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?
Vicky Ford: I completely agree with my hon. Friend that money needs to be well spent and that sometimes the EU has not spent its pennies quite as carefully as we have done. However, Universities UK wants us to double the number of young people who take part in these programmes because of the benefits and because so few do at the moment. Does he agree that, if we are to double the number taking part, we...
Vicky Ford: It is a great pleasure to speak in the Chamber about Erasmus+. I am delighted to be here and to speak on behalf of British universities. I have received feedback from Universities UK, the Russell Group and MillionPlus, the association of newer universities, and I speak as the representative of Chelmsford, the heart and home of Anglia Ruskin University. Britain has 14 universities in the...
Vicky Ford: Will the Secretary of State join me in thanking David Dimbleby for the role that he played for 25 years at the helm of “Question Time”, and does he agree that, in a year that marks 100 years of women’s suffrage, the baton should be passed to a woman?
Vicky Ford: Has the hon. Lady ever taken part in a work capability assessment? I had one acted out for me to allow me to understand the process, which was enormously helpful. I would recommend that other Members do that. One can either sit through an assessment or have the process demonstrated. It was really helpful to aid one’s understanding.
Vicky Ford: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Vicky Ford: This time last year I got a lot of cases from constituents who had problems with the PIP assessment process, but it appears to have improved. I fundamentally believe that it would be better if it were easier to get those assessments recorded. Does my hon. Friend agree that that would put more trust in the system?
Vicky Ford: Going back to the point that the hon. Lady made about helping disabled people get into work, my experience in my constituency is that a huge number of projects are going on that do help disabled people to get into work. Clearly, every individual is different, and some people need different levels of support, but will she join me in saying, “Well done,” to the 600,000 disabled...