eventually lose hope is absolutely right. Things are not easy in Jordan, albeit they could be worse. However, having made that trip, does she perhaps share my genuine concern about the pull factor arguments? [Interruption.] This is a genuine concern that I am asking about.
Huw Merriman: I thank my right hon. Friend for giving way again; she is making a heartfelt speech. Perhaps I can articulate the concern here. We hear that the Bill relates only to children who are already here, but my understanding is that it will apply to future child refugees. The concern on the Government Benches is that, as people traffickers take advantage of these changes, more children could be...
Huw Merriman: I speak for the fairies, as far as this is concerned. Logic would dictate that when refugees are coming from war-torn areas, they will do some incredibly desperate things, such as those that my hon. Friend has outlined. I do not think it is for the fairies at all. It is the sad reality of the terrible state of some countries around the world that forces these things to happen.
Huw Merriman: According to page 193 of the OBR report, “The future is uncertain and the likelihood of unexpected…political developments means…there are significant…downside risks to…forecasts for the public finances.” Does the Chancellor see any of those political downside risks sitting directly in front of him?
Huw Merriman: In her message to the European Union, the Prime Minister rightly said that we have a shared interest with it in getting this right. Does she agree that the 498 MPs who gave her the mandate to trigger article 50 have a shared interest in putting the national interest first?
Huw Merriman: It is a pleasure to speak in this debate on transport. I am a member of the Transport Committee and I have a great passion for the subject. It took me over four hours to battle through the snow in East Sussex to be able to speak for three minutes in this place. Who says that this place is not maddening? Transport is hugely important for my region. It has the ability to be an absolute game...
Huw Merriman: Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a letter of clarification was issued in November, which, if it holds true, will solve all the issues caused by Mr Fidler’s letter in July? The danger is that there is still a consultation, so who knows where it could end up?
Huw Merriman: On that basis, does the Minister agree that we can have our fishcake and eat it?
Huw Merriman: Thank you, Mr Paisley. It is a pleasure to be called to speak. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall (Scott Mann) for securing this debate. If ever there was an industry that showed us the benefits of the UK leaving the European Union, it is the fisheries industry. In 2015, trawlers from EU member states took 683,000 tonnes from UK waters, whereas the UK fleet took 111,000...