Bill Grant: No. My concern with the Scottish plan of action is that constituents complain about the public sector, for both the length of time that they have to wait for an NHS appointment and the shortage of specialist medical staff. That said, I fear that either the waiting time for those constituents could increase or the decision-making process for benefit claimants could take longer. I note that the...
Bill Grant: Following on from that aspect, the Department’s assumption that vessels can simply be crewed by locals is indeed just not true: it cannot be done. We must have a visa system that attracts multi-skilled individuals from beyond these shores and beyond the EEA to ensure we have a fully crewed fishing fleet to do the work required of it.
Bill Grant: Does the right hon. Gentleman have a kindly word for businesses in Scotland and for the over 1 million people in Scotland who voted to leave the EU?
Bill Grant: It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Toby Perkins). As a nation we need to have a balanced approach to the provision of alcoholic drinks, their sale, their taxation and the licensing of pubs. I will take this opportunity to make a cautionary remark: it is well publicised that there are proven consumption levels that should not be exceeded in order to minimise the...
Bill Grant: I completely agree, and pubs are great outlets for locally grown produce which we can be very proud of in the UK, in particular in Scotland. As with all good news, there is a negative. One of our local businesses raised concerns with me recently about post duty point dilution and the proposed ban on this. I am aware that it will hit some businesses hard and cost them dearly to maintain their...
Bill Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on awarding spaceport licences for horizontal satellite launch in the United Kingdom.
Bill Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of reviewing environmental funding in tandem with periodic reviews of progress under the 25 Year Environment Plan to ensure that sufficient funding is available to achieve the Government's intended environmental targets after the UK leaves the EU.
Bill Grant: rose—
Bill Grant: Does the hon. Gentleman share my concern that the income of the small businesses run by many sub-postmasters and postmasters has been driven down by the Post Office and has reduced dramatically, and they are therefore unable to sell on what is maybe a long-established business that nobody will take on? This is leading to the closure of important post offices in communities. The Post Office...
Bill Grant: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Betts. I thank my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith) for securing the debate. Modem slavery is no less abhorrent than the appalling inhumanity of earlier centuries. In that era, Robert Burns described, “Man’s inhumanity to man”, which still exists to this day. As has been mentioned,...
Bill Grant: What steps he is taking to support the Scottish fishing sector.
Bill Grant: We have to pay attention to the million on the street and the 5.4 million who have signed the petition, but that falls short of the 17.4 million people who voted to leave. That is a simple fact. There are many people in this Chamber today who are here through democracy—a democracy similar to that of the referendum—with wafer-thin margins, and they intend still to sit here.
Bill Grant: rose—
Bill Grant: May I share with the House a fact that is sometimes overlooked? In the European referendum far more people voted to leave in Scotland than voted for the SNP at the 2017 election. That is a fact that some people do not understand; it is as though the hon. Gentleman thinks he speaks for all of the people of Scotland when he does not.
Bill Grant: The hon. Gentleman mentioned how minorities can lead a majority. Is it not the case that in Scotland, a small group of six, rather than the Government, has inflicted tax rises on the people of Scotland?
Bill Grant: I am of an age to remember the windshield being covered in insects, and the number plate, which was particularly hard to clean. Does the hon. Gentleman think that initiatives such as the healthy bees plan and the National Bee Unit should be extended to protect other species of insects—or, as we say in Scotland, beasties?
Bill Grant: The United Kingdom’s average unemployment rate is a remarkable 4%, which is a very welcome low. In Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, however, it stands at 6.5%. Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance to my constituents that she will continue to work on building employment nationally, and with a particular focus on areas where unemployment is significantly higher than the UK average?
Bill Grant: I am puzzled by the right hon. Gentleman’s desire for a third referendum. In 2014 he disrespected the outcome. In 2016 he disrespected the outcome. If we had a third referendum, would he respect the outcome then? Would there be a change?
Bill Grant: I share the hon. Gentleman’s concerns about the safety of workers and the avoidance of accidents. What does he think the Government can do to bring the oil companies to the table for discussions with trade unions about the important matter of the safety of personnel on their rigs and in helicopters?
Bill Grant: I thank the hon. Member for Chichester (Gillian Keegan) for securing this debate. As MPs, we have all handled cases where errors have been made with disability assessments; that was the case before the introduction of universal credit and the personal independence payment. Sadly, no doubt it will continue to be the case as the system is further refined and improved. I do not say that to...