Martin Whitfield: I fully support this Bill, as I have from the outset. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that as well as the fact that this work is unpaid, there is great danger with regard to health and safety, training, other staff members, and members of the public? Unscrupulous employers are putting everybody in danger, and also damaging the reputation of the good employers who do not engage in this.
Martin Whitfield: Does the hon. Lady not agree that she has succinctly and successfully described the benefit that families together can bring as they try to create a life in this country? All the Bill would do is extend the option for families to be together and to work in constituencies and bring economic benefit to us all.
Martin Whitfield: Non-UK nationals are essential to the agricultural industry in East Lothian. Can the Secretary of State guarantee that they will still have the same access after we leave the EU?
Martin Whitfield: Is it not correct to say that, for example, when we share the east coast main line, which runs north and south, the integration has to be north and south? Events that happen in York or Newcastle have knock-on effects both in Scotland and down in London on that one railway line.
Martin Whitfield: Who deals with it from the British Transport police perspective?
Martin Whitfield: Will the hon. Gentleman give way on that point?
Martin Whitfield: I congratulate the hon. Member for Moray (Douglas Ross) on securing this debate, which it was a pleasure to co-sponsor. I thank the Backbench Business Committee for providing time for it. It is, as always, an honour to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I thank the Scottish Government, who have eventually arrived at the same conclusion as almost everyone else in Scotland: there is...
Martin Whitfield: I will not, because the hon. Gentleman has made a lot of interventions and had his chance to make a speech. I hold no objections to the devolution of functions from the British Transport police to Police Scotland. In fact, the Scotland Act provides good scope for the transferral of such policing powers; yet, contrary to popular belief, a full merger under the devolution powers was not the...
Martin Whitfield: Thirty-nine bottles of Scottish whisky are exported abroad every second. As the seconds tick by until our departure, can the whisky industry look forward to the same benefits as now, or will it be in a worse position?
Martin Whitfield: The European Defence Agency does not envisage third-party countries joining, so is that one of the agencies that the Government will be seeking an administrative arrangement with?
Martin Whitfield: It is always a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir David, and a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for North Tyneside (Mary Glindon). I extend my thanks to the Backbench Business Committee and also to the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) for securing this debate. Please note, Sir David, my interest as a member of the all-party group. I want to take a moment to...
Martin Whitfield: I compliment my hon. Friend and the Committee on this report. Does he agree that one of the results of the election is damage to our reputation within the UN structure itself? To take anything other than an enthusiastic view on how we can rectify the situation and do better next time would be foolish for our worldwide reputation.
Martin Whitfield: Members of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary should be able to retire at the same age as members of the regular police force. The Civil Nuclear Police Federation has maintained this since the divergence in 2013. My understanding is that part of the Government is in agreement, but that part of it is not. May we have an urgent statement on when there will be equality in the retirement age?
Martin Whitfield: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for securing the debate, and for allowing me to make an intervention. Does she agree that by extending the franchise politicians of today will be remembered in a far better light? It works successfully in Scotland. Extending the franchise to that very important part of our communities would be a relatively simple step to achieve some good news headlines.
Martin Whitfield: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for securing this most important debate. Does she agree that as well as wildlife trafficking, which covers our fauna, there is also the question of flora? Illegal logging is going on. That causes huge economic and environmental damage to an area and, consequently, the flow of that illegal wood into the system causes disparities in economic value.
Martin Whitfield: What steps his Department is taking to improve digital infrastructure.
Martin Whitfield: Given the Government’s commitment to deal directly with local authorities in Scotland in the near future on digital infrastructure, would the Minister agree to meet me, the local authority and, more importantly, disruptive local providers who may be able to give answers to some of the problems that we face?
Martin Whitfield: On legal representation, this geographical area has two separate sets of rules applied to it. Under the civilian code that applies for Israeli children, there is a requirement for a parent to be in attendance during interrogation, and an undertaking that interrogations not occur at night, but the same is not reflected in the military rules. Is it not a great shame that those rules could not...
Martin Whitfield: I am grateful for my hon. Friend’s testimony. Does not this case clearly highlight the unique nature of the coroners’ courts, which provide the facilities and the vehicle to investigate such matters sympathetically, supportively and with an ability to get to the truth?