Vicky Ford: It is very clear that a no-deal Brexit would carry a high risk, both for our economy and our security, so I urge my right hon. Friend to continue to listen to British businesses and other stakeholders and to continue fighting for practical and pragmatic solutions that safeguard jobs and security.
Vicky Ford: Many of my constituents in Chelmsford write to tell me how concerned they are about the changing nature of crime. They know that crime overall has dropped, but they see more crime happening online and more violent crime. This morning, I spoke to my police and crime commissioner to make sure that I was fully up to date about what was happening on the streets. Violence with injury has increased...
Vicky Ford: I completely agree and that brings me to my next point. What I learnt from looking at our firearms legislation, and firearms legislation across the continent of Europe and in Ireland, is that there are many very good reasons why genuine law-abiding people may need to have a firearm. There are particular sensitivities relating to personal security in Northern Ireland, where many people have...
Vicky Ford: When I was involved in a Select Committee inquiry into online issues, we were given evidence that the online recruitment of children from quite stable backgrounds is now being used to bring such children into gangs. We need to realise that no child is immune.
Vicky Ford: Following the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Andrew Rosindell), will the hon. Lady join me in thanking Essex police and congratulating them on the 150 officers they are adding to our force?
Vicky Ford: I am a member of the Select Committee on Science and Technology, and we have been looking at the evidence on early intervention. As has been highlighted, there are areas of excellent practice, including Manchester and, I am glad to say, Essex. Will the hon. Lady look at those areas of excellent practice? I reject the suggestion that, somehow, this is linked to cuts. Our good practice in...
Vicky Ford: I thank the hon. Lady for giving way yet again. On the point about repurposing or reactivating deactivated firearms, will she mention for the record that of course the reactivation of a deactivated firearm is in itself a criminal act?
Vicky Ford: The UK already has a reputation for having the strongest and best firearms legislation across Europe. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the intention of this Bill is to make sure dangerous knives and toxic chemicals are equally strongly legislated against, but it is not the intention to take action against law-abiding citizens?
Vicky Ford: I thank the Minister for visiting Chelmsford prison with me a fortnight ago and seeing at first hand the challenges of running the prison in what are, let us say, the more antique wings. Does he agree that rather than there being some public/private ideology, we should focus on prisons that are well built and managed, on making sure that our staff are well supported and on ensuring that...
Vicky Ford: I congratulate the Minister on his new role. He is making a strong case for this excellent EU-Japan deal, and we should embrace it. Does he agree that the UK-EU partnership that we will be looking for should be even deeper and better, especially in areas such as digital, services and common standards to facilitate our trade?
Vicky Ford: The hon. Gentleman is making a very good point but, if CETA is such a terrible deal, why did so Labour Members of the European Parliament vote for it, including their lead spokesman on the issue, who had full transparency on the deal as it was negotiated?
Vicky Ford: Will the Minister give way?
Vicky Ford: Thank you, Mr Robertson, for the opportunity to speak in this important debate. I add my congratulations to the hon. Member for Blaydon (Liz Twist) on securing it. I speak as a chair of the all-party parliamentary group on rare, genetic and undiagnosed conditions, but also on behalf of my constituent Cait, and other constituents who suffer from PKU. I was very honoured to lead an...
Vicky Ford: I congratulate the hon. Lady on securing this important debate. Kuvan, the brand name for sapropterin, is clearly deeply beneficial for about 20% to 30% of sufferers. I met the manufacturers last week, and they told me they had written to NHS England twice to ask for meetings to discuss price, but they are still waiting for a response. Will she join me in urging the Minister to use all his...
Vicky Ford: I congratulate my hon. Friend on this important debate. Having spent my young years in Northern Ireland, I remember how many times it was British armed forces who kept civilians safe. I am delighted to see so many Members here tonight. I do not want to turn this into a political issue, but is it not sad that half the Chamber is empty?
Vicky Ford: Airbus is also a key player in the space sector, which is important for many jobs in my constituency. Can the Secretary of State confirm that the partnership that we are looking for will cover co-operation on standards and a deal on services, so that maintenance contracts and the like can continue to be fulfilled?
Vicky Ford: This morning, I attended the schools’ engineering and technology competition in Chelmsford, where Essex students had designed a wheelchair that climbs stairs. Does the Minister agree that such projects are key to inspiring the engineers of the future? Will he congratulate the Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society and all who were involved?
Vicky Ford: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Vicky Ford: The hon. Gentleman speaks forcefully about the need to retain Erasmus+, and also, I presume, ongoing co-operation in science. Does he not agree, however, that if we are to continue to participate in Horizon Europe, which will cost the British taxpayer many billions of pounds, we must have more than just third-country status. We must also have a say in how the programmes are structured.
Vicky Ford: Will my hon. Friend give way?